Have you tried a Beyond Meat burger yet? By now most everyone has heard of this trendy new idea: a mass market burger that is made from 100% plant-based products.
The vegan burger industry has been booming lately, as consumers look beyond traditional meat products. This attitude comes from both environmental and health concerns.
Beyond Meat went public on the NASDAQ last April. And though the company is not profitable, the stock currently trades at about 325% of its initial public offering price.
Head to the closest Denny’s if you have not yet had the experience. They offer the “Beyond Burger.” While one would think the product is fairly uniform from location to location, Practical Chicago tried it on Harlem Avenue in Norridge.
Do not be put off by the “progressive” lifestyle overtones associated with this product. It is actually very enjoyable. It tastes good, and fairly close to a regular hamburger.
But the plant-based food label can be misleading. This is not health food. A CNBC article from last summer noted high levels of sodium and saturated fat in meatless burgers. The Denny’s nutrition guide lists 2,240 milligrams of sodium and 17 grams of saturated fat in a Beyond Burger with fries. That is almost an entire day’s maximum intake of sodium and more than an entire day’s maximum intake of saturated fat, as recommended by the American Heart Association.
By comparison, according to McDonald’s, a Big Mac with fries has 1,120 milligrams of sodium and 11.5 grams of saturated fat.
Like all other fun food, the Beyond Burger is probably fine in moderation for people without health conditions. But eating this on a regular basis and thinking your diet has improved looks like a dubious proposition.
Trendy companies come and go all the time. It remains to be seen if Beyond Meat will become profitable or flame out like so many hot ideas before it.
Whatever the case, those interested in new dining experiences will certainly find the Beyond Burger interesting.
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