Vegans sue Burger King over meat contamination of Impossible Burger Whopper

No you’re not weird.

I’ve watched various veg burgers arrive at fast food chains and I couid never bring myself to buy one because I didn’t trust how they might be cooked. Part of me is tempted, cheap and available, but I never get further

And neither am I interested in a burger tgat rsembles meat. The last time I ate an animal was 1979. In 1981 I was somewhere with an actual vegan (very rare at that time it was a small chapter in the back of vegetarian books) and she bought some vegetarian hot dogs. In a can, produced by a Seventh Day Adventist group. I coukd barely eat one, either tge rexture or taste reminded me of the real thing. Two years after stoooing meat, it was probably too soon.

So for a decade or so, my burgers were from agrainburger mix. It allowed for a sort of burger experience withiut being really similar. Then eventually I could eat veg dogs and burgers, the real thing too far in the past. But I don’t want something “realistic”.

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That’s assuming that people have time and affinity to cook, to pour over recipes, to experiment, etc. A lot of people do, sure, but even more people don’t, either because they don’t care all that much, or because they’re too busy.

And then some of us like veggies just fine, but also like meat.


Looking through this particular lawsuit, it does look like a grab for fame more than actual outrage. If only the plaintiff were as nuanced and as well thought-out as the comments by Boingers here, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

His whole “waaah, I was tricked!” schtick is disingenuous, and has the taste of feel-good justified outrage. I have no sympathy for him.


"Beef is by far the worst culprit as far as non-sustainability; the amount of resources needed to grow a cow vs. the number of people it feeds is very unbalanced. "

Not true for many parts of the world, like the USA, for example.

About 95% of all American beef cows attain 2/3 to 3/4 of their final weight consuming nothing but rangeland grass and rainfall. (Those that are called “grass-fed” continue eating nothing but grass.)

They are then shipped to feed lots where they are “finished” on “feed” and some “grains”. That “feed” is a manufactured product which contains a whole lot of biomass waste from human crop agriculture (90% of human crop ag biomass is wastage) And a lot of “grains” is also wastage - barley hulls from breweries, for example. “Grains” does also include corn kernels. US beef cows get more or less corn kernels depending on the market price. They get more when the market is glutted.

Overall, US beef cows actually return more food protein than the protein content of all their foods, because their rumens actually make protein from the nitrogen content of grass.

And, yes, cows do produce methane. But, remember all that grass they eat? If they are not making meat and milk and leather and 100 other products from that grass, that grass would simply rot. And produce greenhouse CO2 and methane when it does. Those GHG’s are not subtracted from the amount of GHG ascribed to beef cattle, but they will be sometime soon, according to the EPA.

So, how does US beef stack up as “sustainable”? Actually, quite well. The entire US livestock industry - all the animals used for meat, dairy and 150 other products which would otherwise require GHG-producing synthesis only produce about 3.8% of US total GHG-eq emissions. Human vegetable crop agriculture produces about 5.2% of total - about 50% more than the livestock industry. And beef cows represent about 1.8% of our total emissions. Actual beef meat would be only a percentage of that 1.8%, and that number will be reduced further when the EPA subtracts the natural GHG emissions of uneaten grass.

Also, a good percentage of those beef GHG emissions could be eliminated with a single law that mandated that beef feedlot manure not be stored in aqueous manure lagoons, but instead be spread and incorporated into agricultural soils.

Overall, the contribution of our livestock (and our vegetable crops) to our GHG emissions are tiny compared to the GHG emissions of fossil fuels


But why aren’t vegetables as readily available as meat is?

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Because vegetables are more difficult to produce and transport than meat, at least in the quantities required by supermarkets/etc.? Meat you can freeze or just cool enough to last fairly long, or process it to hell and back until it lasts for months. Also from the most popular meat types, only beef needs huge spaces to produce, chickens and pigs can be kept in tiny cages (let’s not get into the humane aspect for now).

Whereas vegetables - sure, you can freeze many of them but they won’t look too appealing unfrozen and they take up a lot of space in freezers, so that’s not a popular option. And with the exception of a few species, most of them go bad relatively fast. As a grocery store you can buy lots of meat and keep it around far longer than vegetables. I live in the capital of my country, in a fairly densely populated district, and even so I see people just not buying enough vegetables for stores to avoid throwing out a significant percentage of them.

(I mean, it’s bullshit and vegetables should be a lot more available than they are, but there you have it.)

