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Thoughts on Beyond Burger and other fake meat

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  • nooshi713nooshi713 Posts: 4,012Member Member Posts: 4,012Member Member
    I try to avoid too much processed food but in moderation is ok. I do eat veggie burgers regularly and beyond meat products sometimes. I don’t eat them every day. They are high in protein which is good for me since I eat mostly plants.

    Sometimes i crave that meaty taste since I was raised on meat and enjoy the taste but also love animals and refuse to eat them anymore.
    edited February 4
  • Stockholm_AndyStockholm_Andy Posts: 645Member Member Posts: 645Member Member
    I'm really surprised by some of the price comparisons in this thread. However, I guess you get a lot more super cheap feed lot raised cheap end beef in the US.

    One of the higher end Burger joints here has started selling the Beyond Burger. Their standard Cheese Burger is 109SEK (11.31USD) and the same burger with a Beyond patty is 119SEK (12.35USD).

    Having tried the Beyond patty IMHO it wasn't bad by any means but the meat version is way better so I would always order that.

    That said there's a brand here called Annama that do a soy protein that I substitute for mince (ground beef or turkey) in things like Chilli, Taco's or Bolognese exclusively now. I can't really tell the difference in those recipes and my wife and daughter don't really like eating red meat so when not.

  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 856Member Member Posts: 856Member Member
    kimny72 wrote: »
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    Sigh.

    You do you. Like the taste, eat it. Don't like the taste, don't.

    Processed, unprocessed. Its all food. Calories in, calories out.

    What's the fear about processing?


    And I disagree that it's all just food. Tell me canned fruit cocktail is just as good for you as real fruit. It'd do in a pinch but other than that.....

    Why does canned fruit cocktail have to be just as good for you as "real" fruit to be considered just another food? If I've already eaten plenty of produce today, or of it's the middle of winter in a part of the world where fresh fruit simply isn't available right now, why is the fruit in canned fruit cocktail not really fruit?

    I would venture a guess the person that disrespected canned fruit cocktail was talking about the kinds packaged in "heavy syrup", i.e, a bunch of added sugar, as opposed to the fruit in its own juice.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,932Member Member Posts: 4,932Member Member
    I'm really surprised by some of the price comparisons in this thread. However, I guess you get a lot more super cheap feed lot raised cheap end beef in the US.

    If you mean my comparison of WF ground beef vs. the Beyond Burger, it's not likely to be "super cheap" and was identified as pastured, although depending on how they use the labels could have been corn finished on a feedlot, which is common not only for low end beef.

    It's actually possible to get ground beef quite a bit cheaper than the WF priced ones I gave, but I thought comparing more like products likely to be purchased by similar buyers made more sense (which is why I also showed a couple of more expensive ground beef options too).

    Of course, ANY non fast food restaurant burger is going to cost quite a bit more than ground beef in the grocery store, which is the comparison you are giving. The prices you identify are consistent with what I could get a burger for at, say, a local pub.
    edited February 4
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Posts: 155Member Member Posts: 155Member Member
    More info in the link...

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/processed-foods/
    Ultra-processed foods
    Also commonly referred to as “highly processed foods,” these are foods from the prior group that go beyond the incorporation of salt, sweeteners, or fat to include artificial colors and flavors and preservatives that promote shelf stability, preserve texture, and increase palatability. Several processing steps using multiple ingredients comprise the ultra-processed food. It is speculated that these foods are designed to specifically increase cravings so that people will overeat them and purchase more. They are typically ready-to-eat with minimal additional preparation. Not all but some of these foods tend to be low in fiber and nutrients. Examples are sugary drinks, cookies, some crackers, chips, and breakfast cereals, some frozen dinners, and luncheon meats. These foods may partially if not completely replace minimally processed foods in some people’s diets. One study using data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that ultra-processed foods comprised about 60% of total calories in the U.S. diet. [4] An association has been suggested between the increasing sales of ultra-processed foods and the rise in obesity. [3]

    The bottom line
    Food processing is a spectrum that ranges from basic technologies like freezing or milling, to the incorporation of additives that promote shelf stability or increase palatability. As a general rule, emphasizing unprocessed or minimally processed foods in the daily diet is optimal. That said, the use of processed foods is the choice of the consumer, and there are pros and cons that come with each type. The Nutrition Facts Label and ingredients list can be useful tools in deciding when to include a processed food in the diet. There is evidence showing an association with certain types of food processing and poor health outcomes (especially highly- or ultra-processed foods). This association applies mainly to ultra-processed foods that contain added sugars, excess sodium, and unhealthful fats.

