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The Impossible Whopper: Your thoughts on plant-based burgers?

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Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,910 Member
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    So, the primary objections seem to be along these lines:
    • Clean eaters/food purists: Not natural, list of scary ingredients
    • Sodium fears, soy fears, etc...
    • Carnivore/keto: a vegan beef substitute implies that their sacred cows are unnecessary

    Did I miss anything?

    The subset of vegetarians who thought meat didn't taste very good in the first place, so the closer a "veggie burger" gets to tasting like meat, the less we want to eat it.

    That's not an objection to the food existing or being offered, of course; it's just a personal objection to ordering/eating it.

    And it's definitely a minority who think that. But I'm in it.
  • bpetrosky
    bpetrosky Posts: 3,911 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    So, the primary objections seem to be along these lines:
    • Clean eaters/food purists: Not natural, list of scary ingredients
    • Sodium fears, soy fears, etc...
    • Carnivore/keto: a vegan beef substitute implies that their sacred cows are unnecessary

    Did I miss anything?

    The subset of vegetarians who thought meat didn't taste very good in the first place, so the closer a "veggie burger" gets to tasting like meat, the less we want to eat it.

    That's not an objection to the food existing or being offered, of course; it's just a personal objection to ordering/eating it.

    And it's definitely a minority who think that. But I'm in it.

    Fair enough. Personal preference is, imho, not really an objection. It's just a preference for other options instead.

    But, another item did come to mind as an objection would be anti-GMO advocates, since the heme component used by Impossible Foods is from GMO yeast.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,910 Member
    tmpecus78 wrote: »
    Here’s the full ingredient list for the new recipe:

    Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy


    Here’s the full ingredient list for the original recipe.

    Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (Soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy, Wheat


    Like I said in an earlier post: No Thanks!

    I'm not following: what do you find objectionable about these ingredients?

    For context, here are the ingredients of the bun that all Whoppers (including the beef ones) are served on: Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid), Water, Sugar and/or Liquid Sugar (Water, Sugar), Soybean Oil, Yeast. May Contain 2% or less of the following: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sesame Seeds, Yeast Food (May contain one or more of the following: Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dough Conditioners (May contain one or more of the following: Wheat Starch, Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium-Stearoyl Lactylate, Ascorbic Acid, [Ethoxylated] Mono- and Diglycerides, Calcium Staeroyl-2-Lactylate, Calcium Peroxide, Datem, Potassium Iodate), Guar Gum, Enzymes, Milled Flaxseed, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Cultured Wheat Flour, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Corn Starch.

    I have no objections to eating any of those things.

    I'm probably just being snooty here (so be it), but frequently I find ingredient lists like that (patty & bun both) to be signifiers that the food will be bland, overly-engineered based on questionable consumer focus-group testing and cost-driven measures, and just generally not very tasty/satisfying.

    But I get that others' preferences differ, and I don't think they're poisoning themselves because big words and too many of them.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    tmpecus78 wrote: »
    Here’s the full ingredient list for the new recipe:

    Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy


    Here’s the full ingredient list for the original recipe.

    Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (Soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy, Wheat


    Like I said in an earlier post: No Thanks!

    I'm not following: what do you find objectionable about these ingredients?

    For context, here are the ingredients of the bun that all Whoppers (including the beef ones) are served on: Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid), Water, Sugar and/or Liquid Sugar (Water, Sugar), Soybean Oil, Yeast. May Contain 2% or less of the following: Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sesame Seeds, Yeast Food (May contain one or more of the following: Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dough Conditioners (May contain one or more of the following: Wheat Starch, Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium-Stearoyl Lactylate, Ascorbic Acid, [Ethoxylated] Mono- and Diglycerides, Calcium Staeroyl-2-Lactylate, Calcium Peroxide, Datem, Potassium Iodate), Guar Gum, Enzymes, Milled Flaxseed, Maltodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Cultured Wheat Flour, Soy Flour, Soy Lecithin, Corn Starch.

    I have no objections to eating any of those things.

    I'm probably just being snooty here (so be it), but frequently I find ingredient lists like that (patty & bun both) to be signifiers that the food will be bland, overly-engineered based on questionable consumer focus-group testing and cost-driven measures, and just generally not very tasty/satisfying.

    But I get that others' preferences differ, and I don't think they're poisoning themselves because big words and too many of them.

    As buns go, this probably wouldn't be the first one I'd pick because (like you) I would have some notions about how it would taste. It's probably pretty standard as far as fast food hamburger buns go though . . .

    I've had the Impossible Burger from a couple of difference places now and I think the experience can vary widely. I've had it twice at places where all the burgers were more expensive (nicer bun, nicer garnishes, etc) and it fit in really well. I paid around $12-15 and it seemed to me to be worth it. And I've had it in a more fast food settings and it was very typical of fast food . . . worth what I paid for it, but no more. IMO, it's just like a regular beef patty -- you can dress it up or you can dress it down. So if you like Whoppers, you'll (possibly) enjoy the Impossible Burger Whopper. But if Burger King isn't your thing, this probably won't be either.
  • MikePTY
    MikePTY Posts: 3,814 Member
    tmpecus78 wrote: »
    tmpecus78 wrote: »
    I'm guessing that people who don't eat fast food aren't exactly Burger King's target market.

