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Thoughts on Beyond Burger and other fake meat

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  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 7,985 Member Member Posts: 7,985 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »
    dbanks80 wrote: »
    dbanks80 wrote: »
    They said the Beyond Burger is not 100% plants/veggies. It has a small amount of meat in it.

    Maybe you saw the story about BK not guaranteeing there’s no meat in the Impossible Whopper because they cook them alongside the beef burgers. But the patty has no meat, just possibly cross-contamination at Burger King.

    My husband was telling me about an article he read on Yahoo News. Some guy who is Vegan is suing BK because it wasnt 100% plant based. According to the article BK admitted they add a small amount of meat.

    Actually they admitted they cook the Impossible Whopper on the same grill as the meat patties and they may be (would almost certainly be) contaminated by particles of meat coating the shared surface.

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    As far as not eating anything you can't pronounce, I have celiac disease and am constantly looking up the meaning of big complicated chemical-sounding ingredients. I don't even bother to learn to pronounce them, I look at the definition and move on. :-)

    Pretty much anything cooked in a restaurant that is not a vegan restaurant is very likely to be contaminated by meat grease, meat particles, random meat bits (usually something like bacon pieces that fall into ingredients tubs or onto foods beeing cooked when cooks are lifting ingredients above them or cooking meaty things near them), etc. They're using the same grill/griddle, and anyone who's ever seen a restaurant kitchen should predict this.

    IMO, this is a thing that any rational vegetarian, fully plant-based eater, or vegan ought to understand before they contemplate eating in a general-omnivore restaurant; along with the possibility that the staff/menu will misrepresent (possibly not with malice) whether a food contains something like meat broth or lard.

    To me, this is where the Vegan Society definition of veganism might come in: "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or a other purpose." Different individuals will have different boundaries for what's "possible and practical".

    Some people choosing where to dine out will want to take a strict line on these things, and I respect that. Personally, I do my best, and don't stress about it. (If there's an isolated bit of ham in my hash browns at a diner, I pick it out. I assume there's residual bacon grease. I'm grateful if it doesn't taste like bacon. I'll live. Of course, I'm not vegan, just vegetarian, so I'm inherently more loosey-goosey. Thankfully, meat avoidance by choice is not necessarily as strict a discipline as working with food allergies or medical conditions.)

    But believing (pretending to believe?) BK will be pure, and suing when they aren't . . . well, that's an advocacy position (hmm) I can't fully get behind. JMO, however - I don't pretend to speak for others.

    I have picked meat bits out of food before (an example would be a bit of ham that somehow made it to my pizza). It's not my favorite thing to have happen, but you're absolutely right. The pragmatic vegan eating at a non-vegan restaurant is realizing that this may sometimes happen.

    There's also, as you pointed out, the very real issue that well-meaning people sometimes don't understand what exactly is in their food or what would be a problem for a vegan. If I'm someplace that offers specifically vegan options, I'm usually assuming that they understand what should and shouldn't be in the dish. Other places, it's certainly more of an . . . adventure. In the past thirteen or so years, there are three times I'm aware of when I told a dish had no animal products and it wound up having them (all three times it was dairy). I'm sure there are other times it has happened and I didn't taste it.

    I absolutely can't understand the logic of suing Burger King over this.

    I assumed the logic was probably one of

    1. Put pressure on BK toward offering a more pure option**, or being more pure generally, or
    2. Money grab.

    I don't support either strategy, personally.

    ** Might be just as likely to encourage them not to bother at all.

    I forgot the money grab!

    Yes, if restaurants think that the only option is to have distinct grills and fryers, it's going to be easier not to bother at all.

    I suspect that, if it becomes a popular enough item, they will have dedicated grills in the future. Right now it is not cost efficient to do that.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,286 Member Member Posts: 5,286 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    My take on it is that they are not going for the vega###n segment explicitly. I think they are targeting people more like me, who enjoy meat but who are looking to cut down for a variety of reasons: environmental, ethical, sentimental, even trend following. To be fair I've had a few "Impossible Burgers" and have enjoyed them.

    I think they are going for both markets, but definitely not only or even primarily vegans since, as jane said, the default burger has mayo on it.

