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.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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