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Fake Meat vs. 100% Grass-Fed Beef: Nutrition

Fake Meat vs. 100% Grass-Fed Beef: Nutrition

Proponents of new plant-based meats claim, in addition to being more environmentally-friendly, that they boast more health benefits than meat. But, is this true?


We hear this message over and over again…


“Swap out red meat for plant-based proteins to live longer”


Like you, we want to make the healthiest choices we can for our health and our family’s, and as Nutritional Therapy Practitioners we base these choices off of a combination of the best available research, our training, knowledge of health experts we respect, and common sense (i.e. what has stood the test of time?). 


Despite articles and studies on the importance of including meat in a healthy diet, and the discovery that there is weak evidence against eating meat, this advice still persists.


Now, with the explosion of meat substitutes on the market—plant-based substances formulated to look and taste like real meat—the push to replace our regular burger with one of these alternatives is stronger than ever.


Let's look at a couple examples, in particular, which have garnered the most attention: The Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger. Two products formulated to mimic beef closely in taste and texture (down to the fake blood!). These companies claim that, nutritionally, their products are similar to beef, only with less saturated fat, and that they add in micronutrients to mimic beef’s profile. So, basically, it's beef but without the “health risks”.


If this is true, let’s look at where these products differ from our 100% grass-fed beef!



Ingredient Comparison

Beyond Burger

Water, Pea Protein*, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil*, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors*, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose*, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Beet Juice Extract (for color).

Impossible Burger

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate,* Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors*, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose*, Yeast Extract*, Cultured Dextrose*, Food Starch Modified*, Soy Leghemoglobin*, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate*, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12)



The asterisks denote ingredients which are either suspicious or highly-processed. While the Beyond Burger appears “cleaner”, it still contains highly processed ingredients like pea protein and canola oil. While pea protein can be allergenic and present issues for people with gout (plus it doesn't contain any essential fatty acids) (1), canola oil is highly refined, most often rancid (think inflammatory, from plants genetically modified to withstand more herbicides (3), and can still contain traces of hexane, the solvent used in extraction (2). 


The Impossible Burger, along with its long list of ingredients, contains genetically-modified soy as its base ingredient, including soy protein isolate, which is typically extracted using hexane—the residues of which are often left in higher concentrations than are deemed “safe”. Both products also contain methylcellulose, a cheap filler used to add bulk to food products which has been linked to promoting the growth of colon cancer (4).


You might have seen news articles from 2019 circulating the internet when Dr. Frank Mitloehner of UC Davis posted a side-by-side of the ingredient lists from the Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger, and vegan dog food on social media to see if readers could distinguish them (hint: they couldn't). Read the article yourself to compare the long list of highly refined ingredients in all three! We certainly wouldn't feed ourselves, or our dogs, any of these.




Ingredients in our 100% grass-fed beef: just beef!


Not only is beef a naturally complete protein, but it has bioavailable fat soluble vitamins, and contains healthful compounds like conjugated linoleic acid, essential fatty acids, and trace minerals. Think of 100% grass-fed beef as a multivitamin on a plate! With our beef you know exactly what is in your burger.


Plus, in addition to being less processed, did you know that eating meat in childhood is linked to becoming stronger and more intelligent? (5) And that consumption of red meat in childhood may be linked to being healthier in your adult years? (6)


So you tell us which is the better choice: New-fangled vegan products which contain a host of ultra-processed ingredients that are bodies have only recently had to start digesting?


Or a clean, nutrient-dense product which our ancestors have been eating since the beginning of time? We encourage you to do the research for yourself!


Interested in seeing more behind the ingredients in processed, fake meats? 

Visit Clean Food Facts to learn more!


Visit Sacred Cow to learn more about the importance of sustainable meat to our health and the health of the planet!










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