Step aside meat lovers, there’s a new trend in town — and people are loving it. The Beyond Meat Burger has given vegetarians and vegans a new way of eating. It is the first burger of its kind. It’s even sold in the meat section of the grocery store.
The Beyond Meat Burger in its package. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
In case you missed what this is, it’s a burger made completely from plants. That’s right, plants! The creators of this genius burger stand by four things: improving human health, positively impacting climate change, addressing global resource constraints and improving animal welfare.
By improving human health, they have dedicated themselves to creating and developing products that have high levels of nutrients that are clean. They are a non-GMO company and do so by using ingredients like soy and pea protein. Beyond Meat also circulates awareness on global climate change. By eliminating the use of factory farming and other industries, they have reduced the amount of pollutants created. They have also reduced the amount of unnecessary waste by using the world’s natural resources to make their products. Lastly, they have created a fan-favorite: a burger, without harm to animals. They work together across industries to decrease the harsh killing of animals and improve the way they are treated.
The burger was intended for non-meat eaters to feel like they are eating an actual burger. It is located in almost all groceries stores and in the meat section. One package comes with two 4 oz. burgers and retails for $5.99. This puts the product at $11.98 per pound, which is a little steep compared to regular beef. Just like regular beef, the burger is pink upon purchase. It has the sponge-like feel of a burger. Once cooked, these patties also bleed a red juice imitating the blood that bleeds from a traditional beef burger.
The reason this burger differs from its competitors is because of the ingredients. Typically, a veggie burger from Morning Star or Gardein have actual chunks of veggies in it. Vegetables like water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper and more are the typical components of the “burger.” For Beyond Meat Burgers, it is a little different. The creators wanted to mimic the appearance of actual beef, so they used pea protein, refined coconut oil and beet juice. The beet juice was added for color; giving the burger a pinkish tint and allowing it to bleed while it cooks.
Elettra Wiedemann is the founder of Impatient Foodie, a website/blog she created in order to combine her love for slow food ideas with fast-urban life. She did a 30-day vegan challenge for her readers who are living with a plant-based diet. Upon tasting the burger, being a meat-lover herself, she said that if this burger were to be served at a restaurant or at a BBQ, she would not be able to tell the difference between this and real beef.
The Beyond Meat Burger has 20 grams of protein, as compared to regular beef having 19 grams. The burger also has 25% iron, zero cholesterol, 22 grams of fat and it is free of gluten, antibiotics, hormones, soy and GMOs. Not only can one buy this burger at the local grocery stores, but it can also be found in restaurants. As of now, more than 20 different restaurants are currently selling Beyond Meat Burgers on their menus.
To put this burger to the actual test, I prepared the burger for two individuals: Jessica Dicosta who has been a vegetarian for almost four years and Samantha DeCarciofolo who could never give up meat.
THE COOKING PROCESS:
The patties cooking, sizzling and juicing red “blood.” Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
Upon opening the package, a strong smell of beef filled the kitchen. Each raw patty had a squishy texture, like regular beef. The back of the package gave instructions on how to prepare the burgers. The patties are supposed to be thawed (if frozen) in the fridge. When ready to cook, it advises to cook each side for three minutes. The burgers will stay a pinkish color even when cooked thoroughly because of the beet juice. For the burgers tested by Jessica and Samantha, they were topped with a slice of Go Veggie vegan cheese. Each girl added their preferred choice of toppings — ketchup, mustard, onions, spinach and a chipotle aioli. From personal experience, when cooked, the burgers needed another minute or two to get an extra crispy outer layer. In the pan, the burgers were actually producing a red “blood” that sizzled along with the patties.
Beyond Meat Burgers topped with Go Veggie cheese. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
They smelled like meat, they looked like meat and the texture was incredibly similar.
Jessica Dicosta’s first impression:
“It has a beefy flavor and it’s the closest thing I’ve had to real beef since going vegetarian,” Dicosta said. She went on to say how this would be a burger she would purchase again. To her, she couldn’t taste the difference in regular beef versus Beyond Meat “meat.” Comparing it to a veggie burger from Morning Star, she said, “When I eat Morning Star veggie burgers, I usually have to add two since they are so thin. With Beyond Meat I am able to eat just one and feel satisfied.”
Jessica’s burger, topped with spinach and chipotle aioli. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
Samantha DeCarciofolo’s first impression:
Sam could never give up meat. She based her impression off an actual beef burger.
“It’s pretty close to a burger. I think if I wasn’t aware of what it was, I would assume it was actual beef. It tastes like a burger I’ve eaten at a restaurant just a little sweeter,” DeCarciofolo said. Sam added that the texture was incredibly similar to a real burger and she thinks that’s why it differs from other brands’ versions of veggie burgers.
“I like it because after I eat a normal burger I feel disgusting and upset with myself. This burger satisfied me but I also don’t feel disgustingly full. I feel really good knowing that was completely plant based,” DeCarciofolo said.
Samantha’s burger topped with onions, ketchup and mustard. Photo taken by Sophia DeVito.
Beyond Meat Burgers were tested by a vegetarian and approved. They were tested by a burger enthusiast and approved. Overall, the feedback from the burger has been good thus far. Keep those eyes peeled for this juicy, beet burger when passing the meat section.