    Grass Fed
    Also, there were a few comments about local grass fed meat. My dad's ranch has grass fed free range no drug cows, but he sprays the heck out of the grass with roundup. So just keep in mind grass fed doesn't mean organic, and for some unethical businesses organic doesn't mean organic.
    edited February 4
  • Carlos_421Carlos_421 Posts: 5,083Member Member Posts: 5,083Member Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    I watched a talk show with Marco Borges, saying plant-based is the healthy way to go. BUT avoid fake meat because it's all highly processed.
    Opinions? Just curious.

    Wrong on both counts.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 4,932Member Member Posts: 4,932Member Member
    @jm_1234

    From your link: "According to these standards, virtually all foods sold in the supermarket would be classified as “processed” to some degree. Because food begins to deteriorate and lose nutrients as soon as it is harvested, even the apples in the produce aisle undergo four or more processing steps before being sold to the consumer. That’s why in practice, it’s helpful to differentiate between the various degrees of food processing."

    The first sentence is true. The last, IMO, is not. I ask anyone who is committed to this focus (either the OP or perhaps you, @jm_1234, why focusing on how food is defined in terms of processing is somehow more helpful than just, you know, understanding what's in it (such as by reading the label) and making judgments that way.

    This is all an offshoot of the bizarre adoration people have for the Brazilian categorizing of foods by processing, with each level of processing being a greater negative (which IMO is a weird way to approach food and not helpful when it comes to discussions of nutrition or weight management).

    Among other things, the categories are confusing (and seem to have nothing between "processed" and "ultraprocessed" leading to confusion.

    I think the vast majority of people would agree with me that the Engine2 frozen bean patty I discussed above (which did have "natural flavors") would be a highly processed or ultraprocessed product (since most will equate highly and ultraprocessed and its not minimally processed), yet I still haven't heard why it would be a bad thing to eat.

    I also personally find the -- counter-intuitive and difficult to parce -- Brazilian definition of ultraprocessed food (as distinct from merely highly processed foods or packaged products with generally good nutrition profiles) to be unhelpful and more likely to complicate things. Like basically you have to understand what something is to properly categorize it, so why bother categorizing it then?

    And it seems reasonable to me that most would consider something like Ezekiel bread or the Engine2 product I mentioned or chips (even if made with only potatoes, oil, and salt, as many are) to be "ultraprocessed" but I am not sure whether they would be included in the definition or not. It does seem that my homemade cookies might not be, whatever their nutritional profile, and that seiten homemade from wheat gluten might be, but might not be, but some bought in the store and flavored (even similarly to how I might flavor them at home) would be. And then there's protein powder, as brought up previously, which certainly would be ultraprocessed under any normal definition (and maybe this one?).

    More significantly, and this is a question that I'd really like an answer to, I have seen absolutely nothing that would explain why less processed would always be better (as this focus on processing suggests). I rely on tofu and tempeh for protein, for example. More significantly, in the winter frozen fruit and veg or canned tomatoes might be a better option, canned beans may make cooking beans more possible with no loss of nutrients, and frozen fish (or previously frozen fish) may be the only option in some areas. Why try to make people think they are choosing a less desirable option when there's no evidence that actually supports such a claim? And that is what the obsessive focus on "processing" rather than other more relevant considerations like actual nutrition profile or actual ingredients does IMO.
    Also, there were a few comments about local grass fed meat. My dad's ranch has grass fed free range no drug cows, but he sprays the heck out of the grass with roundup. So just keep in mind grass fed doesn't mean organic, and for some unethical businesses organic doesn't mean organic.

