I was a vegetarian for 10 years, and have now been a pescatarian for 8 years. It has been 18 years since I have had a proper cheeseburger, and since then I have had many thousands of veggie burgers. Cheeseburgers are probably my favorite food, and I haven't had one in 18 years. If someone told me that the world would end tomorrow, I would go out and eat a proper cheeseburger.
I have some experience in this area, is what I'm trying to say. The flavor and texture is the closest to actual meat I've ever had. And that, then, is the key for a lot of people: they don't want a veggie burger that simulates meat. Which is fine! I do, and I imagine the market for close-to-meat veggie burgers is bigger than obviously-not-meat veggie burgers.
Others in the thread have mentioned the Beyond Burger, which is also good. But the Impossible Burger, for me, is way better. I have had my Impossible Burgers at Bareburger. At home, I went with Morningstar Farm's Grillers Prime for a long time, but about a year ago they changed the recipe, and I did their black bean for a while. I have since discovered if I season the Griller's Prime while I'm frying it, it comes out much better.
As a heathen who likes to have things like jalapenos on my burger I think I'm quicker to embrace it than I would be if I liked my burgers straight.
I honestly think you're fighting the wrong battle here.
Per the HN guidelines:
> Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith.
If this is true the processed food industry would no longer use real meat if the fake meat is cheaper.
Incidentally, as a meat eater I'd stop eating it tomorrow if this was the case (bring on the healthy and eco-friendly bacon, sausages and steak!).
Substitutes like Quorn mince in a chili are already more than acceptable to me.
Additionally, a lot of vegns are also extremely health conscious, and so they tend to avoid a lot of unnecessary fat in their diet. A lot of chefs will say "fat is flavor," which is true, but what's also true is that fat conveys flavor. It sticks to surfaces in places that water doesn't and allows flavors to linger.
It's why the Impossible and Beyond Burgers are succeeding: they haven't lost sight of what makes a burger, a burger.
Whether it's confusing or not or obvious or not, it was an extremely common term in the online vegetarian community I used to participate in around 15 years ago. Not trying to make a judgement on the term, just informing.
"Hackers" have their own version - *nix.
I have met far more people who tell me cliches about vegans than I have vegans who tell me they're vegan.
Same reaction would occur for any vocal activist caught doing the antithesis of what they preach.
So, if a person has honestly tried everything and they absolutely need to eat some meat and fish to be healthy, then most won't have an issue with it. There will always be crazy internet kooks though.
I'd rather eat something like a black bean burger, but I also eat meat so I'm not looking for my vegetable burgers replicate the experience.
(But then maybe I'd say the same thing about burger Kings beef burgers too haha)
... was linked from this Politico piece: "Inside the Race to Build the Burger of the Future."
Since it's right up front in the headline that it's Burger King,I don't think the fast food part is “undersaid”.
> I just don't see the point, vs a high-protein high-fat patty made of bean or soy protein isolate that tastes good in it own non-fake-fast-good-meat-burger way.
If you don't see the point of fast food, you can, I hope, at least see that lots of people do.
And since there are people going off meat for environmental or ethical reasons, providing them an open which is both attractive in taste to their current palette and fitting with their existing lifestyle but for the change they are deliberately making seems to have obvious value.
And it can't be cheaper than a real meat burger, because consumers will kill its adoption by calling it the "cheap" product. Regardless of merit or quality.
(Source: the recent book Clean Meat.)
Waiting for the 2.0 one to hit places near me. Which version are you talking about?
If it was before January it was the 1.0 version, if it was after January it might have been either.
Let me do you a favor: The world is going to end tomorrow!
About six months ago I had it in a vegan place near Cape Canaveral, and I was in disbelief it wasn't a meat burger. I asked the waiter twice.
It's been 15+ years since I last ate meat (and even more, red meat), and I hate the taste.
