Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Burger: Which Is Better?
They're designed to taste, look, and feel like meat-based burgers but contain no meat, eggs, dairy, or other animal-derived ingredients.
At first glance, these two burgers are similar, leading some to wonder if one is better than the other.
This article compares the Impossible and Beyond Burgers to help you determine which to choose.
Similar Nutrition Profile
The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger have similar nutrition profiles. Each 4-ounce (113-gram) serving provides around:
Both are rich in protein, providing close to the same amount you would get from a 4-ounce (113-gram) beef patty.
Whereas the Impossible Burger is slightly lower in calories and fat, the Beyond Burger contains fewer carbs. Both have similar amounts of sodium and provide around 25% of the Daily Value (DV) of iron.
In addition, the Impossible Burger is fortified with additional vitamins and minerals, making it slightly higher in zinc, phosphorus, certain B vitamins, and vitamins C and E.
Both burgers have a similar nutrition profile but their source of protein and main ingredients vary, making the Impossible Burger slightly richer in certain vitamins and minerals.
Both are Suitable for Special Diets
Both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger can suit various dietary needs.
For instance, both burgers are halal- and kosher-certified, in addition to being gluten-, peanut-, and tree-nut-free. The Beyond Burger is also soy- and GMO-free.
Moreover, both burgers are made exclusively from plant-based ingredients. They contain no meat or animal byproducts, such as dairy or eggs, making them suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.
That said, some vegetarians and vegans prefer the Beyond Burger, as PETA noted that the Impossible Burger used animal testing to evaluate the safety of soy leghemoglobin — the main ingredient used to give the Impossible Burger a meat-like flavor.
Both burgers are halal- and kosher-certified and free of gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, and all animal products. The Beyond Burger is also soy- and GMO-free. This makes both burgers suitable for a variety of diets.
Both are Convenient to Use in a Variety of Recipes
Both products are a versatile and convenient replacement for ground meat.
They hold their shape well during cooking, are easy to prepare, and even release a red fluid similar to what you see if cooking meat. This meat-like texture and feel differentiate them from other plant-based burgers currently available.
The Beyond Burger comes as a pre-shaped patty while the Impossible Burger is sold as plant-based grounds that can be formed into the shape and size of your choice.
That said, the company behind the Beyond Burger also manufactures Beyond Beef — a package of plant-based ground meat that can be used in the same way as the Impossible Burger grounds.
This makes both burgers a handy meat replacement for a variety of recipes beyond just burgers, from lasagna and bolognese sauce to gyros and skewers.
The Impossible and Beyond Burgers have a similar texture and meat-like feel. They're both simple to cook and can easily replace red meat in countless recipes beyond just burgers.
Both are Processed Foods
Many people view the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger as healthier alternatives to meat-based burgers.
That's in large part because plant-based diets have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, it's important to note that not all plant-based foods are equally beneficial.
For instance, heavily processed, sugar- and salt-laden meat alternatives are not as conducive to optimal health as whole-food-based, minimally processed options.
These ingredients contain significantly lower amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than unprocessed plant-based burger ingredients like whole beans, lentils, or peas.
Because of this, both burgers are likely best enjoyed in moderation.
Both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are made from processed ingredients. Thus, they contain fewer vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds than burgers made from whole foods.
Where to Buy Them
The Impossible Burger can be found in the meat aisle of select grocery stores in the United States, including Gelson's Markets in Southern California, select Fairway Market locations in New York, and certain Wegmans throughout the United States.
It's also available at Burger King and several other restaurants in the United States, China, and Singapore but can be difficult to find in other countries.
On the other hand, the Beyond Burger is more readily accessible both in U.S. and international grocery stores and restaurants.
It's currently available in several supermarkets, including Safeway, Target, Walmart, Wegmans, and Whole Foods. You can also order it at a range of independent restaurants, as well as chains like Denny's and Subway.
Between the two, the Beyond Burger is the only one currently available for purchase online.
Both burgers are sold in select restaurants and supermarkets, though the Beyond Burger remains more widely available in the United States, internationally, and online.
The Bottom Line
The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are two plant-based alternatives to meat burgers.
