Maybe you heard about Impossible Burger from a friend. Perhaps you tried it at a restaurant – like your local burger joint or a chain like Burger King, Qdoba or Johnny Rockets. Or you saw a celebrity like Serena Williams or Katy Perry posting a delicious Impossible Burger recipe on Instagram. But regardless of how you found out about Impossible Burger, you’re not alone in trying it out! Millions of consumers are making the switch to meat made from plants for lots of reasons – including health, the environment and animal welfare.
These flexitarians (meat eaters that also eat plant-based foods) love Impossible Burger because its meaty texture satisfies their craving for beef*, while using 96% less land, 87% less water, and 89% less greenhouse gas emissions than beef from a cow. You might be thinking to yourself, ‘That’s great, but is Impossible Burger healthy?’ Read on for everything you need to know about the nutritional content of Impossible Burger, how it compares to ground beef from cows and why meat made from plants is key to our planet’s future.
What ingredients are in Impossible Burger?
Health and safety have always been core to our mission. We don't just want to make meat differently -- we want to make it better. That's why Impossible Burger is made with ingredients that are nutritious and delicious:
Protein from soy and potatoes deliver that meaty bite with 19g of protein per 4 oz serving, the same as 80/20 ground beef.
Flavor from heme(opens in a new tab), a molecule found in all living things, that gives meat (and our product) its unmistakably meaty favor.
Sizzle from coconut oil, sunflower oil and binders that give Impossible Burger its juiciness and versatility so you can use it any way you’d use ground beef.
Essential micronutrients like B vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium that are found in many foods we eat
Nutrition facts for Impossible Burger
When it comes to nutrition, we strive to be equivalent to, or better than, the animal-based products we replace. Every 4 oz. serving of Impossible Burger contains:
19g of protein— the same as 80/20 ground beef
0mg cholesterol (14 g total fat and 8 g saturated fat)
0g trans fat
25% the daily value of iron
A good source of vitamins and minerals like Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Niacin, Folate
No animal hormones or antibiotics
Full ingredient list: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals: Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12
Impossible Burger Compared to 80/20 Beef
Both Impossible Burger and 80/20 beef are excellent sources of protein and plentiful sources of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
However, there are a few key differences. Check out Impossible Burger vs 80/20 beef in a 4 oz serving:
Total Fat: 14g vs 23g
Cholesterol: 0 mg vs 80mg
Fiber: Good source of fiber vs very little fiber
Iron and Potassium: 2X more than 80/20 beef
Calcium: 7X more than 80/20 beef
Environmental impact: Impossible Burger uses 96% less land, 87% less water, and 89% less greenhouse gas emissions than beef
Finally, Impossible Burger contains none of the animal hormones, animal antibiotics, or highly processed lean finely textured beef associated with animal ground beef, which is good news for all of us! There is more sodium in Impossible Burger, but don't forget, people tend to salt 80/20 beef during cooking.
Soy Protein and Impossible Burger
The major source of protein in Impossible Burger is soy protein concentrate, sourced from American farms. We use soy because it’s the only commonly consumed plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal protein. It’s a good source of fiber and essential nutrients like folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Soy-derived products are used extensively in the food industry, helping to improve moisture retention and flavoring in everything from bread to tomato soup. Soy protein is also found in cereals, nutrition bars, and plant-based meats like the Impossible Burger. While the scientific consensus supports the health benefits of soy, concerns about its safety have come up that have zero or little factual basis. Check out our blog to learn why we use soy in Impossible Burger.(opens in a new tab)
GMOs and Impossible Burger
Impossible Foods’ mission is to avert catastrophic climate change and a meltdown in biodiversity by transforming the global food system. Adding protein from genetically engineered soy that has been approved by the FDA, USDA, and EPA makes this mission possible and embodies the core principles that guide everything we do as a company.
Genetic modification has existed for thousands of years, beginning with ancient farmers strengthening their crops through techniques like artificial selection and selective breeding. Today, advanced technology enables food suppliers to insert certain beneficial genes to create foods that are resistant to pesticides, drought, diseases, or pests. While the resulting plant’s DNA is slightly different, GM plants look and taste the same, and have the same (or even better) nutritional value as conventionally grown foods.
It’s likely that you’re already eating food made with ingredients that come from GMO crops(opens in a new tab) on a regular basis, such as cornstarch, canola oil or granulated sugar. Other popular genetically modified foods include fresh fruits and vegetables like potatoes, summer squash and apples. White rice, one of the world’s most widely consumed crops, is often modified in order to boost nutritional value and resist extreme environmental factors(opens in a new tab).
Impossible Foods has always embraced the responsible, constructive use of genetic engineering. Learn more about why we use GM soy in our plant-based meats.(opens in a new tab)
Is Impossible Burger a processed food?
Yes, but just about everything we eat is prepared through a process—a combination of nature and science. Even foods that we identify as ‘simple’ or ‘healthy’, like bread, applesauce or yogurt are processed foods(opens in a new tab). The negative connotation behind “processed foods” comes from the fact that historically, foods that are mass-produced have often been prepared in a way to satisfy unhealthy cravings as cheaply and profitably as possible, at the expense of consumer health and nutrition.
The reality is that every food we eat, whether prepared by a chef at a “farm to table” restaurant or in our own homes, involves processing, or combining a select set of carefully chosen ingredients and processing them through dehydration, grinding, fermentation, blending or cooking. So there isn’t anything necessarily bad or wrong with a processed food.
Impossible Burger is produced by combining carefully selected ingredients, derived from plants, vitamins and minerals, or by fermentation, to create something magical. We are confident that our careful, evidence-based choices have resulted in a burger that is overall better for the consumer than the cow-derived burger it replaces — and vastly better for the health of the planet.
We hope this article cleared up any questions you have about Impossible Burger. Our goal as a company is to create the most delicious meat made from plants for people who love eating meat. Our products aren’t made with kale or quinoa, because our mission isn’t to get consumers to eat more salads -- it’s to get them to eat less meat made from animals.
That’s why we work tirelessly to create uncompromisingly delicious, nutritious, safe and affordable products for all people: vegans, flexitarians and everything in between. Together, we’re transforming the global food system and ushering in a new era: Meat 2.0. Will you join us?
*In a home usage study, 76% of 254 US consumers said our product satisfied their beef cravings as well as or better than ground beef from cows.