For anyone vegan or vegetarian who hates the taste of meat and is afraid to try it, I recommend giving a try even though it's supposed to taste like meat as it might feel different. I believe the preparation makes it very different because all other times (10+?) I had it (both 1.0 and 2.0), I enjoyed (specially at Umami Burger in Anaheim). The only reason I haven't had it more is that I don't live in the U.S., and I prefer the Portobello mushroom patty at Umami.
I honestly think if the Beyond wasn't more expensive than a normal patty, I would probably order it all the time (and I am very much a meat eater)
I'm keen to try the Impossible 2.0 and the Beyond sausages.
I eventually decided I didn't care about fish that much - but I decided that I would eventually eat fish again years before I finally did. Yes, it's a compromise of my original ethical judgement, but it's one I can live with.
"how often are you in nowhere, US?"
and that's about how often I eat fish. To me it's just a less bad choice, which in my brain is still a net positive gain on the meal.
Anectodally, it does make you feel slightly less bloated, though.
The use of  is one of the most infuriating, passive-aggressive internet trends perpetrated by people who clearly don't understand the point of citations .
 citation not required
No, it wasn't; OP made a universal claim (“most people” not “most people I know”), and a claim of irony which makes more sense with a real geerality.
I actually assumed (and, in fact, still assume despite your interjection) that the not_a_pizza had some basis for making that general claim, and merely omitted it, perhaps because they assumed others were familiar with it.
"Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."
scott_s replied in an evenhanded way, but many (maybe most) commenters in his position would have taken the question as hostile and responded in kind.
If you are struggling to understand pescatarianism as an idea, my perspective is that flexitarianism, pescatarianism, vegetarianism, and flexiveganism are all compromise diets that get some but not all environmental and ethical benefits of veganism. Different people have different levels of commitment and make different tradeoffs in their life choices. Whether that's "the only meat I eat is fish" or "I eat fish but not meat" is just a matter of definitions.
In terms of the English word "meat", there is certainly some ambiguity. At least as I know the term, it feels like a stretch (but maybe technically correct) to count fish as meat. I've had people suggest sushi when I say that I'm vegetarian, unaware that vegetarians don't eat fish. If you google for the Food Pyramid, most diagrams call out meat and fish as different things. "Vegetarian" almost always doesn't allow fish, but "meat" just isn't a very precise word.
Also, scott_s's original comment didn't say that fish isn't meat, or even imply that. In English the word "meat" didn't traditionally include fish, and that usage is more than enough to cover what he probably meant. Taking the strongest plausible interpretation, as the guidelines request, makes the question unnecessary.
"Meat", like many words, has multiple senses. One of them is the flesh of any animal. Another is the flesh of a mammal, which would exclude fish (and probably poultry).
The second definition isn't used as often, but you will find it many dictionaries, and some people do use the word in that way and treat meat / poultry / fish as disjoint sets. For example, the classic book "Joy of Cooking" has chapters titled "Shellfish", "Fish", "Poultry and Wildfowl", "Meat" (pork, beef, lamb), and "Game". (Actually, I guess "Joy of Cooking" is being even more specific and taking "meat" to mean domesticated mammal flesh, because there are some mammals in the "Game" chapter.)
The vocabulary of cooking is full of these sort of things (legumes/vegetables/fruits/...is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? is a potato a vegetable?)
Does it have to be an all or nothing experience?
That does not mean that we stop driving. We drive less.
Not eating cute critters is fundamentally ethical.
If you're considering people who do eat meat, and want something that is close-enough to meat as a substitute, then yes, I am not a good judge of that. But if you're considering people who do not eat meat, and want something that's as close as they can get of things that are not meat, then I think I am an expert since over the past 18 years I have had many different varieties of that thing.
Within a decade this might just be normalized, and nobody will make much of it.
Right now, I'm seeing Beyond and Impossible substitutes at burger restaurants, and it always comes with a couple of dollars surcharge, because it is more expensive. Imagine the day when the meat patty comes with a surcharge, because the substitute is cheaper!
I am always soapboxing about this, but the only way we can meaningfully address environmental or ethical concerns, is by doing it through the economy. The "best" choice has to also be the cheapest choice, because then people will as if by magic choose that most of the time, unlike when you only have people's conscience to motivate them, then the wallet still rules most of the time.
