04 May A Vegan Burger than can fool meat lovers? Say Hello to Beyond Meat©
You don’t have to be a vegetarian or a vegan to enjoy a veggie burger (or Chinese to enjoy Chinese Food for that matter). They’re something that’s good in their own right rather than a mere imitation. But what if there was a vegan product that could fool an omnivore? What if you could enjoy the taste of meat without the ethical dilemmas, or environmental impact?
Beyond Meat©, an LA based company, has been creating a buzz in the both the food world and the science community. At Cider Press Cafe, we’re proud to deliver their innovation on our plates. Let’s learn a little more about this future of food.
Fooling Some and All
“Like most people, I don’t think I can be easily fooled. But that’s just what happened when I was asked to taste a chicken taco and tell whether the meat inside was real or fake.”
The words above are from Bill Gates’ blog gatesnotes. However, he’s not the only one that has been fooled. In 2013, Whole Foods had to do a recall of their curried chicken salad in the Northeast.
The mistake was that they used Beyond Meat©’s chicken-like-protein by accident instead of real chicken. There wasn’t anything wrong with the protein. It was more of an FDA issue with properly labeling the food to keep people with various allergies from unknowingly ingesting it. According to Beyond Meat©’s founder Ethan Browne, no one really noticed the difference.
Along with Bill Gates, Google Ventures and Tyson Foods (the world’s largest chicken, pork, and beef processor) are just some of the major investors in Beyond Meat©. Although how something tastes can be a bit subjective, there’s a science behind how their products fool so many people.
Reverse Engineering Burgers
Meat itself, give or take, is pretty much just 5 things:
- Amino Acids – Building blocks of protein
- Lipids – Aka fats
- Trace Minerals – A minute amount of inorganic compounds (ex. Iron, zinc, etc.)
- Trace Carbohydrates – A small amount of biological molecules consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. A source of energy
- Dihydrogen Monoxide – Or just simply…water
Ethan Browne knew this, and he also knew that these things can be found in non-meat sources. Protein from peas and soy can be found in their products. This isn’t so far off from other vegetarian substitutes. However, what sets them aside is their proprietary system that uses pressure and temperature to wove plant proteins into the same structures as animal proteins.
The Bigger Picture
Products like Beyond Meat©’s Beast Burger are important for when thinking ahead. As the global population rises, so will the demand for meat. However, it’s no secret that the mass production livestock has negative environmental impacts. It’s estimated that about half of greenhouse gasses released in our atmosphere come from farm animals. With plant based proteins and other non-traditional alternatives we can get on track towards feeding our growing population in a sustainable (non-soylent green) way.
Stop by Cider Press Cafe at 601 Central Avenue and grab a bite of the future.
Our Beast Burger, Monster Bacon Beast Burger, and Beach Burger are made with Beyond Meat© patties and the Beyond Burger (currently only on special) featuring the “bleeding” appearance described above. All delicious!
See for yourself if you too could be fooled.