As someone who has been a (sometimes lapsed) vegetarian for the last 16 years, I have it on good authority that it has never been a better time to be a vegetarian. Just by making a simple dietary choice, people act like you’re some brilliant environmental activist. (I am saving the planet, thanks so much for noticing, Susie!) Beyond that, there are now a gazillion fake meats. Most of them don’t even suck. I cannot stress the inhumanity of ordering the Burger King veggie patty in the early ‘00s, a green and brown mush that was always inexplicably wet. Now they have the Impossible Whopper, and life has never been the same. I love it, but I also know that vegetarian alternatives have become a trend, with copycat brands popping up with increasing regularity. Understandably, the fake meats are fighting now.
According to Business Insider, Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown has picked a fight with all other fake meat brands, saying that all the alternative meats “suck”—except his own, of course. “Some of these products are awful. [It] reinforces this idea that these products suck. My feeling is these big players, big, established companies, are not where changes ever come from. When they see there’s consumer demand, they will try to jump in and take advantage of that,” he said. “On the one hand I feel like it’s great. It’s a great sign about the demand. On the other side, I feel like—and it may sound ironic to say this—I wish they would make better products, basically... Every time someone uses one of those products and it sucks, it’s a setback.”
I agree? The Impossible Whopper is undoubtedly the best meat alternative I’ve had (save for the few luxury goods I’ve indulged in) but saying those other guys “suck”? Those are fighting words. I await for the other brands’ to respond. It’s getting Bachelor in Paradise up in here.
Some fake meats Brown may or may not have been dissing, according to Vice:
- Don Lee Farms’s Better Than Beef burger that “bleeds organic beet juice,” available at Costco.
- Nestle’s Awesome Burger, made of “yellow pea protein.”
- McDonald’s “Beyond Burger-based P.L.T.—plant, lettuce, and tomato.”
- Kellogg’s “Incogmeato” line
- Hormel’s pork alternative Happy Little Plants
- Tyson’s chicken alternative Raised & Rooted
- TBD from Kroger
That’s a lot of options! I love having too many options, it’s the most American thing about me. I am really only hopeful for the Tyson brand because a good fake chicken nugget and/or sandwich would change everything. Until I down a few morsels, I can’t hate on Impossible Foods for igniting this (vegetarian-friendly) beef. They’re the best.