In WWII Britain came closest to having to surrender due to food shortages. It didn't have then (and doesn't have now) enough food production to feed everybody, it relies on imports, and during a war that gets tricky. It got down to, I think, one week's rations on hand. If the U-boats had been just a little bit luckier for just another couple of weeks the British government anticipated uncontrollably levels of public disorder and then one way or another surrender.
Culture varies, and it seems unlikely that the British "stiff upper lip" would have carried on through starvation rations as the Japanese did. Certainly the government of the day is recorded as having expected to be overthrown once the reality of starvation was felt by the common people, unless the next shipments of food arrived (which they did).
97% of soy meal (itself 80% of the soybean mass) produced in the US is used to feed animals for meat, not for making soy-based meat substitutes:
I think we agree on this.
> If the production of meat substitutes from soy could be made more efficient than the production of meat from soy
It already is far cheaper from an energy-input (hence cost) and carbon-footprint perspective.
That's why big chains like Burger King are moving to offer something in the space, not out of some ethical obligation about climate change or animal welfare.
The difference is that Impossible and its competitors are making a product competitive with real meat, with nearly the same flavor and texture properties. That's the game changer as it opens a huge market that eschew traditional veggie burgers.
So from an efficiency perspective we wouldn't want to entirely eliminate meat production, just drastically curtail it. But from an animal suffering perspective and a "methane is bad" perspective maybe we do want to eliminate it.
Say it takes 50 cents' worth of soy and 50 cents' worth of other expenses to produce $1 worth of beef, and it takes 90 cents' worth of soy and 10 cents' worth of other expenses to produce $1 worth of meat substitute. If the effective price of soy falls by 10% due to subsidies (and other costs remain the same), the cost of beef will fall by 5%, while the cost of meat substitute will fall by 9%.
Once R&D costs of the meat substitute are accounted for, the marginal cost of production is lower. So at the same or slightly lower retail price than meat, an equivalent substitute's profit margin will be huge compared to meat. That's what these firms are after.
And in the long run, industrial scale meat production will take a big hit.
The number one reason for deforestation in the Amazon is to provide space and resources to farm cattle for beef. My point is, switching to a non animal based burger has larger implications that the overall health of the people eating the burger.
This is a wonderful goal, but I highly doubt this will happen in my lifetime.
Well, that or by abolishing capitalism. Which we'll have to do anyway, given that "there's no competitive advantage in not wrecking the planet."
But yeah if we can get everyone to switch to Impossible burgers that could definitely buy us some time. :)
You should try reading The Conquest of Bread.
If it means something else to you, I'm sorry about that.
(Feel free to replace capitalism with free enterprise if you don't like the term "capital".)
Your comment is obviously propaganda, so I doubt this will help, but I strongly recommend reading some anarchist literature before making claims like that. The Conquest of Bread is a good starting point, but a bit outdated at this point.
None of this has anything to do with socialism or social programs or anything like that.
I've read plenty of anarchist literature, and studied economics extensively. I would, ironically, label myself something of an anarchist as well.
You've called my individual thoughts, constructed by myself alone, after careful and considerable study, propaganda. You're confusing my tautological deduction for ideology. That's fine, but golly does it make me sad. You're seeing what you want to see, my friend.
Edit: Also, none of this even makes a value judgement about the worthiness of abolishing capitalism or infringing on personal freedoms. Perhaps it's a worthwhile calculation? That's not an opinion I'm bringing up - but the word "capitalism" has a simple meaning: trade and property. Abolishing the ability of humans to own things or do certain categories of things _is exactly the definition of limiting freedom_. Socialist philosophers are not unaware of this and their entire philosophy is built upon the calculation of limited personal freedoms to enable potentially greater net happiness. This is not a controversial opinion, is my point.
Who's boots? What are you talking about? I didn't make a single value judgement in favor of one system or the other!
> abolishing capitalism in favour of socialism
> There are even variants of socialism that embrace markets and competition, and almost all allow ownership of _personal_ means of production...
