Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Think “100% beef” is superior to plant-based options because of the ingredients? It’s time to take a closer look at how that cow became your burger.
A Facebook friend recently posted the ingredients of Beyond, Impossible, and Beef burgers. The list for the plant-based patties were the same as I have below; you can see them on any food package or find them on the company websites.
The ingredients for the animal-based burger, however, were listed as “100% beef.”
I think that is quite misleading, to say the least.
We do not pick a burger off a tree, nor does it grow in the ground. It begins with a living being, a cow, that is kept in hideous and inhumane conditions for most of its life before being slaughtered. Until then, it’s fed all kinds of things to create the desired nutritional composition, that is, the mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates humans want in a burger; the properties you crave comes from chemistry alone, friend, whether the original sources were plants or animals. Cows are also given all kinds of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones to get them to your plate sooner, fat and juicy.
There are copious other issues with raising cattle for food, from unsafe working conditions of meatpackers to environmental degradation required to raise and feed beef. Oh, and climate change.
I created the below infographic to help bring some of these issues to light. Because if you believe your 100% beef burger is superior to plant-based due to the listed ingredients, I encourage you to think more critically about what you are eating, and why it matters.
Learn more about nutrition scientist and food personality Dr. P.K. Newby, and check out her newest book, which is 134 Q & A on all things food and nutrition, from farm to fork. You can also follow her on FB, where she is much more active than on this blog. Or, click here if you just want to ogle food porn featuring plant-based, globally-inspired cuisine.