If you haven’t yet tried the mind-boggling sensation that is a Beyond Burger, we would highly recommend it, if only to marvel at the feat of science it took to pull it off. The patty is almost identical to a beef one (assuming you’re not sitting it next to a really swanky steakhouse-quality one) and once it’s covered in a bun and all the dressings, this little puck of pea protein is totally indistinguishable from its cow-sourced counterparts. We’ve seen it; we’ve tasted it and yet, we’re still amazed.
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With more and more people shifting to plant-based or mostly plant-based diets, the Beyond Burger and its contemporary, the Impossible Burger are having quite the moment right now. Beyond (which was previously only available for limited purchase from some Whole Foods in Canada) is expanding to restaurants and grocery stores across North America, and the Impossible Whopper will soon be heading to Burger King.
As with any trend that could fundamentally change the food industry (did somebody say avocado?), people are starting to look at the wider impacts of the plant-based “meat” trend.
The Beyond Burger and other products like it source their protein from peas or other protein-rich veggies and legumes like lentils and chickpeas. An increase in demand for these products could actually mean good things for Canadian farmers, specifically in Saskatchewan, according to reporting from the CBC.
All three of those plant proteins are common crops in the province and the majority are often exported to countries like India, United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh. Larger demand for lentils, peas and chickpeas at home will mean good things for the local economy, not to mention the environment since domestic shipping has a much smaller carbon footprint.
According to the CEO of Pulse Canada (the national association for growers and producers of lentils, dry peas, beans and chickpeas), the challenge left to these farmers is establishing themselves as the preferred supplier of those protein-rich veggies. After that, a whole new world of business opens up since it’s not only fake meat that can use plant proteins—breads, pastas and other low-protein foods can be supplemented with it.
Beneficial for the environment, our tastebuds and the Canadian economy? Sounds good to us!