WASHINGTON – A tongue-in-cheek advertisement disparaging the ingredients used to formulate plant-based meat alternatives was broadcast in the Washington, D.C., viewing area by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) during the Feb. 2 Super Bowl. Not to be upstaged by its carnivore-based counterpart, Redwood City, California-based Impossible Foods posted a YouTube video spoofing the CCF commercial on Super Bowl Sunday starring the company’s CEO Pat Brown, MD, Ph.D. In the look-alike video, Brown asks a perplexed contestant to spell “poop,” describing it as “the stinky brown stuff that comes out of your butt,” adding that it is also used to make ground beef from cows.

The CCF regional ad depicts a grade-school spelling bee with actors struggling to recognize and spell words that are the ingredients used in some plant-based foods, including methycellulose, which is described as a chemical laxative used to make synthetic meat.

“If you can’t spell it or pronounce it,” says the commercial’s narrator, “then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it.”  

The CCF recently ran an ad in the The New York Times, challenging readers to identify the difference in ingredient labels of “fake meat” and dog food.

“Despite the perceived ‘health halo,’ synthetic meats are a long way from being a magical mixture of vegetables,” said CCF’s Managing Director Will Coggin. “The combination of these chemicals which are then heated to 150 degrees is without precedent and may have significant long-term health effects.”

In a Business Insider report, Rachel Konrad, Impossible Foods spokeswoman, said CCF, a non-profit founded by Richard Berman, has targeted plant-based meat in media campaigns for the past 18 months, and the YouTube video was the company’s response to what it claimed to be a “preposterous and asinine” ad.