In this file:
· Burger King’s meat-free Impossible Whopper goes on sale today
· Is the Impossible Burger a threat to vegetarianism?
· Fake meat burgers are 'processed crap' says leading premium beef marketer
Burger King’s meat-free Impossible Whopper goes on sale today
Bay Area becomes newest phase of big nationwide roll-out
By Linda Zavoral | Bay Area News Group
via The Mercury News (CA) - June 10, 2019
Burger King’s nationwide roll-out of the meatless Impossible Whopper will expand to the Bay Area today, Monday, June 10.
Representatives of both the fast-food giant and the plant-based start-up announced that sales would begin at 111 restaurants in this region after successful trial runs elsewhere.
In early May, the decision was made to bring the Impossible Whopper to all 7,200 of the Burger Kings in the United States by the end of 2019.
A 59-restaurant trial run in St. Louis, which was launched in April, went “exceedingly well, surpassing the most bullish expectations,” a representative for Impossible Foods, the Redwood City-based start-up, said in early May.
After that, the product launch began. So far the roll-out includes Miami; Montgomery, Alabama; Columbus, Georgia — and now the Bay Area.
At year’s end, the nationwide offering will represent the largest meat-free fast-food experiment in the country. Carl’s Jr. was first to market with its Beyond Famous Star, made with competitor Beyond Beef, but that burger is sold at a smaller number of restaurants — 1,000-plus.
According to Impossible Foods...
Is the Impossible Burger a threat to vegetarianism?
The Impossible Burger is good, but it's no substitute for creative, veggie-first vegetarian cooking
Amanda Marcotte, Salon
June 9, 2019
Fake meats have been a foodstuff for decades now, mostly so that a lot of popular, meat-based dishes could be adapted into vegetarian recipes. But it's only been quite recently that, thanks to the soaring popularity of the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger, that there's a real chance of these fake meats actually replicating the taste and feel of genuine, harvested-from-a-once-breathing-and-feeling creature meat. Now a day hardly passes in which there isn't some kind of news item about these just-like-the-real thing ground beef substitutes, which are popping up in fast food chains and slightly fancier pubs where one expects to find that good old American staple, the hamburger, on the menu.
As someone who's been a pescatarian for 16 or 17 years now, however, the rise of fake meats is creating a feeling that's reminiscent of the experience of watching the small indie band you've adored for a long time finally achieve mainstream success. On one hand, you're thrilled to see more people find their way to liking something you've liked for a long time. On the other hand, you worry that going mainstream will destroy the very thing you loved in the first place.
I tried the Impossible Burger recently at one of the many charming, tiny pubs that dot the landscape of Philadelphia — a restaurant where I had stuck to ordering a beet burger in the past — and found, as many do, that the experience was just fine. Even though the last time I ate ground beef was before the Iraq War began, the burger did strike me as an authentic-tasting representation of the burgers I used to consume mindlessly as a kid.
But it also reminded me of why it had been so easy for me to quit eating most meat, except for an occasional bout of fish, so long ago: I never really liked meat, particularly beef, in the first place. While I enjoyed the novelty of the Impossible Burger, it felt like no substitute for some of the finer veggie burgers I had enjoyed in the past, the kind that don't try to taste like meat at all.
There's very real reason to worry, however, that the Impossible Burger and other products like it might be a threat to the kind of vegetarian cooking I like, which doesn't try to imitate meat but focuses on drawing out the unique taste and feel of vegetables and legumes. I worry that many restaurants, which already often have no more than one or two vegetarian meals on offer in the first place, will decide that it's easier to just sell the Impossible Burger, instead of vegetarian sandwiches and other dishes that unapologetically spotlight vegetables.
Veggie burgers get a bad reputation, from meat eaters who incorrectly assume they exist to replicate the taste of meat. But the best ones do the opposite and use the patty form to really showcase the flavor of whatever combination of beans, cheese, and vegetables it's made of. For instance, one of my favorite burgers to make at home is this beet and goat cheese burger from the New York Times. That burger doesn't try to taste like meat, and nor should it, since both beets and goat cheese are tastier than meat (in my opinion, anyway). Similarly, I've figured out over the years what restaurants offer black bean or quinoa burgers that are delicious in their own right, and not a weak substitute for ground beef...
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Fake meat burgers are 'processed crap' says leading premium beef marketer
Vernon Graham, Mandurah Mail (Australia)
June 10, 2019
James Madden, who heads one of Australia's leading marketers of premium meat brands, says plant-based hamburgers are junk food.
He describes the fake meat burgers from the likes of high-profile US manufacturers, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, as "junk food" and "processed crap".
Mr Madden, managing director of Melbourne-based Flinders + Co, launched a blistering attack on plant-based "meat" during a panel discussion at this week's launch of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework in Sydney.
Last year Flinders + Co became the first meat supplier in the world to fully offset carbon emissions.
The company, originally called Flinders Island Meat, was established in 2010 by Mr Madden's father, David, as a boutique lamb brand after he bought the Flinders Island abattoir.
The company has since evolved into a wholesale meat company distributing some of Australia's best known meat brands including Cape Grim beef, Robbins Island Wagyu, Rosedale Ruby beef, Flinders Island Saltgrass Lamb and Nichols Ethical Free Range Chicken.
Mr Madden admitted he seriously thought about transitioning the company out of meat two or three years ago because of an avalanche of anti-meat messages and wall-to-wall publicity about the alleged health benefits of vegan diets.
He watched a "lot" of documentaries and listened to "noise" about Beyond Meat burgers, Impossible Foods, veganism and the impact of livestock on the environment.
"I was experiencing it (the red meat debate) as a consumer rather than an industry participant at that point. So I probably didn't know enough," he said.
"But I seriously thought about taking our business out of the meat industry.
"Thankfully I didn't. What I ended up doing was digging beneath the surface. And what I found was very reassuring to myself," he said.
Mr Madden was answering a question to the panel from Jenny O'Sullivan, a livestock producer from Victoria's South Gippsland and member of the Beef Sustainability Framework's steering committee.
She asked the panel - which included leading processor, Peter Greenham, Queensland cattle producer, Howard Smith, and Sydney chef, Mike McEnearney - what they would say to farmers concerned and scared about the attacks on their industry by vegans and animal activists...