A Round-Up of Plant Based Burgers
Where once vegans were limited to mushroom or lentil burgers, there now is an abundance of plant-based burger options on the market whether you’re grilling at a camp site, in your backyard or cooking in a skillet on your stove.
Worldwide meat production (beef, chicken and pork) accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emis – sions, more than global transportation processes. A 1/3 pound burger requires 660 gallons of water. Most of this water is for producing beef.
One pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water, which includes irrigation of the grains and grasses in feed, plus water for drinking and processing. As the new administration brings climate change to the forefront, it is no wonder companies are prioritizing plant-based options. The market is one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry.
In 2020, plant-based meats were valued at $4.3 billion and expected to rise to $8.3 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets. New technologies are allowing for more diversified ingredients.
The Impossible Burger, produced by the Impossible Food Company, for example, contains a compound the company created from plant hemoglo – bins. Many of the newer patties are derived from pea proteins. There are also soy-based burgers, seitan and traditional mushroom, black bean and chickpea options.
Grain-based burgers have the least calories and saturated fats but the Impossible Burger, made from soy, and the Beyond Burger, made from peas, have much more protein —about 20 grams.
Some burgers are made by meat – less-only companies while others are from major international food manufacturers taking advantage of the popularity of the meatless market. For example, Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, launched a meatless brand called Pure Farmland, and Hormel launched “Happy Little Plants.”
Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite burgers:
BEYOND BURGER This patty, made by El Segundo, Cali – fornia-based Beyond Meat, is glutenand soy-free and non-GMO. A package of two patties sells for about $6. Key ingredients include pea, rice and mung and fava bean protein, coconut oil and potato starch. There are 20 grams of protein and 350 milli – grams of sodium per patty, and each has 260 calories. Widely popular, Beyond Meat’s retail sales have more than doubled in a year and the company holds 10 percent of the meatless market. It’s got a crumbly texture and a bit of a smoky barbecue flavor.
LIGHTLIFE BURGER Produced by Greenleaf Foods, a Toron – to-based company, Lightlife burgers are gluten- and soy- free and non-GMO. They sell for about $6 for two patties and the main ingredients are pea protein and canola and coconut oil with some beet powder for color. Each burger contains 20 grams of protein, 390 milligrams of sodium and 250 calories.
IMPOSSIBLE BURGER This 240-calorie burger, which sells for about $9 for a 12-ounce package, is made by Impossible Foods of Redwood City, California. It is gluten-free but includes genet – ically modified ingredients—specifically soy leghemoglobin, which is created from plant hemoglobins. Coconut and sunflower oils give the burger, which is made of soy and potato protein, its juicy sizzle. The Impossible Burger contains 19 grams of protein and 370 milligrams of sodium. It was the favorite in Food & Wine’s plant-based burger taste test.
SWEET EARTH AWESOME BURGER The Awesome Burger, created by Sweet Earth Foods, provides a good source of protein, fiber and has a rich, smoky flavor created by the spice blend included in the burger. It holds up well to grilling and is made from non-GMO ingredients. In addition, it contains 280 calories, 25 grams of protein and 360 milligrams of sodium. Each 8 oz. package contains 2 indi – vidual 1/4 lb. Awesome Burgers for $7.29 each.
UNCUT BURGER Containing the least amount of sodium, this burger, created by the company Before the Butcher, is gluten-free, non-GMO and made from a proprietary combination of soy, coconut and canola oils, and natural seasonings. A 260-calorie burger contains 19 grams of protein and 260 milligrams of sodium. Each 8 oz. package contains 2 indi – vidual patties and retails at $6.99