The same could be said for vegetables. You can freeze and cool vegetables and fruits.
This is an apple underground storage where are store and remain fresh for the whole year, and the humble salad could stay fresh in fridge for a week.
On the other hand canned tomatoes, cabbages, bell peppers are an option for long term storage at room temperature.
A big difference with meat is that vegetables are seasonal products, and this could be a problem. Because having tomatoes in January or pumpkins in June is a problem, and people is accustomed to always find the same things in supermarkets.

Yes, I know. As I wrote, you can freeze them but they won’t look appealing once unfrozen. (I mean, for most people. I don’t particularly care, I buy frozen fruits all the time.) And cooling them works for shorter period than with meat, most humble salads will look terrible and unappetizing after a few days, never mind a week. Where I live there are a lot of smaller grocery stores as well as larger supermarket chains. The former usually keep vegetables but people don’t buy them, and after a few days they look terrible and disgusting. The latter obviously keep vegetables but throw out like half of them because people just don’t buy the amounts they’re offering. I also have a farmer’s market nearby which offers homegrown fruits and veggies (duh) - they’re OK most of the time but a lot more expensive. (And over here “farmer’s market” is just that, grannies and small-time farmers selling their produce. None of the bio-organic-etc. thing.)

Certain fruits have been bred to be stored for months and months like apples, or are harvested before they’re ripe, like bananas. But seasonal fruits, the ones people are actually interested in, are not like that and so tend to go to waste from what I can see.

Again, I agree that vegetables should be more readily available. But the reality is that they’re messy and wasteful to deal with. The best solution would be probably local (or at least domestic) producers supplying the goods but obviously they’re too expensive for grocery chains, so, well - there you have it. Yay capitalism.

The best solution for fruits and vegetables, in terms of being able to make them accessible to all, round the calendar year, is also the oldest: canning (whether in glass or cans).

Studies have shown that produce which is frozen or canned is done within hours of picking, so the food is actually fresher and thus more nutritious than the stuff sitting in the produce section of a grocery store.

Yes, there are different preparations to use them, but humans are adaptable. And many people never lost the ability to create yummy meals from frozen or canned.


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Normally, a Whopper is served with mayonnaise, and for all I know there could be animal products in the bun alone. I wouldn’t advise assuming anything was vegan unless specifically represented/requested as such.


I keep seeing this as “man claims” but I kinda thought it was well known that they did this? One of our neighbors posted about their daughter liking the impossible whopper 2 months or so ago and I remember telling them to be careful because they cook them on the same grill as the meat ones.

Maybe they just don’t make it well enough known.

The being said, I think BK should set aside an area for cooking just the impossible burgers.

unless his issue is that he has a meat allergy, then this will get thrown out. The Impossible Whopper has not been advertised as vegan, just a plant based meat burger.

Frivolous lawsuits are frivolous.


I had one once, and yes, it tasted just like a conventional Whopper. Has nothing to do with the tasteless patty and everything to do with condiments, etc.

So that’s why they call it the “impossible” burger.

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I go vegan or vegetarian when possible. But having worked the industry for most of my life you ain’t gonna fit in a strictly vegan cooking setup.



The impossible whopper marketing is not about offering a vegan option at Burger King. It is about pushing a more sustainable source choice for fast food burgers.


Were I vegan I’m sure I would have asked them this before eating. Instead my daughter and I are coeliac and I/we always ask were chips for example cooked in oil with anything else which might contain gluten. Not a problem if they were, we’ll just go hungry or eat somewhere else. Bit of a problem if they don’t tell us though: she’ll projectile vomit (unfortunately 40 minutes later so the restaurant won’t have to clean the mess) and I’ll get arthritis.

And our local vegan cafe is very happy to help us and provides a really nice black bean/mushroom based burger. Bit dearer than BK but eating out is a treat we don’t indulge that often in.


Sell more burgers.

uh. that is not how that works.

The fact that everything else about that burger is decidedly not vegan, and truth be told most fast food places are barely vegetarian friendly let alone vegan friendly…well, yeah…no.

They would be taking on a huge cost and maintenance process for such a small amount of sales that it would never be worthwhile for them to do so.

BK cooks it’s burgers on a chain grate running through a broiler, not on a grill plate. Yes, there will be a minute amount of cross contamination on the grate, but these plant patties aren’t being basted in beef tallow.