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An open letter to Lightlife in response to its false claims about Impossible Foods’ ingredients

By Keely Sulprizio and Rachel Konrad, Impossible Foods Communications

Impossible Foods was targeted today by “Lightlife,” a division of the Canadian meat-industry giant Maple Leaf Foods, in a disingenuous, desperate disinformation campaign attempting to cast doubt on the integrity of our products.

The campaign leans on spurious arguments typically used by the meat industry: Attack Impossible’s products not based on their indisputable quality, nutrition, wholesomeness or deliciousness, but based on the number of ingredients — a logic-defying concept with zero relevance to health or product quality, intended to distract consumers from the obvious inferiority of Lightlife and Maple Leaf’s products.

In a nutshell, Lightlife’s campaign is:

  • Highly misleading. The number of ingredients in a product (whether 11 or 18) is irrelevant; what matters is the quality and nutritional value of a product.

  • A desperate attempt to cast doubt on a company and products against which it can’t compete on quality or value.

  • Financed by one of the largest animal agriculture companies in North America.

Uncompromising commitment to delicious, nutritious, sustainable food

Impossible Foods uses science, in collaboration with nature, to make uncompromisingly delicious, wholesome meat from plants(opens in a new tab) — with an environmental footprint orders of magnitude smaller than meat from animals. The company’s mission is to improve the health and nutrition of a growing population, while replacing the world’s most destructive industry, animal agriculture, by creating delicious, wholesome and nutritious meats from plants.

The award-winning, plant-based Impossible™ Burger and Impossible™ Sausage Made From Plants are surging in popularity precisely because their unique taste, texture and cooking characteristics rival ground beef from cows and ground pork sausage from pigs without the disastrous public health and environmental impacts of the animal products they replace. Impossible Foods’ products are the result of nearly a decade of scientific research and development.

Animal agriculture — the most destructive and unnecessary technology in human history — has brought us to the brink of environmental catastrophe. Global warming and a catastrophic collapse of global wildlife populations and ecosystems threaten the viability of millions of species (including our own). Despite a growing recognition(opens in a new tab) that animal agriculture is destroying the planet (and despite widespread availability of quinoa, lentils, tofu and old-school “veggie burgers”), global demand for animal-derived food(opens in a new tab) continues to rise, now outpacing human population growth.

To keep Earth habitable and greatly reduce risks to global public health(opens in a new tab), we need to employ every single tool in our toolbox — including science and technology. We are proud of our use of genetic engineering(opens in a new tab). And we’re proud of our unique, honest communication with consumers, who expect and deserve transparency about the foods they eat — not cynical disinformation campaigns and deceptive “real food” claims that insult the intelligence of consumers.

Meet the meat merchants of doubt

By contrast, the incumbent livestock industry now recognizes Impossible Foods and the movement to a plant-based food system as threats to its very existence. As a result, it’s hired dark-money front groups and slick propagandists(opens in a new tab) to attack our products for having “too many ingredients(opens in a new tab).”

That’s because they can’t compete against Impossible Foods on the things that really matter to consumers, including taste, nutrition and sustainability. All they can do is raise loony, bogus issues to try to sow uncertainty and doubt.

Remember: Cows and pigs and chickens did not evolve to be eaten, nor have they ever been bred for human health and nutrition. By contrast, the world-class scientists at Impossible Foods built the Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage from the ground up, carefully selecting every ingredient to optimize not only for deliciousness but for sustainability, nutrition and health.

Reality: Our products are made from simple ingredients that millions of people cook and eat every single day. The key ingredient, “heme(opens in a new tab),” is found in virtually all foods you eat and is thoroughly safety-tested(opens in a new tab) and considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration(opens in a new tab).

Impossible Burger delivers as much protein, bioavailable iron and key micronutrients as animal-derived beef, without the harmful impacts on health and environment. A quarter-pound Impossible Burger has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 grams of total fat, 8g of saturated fat and 240 calories in a quarter-pound patty. A quarter-pound, conventional “80/20” patty from cows has 80 mg cholesterol, 23 grams of total fat, 9g of saturated fat and 290 calories.

Fortunately, a growing number of consumers recognize meat-industry propaganda and the agenda behind it. And when they go to the grocery store, they pick the product that delivers on taste, nutrition and sustainability. They pick Impossible Burger.

For more information about Impossible Foods, including details on our commitment to health and nutrition, please see our Nutrition Information(opens in a new tab), and Safety and Transparency Report(opens in a new tab) for more details, and read this blog post(opens in a new tab) for specific questions on health. More questions? Please email [email protected](opens in a new tab).

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