If you're vegan, or have friends who are, you've surely heard of Beyond Meat.
It is a company that has revolutionized the concept of meat to make it acceptable even in the vegan world, where any food of animal origin is strictly prohibited in the diet.
And so here is the vegetable hamburger, a specialty that 40 countries around the world have already introduced with the distribution of Beyond Meat: Italy and the rest of the world already adore it.
But how is this Beyond burger made? What does it taste like and what do people who have tasted it think?
These and other questions are the theme that we will address in this article that will let you get to know a world where meat becomes vegetable!
Beyond Burger: the vegan revolution in the kitchen
If the binomial meat and vegetable seems bizarre to you, it means that you don't know Beyond Meat. Don't worry, we'll explain it to you.
Beyond Meat is a company established in 2009 in Los Angeles that produces meat of plant origin, strictly cruelty free and suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.
The revolution that has established it as a leader in vegetable production is the taste so similar to that of real meat and which therefore makes it even more attractive even to those who have only recently approached this food style.
The nice vegetable burger idea was born from the genius of Ethan Brown, founder of Beyond Meat, who wanted to give an alternative to classic meat even to those who chose not to eat it, promoting his personal fight against cruelty reserved for animals in industrial production of meat. It seemed like a gamble at the beginning, but little by little it took hold nation by nation until it became a colossus now loved everywhere. Certainly there was no lack of criticism that tried to dampen the initial enthusiasm, but the flavor and the variety of products available made these attempts to bury the vegetable cuisine, which today is also appreciated in Italy, in vain.
Beyond Meat: Italy and Italians are literally crazy about it! Because it's not just any meat, but a food that before being marketed was subjected to careful research, quality tests and analyzes to find the most suitable taste to become the number one substitute for meat.
The burger that loves animals and the environment
The leading company in the plant sector respects both the animal world and the surrounding environment.
In line with vegan principles, it supports the cruelty free culture, which abolishes all forms of cruelty to animals and makes it a solid principle even in the kitchen. In this they also found the approval of those who are not part of the vegan world, but who are sensitive to delicate issues such as the one involving animals not only in food production but also in the textile and cosmetic sector, linked to experiments of a questionable nature.
And then there is the fight for the environment. The proposed vegetable alternative also imposes itself as a sustainable solution that fights against climate change, limiting the emission of CO2 that is released in farms. In this way we say No to deforestation sometimes made necessary to make way for farms. In addition, the costs associated with transport are also cut.
The environmental impact of the production of vegetable burgers is really low. There is talk of a percentage of emissions of 90% less than the competition of animal origin, with a quantity of energy required equal to only 46%.
So: Beyond Meat supports the environment, animals and even vegans! But the question arises: how is this burger that is talked about so much made? Let's find out together.
Beyond Meat Italia: how is it made?
The ingredients of a Beyond Burger are 100% vegetable: this is the first principle to know before tasting it.
It is not a food for the exclusive use only of those who do not usually eat meat, such as vegans, but also of those who are considered omnivorous, but who decide to limit the consumption of meat for medical or personal needs. So who said veggie burgers are just for someone?
Its flavor and its ingredients make it palatable and tasty for practically everyone, and this prerogative has become the strength of Beyond Meat over time. Italy and the rest of the world have tried and approved it and now it can also be found in many fast food restaurants as an integral part of the menu.
But how is it made and what are its ingredients? Here are some:
- brown rice pea protein,
- rapeseed oil,
- refined coconut oil,
- yeast extract,
- Arabic gum,
- sunflower oil,
- succinic acid,
- acetic acid,
- modified starch,
- bamboo fiber,
- potato starch,
- beet juice,
- vegetable glycerin.
In nutritional terms it is made up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals (especially iron).
As you can see, these are all vegetable ingredients. Furthermore, they are products that do not contain GMOs, palm oil, gluten, hormones, antibiotics or cholesterol. Someone calls it the protein food of the future, but what is certain is that for the moment it represents the new way of feeling good at the table by respecting one's beliefs and enjoying a sandwich with "meat" that deserves to be tried for its such a unique flavor.
Beyond Meat's specialties
Each ingredient is skilfully mixed with the others to give life to the various "meat-non-meat" specialties to be used for tasty recipes, including vegan ones, and to prepare the classic fast food hamburgers, ideal for a summer barbecue.
The product line is therefore suitable for any occasion, from Sunday lunch to an evening with friends to a sandwich to be eaten away from home.
Here are the most loved:
- Beyond Burger. In its most classic variant there is the hamburger, which can be eaten inside a sandwich or as a second course even in high-protein diets.
- Beyond Sausage. For those who don't want to give up the typical hot dog, there is the vegetable sausage, particularly loved by the younger ones too because it closely resembles the shape and flavor of the classic sausage.