    So it's the soy, specifically, that you're objecting to here?

    yeah, not a fan of soy.

    That's going to eliminate virtually everything at Burger King (according to their own nutritional information).

    Hence why I don't eat there or any other fast food chain for that matter.

    Same but if need be I'd be content to order a hamburger patty. Ingredients: 100% USDA inspected ground beef (broiled).

    That anyone who eats meat would opt to pay more to eat this stuff is a testament to the power of marketing. The food industry is creating a market for this junk in real time the same way they created a breakfast food market, snacks, drinks, formula etc.

    You're working with outdated info. The ingredient in question has since been approved by the FDA as safe to eat. https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/25/fda-impossible-burgers-safe-to-eat/
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    Clearly I’m avoiding my other responsibilities today in favor of interesting internet rabbit holes. :D

    TIL that Canadian beef spends 2-6 months on feedlots (compared to 3-6 months in the US), and is finished primarily on barley instead of corn: https://canadabeef.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/3208_CANBEEF_factsheet_NUTRITION-2016.pdf

    The majority of barley grown in Canada is purpose-grown as a feed crop, “sometimes as much as 80%” per the Alberta Barley Board: http://www.albertabarley.com/about-us/industry-overview/

    Personally I advocate for a much higher percentage of barley grown to make malts for me.

    I don’t know what the environmental impact of typical Canadian barley production is compared to typical US corn production, but if anyone else is interested in diving down that rabbit hole, please do.

    Heh, I cross-posted with this while looking for the same information.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    edited April 2019
    I will try one. I am skeptical though. In general I don't like food that promises to be similar in taste and texture as its intended replacement. I have eaten many veggie burgers and I like them. I am fine if it tastes different and has a different texture. I expect it.

    I generally go meatless at least one day a week and sometimes two. I don't do this for any ethical reason I do it because I like a wide variety and I like to push myself and use alternative protein sources. It benefits me for ff restaurants to offer more options in case I want to stick to my routine but I need something in a hurry. Just because I can ditch a meatless day if life is getting in the way a bit doesn't mean I want to if there is an alternative.

  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I will try one. I am skeptical though. In general I don't like food that promises to be similar in taste and texture as its intended replacement. I have eaten many veggie burgers and I like them. I am fine if it tastes different and has a different texture. I expect it and I do not want a company to do something more to the product than necessary.

    This is my general reaction, but with a fast food burger I think taste is going to be more about the other ingredients anyway. (Again, speaking as someone who doesn't really care for fast food and has it a couple times a year, when on road trips.) As an aside, I enjoy a plain ground beef patty if I make it at home, but the idea of eating one of the typical fast food ones without the trimmings and bun is extremely unappealing to me -- they are greasier or fattier and definitely saltier than what I typically make.

    I think my thing with foods pretending to be other foods is that I expect a certain taste and not having it makes me feel like the food is lacking something, whereas if I simply eat it as something else I enjoy it. That's how I've been with foods like black bean based veggie burgers, and also things like cauliflower rice (I like cauliflower more than rice, usually don't want it chopped tiny but sometimes it works, but I never think of it as a rice replacement, just a way of eating cauliflower).

    That said, especially since I'm not a big fan of the meat in fast food burgers, I'd be curious how this tastes. According to at least one vegan podcast I listen to (forget which one) the Impossible burger is tasty, although they considered it rather akin to an occasional treat and not super healthy because meatless (which I think is a strawman being imposed on this conversation).
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,910 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I will try one. I am skeptical though. In general I don't like food that promises to be similar in taste and texture as its intended replacement. I have eaten many veggie burgers and I like them. I am fine if it tastes different and has a different texture. I expect it and I do not want a company to do something more to the product than necessary.

    This is my general reaction, but with a fast food burger I think taste is going to be more about the other ingredients anyway. (Again, speaking as someone who doesn't really care for fast food and has it a couple times a year, when on road trips.) As an aside, I enjoy a plain ground beef patty if I make it at home, but the idea of eating one of the typical fast food ones without the trimmings and bun is extremely unappealing to me -- they are greasier or fattier and definitely saltier than what I typically make.

    I think my thing with foods pretending to be other foods is that I expect a certain taste and not having it makes me feel like the food is lacking something, whereas if I simply eat it as something else I enjoy it. That's how I've been with foods like black bean based veggie burgers, and also things like cauliflower rice (I like cauliflower more than rice, usually don't want it chopped tiny but sometimes it works, but I never think of it as a rice replacement, just a way of eating cauliflower).

