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Trying Burger King’s Impossible Whopper

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The Impossible Whopper

While I could argue if a plant based hamburger pattie is healthier than a meat one for those wasnting to lead a veggie life style the Impossible Whopper could be just what you are looking for and will make Vege burgers more mainstream for sure.

Prior to the Impossible Whopper meat substitutes looked and tasted like salted cardboard for the most part.  Gowever I have to admit the Black Bean ones from Costco were palatable if you had a lot of great fixings to go on them, and while they never induced nausea, I always have thought that fake meat isn’t really much better for you than than red meat anyway. So I looked into the health implications of today’s veggie burger stars: the Impossible Burger and its plant-based peers.

The Impossible™ Whopper® is just like the classic Whopper® hamburger, but made with an Impossible™ patty made from plants. What’s in the patty? Mostly soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and heme.

impossible whopper

Is the Impossible Whopper Healthy?

Supporting my thoughts Lisa Drayer, a health journalist and nutritionist, concluded on CNN recently that if you are choosing to eat these burgers solely for their health value, you may want to reconsider. Strayer contends that while the meat-like burger substitutes in the Impossible and Beyond burgers are better than beef for the environment, they are not likely all that great for your body.

For one thing, the salt content of fake meat is really extremely high. The fake meat burgers rank higher in sodium than the beef or turkey burgers, with the Impossible Burger containing 370 mg’s of sodium and the Beyond Burger containing 390 mg’s, Drayer said.  A typical beef patty contains only about 70 mgs’s of sodium, depending on the brand, and a turkey burger has about 100 mg’s again depending on the brand.

The American Heart Association suggests that adults have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium in a day, so both of these burgers would account for a large portion of your daily sodium intake. If you add a single slice of Chao vegan cheese (available online from Whole Foods), my personal fave, at 180 mg, and an Udis Gluten Free bun at 350mg, youre up to 920 mg of sodium, almost two-thirds of your recommended daily intake in one sandwich. Hold the fries and condiments and skip the Impossible Whopper Menu….

The protein content of both Impossible Whopper and Beyond are similar to meat burgers, so thats good. However a protein shake in the morning after your workout is still recommended, But you know how the Impossible burgers look bloody or bleed while being cooked? It has been reported that that the Impossible Whopper uses genetically modified soy protein, and, genetically modified soy leghemoglobin also known as heme which gives the burger its meaty flavor and red, blood-like drippings.

What is wrong with heme? Besides the multisyllabic chemical ingredients? Well, it was not approved for human consumption by the FDA until last summer, and it is still not approved to be used as a color additive and sold in grocery stores. So basically, were just beginning to see what these ingredients can do to our bodies versus knowing the dangers of them, like we do with red meat.

Of course not all fake meats are created equally, though, and while the Impossible Whopper has some questionable additives, Jessica Blanchard, a New Orleans-based dietician and holistic nutritionist, feels that the Beyond Burger might be a decently healthy choice. While her assertion is not yet proven, she points out the fact that there aren’t as many scary ingredients, on the packaging, which feels somewhat reassuring.

Blanchard says, that if you want to enjoy any vegan-based burger every now and then, the healthiest way would be to cut it in half, eat it with sprouted-grain bread, and heap on lots of veggies. My husband and I share a Beyond Burger every week or two. The Impossible Whopper will now make these types of burgers easily available for millions of people

But, Do not kid yourself. Fake protein meat like the Impossible Whopper is  junk food, too. That is kind of the point. But no animals were harmed making them and they are better for the environment, and as Blanchard says, While these fake burgers aren’t the healthiest choice, they are better than most processed foods.

Burger King has become the largest restaurant chain to embrace plant-based meats. Others will follow suit.

The Impossible Whopper Background

In 2009 a Stanford biochemistry professor named Patrick Brown decided to devote his sabbatical to eliminating intensive animal farming, which he determined at the time to be the world’s largest environmental problem. With other academics, Brown co-organized a conference in 2010 in Washington, D.C., to raise awareness to the problem. However, the National Research Council workshop “The Role of Animal Agriculture in a Sustainable 21st Century Global Food System” had minimal impact, and so  Brown decided soon after that the best way to reduce animal agriculture was to offer a competing product on the free market.

Founded in 2011, and headquartered in Northern California, the company mission is to give people the taste and nutritional benefits of meat without the negative health and environmental impacts associated with livestock products. 

The company’s signature product, the Impossible Burger, was launched in July 2016, after years of research and development. The company also makes a plant-based sausage product that started being tested on pizzas and sold by Little Caesars restaurants in May 2019

An Impossible Burger given out during a promotional event at a food truck in San Francisco in November 2016

Brown started Impossible Foods in 2011.[6] In July 2016, the company launched its first meat analogue product, the Impossible Burger, which is made from material derived from plants.[7] The company says that making it uses 95% less land and 74% less water, and it emits about 87% less greenhouse gas than making a ground beef burger patty from cows.[8] The plant-based burger has more protein, less total fat, no cholesterol, and fewer calories than a similar-sized hamburger patty made with beef.[9] It contains more sodium and more saturated fats than an unseasoned beef patty.[10] The Impossible Burger received Kosher certification in May 2018[11] and Halal certification in December 2018

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