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Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:19 pm
by iPlug
Moving up the low hanging fruit tree so now more into dietary things as they pertain to carbon footprint.

Not really vegan or vegetarian, but find meat represents a relatively small number of calories in my diet these days, of that mostly fish. Tree nuts are common (one of the best foods for calories : CO2 ratio).

Anyone here try the Beyond Famous Star at Carl’s Jr. or Impossible Whopper from Burger King? Had the former a few weeks ago and latter today for the first time. Must say, pretty darn close to the actual meat product.

Suspect many vegans/vegetarians are such for love of animals and/or health benefits. But here let’s hear from those who see it as part of their carbon footprint mitigation strategy.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:50 pm
by LeftieBiker
Suspect many vegans/vegetarians are such for love of animals and/or health benefits. But here let’s hear from those who see it as part of their carbon footprint mitigation strategy.

In my case it's both. I originally gave up meat and animal products for ethical/compassionate reasons, but as the environment has deteriorated I now look at that as well. In the case of our household, we decided on no children at an early age. With that exponential multiplier of degradation off the table, I don't worry so much about food transportation as about how it was grown. I'm definitely not perfect, though. I eat milk and chemical-crap-laden diabetic candy to help control my blood sugar, for example.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:49 am
by SageBrush
The history of Beyond Meat is interesting. At the risk of some over-simplification the success in imitating animal tissue taste relies on hemoglobin analogues -- in this case myoglobin.

Meat lovers yearn for blood.

The company originally fractionated the myoglobin from soy roots. Nowadays they have recombinant yeast

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:48 am
by iPlug
I do enjoy the taste of meat, but haven't been craving it with eating much less of it.

The simulated meat product fast food tasting was out of curiosity on my part. A Hindu colleague at work who is is faithful to Hindu dietary practices was asking if I ever tried one of these burgers and wanted to know how it compared to the "real" thing.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:54 am
by Oilpan4
For at least the winter just about all the tasty fresh fruits and most of the freah vegetables are flown in from far away.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:50 pm
by LeftieBiker
I was a BIG meat eater - especially burgers - before going first ovo-vegetarian, then vegan when I was 18. I'm still close enough to vegan for most people to consider me that. I've never particularly craved bloody foods, though. The beet juice used to make one of the new burgers meat-like doesn't move me either way, except that it smells terrible frying. We crave what we were raised eating, mostly. I have what I call a "trainable palate" that can allow me to become fond of new foods if I just eat them a few times. My housemate, OTOH, has to have foods that at least remind her of what she ate when she was 7. ;) She is also a near-vegan.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:08 pm
by GRA
iPlug wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:19 pm
Moving up the low hanging fruit tree so now more into dietary things as they pertain to carbon footprint.

Not really vegan or vegetarian, but find meat represents a relatively small number of calories in my diet these days, of that mostly fish. Tree nuts are common (one of the best foods for calories : CO2 ratio).

Anyone here try the Beyond Famous Star at Carl’s Jr. or Impossible Whopper from Burger King? Had the former a few weeks ago and latter today for the first time. Must say, pretty darn close to the actual meat product.

Suspect many vegans/vegetarians are such for love of animals and/or health benefits. But here let’s hear from those who see it as part of their carbon footprint mitigation strategy.

See https://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic. ... le#p561983

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:47 pm
by iPlug
Recommend trying the Beyond Famous Star. Like the beef version of the Whopper, the Impossible Whopper was cooked too well and dry. I preferred the Beyond Famous Star which preserved more of the patty texture. I did not try the patty by itself for taste.

Impossible and Beyond were the first time I had a vegan patty on a burger that more/less met expectations that it taste like a conventional burger. Nothing wrong with the other vegan patties I’ve tried on burgers in the past, but they were not beef substitutes.

You might be right - perhaps most of the taste experience comes from the rest of the burger.

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:34 pm
by GRA
I'll give the Beyond Famous Star a shot when it's convenient. I don't eat much meat these days, rarely visit fast food joints, and don't have any Carl's Jrs. that are convenient, so it will likely be awhile. Meanwhile, from the UN/IPCC today:
World food security increasingly at risk due to 'unprecedented' climate change impact, new UN report warns
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/08/1043921

Only the Summary for Policymakers is currently available, which can be downloaded here: https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl-report-download-page/

Re: Carbon Footprint of Foods

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:35 pm
by GRA
There must have been a karmic imperative at work. I've been forced to use my car for some longer errands the past week or so due to a cracked seat tube on my bike (not worth repairing, so I'm ordering a new frameset and will transfer components over), and was so engaged Thursday evening after writing the previous post when I looked over and saw a Carl's Jr. Went in and had a Beyond Meat Famous Star with Cheese.

I liked it better than the Impossible Whopper, and would probably give it a B or B+, but with major caveats to my rating. First, I didn't order a regular beef burger for comparison as I did with the Whopper, so that might have led to a higher rating than otherwise. Second, I have little experience with either Whoppers or Famous Stars, so it could be I just like the condiments, bun etc. of the latter better, regardless of what "meat's" inside, and I should have ordered it without cheese as well. And third, having read iplug's comments about relative dryness shortly before I ate it and having them in mind, it's possible that they influenced my opinions. Realistically, the only way to do a good comparison between the two non-meat alternatives and the real thing is to buy some of each at the supermarket and cook them yourself, in separate frying pans so no juice transfers, and then either eat them plain or prepare them identically.

All that being said, I did think the Star seemed juicier than the Whopper and it looked normal, although it still seemed to have little or no smell or taste of its own. It was priced at $6.49 vs. $5.09 for the regular Star, a 28% increase (27% for the Impossible Whopper vs. the regular one), so they'll have to get the costs down through economies of scale and/or technical development to compete with the real deal - I think a fair number of people would be willing to pay 5% or at most 10% more to avoid killing cows if they can get the rest right, but anything above that and it's priced out of the mass market.

It's very encouraging, but they aren't there yet. I await events, and more competition. Oh, and let's get fast food "poultry" going too.