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posted by takyon on Friday January 04 2019, @01:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the flexitarians dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Meatless 'Beyond Burgers' come to Carl's Jr. restaurants

The competition in lab-made veggie burgers is heating up. Beyond Meat has brought its burgers to more than 1,000 Carl's Jr. locations in the US, marking its Beyond's largest restaurant deal to date. Order a $6.29 Beyond Famous Star and you can eat a vegetarian (sorry vegans, there's American cheese) burg that tastes much like its conventional beef counterparts. You can also pay $2 to add a Beyond patty to other burgers on the menu. [...] You can already eat Impossible burgers of various sizes at White Castle, Hopdoddy, [and] Umami Burger

The veggie burgers won't be available at Hardee's (a nearly identical fast food chain operated by the same parent company). Sorry, "flexitarians".

Big Beef Prepares For Battle, As Interest Grows In Plant-Based And Lab-Grown Meats

The U.S. meat industry is gigantic, with roughly $200 billion a year in sales, and getting larger. But the industry faces emerging threats on two fronts: plant-based meat substitutes and actual meat grown in labs. Plant-based meat substitutes are a lot more, well, meaty than they used to be. They sear on the grill and even "bleed." They look, taste and feel in the mouth a lot like meat. Savannah Blevin, a server at Charlie Hooper's, an old-school bar and grill in Kansas City, Mo., says the vegetarian Impossible Burgers on the menu are popular with the meat-eating crowd. "I had a vegetarian actually turn it away, because it reminded them so much of meat, they sent it back," says Blevins. "It's delicious," she adds.

The industry that makes these products is taking off, growing 20 percent a year. "Business is booming," says Todd Boyman, co-founder of food company Hungry Planet. "We just can't keep up. We're actually having to expand our production facilities to keep up with the demand that's out there for this type of food."

[...] The meat industry is focused on shaping the regulatory environment for its new competitors, taking into account lessons learned from the rise of plant-based milks.

Previously: Would You Try Silicon Valley's Bloody Plant Burger(s)?
Impossible Foods Just Raised $75 Million for Its Plant-based Burgers
Inside the Strange Science of the Fake Meat that 'Bleeds'
FDA Approves Impossible Burger "Heme" Ingredient; Still Wants to Regulate "Cultured Meat"

Related: U.S. Cattlemen's Association Wants an Official Definition of "Meat"
Missouri Regulates Use of the Word "Meat" by Food Producers


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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday January 04 2019, @05:50PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Friday January 04 2019, @05:50PM (#782136)

    This is stupid, for 2 reasons:
    1. It still won't get me into a Carl's Jr voluntarily. I have standards when it comes to food.

    2. If they want to offer a veggie burger, there are lots of tastier (and cheaper-to-make) options that aren't trying to pretend to be meat. As in, I'd much rather have a black bean burger that's being honest about not being meat than I would any of the meat-imitation products out there, and even some of the meat-eaters I know will sometimes pick one of those over a beef burger. If you really want the flavor of beef, by far the most efficient way to get that flavor is to eat beef.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05 2019, @02:36AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05 2019, @02:36AM (#782363)

    I think there's room in the market for transition foods. The vegans and vegetarians I know that have been vegan or vegetarian for a few years or longer typically don't care, they'll go right for the black bean burger, falafel, stir fry of a bunch of different root vegetables, lentils, etc... They have no interest in something that tastes like roasted animal flesh.

    But for people like me that are accustomed to having real meat at two meals a day, sevent days a week, then meat-like substitutes make the switch to vegetarianism easier. I've had some tasty black bean burgers. But the Beyond Meat burger tastes genuinely good to someone who likes beef - maybe not as good as the best beef burgers I've had, but flat out better than the beef burgers from any fast food restaurant and most chain restaurants and diners. Right now my freezer has a mix of black bean burgers, quinoa and roast vegetable burgers, and Beyond Meat burgers so I can get a meat-like taste when the mood strikes. Unfortunately at the moment the Beyond Meat burgers are far more expensive than their meat cousins at $12 per pound. I'm lucky enough to be able to fit that into my budget, but I understand that many other people can't. But hopefully as the product gets more popular it will get cheaper.

    Most of the other attempts at meat-like vegetarian and vegan products I've seen from Morningstar, Boca, Gardenburger, and a few other brands are horrid. Their veggie burgers that don't pretend to mimic meat range from adequate to great, but their attempts at meat substitutes are horrid. Beyond Meat passes muster. (Sorry if I sound like a shill. But I discovered the things in late November and have been eating at least two a week since.)