THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER — IS IT HEALTHY?
THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER—Is it healthy?
I’ve tried the Impossible Burger a few times, and admittedly liked it more than expected. As a meat eater, I’ve always found veggie burgers to be pretty tasteless and dry. Then came the Impossible Burger!
So what exactly is the Impossible Burger made from? Here are the ingredients-
Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (Soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
It looks innocent enough, right? Well, maybe.🧐
In a world where NON-GMO (non-genetically modified) foods are all the rage, the Impossible Burger is anything but. In fact, I’d equate the Impossible Burger to the type of meat product you’d expect to find in an episode of The Jetsons.
Soy Leghemoglobin (aka SLH) is a lab created protein from genetically engineered yeast. SLH contains an add-on ingredient called “heme”. Impossible Foods has taken the SLH gene from the soybean and used genetic engineering technology to insert it into a strain of yeast. The heme component of SLH in the Impossible Burger gives it a meat-like taste and makes it “bleed” like rare meat.
Yep, you heard me right... the Impossible Burger bleeds like real meat! 🤔
The Impossible Burger is not made from organically sourced or Non-GMO ingredients, so there are other substances present in this product that in all likelihood are also derived from GM organisms (GMOs) – namely soy protein isolate and a number of vitamins. So overall, the Impossible Burger is a GMO food.
IS IT SAFE?
That depends on who you ask. There are as many articles raising red flags over the safety of this meat substitute as there are studies (mostly paid for by Impossible Foods) proclaiming its health benefits.
What I’ve found is that, by and large, the Impossible Burger is probably safe, although the fact SLH was created in a lab and has not received the blessing from the FDA makes me a little concerned.
THE BOTTOM LINE-
Nutritionally, the Impossible Burger has two benefits over red meat (aside from the fact that it’s not derived from dead animal parts)— it has slightly fewer calories and much less cholesterol. The Impossible Burger does, however, have much more saturated fat that its animal meat counterpart.
As someone who is trying hard to eat more “clean” foods, the Impossible Burger definitely does not fit the bill. This “meat” is as processed as processed gets. If eating non-GMO foods is important to you, stay away from the Impossible Burger. But if avoiding the consumption of animal parts is your main concern, the Impossible Burger may be a decent choice.
Personally, eating laboratory created food products scares me a little bit, but so far the scientific community seems to believe SLH is perfectly safe for human consumption. After all, no laboratory rats died in the testing Impossible Foods conducted when creating SLH so it must be safe, right?
I’ll let you decide for yourself.
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