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The Great Veggie Burger Debate: Weighing the Pros and Cons

It’s carnivores versus herbivores, meat-eaters versus plant-eaters. And when it comes to burgers, we’re talking about beef burgers versus veggie burgers. Let’s join the veggie burger debate, shall we? Choosing to be a vegetarian is often seen as a moral issue, but what about health-wise? What about the environmental impact? What’s going to happen now that fast food restaurants are introducing their own veggie burgers? Let’s discuss.

When it comes to whether veggie burgers are better for you than beef burgers, the answer is two-fold. In most aspects, veggie burgers are in fact healthier than beef burgers, but there is one area that beef burgers come out on top. If you’re eating a veggie burger instead of a beef burger, you’re getting more fiber, less fat, and fewer calories than if you were eating a beef burger. But, when comparing both burgers, veggie burgers actually have more sodium than beef burgers and a lot less protein. Because of the ingredient list, many often think that veggie burgers are immediately healthier than beef burgers. Since the former normally has grains, vegetables, and legumes, it is automatically considered better by most, but frankly, it depends on what you’re looking for.

After the health debate, most are left wondering whether veggie burgers are better on the environment than beef burgers. While the energy costs are often the same, it takes less energy to produce vegetables when compared to a comparable amount of meat. Even so, there are ways that veggie burgers can be less sustainable. These burgers are often processed to keep them low in fat using a known air pollutant. With that being said, veggie burgers are better for the environment if their processing steps aren’t overdone.

Now with the rise of veggie burgers, you’ll probably notice that some of your favorite fast-food restaurants are introducing veggie burgers to their menus. Burger King recently added the Impossible Whopper. Made from plants, you’d think there’d be a significant difference in the burgers. There isn’t. Burger King’s veggie burger only has 30 fewer calories than the original Whopper. Going down the line of nutritional facts, the Impossible Whopper has six fewer grams of fat, 90 milligrams less cholesterol, and 260 more milligrams of sodium. It almost makes you wonder why they’re still eating it.

Since the inclusion of a veggie burger into Burger King’s menu, it seems other companies are taking notice. McDonald’s has since added their very own veggie burger called the “P.L.T.” And no, this isn’t an ode to the eCommerce fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing. P.L.T. stands for Plant. Lettuce. Tomato. And while they first started testing it in Canada, we can’t help but wonder when they’ll expand the locations.

With Burger King and now McDonald’s creating their own veggie burgers, we can’t help but wonder – will this be the new fad in fast food? Will we soon see veggie burgers at White Castle or veggie tacos at Taco Bell?

The trends show that everyone wants to be happy and healthy, so it won’t be a shock to see everyone flocking to these restaurants for a “healthier” burger sometime soon.

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