    Apparently BK has moved to dismiss the lawsuit since they do disclose that a shared grill is used and that you can ask for it microwaved. The plaintiff (who is trying to bring a class action, and yes my initial assumption, which has not changed, is that it's a money grab) asserts that BK should have known he was vegan because he asked for no mayo (which as someone who thinks mayo on a burger is just nasty I think is an absurd position).
  • amusedmonkeyamusedmonkey Member Posts: 10,132 Member Member Posts: 10,132 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    My take on it is that they are not going for the vega###n segment explicitly. I think they are targeting people more like me, who enjoy meat but who are looking to cut down for a variety of reasons: environmental, ethical, sentimental, even trend following. To be fair I've had a few "Impossible Burgers" and have enjoyed them.

    I know a person who works for a major university in food service, and this person tells me that they are test marketing a burger that is a mix of meat and non-meat ingredients - a "reduced meat" burger. This is certainly not aimed at veg###ns but at the latter category.

    That's exactly their target demographic. By coincidence, a channel I'm subscribed to on youtube released a video about this exact topic a couple of days ago and it was mentioned that more than 90% of those who buy the impossible burger (forgot the exact number) are meat eaters.

  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 22,738 Member Member Posts: 22,738 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    My take on it is that they are not going for the vega###n segment explicitly. I think they are targeting people more like me, who enjoy meat but who are looking to cut down for a variety of reasons: environmental, ethical, sentimental, even trend following. To be fair I've had a few "Impossible Burgers" and have enjoyed them.

    I know a person who works for a major university in food service, and this person tells me that they are test marketing a burger that is a mix of meat and non-meat ingredients - a "reduced meat" burger. This is certainly not aimed at veg###ns but at the latter category.

    The cafe at my work already sells a version of this - they call it the "better burger" (I think they make it in-house).
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 2,856 Member Member Posts: 2,856 Member
    For about 30 years of my life, I chose not to eat meat. Over that time, places like conference venues got better and better about having options for me. However, one time a plate was set down in front of me that had chicken cordon bleu. If I opted not to eat it, it would be thrown away. I found it troubling that an animal would give its life for me only to be thrown away. That's when I'd get my vitamin B12. I don't like food waste in general, but this was worse. I didn't enjoy it, but I felt compelled. That was a drag. Over time, I got better at asking ahead of time, and often my non-meat meal was much better than what everyone else got to eat.

    A million years ago I worked in the kitchen at a pizza restaurant. We always had TWO pizza cutters on the back counter - one for pies with meat, and one for pies with no meat. Did the pies go in the same oven? Yep. Did some tiny bits of meat maybe sometimes get on the non-meat pies? Probably. They sure had cheese on both. But we tried, even back then.

    Does anyone else remember when Pizza Hut got sued over their Veggie Lovers' Pizza? They never claimed, though they implied, it had no meat. As it turned out, there was a beef product in their cheese.

    We've apparently been dealing with these kind of things for a long time. Good luck!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member Posts: 15,074 Member Member Posts: 15,074 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »
    dbanks80 wrote: »
    dbanks80 wrote: »
    They said the Beyond Burger is not 100% plants/veggies. It has a small amount of meat in it.

    Maybe you saw the story about BK not guaranteeing there’s no meat in the Impossible Whopper because they cook them alongside the beef burgers. But the patty has no meat, just possibly cross-contamination at Burger King.

    My husband was telling me about an article he read on Yahoo News. Some guy who is Vegan is suing BK because it wasnt 100% plant based. According to the article BK admitted they add a small amount of meat.

    Actually they admitted they cook the Impossible Whopper on the same grill as the meat patties and they may be (would almost certainly be) contaminated by particles of meat coating the shared surface.

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    As far as not eating anything you can't pronounce, I have celiac disease and am constantly looking up the meaning of big complicated chemical-sounding ingredients. I don't even bother to learn to pronounce them, I look at the definition and move on. :-)

    Pretty much anything cooked in a restaurant that is not a vegan restaurant is very likely to be contaminated by meat grease, meat particles, random meat bits (usually something like bacon pieces that fall into ingredients tubs or onto foods beeing cooked when cooks are lifting ingredients above them or cooking meaty things near them), etc. They're using the same grill/griddle, and anyone who's ever seen a restaurant kitchen should predict this.

    IMO, this is a thing that any rational vegetarian, fully plant-based eater, or vegan ought to understand before they contemplate eating in a general-omnivore restaurant; along with the possibility that the staff/menu will misrepresent (possibly not with malice) whether a food contains something like meat broth or lard.

