Well... we did it. We were in a hip little craft beer joint in Nashville, saw the Impossible burger on the menu, and ordered one.
Of course they wanted to send it out with a fresh baked bun, cheese and all the sauces.
But we passed on all of that so we could really get an idea what all the fuss was about. Here’s what we decided:
🌱 It is better with ranch. Matt jokes, “What vegetable isn’t?” (His jokes are getting worse the older he gets.)
🌱 It is fairly close, although not identical, in terms of appearance. The texture was a little off to me, but not as much as I assumed it would be.
🌱 It’s taste is OK, but we definitely didn’t fall into the category that is was the same as beef. It has a little bit of an odd after-taste but we also agreed a lot of that is probably disguised with buns, topping and sauce.
🌱 The smell is a little funky. Our waitress told us they really stink up the kitchen when they cook them. Again, that’s probably masked fairly well when it’s all dressed up.
🌱 It is not healthier. The Impossible burger is higher in fat, significantly higher in sodium, and short 7 grams of protein compared to lean ground beef. It does have some fiber (go plants!) that lean beef does not.
With all that in mind, we know a lot of the people that choose a plant-based burger do so because they’ve been told it’s a better choice for the environment. Unfortunately, that’s not true either.
Livestock are an important piece of a healthy, sustainable farming. Our cattle play a key role in maximizing our land efficiency, soil and water quality and cycling GHGs right here on our farm. (If you think they aren’t part of the natural ecosystem, don’t forget that millions of buffalo used to wander these lands.)
Agriculture as an entire industry only accounts for 8.4% of total US GHG emissions and we are well on our way to reducing that to less than 4% (USFRA, 2019). Livestock only make up a small portion of that.
Look, if you like this sort of thing - that’s awesome! We raise the grains that go into that plant patty too, so we are all about options. (We do however highly recommend you use ranch.)
But if you don’t like it - because of the taste, nutrition, price, or funky smell - that’s cool too. We get you. We are you.
Don’t let Hollywood, or Nancy next door, make you feel bad about that choice - because it’s actually a pretty solid one.
A lot of people write about young love or new love. Tonight, I had to write about our love - which isn’t young or new. But like a whiskey aging in a barrel, it’s only getting better.
“Are you two newlyweds?” She shouted at me, over the band.
“Newlyweds?” I must have raised an eyebrow.
“We’ve been watching you two. He doesn’t see anyone else in the room. We figured you were just married.”
I looked at him. He smiled - one of my favorite, whiskey-all-day smiles - and pulled me closer to finish our dance.
Oh no... when we were newlyweds I was a size 2. I was full of the confidence that comes from lack of living and certain we would never be more in love than we were right then, on our wedding night.
When we were newlyweds, that was well before he had seen me...
Seen me laughing so hard I spit coffee out all over my shirt. And crying so hard my whole body trembled with my tears.
Before he seen me transition from a careless, never-say-no to fun undergrad to someone that keeps a written planner and three calendars on her at all times.
It was before he seen me slim down to train for marathons and nearly double my body weight while growing his child (twice). It was definitely before he seen these stretch marks he swears he doesn’t notice.
It was before he’d seen me step up onto a stage to steal an audience, and watched me fall down onto the floor when it all has been too much.
He’s seen me sick. Fat. Thin. Ugly. Pretty. Strong. Weak. Happy. Angry. Sad. Scared.
Tired. Really tired. He probably sees me tired more than anything else...
But not this night. This night, hours away from home and the farm and real life we aren’t tired. We have rewound life for a single night, back to when our only care in the world was loving each other.
Back to when we were newlywed.
Only, now it’s better. Because we aren’t clueless, hopeful newlyweds praying this thing works.
The curtain is gone now.
Now, he definitely sees me. All of me. (Stretch marks included.)
And tonight, in this little bar crammed full of people, with a band playing all the right music, we aren’t kids, praying it works anymore.
Now, we know it does.
I answered her. “No, we’ve been married almost 11 years,” I said.
“To each other?” She laughed, shook her head and told us to have fun.
Here’s to love that ages like good spirits. 🥃
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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