    That said, especially since I'm not a big fan of the meat in fast food burgers, I'd be curious how this tastes. According to at least one vegan podcast I listen to (forget which one) the Impossible burger is tasty, although they considered it rather akin to an occasional treat and not super healthy because meatless (which I think is a strawman being imposed on this conversation).

    Exactly. There are so many tasty foods in the world. I find turning one into a fake version of another to be kind of perplexing, especially in that IMO the real one often tastes better. (I get that people who are ethical vegetarians but like meat want fake meat, I guess, since they've decided that they can't ethically have what is to them a tasty food and they miss is.)

    The most pointed example I can think of is the McDonald's apple pies (those little deep-fried packets of oversweet apples, with more sugar on the outside). If I tried to think of them as an apple pie, they were pretty horrid - suffered from the comparison. If I thought of them as an apple pastry candy sort of thing, they weren't so bad.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I will try one. I am skeptical though. In general I don't like food that promises to be similar in taste and texture as its intended replacement. I have eaten many veggie burgers and I like them. I am fine if it tastes different and has a different texture. I expect it and I do not want a company to do something more to the product than necessary.

    This is my general reaction, but with a fast food burger I think taste is going to be more about the other ingredients anyway. (Again, speaking as someone who doesn't really care for fast food and has it a couple times a year, when on road trips.) As an aside, I enjoy a plain ground beef patty if I make it at home, but the idea of eating one of the typical fast food ones without the trimmings and bun is extremely unappealing to me -- they are greasier or fattier and definitely saltier than what I typically make.

    I think my thing with foods pretending to be other foods is that I expect a certain taste and not having it makes me feel like the food is lacking something, whereas if I simply eat it as something else I enjoy it. That's how I've been with foods like black bean based veggie burgers, and also things like cauliflower rice (I like cauliflower more than rice, usually don't want it chopped tiny but sometimes it works, but I never think of it as a rice replacement, just a way of eating cauliflower).

    That said, especially since I'm not a big fan of the meat in fast food burgers, I'd be curious how this tastes. According to at least one vegan podcast I listen to (forget which one) the Impossible burger is tasty, although they considered it rather akin to an occasional treat and not super healthy because meatless (which I think is a strawman being imposed on this conversation).

    I think I've seen "better for people" in Impossible Burger's promotional text (although I don't think they specify what that means and I would assume it means "better than beef," not "better that what vegans would be eating otherwise"), but I haven't seen Burger King making any specific claims about this being "better" nutritionally than a Whopper. Most of Impossible Burger's claims seem to center on the environmental impact of beef.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I will try one. I am skeptical though. In general I don't like food that promises to be similar in taste and texture as its intended replacement. I have eaten many veggie burgers and I like them. I am fine if it tastes different and has a different texture. I expect it and I do not want a company to do something more to the product than necessary.

    This is my general reaction, but with a fast food burger I think taste is going to be more about the other ingredients anyway. (Again, speaking as someone who doesn't really care for fast food and has it a couple times a year, when on road trips.) As an aside, I enjoy a plain ground beef patty if I make it at home, but the idea of eating one of the typical fast food ones without the trimmings and bun is extremely unappealing to me -- they are greasier or fattier and definitely saltier than what I typically make.

    I think my thing with foods pretending to be other foods is that I expect a certain taste and not having it makes me feel like the food is lacking something, whereas if I simply eat it as something else I enjoy it. That's how I've been with foods like black bean based veggie burgers, and also things like cauliflower rice (I like cauliflower more than rice, usually don't want it chopped tiny but sometimes it works, but I never think of it as a rice replacement, just a way of eating cauliflower).

    That said, especially since I'm not a big fan of the meat in fast food burgers, I'd be curious how this tastes. According to at least one vegan podcast I listen to (forget which one) the Impossible burger is tasty, although they considered it rather akin to an occasional treat and not super healthy because meatless (which I think is a strawman being imposed on this conversation).

    Now that McD serves breakfast all day my on-the-go ff item is an egg mcmuffin because the quality is about the same as I would prepare at home and it would be approx the same calories. I limit my fast food though (especially burgers) not from a judgment of food but as a judgment of me. In the past my food complacency/laziness was a contributing factor to my weight gain. I promised myself I would be pickier and if I can get a better burger for about the same calories as a ff burger that is what I need to do. However, if I was actually craving a ff burger because of a childhood memory or something I wouldn't hesitate to eat one.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    Not aware of BK selling a steak, let alone one worth eating.
  • jlynnm70
    jlynnm70 Posts: 460 Member
    I live right smack in the middle of corn and cow country. Sorry - I don't want to eat a fake burger -not even to try it. give me my beef and call it good. Now I'm not opposed to making a burger outta something else (turkey, ground chicken) - but call it what it is - a turkey burger or veggie burger - but I don't dress it up the same or try to pass it off as something it isnt. Personally, I haven't found a 'fake' version that I liked - even when I tried to tell myself it was just something else.