With more and more people across the nation opting to ditch the meat and animal products and move towards a plant-based diet, we are seeing many alternative options emerge. While in some ways this is definitely a step in the right direction, we still have to be wary of what these products are made of and how they are made and determine whether or not they are actually healthy for us to consume.
Recently, the Impossible Burger hit White Castle restaurants across the U.S. This is soy derived, genetically modified burger, that ‘bleeds,’ it’s creators claim that it is safe, healthy and good for the planet, but is this true? Let’s take a closer look.
The company behind this is a Silicon Valley startup called Impossible Foods. They have received over $400 million dollars worth of funding from pro-GMO advocates like Bill Gates. The company’s genetically modified ‘ground beef analog product’ has penetrated in the mainstream market when it hit over 400 White Castle Burger restaurants throughout the U.S. this past month. This burger has already been served at Applebee’s, Bareburger, Whalburgers, and other independent restaurants throughout the U.S.
Is This Burger Truly Safe?
In July of this year, the FDA granted this product as GRAS status, (Generally Recognized As Safe) which essentially exempts it from human safety studies. Considering the product is made from genetically modified soybeans, it makes it very difficult to believe that this burger is actually healthy. What gives this product its distinct blood-like color and taste is a protein called heme that is derived from soy protein. It is also known as legume hemoglobin or leghemoglobin and can be found in the root system of soy plants in very small quantities. However, it is estimated that it would take approximately 1 acre of soybeans in order to produce just 2.2 pounds of soy leghemoglobin.
Realistically, we have no idea how such a massive amount of this protein, and specifically from a genetically modified source will affect us in the long run. A Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed the FDA’s concern over Impossible Foods admitting that up to one-quarter of it’s “heme” ingredient consisted of 46 unexpected additional proteins, which were not tested for safety.
Don’t forget to refer to the articles linked about that go into more detail and provide more of the science.
What’s In An Impossible Burger?
First of all, what is a well-known allergen, affecting millions of Americans and the cause of so many adverse effects on the digestive system? Roundup herbicide is often used in wheat production as a pre-harvest desiccant. Surprise, surprise, the potato is also EPA-approved for Roundup herbicide desiccant treatment, and of course, the soy that is being used as an ingredient is genetically modified, which means it also contains a hefty dose of Roundup. This is why it’s so important to be aware of what you are putting into your body, it’s one thing to read ingredient labels and an entirely different thing to understand what those ingredients are and what they represent.