So, you think by buying a Beyond Meat Burger, you’re doing yourself and the environment a favor? Think twice. I took a look at the ingredients and here’s my honest review!
You may have heard about that new Beyond Meat Burger.
This new plant-based burger that tastes and even bleeds like a real burger. If that isn’t enough to weird you out, I don’t know what is.
Weird as it seems to me, I’m much more concerned with the actual ingredients of this beyond meat burger. Especially when the product touts itself as not just healthy, but sustainable.
Is Beyond Meat actually healthy? Is it actually sustainable?
After taking a look at the ingredients, the answer ishell no. Not even close.
The original Beyond Meat burger:
The Beast Burger:
There are many ingredients in these products that are both unhealthy and unsustainable.
Soy Protein Isolate
Processed soy is particularly bad. Whereas fermented, organic soy in small amounts (like natto) does not pose serious health risks, eating soy protein isolate will definitely take its toll on the body.
Some effects of soy include decreased libido, mood swings, depression, and several others.
This study from Harvard found that men consuming the equivalent of one cup of soy milk per day had 50% lower sperm count than men who did not consume soy. That includes even counting other factors like age, caffeine and alcohol intake, etc.
Just wait. There’s more.
This study found that,
“…this pilot study indicates that prolonged consumption of soy protein isolate has a stimulatory effect on the premenopausal female breast, characterized by increased secretion of breast fluid, the appearance of hyperplastic epithelial cells, and elevated levels of plasma estradiol. These findings are suggestive of an estrogenic stimulus from the isoflavones genistein and daidzein contained in soy protein isolate.“
Soy is high in phytic acid, also known as phytates. These phytates prevent the absorption of minerals like iron and calcium (among others). This can be particularly harmful, especially for children.
Additionally, soy is high in phytoestrogen (source). This can block normal estrogen, wich leads not just to hormonal imbalance, but even breast cancer.
Note: this is why my periods were so heavy, painful and irregular when I was a vegetarian as a teen.
The processing that soy protein isolate undergoes is also a huge cause for concern.
Dr. Mercola describes the process,
“Soy protein isolate is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fiber, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution.
Acid washing in aluminum tanks leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. The resultant curds are spray- dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder.”
Watch this video:
To sum up the video:
The rapeseeds are firsthighly pressurized, forcing out the oil. To extract the last of the oil, the canola cakes undergo a 70-minute wash with a “chemical solvent.” This chemical solvent, my friends, is hexane. A neurotoxin.
Then the oil enters the refining phase, in which the oil is washed with sodium hydroxide, a.k.a. lye. After this, the oil is clearer but still contains waxes.
In addition, the oil is cooled to 41 degrees to filter out the wax. After this, the oil is bleached to remove the color. Then comes “a steam injection heating process to remove the odor.”
One tablespoon of canola oil contains 2,610 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 1,279 mg omega-3 fatty acids. That’s a lot of omega-6, which causes inflammation.
While it’s true that our bodies need omega-6, it’s in everything.
Fans of canola oil love to tout the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, but it’s still a lot of omega-6. Plus, the omega-3 found in canola oil isn’t even beneficial (as opposed to omega-3s found in foods like fish).
The omega-3s found in canola oil are ALA, alpha lipoic acid. ALA does not convert well to EPA or DHA, which are the beneficial omega-3s that protect the brain, heart, and heart health.
So promoting the omega-3 content in canola oil is redundant – the omega-3s in canola oil do not contain the beneficial EPA and DHA.
Don’t confuse this with actual caramel (made of cream and sugar). This substance contains ammonia and sulfites.
You can find caramel color in soft drinks like Coke or Pepsi. Johns Hopkins did a study on the caramel color found in these drinks and determined that it is indeed a carcinogen.
“Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes,” says Keeve Nachman, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at the CLF and an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.” Source
Yeast Extract aka Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG hides under many names and yeast extract is one of them. MSG is an excitotoxin, i.e. it overstimulates the nervous system.
From The University of Toyama in Japan,
“We previously reported that injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in ICR mice leads to the development of significant inflammation, central obesity, and type 2 diabetes. To directly address the long-term consequences of MSG on inflammation, we have performed serial analysis of MSG-injected mice and focused in particular on liver pathology.
By 6 and 12 months of age, all MSG-treated mice developed NAFLD and NASH-like histology, respectively. In particular, the murine steatohepatitis at 12 months was virtually indistinguishable from human NASH. Further, dysplastic nodular lesions were detected in some cases within the fibrotic liver parenchyma.
