Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and other alternative meats can now be readily found in grocery stores across the country. A whopping 41% of Americans have tried them, and the market is projected to reach $140 billion by the end of the decade.
The term “plant-based” conveys a health halo, and part of that perception is formed in direct contrast to beef, harmful to health and bad for the environment. Products that are pitched as ethical or climate-conscious are often automatically considered healthy and nutritious as well. Huge marketing budgets are spent on supporting that perception. Impossible’s website, for example, features an image of a fresh-looking coconut that represents the oil in the ingredients list.
In order to determine how healthy alternatives meats are, we need to know what they are made of and examine the production process. Just because a burger is made from plants instead of animals doesn’t automatically make it healthier for you. Compared to a meat-based burger, Beyond and Impossible contain roughly the same amount of saturated fat and more sodium, when over-consumed, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The main issue with these “high-tech” meats is that they are more products of science than nature. They’re pretty far removed from the whole foods that our ancestors ate. By isolating ingredients for their nutritional value or function alone we miss out on the good bits that come from eating the entire food source. Take pea protein: it’s chemically extracted from (usually) yellow field peas, but we don’t get any of the magnesium, folate, potassium, or fiber that’s built into the actual pea. Likewise, when oils are refined and deodorized to the form found in many alternative meats, they’re also stripped of the minerals present in living tissues.
Because these products are, for the most part, engineered in a lab, the ingredient lists can be miles long, which is never a good thing when it comes to food. Impossible meats are particularly problematic. Their product is highly processed, has additional artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives to promote shelf stability, preserve texture, and increase palatability. It undergoes several processing steps using multiple ultra-processed ingredients.
Fresh foods found in their whole and natural form have the perfect balance of macro, micro, and phytonutrients that cannot currently be replicated in ‘healthy’ processed foods. Even though Beyond Meat is a little better, because it doesn’t contain soy or any genetically modified ingredients, it is still a product that is highly processed and engineered in a lab.
Natural and whole foods are superior from a nutritional standpoint, so if you want to eat healthier, Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat might not be the ultimate choice for you. What then? Is there a way for a vegan or flexitarian to get that delicious meaty taste without actually eating meat or highly processed plant-based substitute?
With a shift towards less meat consumption and more plant-based eating, the need for high-quality, plant-based meat alternatives has increased exponentially, and now there are nutritious options on the market made from whole food ingredients such as vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
VistroBurger, VWP’s signature brand, redefines what it means to be a burger. Born in 2020, it is 100% plant-based, and all of our burger patties are original and made in-house by our team. Forget highly-processed, long-shelf-life burgers. We use natural, locally sourced ingredients to create the best flavors.
The VistroBurger menu was created in collaboration with the team from famed Candle79 & Candle Cafe (NYC). The cooks were part of the Candle group for 20+ years, pioneering in the vegan food world. All of our burger patties are made with fresh and organic produce from local farms. Each chef-made burger is carefully assembled with our special sauce, vegan cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion on a toasted vegan bun.
Food should come from a farm, not a lab. With plant-based meat, you want nature, not science. Choose wisely.
About Vegan Warrior Project (VWP)
VWP is a NYC plant-based Food, Technology & Marketing organization, co-founded in 2020 and led by digital marketing and technology veteran Ross Glick, former CEO of iNDELIBLE Media. The company aims to help struggling independent restaurant owners everywhere optimize and maximize their untapped kitchen capacity, so they can create more profits for both the independent restaurant owner and VWP. Vegan Warrior Project is helping and aggregating thousands of independent restaurants to create the first nationwide Plant-Based Kitchen Fulfillment Partnership (‘KFP’) Network to support its geographic expansion for its wholly owned vegan delivery brands www.VistroBurger.com & www.PurpleThai.com. Both brands are currently available for delivery in NYC, from its flagship KFP Plant Bar NYC: Nomad.
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