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Burguer King launched a hamburger without one of the main ingredients: meat
Livestock is one of the activities that harms the environment the most. The replacement of forests by pastures, the extensive consumption of water and the generation of greenhouse gases are just some of the reasons why this sector is harmful to the wellbeing of the planet. It is estimated that 2500 liters of water are used to produce a piece of hamburger meat.
Leer en español: ¿Ya comiste la hamburguesa imposible?
That is why Burguer King, in partnership with Impossible Foods, launched on April 1 (April Fool's Day, in the United States) a whooper free of animal protein and made from soy.
The Impossible Foods company was the winner of the UN Environment Earth Champions Award and allied with one of the fast food giants in the US to reach its hundreds of customers and offer a tool "to sustainably feed 9.7 billion people by 2050", according to statements given by the company's members.
The launch of this hamburger, baptized as the Impossible Whooper, demonstrates the growing concern of the different sectors around the planet. UN Environment highlights that "what Burger King and Impossible Foods bring to the table is a way to address this issue without asking consumers to sacrifice their pleasure for meat."
The idea is to promote sustainable and healthy diets while reducing the carbon footprint of the fast food industry. Besides the environmental benefits, this Impossible Whooper contributes to the health of the human being, since the consumption of red meats (beef, pork, calf, etc.) have been associated with the appearance of cancer. According to the WHO, there is limited evidence that the consumption of red meat is related to the development of colorectal cancer.
Price and benefits
"Meatless versions at Burger King will cost US $ 1 more than meat options. Burger King's vegetable burger also contains 15% less fat and 90% less cholesterol than traditional burgers", explains the UN.
This means that in addition to helping the environment, consumers will consume less fat and less cholesterol, substances responsible for strokes and heart attacks.
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Does a vegetarian burger change the environmental landscape?
For many, Burguer King's decision is a marketing strategy to reach the vegetarian sector. However, beyond offering a varied and inclusive menu, promoting this type of food can reduce emissions and reduce the increase in global temperature.
In fact, offering this type of alternatives changes the commercial mechanics and opens the door to sustainable and less polluting markets. The UN emphasizes that from bite to bite you can change the system and encourage governments to promote public policies for livestock and agricultural practices that are eco-friendly.
According to UN Environment, Burguer King sells 11 million hamburgers worldwide every day. So offering a more eco-friendly option with a lower carbon footprint means making customers aware that vegetarian alternatives are beneficial for health and the environment. As highlighted by the United Nations, it is a first step towards sustainable and healthier diets that do not sacrifice the taste of fast food.
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How viable is it?
A study conducted by Impossible Foods revealed that beef consumers increase their interest in eating and purchasing products of plant origin after tasting foods without hormones, slaughterhouse contaminants, antibiotics, or cholesterol. The results show that the client's interest increases from 24% to 40%.
At the moment, vegetarianism and veganism are growing trends, but more and more people worldwide are leading this way of life and restaurants and markets that sell these foods.
Statistics of the Vegetarian Union show that 7.8% of Spaniards of legal age are vegetarians. In Colombia, for example, the number of restaurants that offer vegetarian and vegan options has increased. Moreover, the tourism of vegetarian cities has become a new way of traveling. According to El Tiempo, there are 6 'veg friendly' destinations that attract thousands of tourists. These cities are London, Berlin, Warsaw, Singapore, Chenai, and Los Angeles.
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from "¿Ya comiste la hamburguesa imposible?"