This Fast-Food Chain Is Trialling Faux-Meat Burgers In The U.S

This meat-free whopper alternative is great news for the environment.

faux burger
Image: Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Finally, fast-food giant Burger King is rolling out a meat-free option in 59 restaurants in St Louis, Missouri—and they’ve opted for the Impossible Burger. Launched by a Stanford biochemist in 2016, Impossible Burgers were created to give people a meat alternative that y’know, ACTUALLY tasted like meat—and the environmental impact that a move like this could have cannot be understated. Here’s what you need to know.

The Impossible Burger

Burger King Impossible Burger
Image: LA Times

When you think of meat-free burgers, we’re willing to bet that the image of something dry, crumbly and a little sad-looking springs to mind. The lack of realistic meat-free products has long been used as a reason to continue eating meat for many—until the Impossible Burger shook up the meat-free market.

The Impossible Burger was launched with the specific intention of providing people, and the mass consumer market, the option of a meat alternative that actually tasted like the real deal.

While Burger King is already ahead of the meat-free curve in the U.S, (it already offers veggie patties made by Kellogg Co.’s MorningStar Farms), Impossible Burgers are cut from a different cloth—using Impossible Foods’ novel “magic” ingredient, heme.

For those wanting to know the deets before opting for an Impossible Whopper over the regular Whopper they know and love—rest assured that the Impossible Whopper is flame-grilled like the regular one, and comes with the standard tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles and onion. What a win! 

Environmental impact

Whichever way you slice it, mass production of meat is having a devastating impact on the environment—and by now, we know that the single biggest way that someone can reduce their impact on the environment is to avoid meat and dairy products where possible.

When it comes to beef production— the statistics are unsettling, to say the least. We’re talking almost 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef plus a whole lot of deforestation in order to create space to accommodate the cattle. According to the Impossible burger website, opting for their burger over a beef one results in 96 per cent less land used, 87 per cent less water, and 89 per cent fewer emissions. All for a burger that tastes the same as its meaty counterparts. Is there even an excuse to opt for the regular one?

A win for the plant-based movement

Burger King Impossible Burger
Image: Financial Times

While of course there’s a hell of a long way to go, the move to include more plant-based, environmentally-conscious options underscores how quickly the meat-free movement is growing. Huge international chains are now looking for ways to gain an edge over rivals, and many are finding that edge to lie within the plant-based arena.

And if you think about it—Burger King serves upwards of 11 million customers per day across the globe (many of whom will be opting for the chain’s signature burger—the Whopper), so the impact that the Impossible Burger could have if consumers consistently opted for the meat-free version on the environment is not to be sniffed at.

Here’s to seeing Impossible Burgers rolled out across the rest of the world!

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