- Beyond MeatBalls. There are also meatballs. Tasty, vegetable and suitable for every recipe: to be enjoyed with sauce to accompany pasta or even alone for a second course that gives an energy boost.
- Beyond Mince. Minced meat to cook meat sauce, meatballs, or become the top ingredient to flavor tacos and wraps.
And for those looking for something even more delicious, the Beyond Welldone has also been created, which also contains a vegan slice of cheese.
How to prepare a vegan meat recipe
Traditional and vegan cuisine have many recipes in common that can be reworked in a vegetable key only by changing the ingredients.
For this reason, having Beyond Meat products at home is a way to diversify your menus and indulge in a whim that may not be part of your usual diet.
The easiest way to enjoy Beyond's vegan meat is on bread: whether it's the classic burger or sausage, it doesn't require any special preparation and can be savored and seasoned immediately after cooking. The rest depends on your imagination and the desire to be a little more daring by enriching the sandwich with various sauces and condiments.
With minced meat, on the other hand, there is more space for meals seated at the table, even more elaborate. Stuffed mushrooms or peppers, soup with vegetables, pasta with sauce: in short, it can practically go well with everything you want to cook, from a simple first course to a second course.
You don't need to follow particular indications: the important thing is to cook the vegetable meat and not eat it raw, not because there are any contraindications, but only because it would not give that savory taste which instead characterizes it in the dishes.
Beyond Meat Italia: opinions of the stars…
The alternative to meat of animal origin has won the palate of many public figures who have shared their views with the press. We are talking about influential people of the caliber of Bill Gates, who has even become a shareholder of Beyond Meat. Ethically involved in the principles underlying the company's choice and certainly enticed by the special taste of this vegetable-based meat, the billionaire has supported it from the outset and has made it a point of reference for promoting greater awareness of sustainable culture.
But even famous actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio have become spokesmen for Beyond Meat, encouraging his audience to make the same food and lifestyle choice as they do. Here is his statement:
“The shift from animal meat to plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures you can take to reduce your climate impact. The company's ability to create tasty and healthy meat directly from plants will play a very important role in the fight to protect the environment.”
But also football players (just to mention Lukaku) and influencers have decided to sponsor and support vegan meat, which does not have an exclusively commercial value in the food sector, but above all in the ethical-environmental one, which meets many acclaim in the world.
…and ordinary people
What about ordinary people? It's easy to think that the stars often support some choices for reasons of financial interests (such as the purchase of company shares). And instead here we can say that Beyond Meat brings everyone together, public and non-public figures, who are really united by the desire to look for alternatives that are good for you and that are projected towards change.
The reviews on Beyond Meat products, in Italy as in the rest of the countries, are absolutely positive.
They enhance the flavor so similar to that of meat, or the variety of products that can be easily used in the kitchen in varied recipes.
Because, even if vegans love it because it is an excellent vegetable alternative to animal meat, by now everyone wants to try the Beyond burger, even if only out of curiosity and they are pleasantly surprised and impressed by it.
Beyond Meat: where to buy vegan meat
Beyond Meat: Is Italy a country that sells its products? The answer is yes!
Fortunately, after the boom that occurred shortly after its diffusion, it was decided to promote the Beyond brand even across the border and it also arrived here in Italy.
Vegetable meat can be found in the Alì & Alìper, Esselunga and Carrefour supermarkets.
But not only. Many marketplaces of the caliber of Amazon deal with this product chain and offer it in its various solutions. And then there are always many small online shops, especially dedicated to vegan cuisine, which deal with typical vegetable products and in their assortment there is no shortage of space just for Beyond Meat.
Even some restaurants and fast food restaurants have let themselves be conquered by this vegetable variety and have included it in their menus, driven not only by the success of the brand but also by the increasingly frequent request for vegan and vegetarian alternatives.
Beyond Meat Italia: contraindications for the consumer?
And finally, someone wonders: will eating a Beyond Burger have any contraindications for my health?
This is a question that we can only partially answer, as there is no evidence that suggests that it could damage health.
Obviously excessive (or exclusive) consumption is not good: being similar to meat it could affect some important values which are negatively affected by the contribution of saturated fats and salt.
We certainly do not recommend it to those who need to reduce protein in their diet, but for others there are no obvious contraindications as long as they diversify their diet and do not use these products for exclusive use.
Indeed, it is known that the vegetable proteins they often require to be associated with other nutrients to ensure a complete requirement and not debilitate the person. Even in the case of athletes, the same principle applies and therefore it is important to remember to change the foods often in your weekly food planner.
However, the more skeptical complain about some consequences related to liver problems, water retention, increased blood sugar and blood pressure, due to the amount of salt it contains.
In conclusion, we can say that Beyond Meat is now a consolidated reality that attracts attention and invites you to try modern alternatives that go beyond the usual diet, both for the principles underlying one's lifestyle and for the desire to change and try foods new. So, what's wrong with indulging in a Beyond Burger once in a while?