The meat-free burgers with a “bloody” twist
In the last couple of years “fake burgers” have come onto the scene and caused a bit of a stir. Totally plant-based, these meat-free burgers have been engineered to look, taste and feel just like your average beef burger with some even including ‘blood’.
We get it, you have questions. Where does the ‘blood’ come from? Why do we need these burgers? Where can I try one of these strange concoctions? That’s what we’re here for and ready to shed some light on what seems like a strange laboratory creation.
What are they?
With most meat alternatives being made from the likes of soy protein, wheat protein, fungus and other plant-based ingredients, the ‘blood’ like substance is primarily mushroom and beetroot juice, with a little coconut oil to add a realistic greasiness.
UK brand, Moving Mountains created their meat-free B12 Burger with the intention of making a patty that “tastes, looks, smells and chews like animal meat”.
Other brands such as the US-based Impossible Foods have also followed suit by combining wheat protein and potato protein patties with heme; the red molecule that can be found inside every living thing and is responsible for making meat taste the way it does.
Harnessing this molecule from plants, Impossible Foods’ burgers taste not dissimilar to actual meat and even ooze ‘blood’.
Why do we need them?
You would be mistaken for thinking these patties have been created for the vegan population but that isn’t necessarily the case.
In the UK there are approximately only 550,000 people who have adopted a vegan diet. As delicious as beet-burgers and quinoa patties can be, for many meat eaters, mock-meat soy burgers aren’t close enough in texture and taste to the real deal. The aim of these “bleeding” meat-free burgers then, is not to provide the vegan population with another meat alternative, but to encourage omnivores and the 22 million flexitarians in the UK to reduce their meat intake in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.
With claims from Impossible Foods that each of their wheat and potato protein patties “requires approximately 75% less water and 95% less land, and generates about 87% lower greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional burger from cows” make it easy to understand why meat-eaters are giving their products a go.
Though these meat-free patties are similar in taste and texture to beef, both the B12 Burger and Impossible Burger contain zero cholesterol and no hormones or antibiotics, whilst still providing you with 20g protein per serving. This added benefit of a healthier burger means there’s no reason not to give one of these juicy plant burgers a go.
Where can you try one?
You can try, and judge, one of these ‘fake burgers’ for your self at various London restaurants. Tuck into the Vegan Bacon and Cheese Burger at Maxwells, The Vegan Mac Daddy at Dirty Bones, The Beyond Burger at King’s Cross Honest Burger, and the Moving Mountains Burger at Tell Your Friends.
You will soon be able to purchase “bleeding” burgers in supermarkets for your next meat-free barbecue. Iceland now stocks the No Bull Burger, whilst Beyond Burger will soon be available at Tesco and Sainsbury’s.