Want it your way? If you stick to a plant-based diet, Burger King is ready to make that happen. According to USA Today, after a successful test-run in St. Louis, Burger King is gearing up to add the vegan Impossible Burger to its menus nationwide. (PSA: Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you want your food options to be relegated to the salad menu.)
“The Impossible Whopper test in St. Louis went exceedingly well and as a result there are plans to extend testing into additional markets in the very near future,” the burger chain said in a statement to USA Today. This is simple supply and demand, friends.
While the Impossible Burger’s new ubiquity is a clear sign plant-based eating is well on its way to becoming uber mainstream, the question becomes: Is the vegan patty really healthy? When we asked registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake, RDN, she felt lukewarm about its nutrition quality due to its high saturated fat content (14 grams). “A lot of these plant-based burgers are getting a lot of press, but I would prefer for people to find an alternative with less saturated fat,” she says. Besides being high in saturated fat, condiments like ketchup and mustard can be sneaky sources of added sugar.
Dana Perls, a senior food and agriculture campaigner for the environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth, also points out that the Impossible Burger has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which is why you can’t yet find it in grocery stores.“The first application that Impossible Foods sent to the FDA came back with a number of concerns about allergens, the lack of longterm safety assessment, and questions about 46 undisclosed proteins that have never been in the human diet before,” Perls says. A rep from Impossible Burger, meanwhile, tells me these issues have been addressed and they expect FDA approval in 2019.
While Impossible Burger may not be as healthy as some of the vegan patty options you’ll find in the frozen food section at your local grocery store, it’s still major that vegetarians and vegans will have a way to eat a delicious burger from a fast food restaurant. Because let’s be honest: Sometimes, you just want a Whopper.
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