A number of students have recently asked for my opinion on the new plant burgers – the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Meat Burger. I’ve actually not tasted either and probably never will.
I do think both are excellent alternatives for the many who eat fast food meats, meat that consistently comes from poorly raised and poorly fed animals. Poor quality animal products are, in my opinion, one of the worst foods we can indulge in. A plant based burger that satisfies the taste needs and price points of those who eat fast food (actually including most restaurant meats) is a healthy choice that I highly recommend.
Even for those few who make sure they are eating beef from 100% grass-fed, pastured cows, the plant burger is in many respects a better choice. Clearing the rainforest to satisfy the demand for pastured beef is not good for the world. In addition, meat is high on the food chain and grass-fed beef is actually richer in some environmental toxins (such as dioxins) than grainfed beef. As a result switching to one of the new burgers is a win-win.
But these ‘meats’ re not a good choice for those trying to eat optimally. They contain too many ultra-processed, non-food ingredients along with the inevitable small amounts of trans fats in their refined oils. I have highlighted in red the ingredients and refined oils in blue that make these meats off-plan for the elimination phase. Of course, these burgers are perfectly fine to enjoy as a special occasion meal once you are on the long term TQI plan.
IMPOSSIBLE BURGER: 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.
BEYOND BURGER: Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Cellulose from Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Dried Yeast, Gum Arabic, Citrus Extract (to protect quality), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Beet Juice Extract (for color), Acetic Acid, Succinic Acid?, Modified Food Starch, Annatto (for color).