How can a vegan burger help us reducing our footprint?

In today’s post we want to discus the difference between Beyond Burger, the new vegan burgers available in the US market (and hopefully, soon also un EU) and the beef burgers.

Beyond meat burgers vs beef burgers

To begin with, Beyond Meat is a California company that produces vegan meat foods. So far they can only be found in the US market. Their goal is to produce plant- based products that look and taste like meat but soja, gmo’s and gluten-free. For now, you can find substitutes for the beef burger (which we will talk about today), chicken meat, pork sausages and minced meat.

We have compared the vegan burger and beef burger to find out the nutritional values as well as their impacts on the environment of each one. However, in our posts we always highlight the importance of reducing animal products, but in this post we want to discus you a practical example.

1. Nutritional facts

Briefly,  in the table there are some nutritional facts of the vegan burger. In this, we can see that Beyond Burger contains a similar (or greater) amount of protein than meat burgers. Therefore, no  vegans will die of hypoproteinemia. Anyway, if we continue analyzing the table we can see that Beyond burgers has twice as much iron, less saturated fat and cholesterol and the same amount of fat and calories as a beef burger. So at this point, Beyond Burguer is more nutritionally healthy as meat burgers.

In addition, the ingredients are 100% plant-based:

  • Water
  • Pea protein (great for kids to eat vegetables)
  • Rapeseed oil and refined coconut oil
  • In addition to other ingredients: bamboo cellulose, methyl cellulose, potato starch, maltodextrin, yeast extract, salt, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dry yeast, gum arabic, citrus extract (to protect quality), ascorbic acid (for maintain color), extract of beet juice (for color), acetic acid, succinic acid, modified food starch, Annatto (for color)).

But, from the environmental point of view, how does the vegan burger contribute in reducing our footprint?

2. Environmental impact

According to this study, Beyond Burger generates 90% less greenhouse gases and requires 46% less energy compared to normal burgers. In this table you can clearly see the data:

*greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE).

In addition, in the following table, we can see in red (Beyond Burger) how there is a decrease in the production of greenhouse gases, energy use and use of farmland as well as the need for water compared to blue ( beef burger).

From an environmental point of view, Beyond Burger produces less impact, being more “eco friendly” than meat-based burgers.

3. Conclusion and our opinion

Finally,  in the US they are a bit more plastic wrapped since they are presented as “meat”  burgers. The wrapping plastic is made of polypropylene, like plastic bags, one of the big contributors to the greenhouse effect. In Europe we find it in a cardboard box and two polypropylene plastics also wrapping each hamburger.

The only weak point that we see this brand is that it is still too small for it to export large quantities. In addition, if they indeed exported to EU, the transportation would have an extra impact for the product since it has to travel overseas . The ideal would be to produce and cultivate and distribute directly in Europe. Anyway, personally we give them an A+ .

Moreover, the taste is very similar indeed to beef burgers and, although we have not tried it, we are sure that in a barbecue they would taste even better.

4. References

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