Uncommon Sense

November 25, 2019

Impossible Burger . . . Possibly?

Filed under: Culture,Economics,Science,Technology — Steve Ruis @ 11:17 am

The irony is palpable. The “health industry” is telling us in a loud voice that we should eschew “highly processed foods” in favor of using fresh ingredients, cooked to eat . . . and at the same time we are also urged to consider hamburger substitutes, such as is being served in the Burger King Impossible Whopper.

The commercials for the Impossible Whopper make it look very appetizing. The burger glistens with fat as if right from the grill. The edge of the burger patty is irregular as if it were formed by hand. Yum. So, I tried one. In appearance, not so good. the patty had a very regular edge, as if it had been extruded through a die (which I suppose it had) and glistening fat was nowhere in evidence. The color was closer to grey than the brown and black version (often with a pink interior) shown in the advertisements.

The aroma was minimal and the texture not bad. The flavor compares with ordinary burgers, so quite an accomplishment. If burgers were ranked on a scale from exquisite a la Bill’s Place in San Francisco used to make to dog meat burgers (mostly filler), this one would be near the middle of that scale, so mediocre, but not in a bad way.

I have always felt that vegetarians should be creating their own dishes (Porcini Mushrooms and mashed potatoes, yum!), not trying to mimic meat dishes, but I realize that to get the majority of people to come along with a more environmentally favorable diet, some copycatting is going to have to occur.

So, as copycats go, the Impossible Burger is meh, but a good deal farther along that road than the lamentable “garden burger.” And it is, without fear of contradiction, a highly processed food. I have no idea how nutritious it is.

I think a lot could be done to ameliorate the woeful environmental record of the meat industry, first would be to eliminate factory ranching of cattle and pigs and the like and go back to free range everything. This would not only reduce the carbon footprint of the industry but would save soil and has many other benefits. The increased cost of meat and fowl produced that way would also lower its consumption.


  1. I tried an Impossible Burger at my local sports bar. It was the best veggie-burger I’ve had, and if I had to give up meat totally, I could eat them every so often and probably be OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Ubi Dubium — November 25, 2019 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

    • .Okay is the operative word.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 25, 2019 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

    • Why do you feel you have to give up meat, Ubi? Surely it is a choice?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Arkenaten — November 26, 2019 @ 6:40 am | Reply

      • I don’t feel I have to, I’m quite happy as an omnivore. But, say, if I had a medical problem that necessitated me giving it up, I would find impossible burgers an acceptable substitute.


        Comment by Ubi Dubium — November 27, 2019 @ 6:16 am | Reply

        • So, as it is a choice, why not embrace a plant based diet?


          Comment by Arkenaten — November 27, 2019 @ 6:19 am | Reply

          • I do try to eat less meat, often, because meat requires more resources to produce, and plant based foods are more efficient and sustainable. But then, bacon exists, so I’m probably never going to go off meat entirely if I don’t have to.


            Comment by Ubi Dubium — November 27, 2019 @ 6:24 am | Reply

  2. I’ve skipped the meat part altogether. Totally loaded with everything but the meat is pretty darn good.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by jim- — November 25, 2019 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  3. Back before Dad died (November 1980) he got me to try a vegie burger with him. Probably 1974 or there about. It sort of tasted kind of OK. The one thing I do remember, we both said so, the burger(??) was damn chewy.
    I might try one of these new non meat burgers some day, but I’m in no rush. We don’t do fast foods that often.
    I like your idea of stopping factory farming. Free range would be a big improvement for the environment.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 25, 2019 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  4. I really think we eat way, way too much meat, but I’m not sure if this is the way to try to reduce how much we eat.

    First of all, this is, at best, I think, going to be little more than a niche or novelty product once all of the hype dies down, and it will end up in the frost laden and freezer burned section along with the other ‘veggie burgers’ like Boca. Those of us who want to go vegetarian will go vegetarian. We don’t need nor want ‘fake meat’, to be honest. And I highly doubt this is going to convert meat eaters to vegetarianism. For the vast majority of people who buy it, this will be similar to ‘green washing’, giving them something they can buy to make it look like they really, really care, when in actual fact they don’t.

    Second, from all of the actual ingredient data I’ve seen on this and the other over hyped brand coming on the market, they aren’t that healthy. They’re high in salt, laden with processed fats and, well, let’s face it, everything in this product comes out of a high tech factory and is about as far from “natural” as it can get. There was some hysteria generated in California when one professor noted that the ingredient list of the burger was remarkably close to the ingredient list in a lot of high end dog food. That’s not really true, well, sort of. But the point is this is by no means something that is natural or healthy.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by grouchyfarmer — November 25, 2019 @ 5:06 pm | Reply

    • All mass produced foods will suffer to some extent because they are … well, mass produced.
      However, they are a lot healthier than animal products and as with the homemade meat burger one can always make the plant based equivalent.


      Comment by Arkenaten — November 26, 2019 @ 6:45 am | Reply

  5. It’s going to be a slow roll out in Brazil, unfortunately. We have a family here (Batistas) who’re the worlds largest meat exporters… and they have enormous sway over the government. If they don’t want it, it won’t come, or will be taxed out of the market.


    Comment by john zande — November 26, 2019 @ 6:32 am | Reply

  6. The fastest growing/ in demand food in the fast food industry is vegan and the shares in companies that produce them are reflecting this demand.


    Comment by Arkenaten — November 26, 2019 @ 6:38 am | Reply

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