For many meat lovers, the thought of giving up that juicy steak is daunting. Unfortunately, with its high carbon emission production rate, meat consumption is a leading cause of climate change. If more people transitioned to plant-based diets, or even reduced meat intake to some small degree, the effects of climate change would decrease exponentially.
The fact is, transitioning to a vegan, vegetarian, or reduced-meat diet is really, really challenging. And for those who love meat, the transition seems near impossible.
But what if carnivores could have their meat and eat it too?
The Beyond Burger is the answer. The Beyond Burger is a plant-based patty that provides 20 grams of plant protein per serving. That means it packs even more protein than a traditional meat patty. In fact, when you compare the Beyond Burger to a traditional meat patty, this plant-based powerhouse wins on all counts. It’s even completely free of antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified organisms, soy, and gluten.
So what is this burger actually made of, if not meat? Peas are the primary protein source and beet juice is used for color. There are a few other ingredients too, like sunflower oil, food starch, and citrus fruit extract. The exhaustive list of ingredients and nutrition information can be found here.
I first learned about this new burger brand after Leonardo DiCaprio publicly announced his endorsement and investment in Beyond Meat on Twitter. As one of my biggest environmental role models, I knew I had to give it a try.
During my lunch break, I took a short walk to Terri, a small, vegan health food chain that just began selling the Beyond Burger. When I opened the packaging, I noticed that it looked exactly like any other burger. Color, size, toppings, you name it, everything seemed to be identical. After the very first bite, I realized what all the hype was about. I actually had to continuously remind myself that I was eating a serving of vegetables and not cow. It was that similar. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few subtle differences, like a slightly softer consistency (though, that could be due to preparation) and a beet-flavored aftertaste. (Though I wouldn’t consider those to be cons, just differences.)
The only true con was its $12 price tag. But like I said, I went to a small, all-vegan health food chain in the financial district. There isn’t much in that area of NYC that I would consider affordable, but there are other, more reasonable options available. The Beyond Burger tagline reads, “The world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies so much like beef it’s in the meat section of grocery stores.” That’s right, Beyond Meat patties are also available in a variety of grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Shaw’s, to name a few. That means you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg at your local, high-priced cafes and corner stores. See the full distribution list here.
Giving up meat at any capacity isn’t easy. It requires commitment and determination. But in a world where we’re all constantly threatened by climate change and its destructive impact, considering a new option certainly isn’t the worst idea. (Besides, who couldn’t use a few extra servings of veggies?)
It’s never too late to make a change and do something positive for the planet, animals, and people.