Beyond Meat is marketed as the vegan burger that will save the world. But is it really healthy and good for the planet as the marketing and media portrait it to be? Being a nutritionist, I am an ingredient stickler, so you can guess what my thoughts are on the long list of ingredients found in the Beyond Meat burger and other fake meat products. In fact, the nutritional labels on fake-meat products often sound more like science experiments than a list of ingredients.
Beyond Meat is very far removed from anything even remotely related to a living plant or whole food. It is a combination of processed ingredients.
A Beyond Burger, however, includes 18 ingredients: water, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, rice protein, natural flavors, cocoa butter, mung bean protein, methylcellulose, potato starch, apple extract, salt, potassium chloride, vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, sunflower lecithin, pomegranate fruit powder, and beet juice extract.
When you eat a beyond burger, you are mostly consuming a pea protein canola oil smoothie. Deconstructed, nobody thinks it’s healthy for you. Put it in patty form, and people will apparently consider it healthy. Crazy.
Pea Protein Isolate
Pea protein is derived from peas that have been stripped of the fibre and starch, leaving a concentrated source of protein behind. Peas are a member of the legume family, which is a common allergen.
Pea protein is highly processed and may be contaminated with 15 known pesticides used in conventional pea farming.
Expeller pressed canola oil.
Did you know that 50 years ago you would have found canola oil in mechanics’ shops as engine lubricant? Most canola is chemically extracted using a solvent called hexane, and heat is often applied which affects the stability of the oil’s molecules. In turn, the oil can become rancid and the omega-3s in it are destroyed. It can even create trans fats. The crops are usually sprayed with chemicals such as Roundup and Treflan Consuming canola oil is linked to impaired learning and worsened memory in Alzheimer’s disease (here). It is also theorized to be a hidden cause of diabetes and heart disease (here).
One tablespoon of canola oil contains 2,610 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 1,279 mg omega-3 fatty acids. That’s a lot of omega-6, which causes inflammation.
Refined Coconut oil
Most refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is chemically extracted from dried coconut meat that’s been deodorized and bleached, so its antioxidant levels are depleted.
The term has no definitive meaning in the food industry. It’s not regulated by the FDA.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines natural flavor as:
“…The essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
Food manufacturers take full advantage of the generous FDA natural flavor guidelines at every conceivable opportunity when it comes to marketing products meant for consumption. Almost always a code word for a toxic chemical soup.
DETOX TOXINS FROM YOUR BODY
If you want your liver to function properly (eliminate toxins and cleanse all the impurities) you should consume reishi mushrooms daily. In, a study in Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that using reishi mushroom reversed chemical-driven liver damage in mice. Reishi mushroom is known for its anti cancer properties. It eliminates free radicals and promotes liver cell regeneration. Just take 1/2 tablespoon a day!