In a blind taste test the animal-like protein was preferred over 100% beef burger

Originally published at: In a blind taste test the animal-like protein was preferred over 100% beef burger | Boing Boing


I wonder if these were being compared to good burgers, rather than the average fast-food version of meh.

The kinds of burgers you get at fast food places have no crust, are cooked equally from the outside to the middle, and, while tasty, are middle-to-low on the burger quality scale. I can totally see switching out the protein there and being fine with it, because the protein part of the burger isn’t great to begin with.

By contrast, Mr Ginnicat makes serious beef burgers - thick, seasoned, browned in a cast-iron pan to get a good crust while remaining juicy and medium-rare on the inside (read: there’s a little blood in there). They’re spectacular. And I can’t imagine getting nearly the same effect with a non-meat protein, ever.

But hey, if I’m wrong, and if the ‘plant protein’ versions aren’t jam-packed with something godawfully unhealthy to improve their flavour and texture, I’m open to change.


The red flag for me was the negative of the 100% beef patties being that they were “bland”. I make a good burger, and I use 90% lean beef which every expert out there says is a big no no when it comes to making a tasty burger, and my burgers are NOT bland. I make mine smash style, so you get that nice crustiness on the edges where there’s been some serious Maillard reaction going on.

That being said, while I have no moral objections to eating animal flesh, I do recognize that the massive quantities of animals we raise for food is terrible for the environment, so if they ever make something that’s close in flavor and texture to meat, I will have no trouble at all switching over. I have not found that yet. I don’t like legumes, so all the pea and soy based products are just awful to me. I tried an impossible burger (cooked at home by me) once, and did not like it at all. So I don’t think we’re there yet, regardless of what this study says.


Soylent Green!

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That’s exactly the experience that companies like Impossible worked so hard to emulate, to the point where my vegetarian-from-birth (adult) children don’t like those burgers because the ‘blood’ squicks them out.


Season 9 Baby GIF by The Office


Sorry, I have to eat 100% rare meat burgers, for religious reasons.



I think the issue is less the top percentile burgers, which can be exquisitely tasty, but the average American eats between 3 burgers a week and 2.4(!) a day, depending which study you read. A huge percentage of the burgers that Americans eat are comparatively cheap and flavorless. Veggie burgers are still a work in progress, but compared to what was available just 5 years ago, they’re an order of magnitude better. They probably won’t compete with Mr Ginniecat, but if they outcompete, McDonald’s, this could potentially save lives, reduce cost to consumer, and less land is taken up raising cows.


I must point out that in my experience, I believe it’s important to make the distinction of BURGERS. I tried to make some spaghetti Bolognese once, and still couldn’t shake the fake “smoky” flavor they put into Impossible meat. For burgers, it’s fine, but for Bolognese, it just tastes so weird.


Yeah, some of the one note burgers are fine for intended use, but can only play one note.

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I’m a vegetarian and I applaud the advancement of good tasting fake meat but im just imagining the people who thought they were eating a real burger blowing up like chris Farley in this fake ad from SNL:


Joke as much as you want, Impossible Burger is the best. Tastes fantastic and does not give you heartburn.


I haven’t tried Bolognese with a meat-alternative yet, but will say, that tacos with beyond beef over ground beef is somewhere between indistinguishable to superior, to my palate. Likely as the ground beef is there mostly to carry the spices and add texture, the fake stuff works great.


Ah. Sounds like you’re a follower of Rev. Horton Heat.


So I’m curious to know whether this latest “meat-like protein” is actually meat-like enough that it would work to feed cats. I’ve read that so far there aren’t any fake meats out there that felines can eat. Definitely not the Impossible burgers, anyway.

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I make a “bolognese” sauce often with the pea protein products and it’s delicious. As for smokey flavor… I add smoky paprika and love it. The first time I had an impossible burger at home I had to get the package out of the trash to make sure I had not bought beef. It’s also great for empanadas.


Eh, plant-based burgers also come in a range of quality levels and can be prepared in better and worse ways.

I think the best you can say is that there are a lot of variables this study may not account for, rather than “MY meat burger obviously would have swept this whole study.”

To pit anecdote against anecdote, growing up as an omnivore, beef was always the grossest meat to me, in terms of flavor and mouth feel, and even if I weren’t a vegan today, I’d prefer even a cheap frozen Boca burger over a beef burger any day of the week. But I also can’t mistake my personal experience as some kind of counterpoint to the breadth of data collected in this (limited) study.


Yeah, cats are obligated carnivores, even more so than dogs. I’ve read accounts of folks who have developed plant based diets for their cats, but it only seems to work in very specific cases with very specific diets for very specific animals, rather than just dumping a bunch of Beyond crumbles in the food dish and calling it a day.


I wasn’t questioning the flavor. I was asking if cats can eat it safely, as they have specific dietary needs.

Even this vegan website warns not to feed Beyond Meat to cats.

My Cat Ate Beyond Meat: Should I Worry?.


Same for me, I wonder if they didn’t season the beef. When I make burgers I mix a little salt (or something containing salt like Worcestershire or soy sauce) into the ground beef before making the patties.

Comparing the USDA values for ground beef and the Beyond Meat site for the amount per patty of Beyond Burgers, the Beyond Burgers has almost 4 time the sodium of a 1/4lb ground beef burger. Impossible Burger has a direct comparison on their site, and it is close to 5 times the sodium.

Comparing a pre-seasoned item to in unseasoned item isn’t a good comparison.