Socialism and capitalism are not opposite ends of a yardstick. I am _not talking about socialism_. Limiting the ability to own property or trade _is the same thing_ as limiting freedom. One has literally limited the abilities of another. These are not opinions, but rather _pure deduction lead to a non-controversial point_. You can keep insulting me or you can engage. Have a good day!
> I didn't make a single value judgement in favor of one system or the other!
You asserted that the abolition of capitalism would result in depravation of freedom.
That is a value judgement.
It is also not true. It is a rephrasing of a line that anti-socialsts have been using for over 100 years. Therefore, propaganda.
I don't care that you're trying to hide the structural violence of capitalism under a veil of civility.
The fact that capital ownership in a cooperation does not expose an individual to legal liability for every action of that corporation is what let’s you have capital markets. A banker may loan a car dealership money with minimal concern beyond the risk of that money.
Without that protection the engine of capitalism breaks down even with private property rights. But, even simply applying strict liability to management would cause significant breakdowns. Picture the CEO of Five Guys going to prison if even a single person got food poisoning via negligence. Are they going to try to expand past a single burger joint?
PS: In practice this seems to work well. But, the ability to have legally enforceable contracts etc goes beyond simple trade. After all people would buy and sell used goods in socialist countries, but such trade did not make them capitalist countries.
Most people that are vegan or vegetarian choose that, because the ethics part of eating meat is the most important factor for them, with price and taste and nutrition trailing that.
And then a lot of those people make the assumption that everyone who isn't vegan absolutely doesn't care about the ethics of it. But that is simply not true. A lot of people, myself included, care about the ethics, it's just that we care more about taste and cost and nutrition. I love eating a good burger, or a good steak. I'm sorry a cow had to die, but I'm not sorry enough to stop doing it.
But give me an alternative that is just as good, but where cows don't have to die, and I'll switch in a heartbeat.
Imagine the following scenario: I have a choice between two burgers. They both taste the same and cost the same, but the first one requires a cow to die, and the second one doesn't.
If I don't care about ethics, then I would choose randomly between the two, because that's not a deciding factor.
But if I consistently choose the second one, then I obviously care about ethics, it is a deciding factor for me. It's just not the most important deciding factor, but it's still there. Why does it have to be binary? Why does it have to be all-or-nothing for you?
I obviously might not care as much as you do about it, but you claiming that I don't care about it at all is incredibly offensive.
There are actors in the cultural discourse that are already trying to make large scale meat consumption a cultural authenticity issue, especially if you read some of the nativist criticism of the Green New Deal 
I don't think that line of manipulation will go away, as it always will have some cultural currency with a subset of the population, but eventually the economics of the meat substitutes will win out, and "real meat" will become more of a special occasion thing, like truffles.
If we're talking about the global population I'd say it's more than a small subset and it's not a cultural "statement", it's just culture.
People in Mexico aren't going to eat fake lengua or carnitas. Doro wat with fake chicken? Anything grilled or bbq'd. Sashimi, sushi...
People have been eating some of this stuff for hundreds if not thousands of years. I think it's a very Americentric view to suggest that people are going to stop eating their traditional foods in favor of fake meat.
This might be the case to some degree in Western first world countries but even there, I don't see people in the mid-west giving up real steak anytime soon.
It's not an all-or-nothing market. There will always be a demand for those things. But in the end what is used for what will be dictated by the economics, as cuisine always has been, even in traditional culture. Eating things like lengua, or tripe and other off-cuts of meat were largely about not wasting meat when resources were scarce, not about identity politics.
Take chorizo ... turns out Mexico already has a vegetarian version of this most culturally sacred of foods:
I was offered it with eggs ("huevos con soyrizo") at a breakfast restaurant in Baja ... 17 years ago.
There are plenty of dishes that use ground meat or meat that has been spiced or stewed to the point that the taste difference with regular meat is marginal.
> This might be the case to some degree in Western first world countries but even there, I don't see people in the mid-west giving up real steak anytime soon.
