Impossible or Beyond Meat. Let's Settle This “Beef!”
Veganism is becoming prevalent in society, and therefore plant-based meat is a topic on a lot of our minds. So should you choose Impossible or Beyond Meat?
You can now get vegan pizzas, burgers, and even cakes without any animal products or by-products. Now that’s amazing! Think about it. As humans, we have figured out a way to make a burger from plants, but not how to co-exist with others on this huge planet? I digress. It’s all pretty incredible.
Speaking of burgers, there has been a silent or not-so-silent war going on between plant-based burger companies. Who did it better? Some consumers are screaming for Beyond Meat and others swear by Impossible burgers. The taste may be up for debate, but which one is better for you. Trying to figure out which is best for you may be a little bit of a challenge. Both are heavily processed and the taste may just be similar, but here are the facts of both.
The Beyond Burger
The ingredients are: Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Cellulose from Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Dried Yeast, Gum Arabic, Citrus Extract (to protect quality), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Beet Juice Extract (for color), Acetic Acid, Succinic Acid, Modified Food Starch, Annatto (for color).
The Impossible Burger
The ingredients are: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
At first glance, you might be thinking, “What the heck do most of that mean?” The important thing to look at first would be the ingredients before the “contains 2% or less” statement because those are the ingredients that make up most of the burger. The main difference in the major ingredient list is the type of protein used, Beyond Burger uses pea protein isolate, and Impossible Burger uses soy protein concentrate. Beyond Burger may have the upper hand on this one because of the protein source. A lot of people opt out of soy as a source of protein because of the stigma surrounding estrogen content in soy. But surprisingly to some, the soy protein concentrate loses a lot of its benefit because of the heavy processing. What they do is fortify the burger and try to replace some of the nutrients lost in the process.
Another thing many people see as important over everything would be the taste. One does hold the edge when it comes to the “beefy” taste and that would be the Impossible Burger. The Beyond Burger actually tastes great. If I wasn’t comparing the two, I would say the Beyond Burger tastes very close to beef. This part of the “battle of the plant-based meat” is given to the Impossible burger, but only by the slightest of margins.
Now when it comes to health, you could argue a host of reasons why one is better than the other. Sometimes it comes down to which one has better ingredients and goes through less of a process. If we are judging by those standards, I would say the Beyond Burger wins. It has less processed ingredients. The pea protein provides a viable source of protein, and it delivers in the taste category.
There will most likely never be an agreeable consensus on which one is the best, but you can try it for yourself and see. The Beyond Burger is available in Whole Foods and some restaurants like The Counter and Carl’s Jr. While the Impossible Burger is available at Burger King and Umami Burger as well as a few other places.