5 Reasons I Eat the Beyond Burger (Spoiler Alert: It Has Nothing To Do With Diet)
Beyond meat is getting some serious attention lately. It all started in 2016 when the company unveiled its impressive meat-like vegan Beyond Burger in the meat section of grocery stores. At the beginning of this year it was the focus when it was the first vegan company to go public. And now the Beyond Burger is making its way to fast food restaurants across the country. The company’s star product exceeded all of our expectations and has had a huge impact on how meat eaters view plant-based options. But now there is suddenly a riot of opinions about the burger’s ingredient list and perceived health. Let’s just get that point out of the way before I go any further: the Beyond Burger isn’t the healthiest food you can eat. But we don’t have a lot of food available today (vegan or otherwise) either, and I don’t see any people comparing it to dog food and praising a grass-fed version. The benefits of the burger are far superior to those of the diet. Here are five reasons why I keep eating the Beyond Burger and sharing its vegan fame with all of my friends.
1. It’s better for the environment.
The Beyond Burger is partly intended for people who want to pay attention to their ecological footprint. 99 percent less water, 93 percent less land and 90 percent less greenhouse gases are required for production than for a beef burger. Beyond Meat is working not just to create a healthier patty, but to create a healthier planet by creating an alternative to beef that takes global resource constraints into account. We are all aware that raising animals for food is inefficient. Given the increasingly devastating environmental problems – like the record fires in the Brazilian Amazon, all of which stemmed from the beef industry – the urgency to end animal husbandry support has never been greater.
2. It means that I now have a meal whenever I go to a restaurant.
The way mainstream restaurants are using the Beyond Burger as a menu item is exciting. Instead of choosing between French fries and a salad while eating, I can now indulge in a burger like my friends (even at McDonald’s here in Canada!). Most of the restaurants that serve Beyond allow you to swap out the standard burger beef patty for a juicy vegan patty before piling up all of your favorite burger toppings – and this new option is helping many meat eaters make the switch.
3. An animal doesn’t have to die for me to enjoy a burger.
This point is obvious if you are already vegan. If you don’t, now is the chance to enjoy the taste and feel of a burger without an animal suffering and dying for it. This fact alone is an important reason for me.
4. It tastes like a real burger (and I’m fine with that).
Like many vegans, I haven’t given up animal products because I didn’t like the taste of meat. My motivation was entirely driven by my desire to no longer harm animals and to pollute the environment less. For those who haven’t switched yet, this burger is an incredibly convenient and comfortable stepping stone – and one I wished for was when I went vegan 20 years ago.
5. It means that I will support a company that makes the necessary changes.
I think Beyond Meat and its competitors are the best thing since sliced bread. Innovative food companies like this one are designed to challenge people’s perceptions of meat and offer a cruelty-free, environmentally friendly option. At the same time, they make us rethink the use of animals as protein. I know breaking the long-standing habit of eating animals can be tough (I’ve been there), but taking small steps and good substitutes like the Beyond Burger can be of great help. I can’t wait for the day to come when plant-based eating normalizes in the mainstream and we may be less dependent on meat substitutes, but in the meantime, I’m celebrating every step forward.