    To me, this is where the Vegan Society definition of veganism might come in: "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or a other purpose." Different individuals will have different boundaries for what's "possible and practical".

    Some people choosing where to dine out will want to take a strict line on these things, and I respect that. Personally, I do my best, and don't stress about it. (If there's an isolated bit of ham in my hash browns at a diner, I pick it out. I assume there's residual bacon grease. I'm grateful if it doesn't taste like bacon. I'll live. Of course, I'm not vegan, just vegetarian, so I'm inherently more loosey-goosey. Thankfully, meat avoidance by choice is not necessarily as strict a discipline as working with food allergies or medical conditions.)

    But believing (pretending to believe?) BK will be pure, and suing when they aren't . . . well, that's an advocacy position (hmm) I can't fully get behind. JMO, however - I don't pretend to speak for others.

    I have picked meat bits out of food before (an example would be a bit of ham that somehow made it to my pizza). It's not my favorite thing to have happen, but you're absolutely right. The pragmatic vegan eating at a non-vegan restaurant is realizing that this may sometimes happen.

    There's also, as you pointed out, the very real issue that well-meaning people sometimes don't understand what exactly is in their food or what would be a problem for a vegan. If I'm someplace that offers specifically vegan options, I'm usually assuming that they understand what should and shouldn't be in the dish. Other places, it's certainly more of an . . . adventure. In the past thirteen or so years, there are three times I'm aware of when I told a dish had no animal products and it wound up having them (all three times it was dairy). I'm sure there are other times it has happened and I didn't taste it.

    I absolutely can't understand the logic of suing Burger King over this.

    I assumed the logic was probably one of

    1. Put pressure on BK toward offering a more pure option**, or being more pure generally, or
    2. Money grab.

    I don't support either strategy, personally.

    ** Might be just as likely to encourage them not to bother at all.

    I forgot the money grab!

    Yes, if restaurants think that the only option is to have distinct grills and fryers, it's going to be easier not to bother at all.

    You must not be in the US? ;)

    If you are, and forgot about the money grab: What kind of USAian are you?!?? :lol:

    (Yeah, yeah, I know: Sane, rational one.)
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 7,849 Member Member Posts: 7,849 Member
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    Jossy_star wrote: »
    I am a meat lover and nothing can replace real meat in my personal opinion but if you want a vegan meat than try cooking one at home... i found lots of easy recipes and it turned out great

    Can you clarify? Because it sounds as though you're suggesting that non-vegans shouldn't have to suffer the disgusting sight of people eating plant-based "meat" in public.

    Fairly certain she's saying she prefers homemade veggie burgers over store bought.

    I prefer the taste of homemade food for about 90% of the things I might be able to buy at a fast food place, but I don't see why people who prefer a non-meat option should be denied the convenience of eating when they're away from home, pressed for time, meeting friends for a quick meal, etc., etc.

    Wasn't saying anyone should be denied anything.
    if you want a vegan meat than try cooking one at home

    (Yes, I know you weren't the one who said it, but you jumped in to explain what they must have meant.)

    She recommended that people try making their own.
    Where did she or I say that veggie burgers should ONLY be made at home?

    Lynn wasn't the only one, as that was my take from her comment as well, given the context.

    Remember the discussion was about whether one could eat fake meats like BeyondBeef healthfully, as well as whether it was a reasonable alternative for a Whopper, etc., and the poster jumped in to say that she would prefer beef, but: "..if you want a vegan meat than try cooking one at home..'

    So in the context it seemed that she was saying the only acceptable "vegan meat" was one made at home (so homemade seitan?), and that the BeyondBeef or ImpossibleWhopper were not acceptable alternatives, instead (again) "if you want a vegan meat than try cooking one at home."

    I have lost track of the conversation, so I don't think that poster was paid by anyone or whatever, but I do think she was basically saying any meat is great, but the only vegan alternative that is at all meat like that would be okay is some homemade version (and again it's not clear what that's limited to? A black bean burger, homemade seitan (or is wheat gluten bad), what?).

    At the least it's a "processed = bad, homemade = always the one best option" kind of comment that I think you'd usually be disagreeing with, isn't it?

    I agree on all points. The implication that homemade is inherently better for you was there and, you're right, I 100% disagree with that.

