There are plenty of reasons why meat alternatives are being developed. Many consumers pursue vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, and for them a faux meat burger is an alluring option. As well, factory farming practices are terribly inefficient, often cruel, and environmentally devastating, so finding plant alternatives is a logical step. Just to provide some context, National Geographic has estimated that, while freshwater amounts to less than one percent of the water on the planet, nearly three quarters of those reserves go into agricultural production. By some estimates, a single pound of beef requires close to 1800 gallons (while a pound of cheese still requires a formidable 700 gallons). The average American diet depends on 1320 gallons of freshwater each day, but switching to plant-based sources will save tons of water. Quite literally, in fact a ton of water is about 120 gallons.
So, whether your reasons are personal or environmental, or if you’re just curious to try something new, we could all make a difference by embracing faux meats and burger alternatives like the Beyond Meat Burger or the Impossible Burger.
Are Faux Meats Vegan?
In a word, yes. Always check a particular brand’s ingredients and practices, but in the case of the major players, you can usually count on these faux meat products to be vegan. Impossible Foods is confirmed vegan (though in a statement to CNET they did note that animal testing helped evaluate the safety of their heme protein (or soy leghemoglobin -- it’s the protein that helps their Impossible Burger to mimic the taste, texture, and cooking style of red meat.)
Impossible Foods also states that its burger is certified as both kosher and halal, and Beyond Meat has stated that its products are fully certified vegan by the Vegan Action Foundation.
How do Faux Meats Taste?
Great! Well, there’s certainly more to it, but if you’re a fan of burgers, then these are a fantastic experience. While managing to mimic the tooth and experience of a burger, these vegan alternatives are charming on their own merits for those who are looking for a new plant-based culinary experience.
Are Faux Meats Healthy?
Broadly, these meat alternatives are very healthy options. The only real sticking point is the high sodium content (another way to help the products behave like burgers.) These burgers clock in at slightly under 300 calories, with about 20 grams of protein. The Beyond Meat burger has slightly more fat, 20g, over the Impossible Burger’s 14g, but both are essentially comparable.
Both use plant-based ingredients, though the Impossible Burger is better fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. These faux meat burgers make a fine addition to most diets, and despite the sodium, they will help reduce inflammation compared to red meat consumption.
Creating a Healthy Plant-Based Diet at Advanced Health
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Beyond Meat. Beyond Burger. Retrieved August 2019, from: https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/the-beyond-burger/
Impossible Foods. Impossible Burger. Retrieved August 2019 from: https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/categories/115000924207-IMPOSSIBLE-BURGER
National Geographic. Thirsty Food: Fuelling Agriculture to Fuel Humans. Retrieved August 2019, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/food/