'If I didn’t know what I was eating, I would have no idea it was not beef' -  Farmers urged not to underestimate rise of vegan alternatives

The Impossible Whopper has been described as the Whopper's
The Impossible Whopper has been described as the Whopper's "twin" by the burger's manufacturer, and contains 17g of protein and 0mg of cholesterol. Photo: Burger King/YouTube/PA Wire

Olivia Petter

Burger King’s new plant-based Whopper has an unlikely fan in the form of a senior US meat industry lobbyist, who has urged livestock farmers not to underestimate the rise of vegan alternatives.

The fast food chain launched its meat-free burger, dubbed the Impossible Whopper, earlier this month at 59 stores in St Louis, Missouri, with the intention of rolling it out at all 7,200 Burger Kings if it proves popular.

Following the launch, Eric Bohl, director of public affairs and advocacy for Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organisation, wrote an online review in which he praised the product created by Californian start-up company, Impossible Foods.

“If I didn’t know what I was eating, I would have no idea it was not beef,” he wrote.

According to Impossible Foods, the Whopper has been purposefully designed so that it “bleeds” like a traditional burger.

Bohl said the differences in taste between it and a normal meat-based Whopper were “pretty minor”.

“If farmers and ranchers think we can mock and dismiss these products as a passing fad, we’re kidding ourselves," he added.

"This is not just another disgusting tofu burger that only a dedicated hippie could convince himself to eat.”

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Bohl continued: “Farmers and ranchers need to take notice and get ready to compete. I’ve tasted it with my own mouth, and this fake meat is ready for prime time.”

In a follow-up post in which he stresses that “now is the time to fight for animal agriculture”, Bohl described the Impossible Whopper as a “wake-up call” to the meat industry.

“The makers of these new products have one goal: to eliminate animal agriculture. Their products are real, they’re here now, and many more are in the pipeline,” he added.

Impossible Foods is backed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The company, which makes its famous plant-based burgers with wheat, potato protein and heme, aims to eliminate meat production altogether, as it says in its mission statement: “We’re making meat using plants, so that we never have to use animals again.”

Independent News Service

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