Thank you for this much needed perspective. As a scientist is plant-based for animal welfare and environmental reasons, the irrational health backlash against fake meat has been infuriating.
I love how you call out our inconsistent use of the slur “processed” to suit our own tastes.
It seems to me that the key to making rational food choices is to clearly identify the comparator. In this case, the appropriate comparator is a fast food beef burger – a creation that is easy to beat, healthwise. In my opinion, as long as the imposter is no worse than its muse, it becomes hard to justify sourcing meat in a way that kills animals and is harder on the planet.
I further agree that Beyond Meat is shooting itself in the foot with its emphasis on how natural it is (especially compare to Impossible burger, who wisely is making a taste play not a health play)