Near-Meat Experience

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." 

The line from 1993's Jurassic Park invokes images of genetically modified organisms run amok- and this just so happens to be our blog topic. 

The latest fad to sweep the nation isn't scientifically engineered dinosaurs, but scientifically engineered meat- namely, the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger. Both offerings try to sell you on a plant-based, meat alternative that would seem healthier than their red meat counterparts- but studies just haven't borne this out to be true.

While 80/20 ground lean beef (113 g) has a caloric count of 306 calories, the Beyond Burger still weighs in at 250 calories- while the Impossible Burger sits at 240 calories. Saturated fat content, which is 7.5 g in our 113g all beef patty is still at 6 g in the Beyond Burger and 8 g in the Impossible Burger. However, looking at sodium levels, it's clear that beef has the imposters beat as both meatless products pack a whopping near 400 mg of sodium- and while the Beyond Burger is free of those pesky GMOs, the Impossible Burger can't compete, with over 20 ingredients, including dextrose, modified food starch, and soy leghemoglobin. 

While both options may satisfy the vegan crowds, both are overly processed and neither can qualify as USDA Organic. This author still feels like there are better alternatives to these meatless juggernauts- that are not only better for the environment, but better for your body and overall health as well. We may be decades away from true cruelty-free, traditional meat alternatives (if that's what you're looking for), but for the time being, you must weigh out the consequences of a "near-meat" experience with that of a healthier, plant-based protein offering.