    Not sure if this is supposed to mean my offhanded comment about the types of beef I was pricing out here, as I don't recall any discussion about grassfed beef, but I certainly made no claims about whether or not items were organic (I personally do care more about grassfed and finished and local and no routine antibodies than organic, but I also just don't recall it coming up and am a little paranoid therefore that my posts were being misread as about something they obviously were not).
    edited February 4
  • Carlos_421Carlos_421 Posts: 5,083Member Member Posts: 5,083Member Member
    cathipa wrote: »
    Yes it is a processed food. Its actually an ultra processed food and for optimal health these should be kept at a minimum. That being said a burger of any sort has never been considered a healthy food option. The plant based burgers have just as many fat grams and calories as their animal based cousins. They are an ethical option if anything.

    Why so?
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 3,497Member Member Posts: 3,497Member Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    eryn0x wrote: »
    Think of processed meat replacements like any other processed thing and/or fast food. If you enjoy it, have it as an occasional treat. Good for the earth but not great for your body. If you are doing it for your health.... limit (or cut out) processed.

    So yogurt, protein powder, kimchi, canned tomato sauce with a sheer lack of ingredients (tomatoes, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and oregano), frozen peas (because lord knows peas are only in season for so long) are all "not great for your body"?

    This is one of many reasons why this whole "processed foods are bad for you" doesn't hold water because the definition of processed is very broad. The preserved lemons that are curing in my pantry are processed, and the only ingredients are meyer lemons, salt, and maybe a tbsp of water. They're not something I'd recommend to anyone who needs to watch their salt intake, but they are bad neither for me nor the environment, unless you're arguing that shipping meyer lemons from California to Oregon is bad for the environment (and shipping the salt for where ever it's processed to here which is likely a longer distance), which is a very different (but valid) discussion.

    The "bone broth" that so many people are raving about and buying in the stores is also processed, as is the homemade chicken stock and beef stock that is in my freezer despite my knowing all of the ingredients that I put into said stock.

    Good grief, I guess I need to be 100% perfectly clear with the words 'processed foods'. Ultra processed as opposed to mildly or very little process. I think we all know the difference. Pepperoni or hot dogs(unless they're 100% organic/natural/homemade, etc.) for example, unless you make your own and you know specifically what goes into it. Ultra sugared cereals that have all the good grains taken out only to have vitamins sprayed back in. Any of the Little Debbie type stuff(AFAIK) are all ultra processed. Canned fruit cocktail as opposed to a piece of fresh fruit, no matter what season we're in, will never IMO be as healthy as that plain piece of fresh fruit. Sure, it's fine to eat, but in moderation. Milk, bread, meat, oatmeal, rice, vegs/fruits, they've all been processed to a point. And as far as the canned fruit cocktail comparison it was just the 1st thing that came to my mind. :/ TO ME, eating an apple or a couple clementines is a healthier choice. I'm not saying give up processed foods but I believe the less processing a food goes through(IOW less flavors/colors/additives) the better for our bodies.

    You can pick apart just about any food and say it's been processed. To an extent. I kind of figured(or hoped!) you know what I meant. :/

    As others have already pointed out (yay time zones!), the point is that something being processed does not make it inherently bad for you nor the earth. Also with regards to your point about less processing equally more flavor, this actually isn't always the case. Frozen vegetables like corn and peas are actually far more flavorful than their fresh cousins unless you're growing it and cooking/eating it very soon after harvesting. It's an issue of being able to preserve (freeze in this case) the produce shortly after it's been picked vs letting it sit around. The Guardian wrote about this, but I've heard this from other sources as well - https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/01/are-frozen-fruit-and-vegetables-as-good-for-you-as-fresh

    Organic food is also not inherently better for you and doesn't have anything to do with how processed or unprocessed an item is. I personally am far more interested in buying food that is produced/farmed locally as much as I reasonably can than I am about buying food that is organic or less processed.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 856Member Member Posts: 856Member Member
    And if the corn syrup and sugar bother you that much, you can dump the contents of the can into a colander and rinse. (Taste suffers a bit, but well, that's why they put the sugar syrup in the can in the first place.)

    Each to their own on the bolded. I have no problem eating canned fruit in it's own juice, The stuff in the "heavy syrup" tastes like *kitten* to me.
    edited February 4
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