Our nation’s obsession with red meat takes a large toll on the environment and our health, but Beyond Meat—the company behind the 100 percent vegan, plant-based Beyond Burger—wants to change all that. It introduced a savory patty made strictly from plants that it claims looks, cooks, and tastes like red meat. Its ultimate goal: To get consumers to rethink the idea of “meat”—that it doesn’t have to come from an animal, for starters.
“Livestock is the largest contributor of [greenhouse gas] emissions,” says Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown. “So I figured, why do you need an animal to create a piece of meat? That didn’t make sense to me—why don’t we innovate?”
Beyond Meat also makes the Beast Burger, which can be found with the other “veggie” burgers in the frozen food aisle.
But the Beyond Burger is different. The patties—sold in packages of two—look almost exactly like raw beef burgers. In fact, the product sits right next to raw beef in the meat case. The primary ingredient of the Beyond Burger, though, is pea protein. It also contains vegetable oils, yeast extract for a savory taste, “natural flavors,” binders, plant fiber, and extracts.