We submit that MSG treatment of mice induces obesity and diabetes with steatosis and steatohepatitis resembling human NAFLD and NASH with pre-neoplastic lesions. These results take on considerable significance in light of the widespread use of dietary MSG and we suggest that MSG should have its safety profile re-examined and be potentially withdrawn from the food chain.” Source
This study linked MSG with headaches and increased blood pressure.
Carrageenan is a harmful additive that all but says it’s going to f*ck you up. From The College of Medicine at University of Iowa,
“Although the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1982 identified sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of degraded carrageenan in animals to regard it as posing a carcinogenic risk to humans, carrageenan is still used widely as a thickener, stabilizer, and texturizer in a variety of processed foods prevalent in the Western diet…
Review of these data demonstrated that exposure to undegraded as well as to degraded carrageenan was associated with the occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and neoplasms
…Because of the acknowledged carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan in animal models and the cancer-promoting effects of undegraded carrageenan in experimental models, the widespread use of carrageenan in the Western diet should be reconsidered.”
“This is the first report of the impact of carrageenan on glucose tolerance and indicates that carrageenan impairs glucose tolerance, increases insulin resistance and inhibits insulin signaling in vivo in mouse liver and human HepG2 cells. These effects may result from carrageenan-induced inflammation. The results demonstrate extra-colonic manifestations of ingested carrageenan and suggest that carrageenan in the human diet may contribute to the development of diabetes.”
From yet another study,
“…carrageenan was supplied in the drinking fluid at 1.2 and 3% concentrations over two weeks to young adult guinea-pigs. Ulceration of the large bowel was produced in 100% of animals, the severity and extent of damage probably being dose-related.” Source
Yet another carcinogen.
French researchers performed a study in which they gave rats an oral dose of titanium dioxide for 100 days:
“Their results determined that chronic oral exposure led to a non-malignant stage of carcinogenesis, the process of normal cells becoming cancer cells, in 40 percent of exposed animals.” Source
In addition, other studies have linked inhalation of titanium dioxide to cancer. Why would someone inhale an ingredient in these plant-based burgers? It’s also in paint.
A word on sustainability.
How did we get to this point? To the point where people think that eating a “beyond meat burger” created in a lab, with of toxic ingredients – is sustainable?
You know what’s sustainable?
Supporting your local farmers. GRASS-FED MEAT IS SUSTAINABLE. There is a relationship between land and animals. They need each other to thrive. Animals feed the land. They nourish it.
When this happens, farmers can grow plenty of nutrient-rich produce.
Furthermore, this process literally builds topsoil, which is necessary for a healthy environment.
Supporting your local farmers ensures that your food isn’t traveling thousands of miles to reach you. Consider the gas, the emissions, the resources used for this Los Angeles based fake meat product to reach someone in Michigan, Louisianaor Washington, DC.
Soy and canola are two of America’s largest scale mono-crops. Farmers grow them on thousands of acres of land doused with pesticides. There are no animals.Soy is not sustainable.
To sum up this Beyond Meat Burger Review: Here is true sustainability:
Buy your food locally, from farmers. Buy food that is in season. Grow a garden in your backyard. Raise chickens. Buy meat and seafood grown responsibly.
Go to the farmers market. Join a buying club. Do not buy man-made food-like products like Beyond Meat. Cook from scratch.Know where your food comes from.
Thanks to Beyond Meat for letting me use their photos. Some paragraphs from studies have been separated to make them easier to read.
