The impossible burger’s green next step: Hemp?

The impossible burger’s green next step: Hemp?

Some people are hemp fans. Some people like to avoid eating meat or never eat meat at all. And some people… like to eat bugs.

Reporting shows that the recent trend of companies like Beyond Meat attempting to perfect vegan and vegetarian patty options in lieu of red meat has led to ingredients like hemp and even bugs in some cases.

According to Bloomberg, impossible burger innovators Beyond Meat have expanded operations far from humble beginnings using pea protein to reach for more experimental ingredients. [1]

The push we are seeing to innovate on non-meat options comes largely from economic and environmental considerations, though growing numbers of people show ethical opposition to meat consumption.

Meat is still more nutritious and healthy than these options, it seems, but we’ll leave the nutritionists to fight over that.

“Pea protein does have one weakness and that is that it’s not actually nutritionally equivalent to the protein that’s in dairy -- it’s not even equivalent to the protein that’s in soy,” Johann Tergesen, chief executive officer of Burcon NutraScience, told Bloomberg. [1]

Ingredients being analyzed for their potential in artificial meat products include hemp, fava beans, mung beans, lentils, canola oil, coffee and even crickets, Bloomberg said. [1]

According to the site, hemp has 10 amino acids needed for a proper meat facsimile, plus omegas 3 and 6. [1]

Meanwhile, the International Business Times reports that the market for artificial meat has increased to $4.5 billion in 2019, and while the science and promise of widespread artificial meat is sure to come soon to more restaurants and grocers. [2]

The Good Food Institute’s science and technology director Liz Specht told IBT the reason the market there is growing so rapidly is because of “flexitarians,” those who like to avoid meat when possible or who float into and out of vegetarianism and veganism. [2]

The IBT said powdered insects like crickets have far more protein than flour, and are a staple in traditional Asian diets. [2]

When not used in fake meat, some have turned hemp into a different method of delivering protein.

According to the New Zealand Herald, hemp protein shake powder can come in flavors like boysenberry, cacao, blueberry and chia. [3]

In the outlet’s extensive analysis of various hemp products, the Herald even reviewed an $18 burger that used hemp meat substitute and a hemp sourdough bun. All things organic seem to exist within it, but it certainly comes at a price. [3]