What is the Impossible Burger?
Constantly evolving, the food industry sees the growing trend of plant-based foods as healthy and sustainable substitutes for the traditional meals we eat every day. One of which – that’s been recently available in different food chains across the globe – is the plant-based meat that best replicates our average meat burger known as the “Impossible Burger”.
This phenomenal burger created a huge buzz among vegans, vegetarians, and even fast food joint regulars as it cooks, looks, and tastes exactly like real beef.
Not only is it sold to cater to people who are into a healthy living but made to solve environmental issues involving the cruelty of animal farming as well. And it’s all thanks to the genius minds of Patrick Brown and his team for bringing this gem into play!
If you’re someone who’s getting started with the vegan lifestyle, you might be smiling ear to ear about this news. However, no matter how delicious, you also need to be aware of the ingredients and the nutritional impact that Impossible Burger brings compared to the traditional one.
What exactly is Impossible Burger?
Impossible Burger is a plant-based patty derived from plant proteins, fats, binders, and flavors. It combines soy and potato protein to make it gluten-free and coconut and sunflower oil to let it sizzle on the grilling pan and get that crunchy texture. To hold these ingredients together, a fiber-rich binder called methylcellulose is also added.
Now, for the most interesting (and surprising) part, the flavor has to be mimicked for it to taste like the real thing. The magic ingredient? It’s heme.
How is the Impossible Burger made?
Found in living organisms, this secret iron-carrying compound is what sets Impossible Burger apart from other veggie burgers as it also makes plant-based burger meat “bleed” like a real beef when cut.
Animals have this thing in their bodies. But since the goal is to reduce the environmental footprint in the meat industry, the heme in Impossible Burger is sourced from the roots of soy plants in the form of the molecule called leghemoglobin. Food scientists, then, inject this DNA into a genetically-engineered yeast and ferment it to produce soy heme.
How is the Impossible Burger different from beef?
Many people, particularly vegans and vegetarians, would say that Impossible Burger is a healthy food choice for anyone who’s following a plant-based diet. Although it’s vegan, there are differences you should take consider in terms of its nutrients.
Check out this side-by-side comparison between a 113-gram serving of the Impossible Burger and an equal serving of a 90 percent lean beef burger.
|The Impossible Burger||Beef Burger|
|Total Fat||14 grams||13 grams|
|Carbohydrates||9 grams||0 grams|
|Protein||19 grams||29 grams|
|Fiber||3 grams||0 grams|
|Added Sugars||Less than 1 gram||0 grams|
|Sodium||16% of the Daily Value (DV)||1% of the DV|
|Vitamin B12||130% of the DV||48% of the DV|
|Folate||30% of the DV||4% of the DV|
|Thiamine||2350% of the DV||4% of the DV|
|Riboflavin||30% of the DV||12% of the DV|
|Niacin||35% of the DV||32% of the DV|
|Zinc||50% of the DV||48% of the DV|
|Iron||25% of the DV||16% of the DV|
While Impossible Burgers seal the deal in providing plant-based ingredients in your tummy, they’re not quite competitive as the beef burger in terms of protein supply. They’re also nothing compared to beef-based patties as they share an equal amount of calories and contain high saturated fat, carbs, and sodium content, which may not be optimal for one’s health.
Despite the downsides, Impossible Burgers take pride in their vitamins and minerals that other vegan and vegetarian diets mostly lack, such as iron and vitamin B12.
Studies are still ongoing about – whether or not – heme iron would have a beneficial effect on our health in the long run. But what we can take in from this is that Impossible Burgers should be enjoyed in moderation, especially for on-the-go vegans and vegetarians looking for convenient meal options.
On the other hand, if you’re into food preps or in need of a more nutritious plant-based burger, you can always opt to use whole food ingredients at home such as beans, legumes, grains, and nuts. Some may not meet your burger-like expectations, so feel free to throw in herbs and spices in the mix! Alternatively, you can take iron supplements after indulging in these meals.
Snatch a glimpse of PlantX’s other healthy and vegan recipes here!