“Compared to a meat-based burger, Beyond and Impossible contain roughly the same amount of saturated fat and more sodium,” she says, both of which, when over-consumed, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.Is Beyond Meat considered healthy? ›
And on some level, it's true: subbing in just about anything for a serving of red meat tends to be a healthier choice for your arteries. The latest Beyond Burger has 35% less total fat than a beef burger, less cholesterol per serving and a comparable dose of protein. It also comes high in Vitamin B12 and zinc.Is Beyond Meat really processed? ›
Both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are made from processed ingredients. Thus, they contain fewer vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than burgers made from whole foods.Is Beyond Meat inflammatory? ›
The Beyond Meat burger has 18 ingredients, the Impossible Burger has 21. Both are highly processed and contain several additives and inflammatory oils.What is healthier impossible or beyond? ›
Beyond has significantly less saturated fat than both ground beef and Impossible Burger. That's the “bad” fat associated with heart disease and inflammation, according to the Centers for Disease Control, so less is more in this case.What is beyond meat actually made of? ›
We use a variety of non-GMO plant proteins including pea, brown rice, mung bean and faba bean, which team up to give you juicy and nutritious plant-based meat that's a good source of protein. For specific ingredients and nutrition information, please visit our product pages.Can you eat beyond meat every day? ›
Langer said plant-based burgers create more variety for those seeking meat alternatives; instead of relying on tofu and legumes, vegetarians and vegans can consume Beyond Meat as an occasional treat. “Would I eat it every day? No.Is Beyond Meat healthier than meat? ›
Plant-based meat alternatives have a lot going for them: They can help you reduce your meat intake, which may lower your risk for health problems, and they can lessen your carbon footprint. But, they're not exactly health foods because they are processed and still contain saturated fat and sodium.Why is Beyond Meat in trouble? ›
Sales of plant-based meat were essentially flat in 2021, and 2022 isn't looking any better. Beyond Meat is being hit particularly hard. The company's refrigerated pea-based products have fallen out of favor, and the expensive launch of Beyond Meat Jerky hasn't gone according to plan.Is Beyond Meat ultra processed? ›
Let's take a look. The ingredients are processed vegetable oils, MSG mimicking flavour additives, artificial colours and chemical thickeners and binders. In other words, it is difficult to say that Beyond is not an ultra-processed food. The ingredients used have been compared to those in dog food.
Plant-based meats can be a healthy part of a balanced diet if you enjoy them in the right way. Consuming plant-based meats in moderation along with fruits, veggies and other nutrient-dense foods can profoundly support your health.Why is beyond meat not vegan? ›
However, the Impossible Whopper is not advertised as vegan. Many plant-based "meat" options like Impossible and Beyond aren't vegan or vegetarian when served at chain restaurants, as they're often prepared on the same grill as meat items.Which veggie burger is the healthiest? ›
A black bean burger is the go-to choice for those looking for a high-protein veggie burger that isn't overly processed. These patties contain 150 calories, 5g protein, 7g fat, 16g carbohydrates, and 7g fiber each. The ingredients are simple with black and beans and quinoa making up the base of the burger.Does Beyond Meat have fake blood? ›
The ingredient is also referred to as genetically engineered “heme,” soy leghemoglobin. It is the color additive Impossible Foods uses to make its plant-based burger appear to “bleed” as if it were beef.Is Beyond Meat really meat? ›
Beyond Meat is a brand of plant-based, vegan meat alternatives that cook and taste like meat. It is made up of a combination of pea and brown rice proteins, fats such as coconut and canola, minerals including calcium and iron, along with natural flavorings and colors.Is Beyond Meat genetically modified? ›
Stressing its “non-GMO” ingredients, Beyond Meat makes hamburgers, ground beef, chicken and sausage from yellow peas, mustard seeds, camelina and yeast. The company's products have been available in US grocery stores since 2013.Is Beyond Burger a healthy choice? ›
The good news: Meatless burgers are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The protein content of these newer plant-based burgers has been created to compete with beef and poultry gram for gram.Is Beyond Meat healthy for diabetics? ›
Fake meat substitutes and processed carbs are still bad for people with diabetes.Is beyond chicken healthy? ›
Is Beyond Chicken healthy? Beyond Chicken Tenders are a great source of protein (14 g per serving) and have 40% less saturated fat than the leading foodservice chicken tender. Beyond Chicken Tenders also have no cholesterol, antibiotics or hormones.Does Bill Gates own Beyond Meat? ›
Bill Gates, a major investor in farmland, Beyond Meat, and even lab-created breast milk, says, "I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they're going to make it taste even better over time.”
Beyond Meat's majority of emissions comes from growing and production of the main ingredients: peas and brown rice. The main waste factor of Beyond Meat is in the packaging, which is made of polypropylene (Styrofoam), polyethylene film (plastic), and recycled cardboard.Does Beyond Meat have pesticides? ›
Pesticide levels in these burgers are incredibly low and undeniably safe.Is plant-based meat healthier than real meat? ›
As a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition, I tell patients that getting most of their protein from plants may lower the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and other chronic diseases.What are some dangers of eating a plant-based diet? ›
The two major risks associated with a plant-based diet are inadequate protein intake, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If plant-based diets do not include foods such as fish, poultry, or low fat dairy products, then it can be challenging (though not impossible) to obtain the right amount of protein.What are the negative effects of plant-based diet? ›
Going vegan side effects sometimes include anemia, disruptions in hormone production, vitamin B12 deficiencies, and depression from a lack of omega-3 fatty acids. That's why it's crucial to include plenty of proteins, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, iodine, zinc, and omega-3s in your diet.Can you eat plant-based meat everyday? ›
The answer is yes, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It found the imitation meats to be a good source of fiber, folate and iron while containing less saturated fat than ground beef. But the researchers said they also have less protein, zinc and vitamin B12 — and lots of salt.Why is beyond meat so high in fat? ›
To complicate matters, the saturated fats in the Beyond Burger come from coconut oil, which contains a mix of fats including some medium-chain triglycerides. The health consequences of this difference are uncertain. Another knock against Beyond Burgers is that they contain more sodium than their muse.Why did Dunkin stop beyond? ›
Meanwhile, Dunkin' essentially axed the Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich last year due to poor sales, according to CNBC.Is Beyond owned by Tyson? ›
Management has not been blind to the introduction of plant-based alternatives, and Tyson also held a 6.5% stake in Beyond Meat Inc.Why is Beyond Meat losing money? ›
The company cited inflation, rising interest rates and recession concerns for the revised outlook. The company's net sales also dropped 1.6% to $147 million and its net loss widened.
