Ben’s Blog: The Pros and Cons of Vegan Fast Food

Disclaimer here at the top: I am not a vegan or vegetarian. My fiancee is a vegetarian, but this is purely my outside perspective on the food trend. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s talk the new veggie burger trend. Impossible foods has gotten incredibly popular this past year and other companies like Beyond Beef and others have gotten into the fake meat game. Is this good or bad? What does it mean for the future of the food industry?

Two things came out in the news within the last 24 hours related to this:

  1. Impossible foods just introduced their impossible pork.
  2. Domino’s has started testing vegan pizza toppings.

It’s safe to say that this food trend is sticking around for the long haul, but there’s some important things to note about it. First, just because the food doesn’t have any meat in it, this doesn’t mean that it is always prepared in a different setting than the regular meat. Whether it is good or bad that the food is cooked on the same grill depends on your perspective. A vegetarian/vegan who is against eating meat may say that it’s misleading to say that this food is really meatless considering it’s cooked on the same surface. The fast food company may retaliate saying that having a dedicated cooking space for a lesser ordered menu item is too expensive. The food industry is a business trying to make money after-all, can we expect them to take the moral high ground? No matter how you feel about this, it’s just important to know that this may be way that the food is prepared before you order it.

Second, when something is labeled as veggie, immediately we assume that it is a healthier food option. That isn’t necessarily the case here as these fake meat options are heavily processed. Don’t expect to pick up a veggie burger and think you’ll be losing weight. Processed foods typically have large amounts of salt, sugar and fat to make the flavor more appealing and to make them last longer.

Now that we know the important issues surrounding these food items, let’s get to the pros and cons.

Pro: adding vegan/vegetarian menu items allows for a wider variety of people to be able to enjoy the food. This is a no-brainer great thing. Whether your body cannot process certain meats or you abstain from eating it due to ethical reasons, having more options of things you can eat is always a good thing.

Con: Not a necessarily a healthy food option. This isn’t the worst thing in the world though, we already known fast food isn’t good for us as is. How much worse can this be? Either way, check the nutrition facts before you order it if you’re interested in it’s nutritional value.

Pro: Brings attention to vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. I think we can all agree that having dietary restrictions stinks. I have high acid re-flux issues and have to be careful of what I eat or I will fall ill within a few hours of after I eat. That for me means no tomatoes, pineapples, coffee, beer or dark chocolates among other things. I’m sure that it’s a hassle for people who just want to throw a pizza party for their employees and have to take into account who is gluten free, vegetarian/vegan, allergic to ingredients etc. But the more attention that is brought to the issue, the more that people will be aware of it and the more that people will be able to easily prepare for it.

Once again this is just my outside view of the products. I grew up a traditional good old boy who ate meat and potatoes for every meal. I’ve slowly been coming out of my shell and have more recently started trying new things. Maybe I’ll do a taste test to determine which option I think tastes better in a future blog post. Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of the new food trend in the comments. Are you against these items being added to the menu? Let me know why below or on Facebook or Twitter!