We have seen Beyond Meat stock explode since its very recent IPO fueled by a wave of desire for a health alternative to meat. We believe if you like the taste, as many do, please enjoy it. We are questioning how healthy it is.
Is Beyond Meats healthier? Does it takes good? Is it better for you than say a Bigger King Whopper (seen as pure junk food)? Let’s look closer.
Processed foods are usually considered unhealthy. Beyond Meats uses natural flavoring and color which is an improvement over other processed foods. However, it still raises the following issues:
#1. Processed foods may raise your cancer risk.
#2. Processed foods are designed to make you overeat and become addicted them.
#3. Proteins and carbohydrates from whole foods are much better than refined.
#4. The more natural and whole your food is, the better it is for your health.
We could not identify a single food that has been made/manufactured to be more nutritious by processing and/or refining.
We asked four people to test the Beyond Meats products, two adults and two college students, and surprisingly they all had the same opinion.
On taste and texture the group found it to be blah, unassuming and obviously lite on sodium. On texture it was bland. The students in our taste testing group talked a lot about how plant-based foods could help the environment and that it’s a very large issue at their university, but that alone was not a good enough reason to buy average tasting food. Processed foods are usually overloaded with taste but this product seemed to underwhelm our taste buds.
Take a look at the ingredients of Beyond Meat Burgers:
“Water, Pea Protein Isolate*, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Cellulose from Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Salt, Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Dried Yeast, Gum Arabic, Citrus Extract (to protect quality), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Beet Juice Extract (for color), Acetic Acid, Succinic Acid, Modified Food Starch, Annatto (for color).”
If you have problems reading or understanding the words the products is probably refined or processed.
Ingredients of Burger King Whopper patty:
“Our beef patties are made with 100% beef with no fillers, no preservatives, no additives, no nonsense. We also make our flagship product, the WHOPPER® Sandwich, with 1/4 lb* of savory flame-grilled beef.”
So comparing the nutritional facts Burger King has roughly doubled the fats and protein.
Beyond Meat kills it in the cholesterol category with 0 versus 29% for Burger King and the meat alternative also does better in the sodium arena with basically ½ the amounts.
So if you have high cholesterol there is no question Beyond Meats is better for you. If you believe processed food cause health risks like cancer, and other issues over time, the Burger King whopper (the king of Junk) could be better.
If Burger King offered a very low fat organic burger with limited sodium, even though I have somewhat high cholesterol, for health reasons this would be my choice.
The group’s overall choice, based on current conditions, is Beyond Meats but by less of a margin than you would expect. The product should sell well for a while as a theme base food. The Rain Forest, the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood are all theme based restaurants that performed extremely well in the first few years. Over time, however, you must deliver a superior product and none of our four testers thought this food item would outlast its clever marketing.