Is a plant-based diet healthy? Yes. A plant-based diet is considered to be nutrient-dense and packed with fiber, healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is a very healthy way of eating and can meet all of your nutrient needs.Is plant-based meat too processed? ›
Plant-based meats are also highly processed and filled with less healthy ingredients, such as refined coconut oil and modified food starch. Research from the National Institutes of Health suggests that processed foods cause people to consume an extra 500 calories a day and ultimately gain more weight.How safe are plant-based meat alternatives? ›
Plant-based meat alternatives are generally not associated with pathogenic disease concerns, but these products can still cause foodborne illness. They can become contaminated with pathogens via contact with contaminated sources of animal manure, water, or other foods.Is beyond meat healthy 2022? ›
Is Beyond Meat healthy? While far from being a “health food,” Beyond Meat products are good sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The Beyond Burger now contains B-12, for instance, an essential nutrient found in animal-based meats (and very few vegan foods).Are plant-based burgers highly processed? ›
Though the base of plant-based meats is a plant (usually soybeans, peas, and/or wheat), these ingredients have been highly processed. In most cases the main ingredients are stripped down to high-protein, low-fiber, colorless powders mixed with preservatives, oils, natural or artificial coloring, gums, and seasonings.Which is healthier Impossible Burger or veggie burger? ›
They are both high in protein and iron, as well as low in cholesterol. However, the Impossible burger edges out Beyond because it also contains essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12.Is beyond meat healthier than meat? ›
Plant-based meat alternatives have a lot going for them: They can help you reduce your meat intake, which may lower your risk for health problems, and they can lessen your carbon footprint. But, they're not exactly health foods because they are processed and still contain saturated fat and sodium.Is beyond meat healthier than real beef? ›
Beyond Meat is not healthier than beef when you compare them side by side. Beyond Meat has more calcium (100 mg vs. 18 mg) than beef. However, once we get beyond calcium into important vitamins and minerals to your health, Beyond Burger lacks all of these.Is beyond burger a healthy choice? ›
The good news: Meatless burgers are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The protein content of these newer plant-based burgers has been created to compete with beef and poultry gram for gram.Is beyond meat really meat? ›
Beyond Meat is a brand of plant-based, vegan meat alternatives that cook and taste like meat. It is made up of a combination of pea and brown rice proteins, fats such as coconut and canola, minerals including calcium and iron, along with natural flavorings and colors.
Stressing its “non-GMO” ingredients, Beyond Meat makes hamburgers, ground beef, chicken and sausage from yellow peas, mustard seeds, camelina and yeast. The company's products have been available in US grocery stores since 2013.Does beyond meat have pesticides? ›
Pesticide levels in these burgers are incredibly low and undeniably safe.Why is Beyond Meat not vegan? ›
However, the Impossible Whopper is not advertised as vegan. Many plant-based "meat" options like Impossible and Beyond aren't vegan or vegetarian when served at chain restaurants, as they're often prepared on the same grill as meat items.Can I eat beyond burger every day? ›
Langer said plant-based burgers create more variety for those seeking meat alternatives; instead of relying on tofu and legumes, vegetarians and vegans can consume Beyond Meat as an occasional treat. “Would I eat it every day? No.Which plant based burger is the healthiest? ›
A black bean burger is the go-to choice for those looking for a high-protein veggie burger that isn't overly processed. These patties contain 150 calories, 5g protein, 7g fat, 16g carbohydrates, and 7g fiber each. The ingredients are simple with black and beans and quinoa making up the base of the burger.