Both are certified kosher and halal and can be used in a variety of recipes. They're also free of gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts, which makes them versatile meat-free options for people with special dietary requirements or for those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
Overall, their nutrient content and versatility are similar. The main differentiating factor is the source of protein. Nonetheless, it's important to note that both are made with processed ingredients, including salt, sugar, and protein isolates, and are best enjoyed in moderation.
Therefore, unless you're trying to avoid soy or peas, simply follow your taste buds when picking a favorite between the two.
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By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge
In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.
The Good and Bad News<p><span>Ecosystems consist of living and non-living components, and their interactions. They work like a super-complex engine: when some components are removed or stop working, knock-on consequences can lead to system failure.</span></p><p>Our study is based on measured data and observations, not modeling or predictions for the future. Encouragingly, not all ecosystems we examined have collapsed across their entire range. We still have, for instance, some intact reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, especially in deeper waters. And northern Australia has some of the most intact and least-modified stretches of savanna woodlands on Earth.</p><p><span>Still, collapses are happening, including in regions critical for growing food. This includes the </span><a href="https://www.mdba.gov.au/importance-murray-darling-basin/where-basin" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Murray-Darling Basin</a><span>, which covers around 14% of Australia's landmass. Its rivers and other freshwater systems support more than </span><a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/latestproducts/94F2007584736094CA2574A50014B1B6?opendocument" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30% of Australia's food</a><span> production.</span></p><p><span></span><span>The effects of floods, fires, heatwaves and storms do not stop at farm gates; they're felt equally in agricultural areas and natural ecosystems. We shouldn't forget how towns ran out of </span><a href="https://www.mdba.gov.au/issues-murray-darling-basin/drought#effects" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">drinking water</a><span> during the recent drought.</span></p><p><span></span><span>Drinking water is also at risk when ecosystems collapse in our water catchments. In Victoria, for example, the degradation of giant </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/logging-must-stop-in-melbournes-biggest-water-supply-catchment-106922" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mountain Ash forests</a><span> greatly reduces the amount of water flowing through the Thompson catchment, threatening nearly five million people's drinking water in Melbourne.</span></p><p>This is a dire <em data-redactor-tag="em">wake-up</em> call — not just a <em data-redactor-tag="em">warning</em>. Put bluntly, current changes across the continent, and their potential outcomes, pose an existential threat to our survival, and other life we share environments with.</p><p><span>In investigating patterns of collapse, we found most ecosystems experience multiple, concurrent pressures from both global climate change and regional human impacts (such as land clearing). Pressures are often </span><a href="https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13427" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">additive and extreme</a><span>.</span></p><p>Take the last 11 years in Western Australia as an example.</p><p>In the summer of 2010 and 2011, a <a href="https://theconversation.com/marine-heatwaves-are-getting-hotter-lasting-longer-and-doing-more-damage-95637" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">heatwave</a> spanning more than 300,000 square kilometers ravaged both marine and land ecosystems. The extreme heat devastated forests and woodlands, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. This catastrophe was followed by two cyclones.</p><p>A record-breaking, marine heatwave in late 2019 dealt a further blow. And another marine heatwave is predicted for <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/24/wa-coastline-facing-marine-heatwave-in-early-2021-csiro-predicts" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this April</a>.</p>
What to Do About It?<p><span>Our brains trust comprises 38 experts from 21 universities, CSIRO and the federal Department of Agriculture Water and Environment. Beyond quantifying and reporting more doom and gloom, we asked the question: what can be done?</span></p><p>We devised a simple but tractable scheme called the 3As:</p><ul><li>Awareness of what is important</li><li>Anticipation of what is coming down the line</li><li>Action to stop the pressures or deal with impacts.</li></ul><p>In our paper, we identify positive actions to help protect or restore ecosystems. Many are already happening. In some cases, ecosystems might be better left to recover by themselves, such as coral after a cyclone.</p><p>In other cases, active human intervention will be required – for example, placing artificial nesting boxes for Carnaby's black cockatoos in areas where old trees have been <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/factsheet-carnabys-black-cockatoo-calyptorhynchus-latirostris" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">removed</a>.