Although I'm not vegan (I'm technically a seafood-eating pescatarian), I have sworn off meat completely. However, that doesn't stop me from craving a nice juicy burger every once in a while.
I was therefore very excited to see yesterday's news that mega burger chain Burger King is testing the plant-based Impossible Burger (dubbed the Impossible Whopper) in 59 restaurants in the St. Louis area. If the test goes well, then the fast-food chain is expected to roll out its Impossible Whopper nationwide.
The Impossible Burger is showing up in an increasing number of restaurant chains across the U.S. In addition to Burger King, you can find Impossible Burgers at Umami Burger, White Castle, Cheesecake Factory, Fatburger, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. Of course, McDonald's has been testing its own vegan burger in Europe for some time, but unfortunately there's no sign that it's going to make it to the U.S. anytime soon.
There's also a competitor to the Impossible Burger -- the Beyond Burger -- that can be found at Carl's Jr., Del Taco, A&W, and other fast-food restaurants as well as an increasing number of grocery stores.
But, back to the Impossible Burger.
I recently had one of those burger cravings, and decided to track down an Impossible Burger and give it a taste test. Using the locator on the company's website, I quickly found a surprisingly long list of restaurants that sell the burgers in my area. I picked the closest location and headed out.
I placed my order: an Impossible Burger on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions. About 7 minutes later, my burger arrived and I took a moment to admire it. It looked like a burger, smelled like a burger, and felt like a burger while I eagerly held it in my hands. As my salivary glands kicked into overdrive, and dove in.
The Impossible Burger didn't just look, smell, and feel like a burger, it tasted like one too. I don't mean "sort of" or "kind of" tasted like a burger -- I mean it really did taste like a real, cow-based burger.
If this is the future of fast food, then count me in.
I am glad to see that tasty and affordable plant-based food options are becoming more common. Not only do they provide customers with a potentially healthier alternative to meat, as the Impossible Burger website points out, it's good for the Earth:
Animal agriculture uses a tremendous amount of the world's natural resources: it's responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, consumes 25% of the world's fresh water, and occupies nearly half of the world's land.
So, whatever the reason you choose to eat the Impossible Burger or any other plant-based competitor, you can now count taste among the reasons why. It's that good.