    However, I was defending the poster from this severe extrapolation:
    Jossy_star wrote: »
    I am a meat lover and nothing can replace real meat in my personal opinion but if you want a vegan meat than try cooking one at home... i found lots of easy recipes and it turned out great

    Can you clarify? Because it sounds as though you're suggesting that non-vegans shouldn't have to suffer the disgusting sight of people eating plant-based "meat" in public.

    Of course, Lynn went from me saying that I don't think Jossy is claiming she shouldn't have to see other people eat meatless burgers in public to asking me "why should anyone be denied anything" which, of course, I don't think they should. And she knows that.

    I was asking you because you volunteered as stand-in and interpreter for Jossy. And I didn't make a "severe extrapolation." I asked that Jossy to clarify, and I explained why I was seeking a clarification (that is, "what you said sounded like X to me. can you clarify if you meant something different"). If we never seek clarification from people who seem to be saying something but which might possibly mean something else, there's going to be a whole lot more arguing past each other going on.

    Unholy misrepresentation, Robin.
  • ejbronteejbronte Member Posts: 802 Member Member Posts: 802 Member
    Jruzer wrote: »
    mph323 wrote: »

    If the burger chain really is targeting an untapped consumer segment who are vegetarian/ vegan their process is deeply flawed by not using a dedicated grill.

    My take on it is that they are not going for the vega###n segment explicitly. I think they are targeting people more like me, who enjoy meat but who are looking to cut down for a variety of reasons: environmental, ethical, sentimental, even trend following. To be fair I've had a few "Impossible Burgers" and have enjoyed them.

    I know a person who works for a major university in food service, and this person tells me that they are test marketing a burger that is a mix of meat and non-meat ingredients - a "reduced meat" burger. This is certainly not aimed at veg###ns but at the latter category.

    I just got a (possibly unjustified) vision of either a glorified meat loaf or a compressed beef stew or chili....

    My own personal opinion is that, for the most part, I don't enjoy one type of food that masquerades as something else. I personally like both beef burgers and veggie burgers (specifically black bean burgers); I don't see myself enjoying a veggie burger tasting like something it isn't, though I can certainly understand other liking and enjoying the concept.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 5,716 Member Member Posts: 5,716 Member
    The plaintiff (who is trying to bring a class action, and yes my initial assumption, which has not changed, is that it's a money grab) asserts that BK should have known he was vegan because he asked for no mayo (which as someone who thinks mayo on a burger is just nasty I think is an absurd position).

    That is the most ridiculous assumption ever.
    • Many people, especially young staff who work in fast food places, probably don't even realise mayo is not vegan
    • People may or may not want mayo regardless of whether they are meat eating or otherwise - just like they may or may not want cheese, pickles, tomato etc - for any or no particular reason.


      a few years ago I used to get KFC (or Mcdonalds, cant remember which) chicken burgers without mayo - obviously not vegan since they were meat burgers - but I just didnt like their mayo, had a funny gritty taste to me
    edited February 15
  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Member Posts: 8,569 Member Member Posts: 8,569 Member
    This whole thing is clearly a money grab.

    And how the person behind the counter should've somehow known he was vegan because he asked for no mayo? I ask for no mayo all the time, and I'm definitely not vegan. I just don't like mayo. :|
    edited February 15
  • brittanystebbins95brittanystebbins95 Member Posts: 507 Member Member Posts: 507 Member
    I was vegetarian for awhile and I loved black bean burgers.
    The ones that claimed to taste like meat though?
    Gag me. They taste awful.
    At least, in my opinion they do.

    If you like it, eat it. If not, eat something else.

    Seriously, though, try a black bean burger. I eventually gave up vegetarianism, the day I caught myself sneaking bites of bacon in secret after my family had all finished breakfast :D Even as a failed vegetarian and now a meat eater once more, I still buy black bean burgers on occasion.
    They are SO good.
  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 7,985 Member Member Posts: 7,985 Member
    lkpducky wrote: »

    Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Sodium Ascorbate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12.

    You saying that zinc and vitamins A, B, and C are bad for you?

    Not to mention non-heme iron.

  • WildlyCurlyWildlyCurly Member Posts: 144 Member Member Posts: 144 Member
    I was vegetarian for awhile and I loved black bean burgers.
    The ones that claimed to taste like meat though?
    Gag me. They taste awful.
    At least, in my opinion they do.

    If you like it, eat it. If not, eat something else.

    Seriously, though, try a black bean burger. I eventually gave up vegetarianism, the day I caught myself sneaking bites of bacon in secret after my family had all finished breakfast :D Even as a failed vegetarian and now a meat eater once more, I still buy black bean burgers on occasion.
    They are SO good.

