With any consumer adoption, there will always be question with regard to what you are actually consuming with a new choice. This has been so true with the somewhat recent plant-based burger trend. I hope it’s not just a trend…
I often get the question in reference to my plant-based burger selection, “What’s actually in it?” Well, for one, plants. But for whatever reason, it feels like that isn’t super obvious based on the frequency of this question.
^^^ me with a beyond burger
Additional (and what seem, connotative) comments are often made about these plant-based burgers being engineered in a lab. I get that. It’s freaky and futuristic. However I also think that there are a LOT of other things engineered behind the scenes in our food, as well as our skincare. I hypothesize that it’s, sadly, more of a norm than we think. I will say, though, that these questions for concern are valid. I personally just wanted to know, are these concerns actually valid?
These plant-based burgers hold a powerful opportunity to save our planet. Beef and dairy farming operations are the greatest human-related contributors of methane in the atmosphere. According to the EPA, Methane is 25 times more powerful at warming our Earth compared to carbon dioxide.
Additionally, 6.7 million acres of tropical forests are bulldozed or burned for cattle production each year. This is a huge problem considering that tropical forests serve as carbon sinks, meaning they remove carbon out of the atmosphere and store it for long periods of time. As these forests are cut down, the stored carbon gets released back into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Not ideal.
Therefore, plant-based burgers deserve an opportunity to either debunk or validate the consumer concerns spreading throughout our value-driven conversations. It’s my mission to uncover these aspects in the following ingredient analysis. Furthermore, I want to empower anyone who is willing to learn what the best choice is for their own body based on nutrients that are important to them. This also takes into consideration the choice to eat a plant-based burger or a burger derived from beef.
First I will begin by laying out each plant-based burger ingredient one by one for both the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. You’ll notice some of these ingredients are highlighted in green. These are ingredients that aren’t easily understandable (in my opinion) to the average consumer at first glance.
I’ll provide a summary of these ingredients that are a bit mysterious and what they actually are, in layman’s terms! Lord knows we are not all chemists. I’ll then provide a quick apples to apples nutrition fact chart to help you make the burger choice that is best for you.
I hope you enjoyed this ingredient analysis! It helped me, personally, gain a better understanding and feel even better about my own plant-based burger choices. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I’m happy to continue to research this topic. Or, if you’ve found research that differs, please let me know. I think that’s really important to consider as well.