Plant-based meat has the potential to be great for the environment – it produces significantly less greenhouse gasses than factory farming, uses less water, and is more sustainable. Lately the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, plant-based options, have been receiving a lot of buzz in the food and health industry. They are now sold in most groceries stores and offered in restaurants across the nation including Burger King, Carl’s Jr., The Cheesecake Factory, and Red Robin. While they do their part in supporting the environment, there is one area where they fall short…nutrition.
Now we know what you might be thinking, “if it is plant-based, how bad can it possibly be?”. Ready for the CambiatiTruth?
The primary problem with products like Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are that they bring high promises of being healthy, leaving many consumers thinking that they are doing something good for their bodies and eating these products as a regular part of their diet.
At Cambiati Wellness we pride ourselves in providing you with real, science-backed knowledge so you can make wiser eating decisions. Here is what you should know about Impossible Burger & Beyond Burger.
1) They Are Highly Processed – The term “processed foods” refers to any food that has been modified to preserve it, enhance it’s flavor, add nutrients, or in this case, make plants feel and taste like animal protein. But you can’t compare eating the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger to munching on a salad.
They were created in a lab with the help of scientists and engineers, and mass produced in a factory using a mashup of soy proteins, yeast, fillers, and omega 6 fats, which can trigger inflammation. The plants in these products are so highly processed, that they have lost much of their nutritional benefits.
Here is a full list of Impossible Burger & Beyond Burger ingredients:
- IMPOSSIBLE BURGER: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, and 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).
Did you know that rotten feet is literally a smell that they tried to mimic when scientists were creating the Impossible Burger? Yum!
2) GMOs – While Beyond Burger is GMO free, Impossible Burger poses a threat to our health by using 2 under-regulated genetically engineered products that are poorly studied.
- Rather than organic soy beans that have higher levels of protein, the company chose to use GMO soybeans which are sprayed with large amounts of the herbicide glyphosate, which has been known to cause cancer in workers exposed to it during application. Traces of this herbicide is found in Impossible Burger and some of its competitors.
- Additionally, Impossible Foods wanted their burger to come with a ‘bleed’. Their solution was to take DNA from the soy plants root and insert it into genetically engineered yeast that is then fermented to mass-produce the heme that mimics blood. As if that isn’t a turn off enough…this is the first time that people have consumed this product that the FDA allowed to be self-certified by the company as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).
Don’t Believe Everything You See And Hear
The best way to ensure that you are eating real, nutrient-dense foods are to eat whole foods and meals that you prepare on your own. In the occasion that you do want to indulge in a burger, you can try the Heidi’s brand or one of our mouthwatering recipes here: