Beef burgers beat plant-based options on nutrition, taste but not sustainability

A chef-led blind taste test compared traditional beef burgers to a plant-based option and the results show beef is still on top in nutrition and taste.

But, Adam Melonas, CEO and Founder of Chew – the group that conducted the test – says beef falls short in sustainability because of the energy it takes to create the food. “The statistics around how much water and how much feed it takes to create a pound of beef – if you look at how much water and energy it takes to create a pound of lentils it is exponentially less.  It doesn’t even compare.”

However, Chief Sustainability Officer Dr. Sara Place with Elanco Animal Health says cattle can utilize plant food differently making the animal more sustainable. “That’s one of those things that tends to get left out of these discussions is basically that is what ruminants are doing is they’re unlocking energy and nutrients from plants that we otherwise can’t access without them so that’s an incredibly important role that they play.”

The animal-based patty scored an A+ in deliciousness, B+ in nutrition but received an F in sustainability. The other burgers received scores from a F to B+ in those categories.

The Plant-Based Burger Report Card results were combined from blind taste testing and analysis of each product’s listed ingredients and nutrition facts comparing nine of the top selling plant-based patties with a ground beef burger.

Chew says each patty was graded on a scale of A through F for its performance in deliciousness, nutrition and sustainability.

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