We inspect the most famous fake meat burger created by Beyond Meat, the first vegan company to go on the stock market. Their plant-based meat substitutes are sold at large brands such as Whole Foods, TGI Fridays, or Carl’s Jr. How does this new product compares then to a traditional beef burger when it comes to environmental impact and nutrients?

Reference: http://css.umich.edu/publication/beyond-meats-beyond-burger-life-cycle-assessment-detailed-comparison-between-plant-based

How green are the Beyond Meat burgers?

The lack of animal products in the Beyond Meat patties results in a big advantage over regular meat patties when it comes to production effectiveness. Cows require a vast amount of water and land to raise them, while the solely plant-based ingredients of Beyond Meat products do not, as you can read about it in our article about different protein sources.

What about the nutrients?

In the Beyond Meat burgers, protein comes from peas and the blood-like redness from beetroots. They have double the amount of iron as in a regular burger, slightly more protein, half the amount of saturated fats, and most importantly no cholesterol.

The full list of ingredients is as follows:

Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Apple Extract, Salt, Vinegar, Potassium Chloride, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Beet Juice Extract (for color), Pomegranate Fruit Powder, Lycopene Color.

It’s easy to see that plant-based alternatives can be both more eco-friendly (as in this example) as well as more nutritious than the originally meat-based versions.

How much does it cost then?

A Beyond Meat burger is much cheaper to produce than a beef burger, as less energy, land, and water is used. This means that the burger we buy at one of the outlets is also cheaper, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, there are a lot of meat industry-related subsidies as well as until the production rate is on a similar level as beef burgers the prices will be negatively affected.

Carl’s Jr. sells Beyond Famous Star burger with cheese for $7.29. The regular Famous Star with cheese is $4.39 at the same location.

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