Unspoken: The other white meat

Plant-based burgers are actually pretty good.

Demi Lawrence is a junior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Demi at dnlawrence@bsu.edu.

We’ve probably all heard it by now: plant-based protein is more eco-friendly than animal-based protein. According to World Resource Institute, beef, lamb and goat proteins emit much larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based proteins such as wheat, corn and soy, and are comparatively more expensive per gram of protein.

On top of that, animal agriculture is the No. 1 cause of deforestation — much like what is happening to the lungs of the earth in Brazil — as well as water and air pollution. Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends consuming plant-based protein when at all possible and to limit the consumption of red meat due to its impact on our Earth and health.

Getting your protein from animals is just so 2000s nowadays, and Burger King is keeping up with this trend. On August 8, the fast food chain announced it would start serving a meatless, plant-based patty called the Impossible Whopper for a limited time at more than 7,000 locations across America.

I decided to try this new plant-based patty out. Generally, it wasn’t too bad. The consistency was slightly different, with a pulled pork-like texture and the taste wasn’t much different than the Original Whopper, which I tried for a “control” variable before I bit into the Impossible Whopper.

What I found interesting, though, was the nutritional facts. You’d think because it's plant-based, it’d be healthier, or at least that’s what I thought. I thought wrong, as the Original Whopper has only 30 more calories than the Impossible. The Impossible also has nine more grams of carbs than the Original, and 100 more grams of sodium.

So, no, eating the Impossible Whopper won’t necessarily slim your figure. And it is not necessarily vegan if you don’t ask for it to be broiled separate from the beef patties or ask for it without cheese and mayonnaise.

We learned a lot today, kids. But most importantly, we learned that this plant-based Impossible Whopper ain’t too bad.

Would I eat this every day? Probably not. Would the average American? Slim chance. But it is an amazing step toward a more eco-friendly society, and I am glad that plant-based proteins are becoming mainstream and more prominent. 

You don’t need to become a vegan or vegetarian cold turkey to save yourself and the planet. “Meatless Mondays” or cooking one vegan meal a week is a great first step. A war cannot be won without the little, single battles. Challenge yourself to be mindful of what you consume, but don’t beat yourself up if you chow down a meat option once in a while. 

We are only human, and sometimes we just crave a good beef burger.

Just maybe next time you are craving one, go for the Impossible Whopper instead. The taste is nearly the same, and it won’t clog your arteries or burn down a rainforest.


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