A few months ago, I decided to try the impossible burger patty. I read up on the ingredients and learned a few new things. Here are a few of the main points to keep in mind. In addition to Soy leghemoglobin, I’m also staying away from Salt and Yeast extracts. That’s a pretty long list of ingredients.
Is Impossible Burger Patty Vegan?
The Impossible Burger Patty is a plant-based patty that closely resembles meat. Is it, however, vegan? While we can affirm that Impossible Burgers include no animal-derived ingredients, we can’t guarantee that you’ll consider them completely vegan. In short, it all comes down to your personal expectations. Continue reading to learn why!
Pat Brown, a former Stanford University professor, started Impossible Foods in 2011. His goal was to recreate the flavour and feel of meat using just plants. The true game-changer for this company was their secret ingredient,’ soy heme’ or’soy leghemoglobin,’ which is largely responsible for the colour and flavour of their burgers. This ingredient was created using soybeans, which are an FDA-approved food. However, because this extract had not yet been certified, the Impossible Burger would have to go through the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) approval process before being sold. Unfortunately, this means that animal testing was required for soy heme.
Did Animals Really Test Impossible Foods?
The Impossible Burger is the first plant-based Burger to “bleed,” thanks to the secretion of blood-red beet juice when you bite into it. Impossible Foods has become known for more than just a one-off, meat-eater-pleasing veggie burger since its launch in 2016. Impossible Foods is now known for creating meat from plants, whether it’s burgers, meatballs, or pork, and Impossible Burgers can be found at popular restaurants such as Burger King, Applebee’s, Bareburger, Hard Rock Café, Qdoba, Red Robin, the Cheesecake Factory, Wahlburgers, White Castle, and others.
What is the Composition of the Patties?
Impossible meat patties are created with soy and potato protein, sunflower oil, yeast extract, salt, and many other scientific-sounding substances (a full ingredient list can be found here). The incorporation of heme, an iron ion found in all living things that give meat its fundamentally meaty flavour, is the most noticeable feature of Impossible burgers. Impossible Foods uses heme produced from fermented soybeans.
What is the Difference in the Taste of Patty Provided by Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat?
Though both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods sell burger patties, the taste of their burgers is vastly different. I went to a Bareburger to compare the two and have a traditional beef burger. Except for the patties, each Burger had the same ingredients: brioche bun, cheddar cheese, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes topped with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard.
The Impossible patties tasted a lot more like beef than the Beyond patty. The Impossible Burger had a juicier patty and was burned on the surface with a pink core, much like meat. I might easily be mistaken for actual meat if I closed my eyes and pretended.
The beefiness of the Beyond burger was lacking. The patties were a little spongier overall, and the flavours of the various vegetarian proteins were more noticeable. Despite being grilled over a grill, the meat did not bleed or have the same level of juiciness; instead, the patty had the same consistency and flavour throughout. Don’t get me wrong: the patties were delicious—it simply didn’t convince me that it was supposed to be a beef substitute rather than just another vegan protein patty. If the prospect of veggie burgers bleeding makes you nervous, then think of a better choice.
What Constitutes an Anti-Vegan Impossible Burger?
Soy leghemoglobin appears to be good news because it is as vegan as a plant-based meat flavouring. Unfortunately, the Impossible Burger will lose its vegan certification due to this component.
Impossible Foods appears to have conducted testing on rats to ensure that the Impossible Burger is safe for human consumption. This is due to the addition of soy leghemoglobin, which is a brand-new component. As a result, it was unclear how the human body would react to this novel chemical.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had to approve the Impossible Burger as “generally regarded as safe” before it could be sold across the country. Tests on a set number of living test subjects, chosen to be rats, were required to obtain approval.
Impossible Foods was not obliged to obtain FDA permission to market its products for many years. However, the company grew quickly as its products reached large restaurants and supermarkets. Fairway and Wegman’s supermarkets and Burger King’s very popular Impossible Whopper are some of the places that serve the Impossible Burger.
