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Home The Newsmakers BURGER DOWN!


Iffath Sana

While meat is delicious, greens are, undoubtedly healthier. So for years, the vegetarians and vegans of the world have been trying to convince the ‘others’ to opt for green leafy food. More often than not, these efforts have failed. But food processing has evolved over the years, and now it seems like it has entered an entirely new ballgame. 

Multiple food organizations had already been researching ways to process plants in order to make them taste, smell and look more like meat, but obviously, without all the harmful bits. Recently, quite a few of these ventures have come out on top, having released burger patties and other 100% plant-based meat products that look taste, smell and cook completely like meat. We’ve shortlisted a few such products that have been turning a lot of heads lately!

The Beyond Burger
The Beyond Burger claims to be the world’s first ever “looks, cooks and tastes like fresh ground beef”. The Beyond Burger™ packs 20 g of plant-based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten and is 100% vegan. 

Developed by US-based food research and development company, Beyond Meat, the Beyond Burger is currently sold in the meat section of quite a few shopping malls in America. With 7+ years of extensive research put into it, the Beyond Burger is as close to a miracle as aspiring vegetarians or health freaks can hope for at the moment!

Some Interesting Facts about the Beyond Burger: 
-    Although it is 100% plant based, a 1/4lb Beyond Burger patty packs 1g more protein than a traditional beef patty. 
-    In the same line, the burger packs also packs a whopping 290 calories, 190 of which comes from fat – more than the average beef burger of similar size. However, the 0 cholesterol content takes away from both of those statistics. 
-    Like a normal beef patty, the Beyond Burger patty also ‘bleeds’ while being fried/grilled, and also sports the red meaty color of meat patties. This has been achieved using beetroot!
-    The majority of the protein content in the burger comes from peas.
The Beast
Another game-changer from Beyond Meat, the Beast is a 100% plant based precooked frozen patty that was formulated with nutrient density in mind. The organization worked with Brendan Brazier, popular triathlete, to develop the Beast, which packs a massive 23G of protein per patty accompanied by bucket loads of antioxidants, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, B12, D, Potassium and DHA Omega-3s. 

The Beast was formulated to enhance diets for heavily active individuals wanting to opt for high-protein food without the harmful health effects. The unique Beyond blend of nutrients speeds up muscle recovery and is a great source of energy. 

Unlike the Beyond Burger, the Beast and Beyond Meat’s other pre-cooked frozen 100% plant-based meat products like the Beyond Chicken Strip and Beyond Crumble, can all be found in the frozen aisles of super stores. 

The Impossible Burger
The Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods is yet another attempt in the same direction, but with much bigger plans. Unlike its several competitors, Impossible Foods want to scale up production with their first large-scale facility in Oakland, California. This factory is a big step in the plant-based meat alternative industry and will go to prove if these products can actually be sustainably scaled up at this point in time. The Impossible Burger patty is composed largely of wheat and potato proteins that again, looks, cooks and tastes like a traditional beef patty.

Unlike the Beyond Burger, this burger has been engineered centering an iron-containing molecule called heme. Currently, the burgers are sold at $15 apiece, this being the biggest hurdle in commercializing the venture. In order to bring prices down to as low as conventional beef burgers, Impossible Food will need to optimize their supply chain and manufacturing process entirely. 

Apart from these burgers, the plat-based food industry has a whole lot of other offerings on the market ranging from vegetarian chicken strips to crumbles and ground meat.  A few weeks ago, Memphis Meats announced their very first lab-grown chicken strip, which is currently selling at a mind-numbing $9000 per pound, which brings us back to the issue that Impossible Foods is trying to tackle – as long as these plant-based alternatives are not as conveniently available as meat, besides tasting and cooking like it, they will never go big. 

May 24, 2017
About Author

A freelance writer, Iffath's interests lie in fictions, people, crafts and music.

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