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Thoughts on Beyond Burger and other fake meat

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,285 Member Member Posts: 5,285 Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    It's my bad if this has already been pointed out (my excuse is that I'm getting over a nasty virus), but the Impossible Whopper was compared to the regular Whopper in the post you repI lied to was it not?

    I did point out earlier that there was a small (100 mg) difference between the Whopper (no cheese) and the ImpossibleWhopper (which is a pretty tiny difference). I'm not sure why the numbers claimed by the PP for the ImpossibleWhopper were wrong, although I pointed out that they were.

    The original point that the same poster made was the supposedly significant difference between a plain beef burger and a patty from the BeyondBeef product (or some other similar product). Those do have a difference of about 315 mg (which is still less than an average pinch of salt). The poster insisted that of course one would never add salt if concerned about sodium (sure, I assume one would also not add pickles and be careful in the choice of mustard), but the point was initially raised -- at least as it seemed to me -- to suggest that there was something inherently unhealthful about the level of sodium in the fake meat product, and the initial reference by that same poster to the sodium in the ImpossibleWhopper was to support that point (vs. the plain meat) in a way that didn't seem like a fair argument.

    Most people who make a burger at home (not people who are super concerned about sodium and compliant to restrictions on it) likely aren't going to end up with a big difference (if any) between the burger and the BeyondBeef, and who knows which would have more sodium?

    Most people aren't going to see the difference in sodium between a Whopper and Impossible Whopper as significant.

    If someone is really, really concerned about avoiding sodium, they will have a burger, no salt or sodium containing condiments or pickles, etc., and might think the BeyondBeef's 390 mg sodium is too much for them, great, but that's hardly some kind of argument for the statement cited by the OP, as it was presented.

    (ImpossibleWhopper also has soy if one wants to avoid it, as do some other meat substitutes that some here consider to be within the realm of what is being discussed and some do not. The BeyondBeef product does not have soy. As I eat tofu and tempeh, I don't personally find soy a disqualifier, but worth noting that "meat substitutes" are not all the same.)

    I suspect that at some point the sodium content of the Impossible Whopper was 1,240 mg, given that there are more than a few website that say that mention that it has 1,240 mg of sodium. I only posted to point out that yes, the Impossible Whopper was being compared to a regular Whopper. I have no skin in the game as I more or less completely stopped eating fast food in my early teens and now only eat it when I'm in a major bind and there are no other options.

    Perhaps it was in the past, depending on the source. The PP seemed to be claiming it was from the BK.com site, which it was not, and I was suspicious of the motivation of the post and the sources for it given it inflated the difference (I also wondered if the PP understood what a truly tiny difference the 100 mg was).

    I think neither you nor I have any personal investment here, but I wanted to add the prior context, which is why I think jane's post made sense. Someone concerned about not exceeding 1500 mg of sodium to the point of caring about a 100 mg difference (or even a 315 mg difference, which is less than an average pinch of salt) presumably wouldn't think the 980 mg in the Whopper, no cheese, was acceptable either (saying 1080 is outrageous but 980 is okay makes absolutely no sense). So the mere fact that they did give the amount in the Whopper didn't change the argument, IMO.

    But reasonable minds can differ!
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,285 Member Member Posts: 5,285 Member
    PAPYRUS3 wrote: »
    Not appealing to most non-meat eaters - these are for the meat eaters out there. I like burgers...but ones that don't taste like meat!

    Lots of non meat eaters like the taste of meat, though, and might like having an occasional option that tastes like meat.

    I dislike most fast food and in particular there's nothing at BK I like, but if I were someone who went vegetarian for ethical reasons (and I know plenty) yet really liked and missed a Whopper, and the ImpossibleWhopper tasted just like it, then I would probably be happy to have it occasionally.

    I see the BeyondBeef burger at places like EpicBurger as an effort to give vegetarians more of an option -- some won't be interested, don't like meat or find fake meat too similar for comfort, but plenty likely would. Some meat eaters would likely try it out of curiosity too.

    I eat limited meat, and I haven't tried any fake meats since I eat meat occasionally so what's the point, and because I am pretty prissy about what I eat when I make it at home (I tend to have a whole foods bias, although I don't claim that's necessary for health because it is not, it's just how I prefer to eat). But if I gave up meat entirely for ethical reasons (I'm not there yet, maybe never will be), I can see wanting the occasional taste of it (of specific favorites) if something were really a legitimate substitute.

    I'll also add that there are an increasing number of vegan restaurants around here, and at least many of them seem to serve a lot of meat substitutes, as well as other options. I think those are mostly for actual vegans, not just the people they bring with them. (I'm also drawing on occasional reading of reviews on places like HappyCow about what's good at those places.)
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Member Posts: 179 Member Member Posts: 179 Member
    Sidebar: From a fast food perspective I feel like there is a double standard when it comes to plant based burgers/sausages/etc. It seems like plant based is judged more harshly than meat based products.

    For one there seems to be more transparency with plant based ingredients and manufacturing. With meat based it seems to usually be a trade secret and only when the truth is revealed there is a major change (i.e., pink slime burgers at McDonald's).
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    jm_1234 wrote: »
    What about the Impossible Burger being bio-engineered and GMO? I feel like if you eat fast food you have to expect bio/gmo in everything so it's on par there, but for most? people it's a different story when buying at the grocery store and bringing home.

    GMO
    https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360023038894-Does-it-contain-genetically-modified-ingredients-

    Bio-Engineered
    https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036138833-Why-does-the-package-have-a-bioengineered-symbol-

    What are your concerns with that? I don't have a blanket expectation that foods I buy at the grocery store aren't GMO/bio-engineered.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    plant-based is the healthy way to go. BUT avoid fake meat because it's all highly processed.
    Opinions? Just curious.

    I had the impossible whopper at Burger King. It tasted just like meat, had the same texture, but the sandwich had more calories than the regular meat patty version. Not many, like 30-40, but still. I feel like if I'm eating something plant based, it shouldn't have more calories than meat (otherwise, since I'm not vegan/vegetarian, what's the point?). Not to mention, to get a non-meat patty to taste like meat, I imagine it's highly processed, and I don't like the idea of that. I tried googling the exact ingredients, but they just vaguely list the kinds of things that are in the meat (and so I'm even more suspicious when a company won't give me a direct list).

    I prefer my husband's Veggie-Turkey burgers. He does 2/3 ground turkey, 1/3 finely chopped veggies (like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots). It tastes AMAZING. It's nice way to get some extra veggies in your diet.

    Why on earth would you expect a plant food to automatically be lower calorie than meat? Coconut has more calories per gram than chicken.

    Additionally, Impossible is clear about their ingredients, so maybe focus on your googling ability. This is directly from their website:

    Want the details? Here’s the ingredient list:

    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.



    https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018937494-What-are-the-ingredients-
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    YellowD0gs wrote: »
    YellowD0gs wrote: »
    As the plant-based meats run about 7x higher in Sodium content over ground beef...pretty much a will-not-touch-unless starving choice for me, and those on Sodium restricted diets should really give a long hard look.

    The majority of plant-based meats are designed to be eaten with little additional seasoning, so comparing them to ground beef in sodium content doesn't really make sense, as most people are adding seasoning to ground beef.

    It would be more accurate to compare these products to the average hamburger patty, which in many cases has sodium added to it, at least in restaurants.

