A Plant-Based Chef Tests the Plant-Based Impossible Burger

Print icon
By Jeanne Tennis

Are you kidding me?

That was my initial reaction when asked to write about the Impossible Burger.

Surely there is no place for “lab meat” in a whole-food, plant-based diet. Why on earth would I want to eat anything manufactured to bleed?

The Impossible Burger is the creation of Impossible Foods and is billed as the “impossibly delicious game changer of a burger.” Their mission is grand and admirable as described by Pat Brown, CEO & Founder of Impossible Foods, and detailed on their website, impossiblefoods.com:

“To drastically reduce humanity’s destructive impact on the global environment by completely replacing the use of animals as a food production technology. We intend to accomplish this mission within two decades by creating the world’s most delicious, nutritious, affordable and sustainable meat, fish and dairy foods directly from plants.”

With an ingredient list noting protein from potatoes, wheat and soy, fat from coconuts and various vitamins and minerals and a specific heme protein called soy leghemoglobin, the company site proclaims these burgers to be healthy, nutritious and safe. Billed as a healthy option, rather than a health food, the burger is cholesterol-free and does not contain added antibiotics, hormones and artificial flavors.  The high protein and fat content are similar to ground beef and the flavor and appearance are intentionally meant to resemble meat.

But I am an ardent supporter of organic farms and non-GMO products and I like to know exactly what I’m eating. Besides, I was never a huge burger fan. Nonetheless, in the name of personal curiosity and professional research, I embarked on my taste-testing of the Impossible Burger at an area Plan B Burger Bar. (The Impossible Burger, not sold in stores, is only available at select restaurant establishments.)

My Impossible Patty, served on a sesame-seed bun, appeared crumbly, well-done and, thankfully, not bleeding. While much credit is due to Plan B Burger’s roasted tomato, caramelized onions and vegan chipotle ranch toppings and hot off the grill timing, I must admit that my Impossible Burger was remarkably palatable. It was surprisingly delicious and tasted exactly like the well-done beef burgers I ate in my younger days. The burger was everything the website claimed it to be.

Would I recommend the Impossible Burger?  I do advise first perusing the Impossible Foods website impossiblefoods.com to know exactly what you’re getting in to.

The Impossible Burger may have a place in your eating plan as an occasional meal while transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, but  its highly processed nature and lack of organic or non-GMO ingredients dissuade me from recommending regular consumption of it.

Switching to plant-based eating has, indeed, shown profoundly positive and well-documented effects on both our overall health and the environment. Significant improvements in physical and mental health, energy and vitality, digestion and sleep and a reduction in inflammation along with the potential to prevent, treat and reverse many of the leading causes of death in the world including heart disease, stroke, cancers, Type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are irrefutable reasons to center your meals around plants and whole foods.

A truly beneficial plant-based diet focuses on a wide variety of whole foods; vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds and quality, minimally processed ingredients.

Our bodies thrive on quality foods for vibrant and optimal health. Do your research, enjoy sampling the occasional processed plant-based foods available and better yet create some of your own plant-based burgers and meals in your home kitchen.

Jeanne Tennis is a plant-based cooking consultant and personal chef. She teaches hands-on cooking classes at the Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital including the popular four-week Anti-inflammatory Cooking Class Series. To register for one of her classes, visit HartfordHospital.org/events

 


What's New


Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic Opens in Newington

Staff from Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network joined members of the Newington Chamber of Commerce and Town Council for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Hospital of Central Connecticut Rehabilitation Network’s new outpatient clinic on Fenn Road in Newington.  The event was also attended by representatives from the Hartford HealthCare/GoHealth Urgent Care...

Tofu Salad

Recipe: Tasty Tofu Lunch Salad

By Jeanne Tennis Here’s a good-for-you recipe for the hottest days of the summer: No oven or stovetop required. Tasty Tofu Lunch Salad In a mixing bowl combine: One small organic carrot, finely grated. 3 -4 Tablespoons of organic onion, minced. 1 heaping Tablespoon of fresh, organic dill. 3-4 Tablespoons...

Protein Sources

Protein: How to Unlock a Key to Weight Loss

Protein, protein, protein . . . Everywhere you look, it seems, someone is talking about the importance of protein and its role in weight loss and weight maintenance. So why is protein so important and what does it do? Proteins are commonly referred to as the building blocks of life....


ICYMI: Highlights from The Rob Dibble Show June 2018

Did you miss the June 2018 live broadcast of The Rob Dibble Show featuring Hartford HealthCare‘s Dr. Cliff Rios and physical therapist Sarah Emlaw? Check out these podcasts and you’ll be completely up-to-date. The Connect To Healthier podcasts are free for streaming or download. Get them on Google Play, SoundCloud, iTunes, and...


The Peruvian-Hartford Connection: Bringing Medical Care to the Underserved

For the past 12 years, a volunteer team of medical experts from Connecticut join the charitable organization Dreaming and Working Together in Lima, Peru, for a weeklong mission to help the medically underserved population there by providing various types of spinal surgeries, dental care and prosthetic and rehabilitative services. This...

Wendy Nichols

Exercising in the Searing Summer Heat? Some Tips

With summer in full swing, people are getting outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and get some exercise. Although being active is good for your health, Wendy Nichols, area director for the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, offers these precautions for staying safe: When to work out: It’s best to work out early...


Joint Replacement: When Will I Know?

Chances are when Shakira sang, “My hips don’t lie and I am starting to feel it’s right,” she wasn’t contemplating hip replacement. Or knee replacement, for that matter. But our body sends signals when it’s running out of steam. When you are tired, you rest. When you are hungry, you...