What is the Beyond Burger?
This plant-based burger is a new product in the plant-based protein and imitation meat industry that is made out of pea protein isolate. This means the burger is soy and gluten free while still providing a good amount of protein. What makes this burger different is that the alternative meat is supposed to replicate real meat as much as possible. The use of beet juice in the burger gives the appearance of it “bleeding” when cooked. It also changes color while it is being grilled.
The purpose of Beyond Meat is that they want to encourage plant-based eating in consumers that are not necessarily vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based. Their goal is to satisfy the taste buds of a consumer who would usually eat meat, so that a more sustainable, animal friendly, and healthy lifestyle can be achieved.
The peas provide 20 grams of protein. While there are other sources of imitation meat, a lot of them use soy protein or vital wheat gluten. Soy and gluten are common allergies which means a good portion of people cannot eat these products. Pea protein helps avoid this problem.
Comparison and Verdict:
The product contains 20 grams of protein for 1/4 pound serving compared to 19 grams of protein in a ¼ pound beef burger. It also contains 25% of daily recommended iron compared to 12% for beef burgers. Unlike beef burgers, the Beyond Burger contains no saturated fat.
There are a lot of ingredients to help keep the burger shelf-stable. Some of the ingredients include yeast extract and maltodextrin. Other ingredients are common oils such as sunflower oil. These oils common in processed foods increase omega-6 rations to an extremely high level compared to omega-3s. Even though research is conflicting, making a bean burger with lower amounts of sodium and fresher ingredients probably means there are more nutrients per serving. This burger still has a good amount of fat (22g) and sodium (450 mg) still making it a food that should be eaten in moderation.
Even though this burger revolutionizes alternative meats and provides other options for a more plant-based diet which is healthier, making sure to eat these foods in moderation is still the key..