They don't have to. Real meat from slaughtered animals isn't going away, but it's use cases will be more limited to steaks, etc, which aren't "everyday" foods anyways.
And a good amount of Mexico's population is urban and first world, just like their counterparts in other countries. From what I can tell, urban Mexico has as liberal a palate as any other urban part of the world, be that NYC or London.
But also, if it's cheaper? People will eat it for sure regardless of the culture.
Side note: a lot of those things that are "hundreds if not thousands of years" are actually a lot more recent if you look at them. It's pretty common for cultures to reuse the name of some old dish for a new one that becomes more common, and is similar in some way - not even necessarily in terms of how it tastes, but e.g. in its purpose. In other cases, you can trace a direct connection to some much older recipe, but new additions have mutated it beyond all recognition. Just look at what the introduction of potato did to traditional recipes in Europe.
Soy and legumes are pretty common allergens for people, and the effects mild enough early in life that some may not realize it's actually legumes (mostly soy) that is the problem. I got used to the side effects and was only at 42 when it started to get bad enough that I found out via elimination diet.
As to margerine, it is emphatically NOT better for you than real butter or lard/tallow. Seed oils are probably third in line behind sugar and grains as the biggest causes of human dysfunction.
The link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is much weaker than previously hypothesized, that's true, but there's ample evidence of the superiority of a vegetable rich diet.
The medical and scientific consensus is still that diets high in saturated fats - especially animal fats - as well as trans fats increase your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. Other lifestyle risk factors are obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and diabetes.
Not many people can afford the grocery bill of an all dairy/beef diet. Everybody I've ever met who does keto consumes more vegetable fiber than the average american many times over, because without grain as a filler and a wallet deep enough to gorge yourself on beef and cheese all day long, fibrous vegetables are the obvious solution.
There has never been any reliable study or controlled experiment indicating that dietary cholesterol or saturated fat are the causes of anything negative. Sugar and refined grains have a MUCH higher correlation (higher than even early smoking studies). High fructose intake in particular has been a leading issue.
Is saturated fat bad for you? A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.
A handful of recent reports have muddied the link between saturated fat and heart disease. One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease.
Two other major studies narrowed the prescription slightly, concluding that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils or high-fiber carbohydrates is the best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, but replacing saturated fat with highly processed carbohydrates could do the opposite.
Why would refined oils from sources that wouldn't have been available to man for 99.9% of human and pre-human existence be recommended at all? This article does nothing but repeat most of the same tropes as espoused for the past half century with no real supporting data behind it.
> A causal relation between total and LDL cholesterol in blood and CAD has long been accepted. However, despite the strength of the relation between circulating concentrations of LDL cholesterol and heart disease, one should not assume that the relation between saturated fatty acid intake and heart disease is equally strong.
> Considerable evidence indicates that dietary saturated fats support the enhancement of HDL metabolism. In a study of the effects of reduced dietary intakes of total and saturated fat on HDL subpopulations in a group of multiracial, young and elderly men and women, subjects consumed each of the following 3 diets for 8 wk: an average American diet (34.3% of energy from total fat and 15.0% of energy from saturated fat), the American Heart Association Step I diet (28.6% of energy from total fat and 9.0% of energy from saturated fat), and a diet low in saturated fat (25.3% of energy from total fat and 6.1% of energy from saturated fat) (25). HDL2-cholesterol concentrations decreased in a stepwise fashion after the reduction of total and saturated fat. A reduction in dietary total and saturated fat decreased both large (HDL2 and HDL2b) and small, dense HDL subpopulations, although the decreases in HDL2 and HDL2b were most pronounced. Serum triacylglycerol concentrations were negatively correlated with changes in HDL2 and HDL2b cholesterol.
> Those on a low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet who increase their percentage intake of dietary saturated fat may improve their overall lipid profile provided they focus on a high-quality diet and lower their intakes of both calories and refined carbohydrates. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01826591.
They weren't replaced with vegetables, they were replaced with sugar made from cheap overproduced corn, and hydrogenated oils. Neither of those is a vegetable.