</p><p><span>"Future-ready" actions are also vital. This includes reinstating </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/a-burning-question-fire/12395700" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cultural burning practices</a><span>, which have </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-you-have-unfinished-business-its-time-to-let-our-fire-people-care-for-this-land-135196" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">multiple values and benefits for Aboriginal communities</a><span> and can help minimize the risk and strength of bushfires.</span></p><p>It might also include replanting banks along the Murray River with species better suited to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/my-garden-path---matt-hansen/12322978" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">warmer conditions</a>.</p><p>Some actions may be small and localized, but have substantial positive benefits.</p><p>For example, billions of migrating Bogong moths, the main summer food for critically endangered mountain pygmy possums, have not arrived in their typical numbers in Australian alpine regions in recent years. This was further exacerbated by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/six-million-hectares-of-threatened-species-habitat-up-in-smoke-129438" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019-20</a> fires. Brilliantly, <a href="https://www.zoo.org.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Zoos Victoria</a> anticipated this pressure and developed supplementary food — <a href="https://theconversation.com/looks-like-an-anzac-biscuit-tastes-like-a-protein-bar-bogong-bikkies-help-mountain-pygmy-possums-after-fire-131045" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bogong bikkies</a>.</p><p><span>Other more challenging, global or large-scale actions must address the </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iICpI9H0GkU&t=34s" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">root cause of environmental threats</a><span>, such as </span><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0504-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">human population growth and per-capita consumption</a><span> of environmental resources.</span><br></p><p>We must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero, remove or suppress invasive species such as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mam.12080" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">feral cats</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-buffel-kerfuffle-how-one-species-quietly-destroys-native-wildlife-and-cultural-sites-in-arid-australia-149456" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">buffel grass</a>, and stop widespread <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-reduce-fire-risk-and-meet-climate-targets-over-300-scientists-call-for-stronger-land-clearing-laws-113172" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">land clearing</a> and other forms of habitat destruction.</p>
Our Lives Depend On It<p>The multiple ecosystem collapses we have documented in Australia are a harbinger for <a href="https://www.iucn.org/news/protected-areas/202102/natures-future-our-future-world-speaks" target="_blank">environments globally</a>.</p><p>The simplicity of the 3As is to show people <em>can</em> do something positive, either at the local level of a landcare group, or at the level of government departments and conservation agencies.</p><p>Our lives and those of our <a href="https://theconversation.com/children-are-our-future-and-the-planets-heres-how-you-can-teach-them-to-take-care-of-it-113759" target="_blank">children</a>, as well as our <a href="https://theconversation.com/taking-care-of-business-the-private-sector-is-waking-up-to-natures-value-153786" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">economies</a>, societies and <a href="https://theconversation.com/to-address-the-ecological-crisis-aboriginal-peoples-must-be-restored-as-custodians-of-country-108594" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cultures</a>, depend on it.</p><p>We simply cannot afford any further delay.</p><p><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dana-m-bergstrom-1008495" target="_blank" style="">Dana M Bergstrom</a> is a principal research scientist at the University of Wollongong. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/euan-ritchie-735" target="_blank" style="">Euan Ritchie</a> is a professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life & Environmental Sciences at Deakin University. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lesley-hughes-5823" target="_blank">Lesley Hughes</a> is a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-depledge-114659" target="_blank">Michael Depledge</a> is a professor and chair, Environment and Human Health, at the University of Exeter. </em></p><p><em>Disclosure statements: Dana Bergstrom works for the Australian Antarctic Division and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Her research including fieldwork on Macquarie Island and in Antarctica was supported by the Australian Antarctic Division.</em></p><p><em>Euan Ritchie receives funding from the Australian Research Council, The Australia and Pacific Science Foundation, Australian Geographic, Parks Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. Euan Ritchie is a Director (Media Working Group) of the Ecological Society of Australia, and a member of the Australian Mammal Society.</em></p><p><em>Lesley Hughes receives funding from the Australian Research Council. She is a Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia, a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and a Director of WWF-Australia.</em></p><p><em>Michael Depledge does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/existential-threat-to-our-survival-see-the-19-australian-ecosystems-already-collapsing-154077" target="_blank" style="">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
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