Impossible Food has no alternative but to comply with FDA criteria to obtain the GRAS label for Impossible Burger at the time. In three different safety tests, 188 rats were used to determine whether the soy leghemoglobin included in Impossible Burger posed any damage to human health.
You might be wondering what happened to the rats utilized in the study. All 188 rats were killed as part of the FDA’s normal animal testing protocol. The new heme component in Impossible Burger received FDA approval in 2018, and unfortunately, that approval came at the expense of innocent creatures’ lives.
Brown is a vegan; therefore, the demand for animal testing for their synthesized soy heme should have been discouraging. Impossible Foods said that animal testing was done only once to obtain FDA permission and that the test techniques used the fewest available animal test subjects.
Even Nevertheless, after hearing the news, many vegans have lost interest in the Impossible Burger. The fact that animals were abused and harmed simply to allow the product’s distribution is reason enough to dismiss Impossible Burger as a viable vegan option. Impossible Burger is not vegan, according to PETA or The Vegan Society.
What does an Impossible Burger Contain?
The components for an Impossible Burger patty are listed below. The bulk of the substances on this list are verified plant-based, while others are naturally occurring molecules found in nature. Some of these substances are synthetic or created in the lab without using animals.
- Coconut Oil
- Soy Protein Concentrate
- Natural Flavors
- Sunflower Oil
- Protein from potatoes
- Food with Yeast Extract and Cultured Dextrose Tocopherols in Starch and Salt (Antioxidant)
- Protein from Soy Isolate
- Zinc Gluconate
- Hydrochloride of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
- Hydrochloride of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
- Riboflavin is a B vitamin (Vitamin B2)
- B12 (cobalamin)
- Leghemoglobin from Soy
You can conduct your own study and look up each of these ingredients on the internet to ensure that they are not animal derivatives or by-products. Even vegan organizations believe that every component used to construct an Impossible Burger is vegan.
You may come across material claiming that riboflavin is also found in animal sources. As a result, the riboflavin used in the Impossible Burger isn’t vegan. However, like the other chemicals in the product, vitamin B2 may be manufactured in a laboratory.
Soy leghemoglobin, which was named last, requires special attention. Impossible Foods’ effort to make their plant-based meat taste and look like real meat is said to be centred on it.
Because of its high iron content, heme is a molecule that gives the meat a characteristic protein-filled flavour. Heme is usually found in human and animal blood, but it is also found in plants but at minute levels.
Soybean has the highest heme concentration of all the plant sources that contain this chemical. Providing massive volumes of heme for mass production is still insufficient and impossible Food’s best choice is to make its own heme based on the one found in soybeans.
Soy leghemoglobin was created in this manner. The business could generate the secret ingredient that would place the Impossible Burger and all of its other plant-based meat products on the map by filling in the gaps of a genetically altered yeast with soy plant DNA.
How Sustainable is Impossible Burger?
Animal agriculture, particularly beef, has a significant environmental impact. The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health published a report asking for a shift from animal agriculture toward a more sustainable food system.
Impossible Foods has a bold goal: to eliminate animal agriculture by 2035. Pat Brown, its CEO and founder, acknowledged that it may not appear feasible. Still, he told the Telegraph that he believes food technology will advance quickly: “It took about ten years from the first super-crappy low-resolution digital camera hit the market until Kodak basically shut down its film business.” The market can work quickly if you can create something that outperforms delivering what customers desire.”
Compared to ground beef, Impossible Foods claims that its Burger consumes 87 percent less water, 96 percent less land, emits 89 percent fewer greenhouse emissions, and produces 92 percent less dead-zone-creating nutritional pollution.
The Impossible Burger was only available in restaurants until late 2019. However, the brand is now expanding into grocery shops. Impossible meat, packaged like ground beef, was originally introduced in Southern California before spreading to the east coast.
