Beyond Beyond Meat

As a somewhat health conscious guy, I have been very excited to try all the new and improved veggie burgers out now that trick our brain into thinking it is meat. In fact, the companies would probably rather us not call them veggie burgers. This is why they have clever names like the Beyond Burger or the Impossible Burger, how cool do those sound? My first time trying the Impossible Burger was with Jerry on his birthday. I most recently tried the fast food Beyond Burger at Carl’s Jr.

A Growing Trend?

As a society we are gradually awakening to the concept that the food we eat creates different outcomes for our physical health, mental health and environment. When we eat real wholesome food we feel better. When we eat highly processed and industrially manufactured food our health and planet suffer. Highly caloric and nutrient deficient foods lead to poor health, and for most of us makes us just feel awful. Compare that to eating a meal rich in vegetables, fruit, healthy fats and lean proteins. I feel better already. All this said, I try to strike a balance in life. For me personally, there is a place for a fast food treat every once in a while, I just try not to make it a daily habit. So I finally went back into a Carl’s Jr. after a 20 year hiatus and ordered the Beyond Meat vegetarian burger. So here is my first experience with the Beyond Burger and some thoughts as an investment.

A Meaty IPO

The Beyond Meat stock (Ticker BYND) made a mouth watering debut recently. The initial public offering was $25/share and now hovers around $80/share. If someone had invested $10,000, they would have over $30,000 in current value a month later. That can buy a lot of hamburgers! This veggie patty, made by the most successful initial public stock offering company of 2019, was pretty good (although not perfect). But more importantly it made me think about what we eat and the effect on our environment, bodies and minds. And after eating the burger from Carl’s Jr. I did not feel awful an hour later. The CEO of Beyond Meat believes that modern meat production and consumption takes a toll on human health, the environment, natural resources and animal welfare with unintended consequences of such illnesses as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. He says this about their product: “At Beyond Meat, we take these constituent parts directly from plants, and together with water, organize them following the basic architecture of animal-based meat. We bypass the animal, agriculture’s greatest bottleneck.”

Taste & Experience

So I stepped into a Carl’s Jr. with my friend. As a somewhat healthy eating person most of the time, I had not walked into a Carl’s Jr. for at least 15 plus years. My first thought was wow, their marketing plan worked. They just got this guy (me) to walk in their store. I would not have even considered it a month ago. I ordered my Beyond Burger meal with a coffee. The cashier said she liked it. This is not just a Carl’s Jr. thing, there is the Impossible Whopper hitting stores now. In addition, as I drove away from the Carl’s I passed a Del Taco that was advertising beyond meat tacos. Something is clearly going on in the national food zeitgeist for all this to be happening. The overall eating pleasure experience was good. My primitive monkey brain was tricked just enough to believe I was just eating a regular meat burger. Is Vegetarianism really going mainstream? I have several family members that have gone vegan recently, mainly as a way to clean up their health, feel better, have more energy and lost weight. Keep in mind that there is the concept of the junk food Vegetarian. A lot of processed crap in supermarkets is not meat, this does not mean it is healthy. In fact, it might be healthier to eat a steak!

Is It Healthy?

The Beyond Burger itself is mainly made of peas, canola oil, salt and other stuff. The Beyond Famous Star has the following nutritional information: 710 calories 40g of fat, but no saturated fat 1550mg of sodium (wow, too high. It is recommended to consume no more than 2,300 tops, but lately nutritionists are recommending closer to 1500) 61g of carbs 5g of fiber 12g of sugars 30g of protein Is this healthy? not sure, depends on your situation. My biggest critique would be the amount of sodium. As an every once in a while part of an overall healthy diet, I will definitely indulge. But if someone is on the brink of heart disease, this could be way too much sodium.

Is It Better For The Planet?

How do we feed 10 billion people without destroying the spaceship Earth we all live on? Scientists say in order to feed a growing global population and slow climate change, we will need to dramatically change our food system. Meat and Sugar production and consumption take a toll on our health and the environment. In many ways environmental health is directly linked to our own health. It may sound strange to Americans, but many cultures around the world are quite comfortable eating cooked bugs. Apparently they are a great source of lean protein and low fat. Is the bug burger patty next? The genius of the burger concept is that it creates a simple low cost meal. It can have veggies, carbs, fat, protein and nutrients in one package. Overall I was satisfied with my Beyond Meat experience. I would eat it again, but would also watch my sodium intake for the remainder of the day. I’m not washing that thing down with a Bloody Mary. Is it a good stock? Maybe. US plant based meat sales are projected to hit $1 billion soon. The potential to expand the market seems rather large as folks look for ways to eat healthier, or at least live an illusion of healthy eating. Or some folks may want to do more to improve environmental conditions as humanity approaches 10 billion on spaceship Earth over the next couple of decades.

I still love the Michael Pollen rules of thumb for healthier eating:

  • Eat real food
  • Mostly plants
  • Not too much
Veganism started going mainstream last year. The success of Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger is the capitalist market responding to demand signals. In my opinion, it’s important to keep in mind that this is still processed food. Therefore, I considered this a fast food treat, not particularly healthy. Perhaps healthier than the normal Carl’s Jr. meal, but by how much? Make sure to keep the onions and tomatoes on the burger!

Other Ways To Eat Healthier:

G-BOMBS For Super Health 7 Superfoods 7 Foods To Unclog Arteries  

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