A tasty food alternative that may just save our planet


Photo by Used with permission of flickr.com

The Impossible Whopper from Burger King is completely vegan when ordering it without mayo. At only $5.59, this is a popular substitute for beef burgers.

Olivia Donnelly, Staff Writer

From beef burgers to crispy chicken nuggets, meat is easily accessible as a meal option. With global meat consumption just under 300 million tons and expected to double by 2050, continuing to consume meat at these rates is unsustainable.

According to Slow Food, if meat consumption continues at this rate, in time, there will not be enough land surface to feed all the livestock. However, a food alternative that is growing in popularity could be a solution: meatless meat.

Meat alternatives are not anything new. Veggie burgers have been around since the late ‘70’s, but have been mostly aimed at vegetarian customers. But new meat alternatives like the Beyond Burger or the Impossible Burger, both entirely vegan, are marketed toward meat-eating customers. 

“[The Beyond Burger] smells a little different, but it looks the same and honestly I think it tastes the same. My family’s had it and they still eat meat,” Charly Mendygral, a sophomore who has been vegan for 6 months, said. 

Mendygral recommends the Beyond Burger although “it can be a little bit more expensive because it requires more processing. But if you’re craving a burger, this is a great option for both vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters.” 

Other non-meat-eaters like Mendygral believe that with fewer people eating meat, it is better for the environment.

“I think there’s a lot of animals that aren’t being treated right and I guess with not as many people eating meat, there’s less animals suffering which can help the environment in some way,” Lucy Swartwood, sophomore and vegetarian for a year and a half, said. 

Swartwood became vegetarian because she decided that she wasn’t comfortable eating animals and she thinks “we eat a lot of excess meat and not treating cows, chickens, and other animals right it robbing us.”

Critics from Food&Wine.com have their own opinions on meat alternatives like the Impossible 2.0 Burger and the Beyond Burger. They said the Impossible 2.0 Burger is “almost identical to beef,” and “juicy and pink on the inside, [and] crumbles correctly.” 

With similar textures and flavors, they liked how the Beyond Burger “meshes with the condiments” and is “nice and crisp on the outside, [with] good density.”

I have also joined in the emerging meatless meat sensation. Although I have yet to try meatless burgers, I have eaten Trader Joe’s Chickenless Mandarin Orange Morsels. I’ve always been a fan of classic chicken nuggets and when my mom first introduced me to these chickenless nuggets, I was hesitant. However, to my surprise, the chickenless nuggets we actually quite delicious. 

I was expecting to taste a more pasty and organic taste when first eating the chickenless nuggets, but instead, they tasted almost identical to the orange chicken I like from Panda Express. Since then, my mom gets the morsels more frequently at a low cost of $3.29.

If you’re looking for a tasty alternative to meat, then meatless meat is an option. Not only is it similar in taste to beef burgers, but it also is gaining popularity throughout fast food chains like Burger King and KFC!