We wouldn't have nearly the diabetes problems we have now if they were replaced by more fresh vegetables.
For the most part vegetable intake is fine. Though excess fruit consumption year round, and in particular juice is pretty much inline with straight sugar. Your pancreas and liver don't care that it's "natural sugar" a term which irks me to no end.
Ground beef is particularly bad for gout, so I would order this in a second given a choice.
I remember when they first introduced a veggie burger, I wasn't sure the demand would be there, but it seems to have worked out.
So it remains to be seen if they'll keep the Morningstar version too.
I've never had a real Whopper, so I can't be comparing the two.
It's pretty clear that it's not beef if you're looking for it, but not nearly as distinct as your standard veggie burgers. Most vegans, though, aren't especially craving meat simulacra. I think of them more as transitional for meat eaters rather than as targeting vegans.
Just recently, I ordered an Impossible Burger, and it just left me wanting beef. It's not that it was bad - the burger looked similar to beef, and was juicy and delicious. But it didnt taste like beef. Maybe it's different for others, but for me, the beef is the spotlight of a burger. Beyond and Impossible haven't gotten that beefy taste - at least to my buds.
When I cook a Beyond Meat burger at home, I usually add a little butter - I dont think there is enough fat, and I also add some Takii umami powder (which I believe is just salt, and ground up mushrooms). I think those additions help the illusion of beef. You could probably also cook the burger in rendered beef fat, and that would probably really help the beef flavor...probably defeating the point of meat alternatives though.
I wish I could cook an Impossible at home, just to experiment.
That said, those of us that DO miss some level of meat simulacra (great phrase!) will appreciate this. I lost the taste for actual red meat over 20 years ago, but the texture is still something that has few parallels. Between the hardcore beef aficionados wanting nothing to do with "fake meat" and the hardcore vegetarians/vegans happy to consume veggies I find bland or noxious (As a vegetarian that strongly dislikes bell peppers, I can say the struggle is real) I've had limited options no matter where I turn.
Both Impossible and Beyond burgers have been teasing me for years, but have offered nothing for home. This doesn't get us there, but the more fast food places that carry them, the closer it becomes to being a part of normal.
It does a remarkably good job of giving the texture of a mediocre burger. Not a great burger by any means, but it might fill a niche that you don't get from the Morningstar-type burgers.
I hope you are able to find some soon. Home cooking definitely delivers a better experience than Carl's (at least at my house).
this was my judgement of the beyond burger too. it's basically indistinguishable from a bad hamburger. it's certainly not a good hamburger, but it could pass as meat the same way most fast food burgers pass as meat.
We've noticed an interesting phenomenon among kids in vegetarian families: Preschoolers who will literally fight each other over things that their peers typically avoid like the plague, like broccoli or tofu, but, if you give them a meal with some sort of realistic fake meat in it, they will diligently pick around it.
It's very, very delicious, but its not trying to taste like meat.
Looks slightly healthier than an Impossible burger, but not as good as other "veggie burgers".
I did not know that! Thanks, that's good to know.
Another big difference is the Impossible Burger is vegan and the MorningStar burger is not (IIRC).
When you are targeting specific macros for athletic reasons, a pure protein source is pretty much a requirement. During aggressive cuts, you require a tremendous amount of protein to prevent muscle wasting. For endurance athletes, low carb diets can be useful for increasing lactate threshold. There are also low carb requirements for diabetes and epilepsy.
At least they are forced to display nutrition info, so I know what I’m getting, unlike most sit-down restaurants that serve even larger portions with no numbers included.
Uh... http://cfa.org ?
They're probably unwilling to dedicate the kitchen space for a vegetarian grill, so the microwave is the obvious choice. Microwaves won't cross-contaminate like a greasy grill will, and are already in the kitchen so the financial risk is minimized.
Also, many fastfood places do have dedicated grills for vegan/vegetarian burgers, like for example McDonalds in the UK.
Massively wrong. Most are easy going regarding using the same cutlery, pots, pan, etc (only ones I've met who aren't happen to be Indian mums or super strict vegans).