    This post misses the point. People on a sodium restricted diet are limited to 1,500 mg/day Na (at least in the US). They're also likely on that diet because of a diagnosed medical issue (hypertension, heart disease, stroke, etc), so it's not really something they're doing by choice. Comparing raw material to raw material is exactly proper and accurate, as those on a sodium restricted diet are most likely NOT ADDING SALT during preparation. It defeats the point. Evaluating only the raw materials, one Beyond Burger 4 oz. patty has 390 mg sodium. That's 26% of the daily limit tied up in one single patty, and doesn't count the additional sodium contained in the ketchup, mustard, special sauce, bacon, cheese, and bun. All told, the Burger King reports the Impossible Burger at 1,240 mg sodium, or 83% of the daily limit. A direct comparison to 85/15 ground beef shows 81 mg sodium in a 4 ounce patty, or 5% daily limit. Burger King also reports 980 mg sodium (65%) for the regular Whopper, even with the assumed "salt added during preparation". The difference between the 2? 18% of the daily sodium limit, which is pretty obviously the result of choosing a high sodium content patty to start with. So, being on a low sodium diet, I'll generally avoid the Beyond Burger things unless absolutely necessary for one simple reason, sodium.

    You shouldn't be comparing the Impossible Whopper to plain ground beef. You should be comparing it to the regular Whopper. I'm guessing people on sodium restricted diets aren't eating a lot of those either, are they?

    It's my bad if this has already been pointed out (my excuse is that I'm getting over a nasty virus), but the Impossible Whopper was compared to the regular Whopper in the post you replied to was it not?
    All told, the Burger King reports the Impossible Burger at 1,240 mg sodium, or 83% of the daily limit. A direct comparison to 85/15 ground beef shows 81 mg sodium in a 4 ounce patty, or 5% daily limit. Burger King also reports 980 mg sodium (65%) for the regular Whopper, even with the assumed "salt added during preparation".

    Mind you, it appears that recently the Impossible Whopper's sodium content has dropped down to 1080 according to Burger King's US based website.

    edit: the impossible Whopper is the only Impossible product on Burger King sells so it's safe to assume that's what was being referred to.

    But before that information (and in the previous post), the focus was on the sodium in plain ground beef.

    My point is that for someone on a sodium-restricted diet, any kind of Whopper is a poor choice, so focusing specifically on the Impossible version for the sodium content makes zero sense.
  • jm_1234jm_1234 Member Posts: 179 Member Member Posts: 179 Member
    No concerns from me, to each their own. Just wanted to bring it up within the context of "processing".

    For me personally, I live by an organic PBWF philosophy. I'm not 100% strict but I strive to be. I've read enough research on both sides that disprove each other and I've seen science reverse proven conclusions too many times - so pascal's wager it is.
    edited February 6
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    MikePTY wrote: »
    From my supermarket trip earlier tonight.



    I love that Beyond Sausage.
  • SylphadoraSylphadora Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    Nope

    Care to share what your specific concern is?
  • SylphadoraSylphadora Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    Nope

    Care to share what your specific concern is?

    Sure. The 21 reasons in the ingredient list
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,285 Member Member Posts: 5,285 Member
    jm_1234 wrote: »
    Sidebar: From a fast food perspective I feel like there is a double standard when it comes to plant based burgers/sausages/etc. It seems like plant based is judged more harshly than meat based products.

    Yes, I'm definitely seeing that on this thread somewhat.
  • SylphadoraSylphadora Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    Sylphadora wrote: »
    Nope

    Care to share what your specific concern is?

    Sure. The 21 reasons in the ingredient list

    You avoid beet juice?

    I hate beet with a passion so yes, I do avoid it, but I'm more worried about all the vegetable seed oils, starches and sugars. Also, anything with more than 5 ingredients is a frankenfood. Have you ever used 21 ingredients in a recipe?
    edited February 6
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    jm_1234 wrote: »
    Sidebar: From a fast food perspective I feel like there is a double standard when it comes to plant based burgers/sausages/etc. It seems like plant based is judged more harshly than meat based products.

    Yes, I'm definitely seeing that on this thread somewhat.

    Yes, I've certainly witnessed people objecting to faux meat products on grounds that they curiously don't apply to the foods they eat that aren't marketed as substitutes for animal products.

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