    Those are so good. I like vegetarian options that don't try to taste like real meat. I feel like the more they try to make it taste like meat, the worst it tastes. I am not a vegetarian since I still eat meat occasionally, but I like taking breaks from eating meat sometimes to see what other options are out there.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 21,804 Member Member Posts: 21,804 Member
    While I agree that some, probably most, people defending their meat-eating by disparaging meat alternatives are just circling the wagons on what they're used to and defending the morality of their choices, I was challenging the idea that one particular industry is not following what is today a common business practice.

    It is possible both for

    (1)
    "big cattle" isn't sending people to these forums to hate on veggie burgers.

    to be false (as it would take only two individuals associated with, connected to, or hired by the cattle industry for it to be true) and

    (2)
    I don't think most of the disagreers here have anything to do with big cattle

    to be a correct belief (as it would only take one more than half of the disagreers to not have anything to do with big cattle).

    Companies of all kinds pay people to influence discussions in social media. It's not remotely an unusual thing. When you see first-time posts from someone touting a supplement, a named diet that has books and other products associated with it, directing you to a specific website, do you really think none of them are doing so for a financial motive? Some bloggers are paid (in money or in goods) to say positive things about specific products. Pretty much any company of a decent size or sophistication has social media specialists in their communications departments. But nobody in the beef industry tries to influence public opinion in forums where meat alternatives are discussed?


    ETA
    Since you're not in the U.S., perhaps you are unaware that the cattle industry's tactics in the U.S. have included getting laws passed to prevent labeling that in any way suggests that meat alternatives are in fact "meat" alternatives, getting laws passed people from saying anything bad about beef, and suing people for saying anything that suggests there might be health advantages for trading some saturated fat animal products for unsaturated fat plant protein products. I'm not seeing them getting queasy over the idea of paying for some social media influencing.
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    Holy propoganda, Batman.

    Yes, suing those who call your product unhealthy is a telltale sign that you're sending people and bots to infiltrate the forums of a calorie counting app, create profiles, rack up hundreds of unrelated comments and wait for the opportunity to attack veggie burgers when a thread finally arises.

    ETA: I'm not a member of big cattle (my uncle used to have a few cows but I'm a suburban guy) but I can see the reasoning behind labeling restriction against calling a product "meat" which doesn't contain meat.
    Maybe I'm naive but I just dont see that as nefarious even if you can argue that it may be unnecessary.

    ETA ETA: Also, it is not common business practice to infiltrate forums incognito.
    It is becoming common business practice to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, etc. and sponsoring posts/creators on social media is still an emerging trend but even this is still not yet the business standard (most companies still have enough old school influence to believe they should only focus on larger advertising campaigns and value celebrity endorsements above social media content creators).
    Even with sponsored posts, there is a great deal of regulation placed on the content creator and sponsorships must be disclosed.
    So no, undercover "agents" infiltrating small forums like this one for the off chance that a thread about veggie burgers will come up is not at all standard business practice.
    The kind of bots/spammers you're referring to just show up and create a spam thread as their first post.
    mmapags wrote: »
    I just wish there was some kind of warning before reading posts like the one you quoted so that I can put my tin foil hat on before I read them.

    Lynn isn't asserting that Big Cattle is definitely in this thread, she's saying that Ag-Gag laws are a thing and paying social media influencers is a thing (BTW, far from all sponsorship is disclosed correctly), and it's not beyond the realm of possibility that Big Cattle does have people surreptitiously shilling in forums where they think they'd get the most benefit.

    I haven't seen the numbers for the US, but in the UK, meat sales are definitely down:
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/red-meat-sales-hit-as-800-000-people-go-vegetarian-kpz2k3xnz
    https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/veganuary-vegan-vegetarian-red-meat-eater-data-a9267116.html
    https://www.plantbasednews.org/culture/meat-bosses-vow-reclaim-january
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-cattle-ranchers-are-fighting-back-against-fake-meat-11574850603

    It would be naive to think 100% of tactics to push back are going to be above board.
    edited February 17
  • RichieBlascoRichieBlasco Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Hydrogenated oil ingredients I believe — issue with highly processed foods is usually about snuck-in ingredients that increase inflammation, introduce oxidative stress/free radical damage, carcinogens/toxins, etc.
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