The Impossible Burger debuted in almost 2,100 Walmart shops in July 2020, bringing its total retail footprint to over 8,000.
Cooperation with America’s largest grocery retailer, The Kroger Co., was announced in August 2020. The Impossible Burger is now available in approximately 2,000 Kroger, Fred Meyer, Mariano’s, and Ralphs’s locations across the United States.
What Are The Other Place Where I Can Find Impossible Burger?
Outside of the United States, the Impossible Burger is also available. In April 2018, it made its worldwide premiere at three well-known Hong Kong restaurants: Little Bao, Happy Paradise, and Beef & Liberty. The Impossible Burger is now available in Singapore and Macau. The Impossible Burger debuted to roughly 50,000 consumers at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai last November, suggesting that mainland China could be next.
Impossible Foods is also planning a European debut. The brand applied to the Dutch government for approval of heme under the EU’s genetically modified Food food feed law. Bloomberg reported that it was forwarded to the European Food Safety Authority.
It’s also possible to expand beyond burgers, and impossible Foods has shown its plans to create lifelike fish.
What Is The Calorie Count of The Impossible Burger?
There are 240 calories in a single 4-ounce Impossible Burger burger. So, is it true that meatless meat is healthier? The following nutrients (in percentages of recommended daily allowances) are found in a 4-ounce Impossible Burger patty:
14g fat (18 percent RDA)
Saturated fat: 8 g (40 percent RDA)
Trans fats: 0 mg
cholesterol 0 mg
sodium 370 mg (16 percent RDA)
Carbohydrates: 9 g (3 percent RDA)
3 grammes of fibre (11 percent RDA)
Sugar content: less than 1 gramme
Protein: 19 g (31 percent RDA)
170 milligrammes calcium (15 percent RDA)
4.2mg iron (25 percent RDA)
potassium 610 mg (15 percent RDA)
Thiamin (2350 percent RDA)
Riboflavin is a B vitamin (15 percent RDA)
Niacin (50 percent RDA)
B4 vitamin (20 percent RDA)
Folate (30 percent RDA)
B12 (cobalamin) (130 percent RDA)
phosphate (15 percent RDA)
Zinc (50 percent RDA)
Is the Impossible Burger Environmentally Friendly?
There’s no denying it: Beef is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and all plant-based burgers are healthier for the environment than beef. When forests are cut down to make way for crops and cattle, large amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere, causing global warming.
Cattle produce a lot of methane gas, which traps heat in our atmosphere 30 times better than carbon dioxide and warms the earth. Livestock also consumes many resources: they drink roughly a third of all freshwater and eat about a third of all crops grown on the planet.
“The most popular plant-based alternatives, Beyond and Impossible Burgers produce around 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than beef,” says Stephanie Feldstein, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Population and Sustainability programme, which works to safeguard endangered species. “They save at least 93 percent of land and 87 percent to 99 percent of water.” They also don’t pollute the environment with excrement.”
However, there is significant debate over Impossible Burgers and the environmental effects of its ingredients. Plant-based meat, in particular, relies on genetically modified yeast to generate its “impossible” flavour. Impossible Burgers are likewise a highly processed product while being manufactured from plants.
The Impossible Burger is a popular vegetable brand that seems almost too good to be true. Because it is made entirely of plant-based ingredients, it has the same flavour as animal meat. However, the Impossible Burger was not vegan-friendly due to the effort to imitate the meaty taste and texture.
The goal of Impossible Burger contradicts the vegan lifestyle. Veganism is popular among many who believe that humans may subsist only on plant sources. Creating flesh-flavoured vegan cuisine to satisfy people’s desires for animal meat won’t help convert more people to veganism.
Finding vegan substitutes for certain foods does not always imply that they will taste the same. Impossible Foods set out to create the ideal plant-based alternatives to popular meat products, but in the process, they ended up harming innocent live creatures.