Meatless patties such as the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are catching on quickly. But what are they made of? And how do they compare nutritionally with actual meat and the classic veggie and black bean alternatives? We compare the information on five product labels here. Beyond Burger's protein comes from ground peas, Impossible's from soy and potato; fats are from various oils. How producers create a savory “umami” taste is a kitchen secret. Some consumers choose meatless offerings to reduce their beef intake for personal or environmental reasons, and some people simply prefer the vegan varieties. But whether any choice is “healthier” is debatable; see the facts.
This article was originally published with the title "Meat the Imitators" in Scientific American 322, 2, 74 (February 2020)