However... cooking up on the same griddle? Yeah, that's something most veggies and vegans I know who be very unhappy about.
It’s interesting to note that A&W Canada is entirely separate from A&W in the US. A&W Canada is much higher quality.
Also ate meat for decades, so I also am very familiar with it.
They are honestly delicious. We grilled them on a fry-pan. The flavor and texture are almost perfectly there. It's just a bit spongy, and the depth of the umami/savory flavor isn't quite as deep. But if I hadn't known they weren't meat, I'd have been fooled. Throw a few of them on a grill or beer-boil them, put some mustard down over top, little kraut, I'd never know they weren't meat.
If the burger patties are anywhere near as good as the brats, then I think they'll sell a billion of them. For hearth-health and calorie density alone, I'd order them nearly every time.
Living in the future has a few perks!
But I am keto. So I am not eating it with a bun and tons of sugary sauces to cover up the meat flavor. You can really tell the quality of a burger (meat or not) when you eat it wrapped in lettuce.
Nevertheless, for the sake of the environment and industrially farmed animals, it's good to see meat substitutes progressing into the mainstream.
I also think the environmental cost of plant farming is vastly underrated.
In addition, grazing animals require no such feed. Grass fed beef is a thing, and it's price is on par or even quite a bit cheaper than fake meat.
Not all land used for grazing can be used to grow plants, true, but in the cases it can be, you're using that land at a 10% kcal efficiency, so to speak.
You might ask, can we just process the grass into something humans can eat? Well, that's what cattle are for.
Livestock are a central part of traditional agriculture and they're more or less essential for people who want to operate small-scale sustainable farms. It's a complicated issue that too many people enter with ideological presuppositions. Which is not to say current agricultural practices are necessarily perfect.
And many grasslands that cannot be sustainably be used for crops could be returned to wilderness rather than plant agriculture, if we were to increase caloric efficiency of food production. They probably should be, in fact. This doesn't preclude some animals being raised, but if we don't greatly reduce the amount of land used for raising animals, deforestation, desertification and other harms will continue to degrade ecosystems.
Whatever your feelings on this particular product, it seems that the perhaps-inevitable decline of the traditional meat industry is going to take place on many fronts (clean meats, plant hemes, alternative proteins, locavore provider networks, increased availability of traditional vegetarian cuisines).
(And don't get me wrong, I'm a white castle fan. I also would not be shocked if I can't tell the difference between beyond and beef in a white castle. I definitely can in a full size burger).
Competition and innovation can be found wherever margins are thin.
I work for agriculture companies, and a lot of animal feed comes from by-products of other agricultural products. For example, beet pulp pellets, raffinate, betaine, molasses are all by products of sugar production and are used for animal feed extensively. They are cheap and very shelf stable.
I'm using the article 'Beef Cattle and Greenhouse Gas Production' from Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
According Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN 2006 report livestock were responsible for 18% of all human-related greenhouse gas production. 14.5% according to 2013 report.
Of that 43% is Enteric.
There may only be 9% GHG emissions in the US, but beef also comes from other countries where these emissions are very different. See Regional and Production System differences.
From the article -- There was an approximately 4-fold difference in emission intensity between the top 10% of producers and the bottom 10% of producers within a system.
If the U.S. were to tax agriculture production of beef, I'm assuming that would be for U.S. farmers so the relevant statistic is emissions in the U.S.
If you include the emissions from manure management you end with 45% of all emissions emanating from livestock production.
Also, that manure management is part of fertilization of plants if I am not mistaken.
Are you only talking about directly? Because there is a huge amount of indirect costs, such as feed, transport, manufacturing.
In addition, for feeding often this comes from by-products of plant production (sugar by-products, etc...). The only reason corn is so popular imo is because it is so heavily subsidized by our government making it dirt cheap. But grass fed beef is a thing and it's on par or even quite a bit cheaper price wise than fake meat.
Do you mind sharing the name of the company you're referring to? I'm always looking to try new options and support companies in the space.