Vegan Fast Food or Science Experiment?

Power Nutrition Q&A

Q: Yo whats up my man? How are you doing? I really liked your last issue of Power Nutritionist so keep up the good work man. What is your take on the popularity on all these veggie burgers and such products that are becoming very popular nowadays? Are they good for me or is it something that I should stay away from. I am thinking of trying the Burger King Impossible Whopper? What do you think? I think most of them are made from soy products so if I remember from your past writings you weren’t a big fan of soy. I would love to hear your opinion on this topic. Thanks in advance.


John Holder

A: Hey John its good to hear from you. I am happy to hear that you liked the last issue of my Power Nutritionist column. I try and bring you the best info and answer the questions that I get from all my readers. Ok so you have noticed it as well. Veggie burger this, Veggie patty that…it does all seem to be the latest fad doesn’t it. I know for a fact that the amount of people getting into veganism definitely spiked after the half dozen or so Netflix documentaries that showed why meat eating is deadly and that if you just eat grass you will be just as strong as a bull or a gorilla. Well I am not buying into all the hype about vegan diets especially for strength athletes.

Would You Eat an Impossible Whopper?

Do I Hate Vegans?

Now don’t get me wrong many of the ideas, recipes, and theories about adding more plant based foods into your diet that the vegan lifestyle pushes I can fully appreciate. As you know from my writing I am a big fan of consuming large amounts of vegetables in my diet plans along with green smoothies and even juicing. So don’t think that I am knocking veganism in its entirety. The only thing is that I am a big fan of meat, fish, eggs, and fermented forms of dairy as well.

Now the fast food industry and food companies that produce pre-made or frozen meals have also jumped on the plant based bandwagon as well. Now I will say that in my opinion that a lot of these companies are not die hard vegans that live the lifestyle, but in fact are just looking to cash in on the latest fad to jack up their sales. In reality, for most things in this world, everything is cash driven and that pretty much sums it up.

Any Vegans Reading This? I Didn’t Think So!

Ok so onto the Impossible Whopper from Burger King. This project by Burger King was five years in R&D and 183 million dollars in the making of this interesting specimen. Now from the reports and yes I say reports because I won’t be eating one of these anytime soon, the Impossible Whopper supposedly tastes very similar to beef. Now you may be thinking that its just a simple burger made from vegetables so it must be healthy right? Doesn’t the Power Nutritionist always recommend eating lots of healthy vegetables? Yes its true that I do recommend lots of vegetables in the diet, especially green veggies but hold onto your horses here little buddy because these two comparisons are nothing similar of the sort at all.

Still Interested in the Impossible Whopper?

But it Contains Less Calories!

Now I have to hand it to Dr. James Stangle because of his reporting about the Impossible Whopper is the real deal. Oh yea the good Doc here does it up your way, right away. Oops sorry that sounded like a fast food jingle for a minute there didn’t it? Ok so what did Dr. Stangle discover when he researched the new Impossible Whopper looking at much more than its caloric content? Well when talking about caloric content it appears that the good ole Impossible Whopper has a whopping…ooops did I say whopping, 5% less calories than a regular Whopper. So if you are thinking you are going to eat this massive veggie burger cause you want to live a healthier lifestyle and eat less calories think again. The original Whopper contains 660 calories while this veggie masterpiece comes in at 630 calories. If you think switching from a regular Whopper to this veggie alternative is going to help you burn off those love handles and get those abs a popping, I would think again. So on the caloric front you are basically the same because let’s be honest here, what the hell is a 30 calorie drop really going to do for your physique?

Protein is Protein Right?

Now let’s look at the protein content of these two side by side. As a strength athlete just about everyone one of us looks at the labels on foods and the first thing to note is how many grams of protein are in anything we eat. Yes I know its an obsession for most of us. Once you have been eating a certain way of always trying to hit your protein needs for the day, it becomes a habit without even consciously knowing you are doing it. Ok so a regular Whopper contains 28 grams of protein while the Impossible Whopper contains 25 grams. Of so its not that far off in terms of protein right, or is it? Now one thing that I have pushed with strength athletes for more than two decades is its not just about the amount of protein that you consume per day but also the quality of those said protein sources. I have discussed in past articles about such things as Biological Value (BV) and Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) when it comes to ranking the best most usable protein sources to build muscle. I have also discussed about having complete protein sources that contain all the essential amino acids present as well. These above classifications is how you should be choosing your protein sources for maximum muscle building results. So you cannot compare a protein source like beef which is a complete protein with an incomplete protein source like the said veggie burger in question.

Protein Quality is Key for Muscle Growth!

A Hefty Dose of Estrogen!

The next issue I have with this Impossible Whopper is that of Estrogen and phytoestrogens. If you have been a reader of my column for any length of time then you know that I am not a fan of soy especially processed GMO soy. While there were many people back in the day debating the fact that soy can provide estrogen like effects in both men and women in this time and age its nothing new. I am sure you have heard about a study done on a man that drank soy milk over a six month period and got gyno,(yep those are good old man boobies we are talking about) due to the elevated Estrogen levels in his body. Are you still craving that soy milk or soy burger?

Soy Not So Appealing Anymore Eh?

One point that the good doctor made that really got my attention is that of the Estrogen content of this Impossible Whopper. He found that each burger contains a whopping 44 mg of Estrogen. Now for those of you who may not understand if that is a little Estrogen or a lot, all I want to say is that is a shit ton of Estrogen. A regular Whopper contains 2.5 nanograms of Estrogen. So when comparing the two together the Impossible Whopper contains 18 million times as much Estrogen as a regular Whopper. Another interesting comparison is that of oral birth control pills. Most will contain 30-50 micrograms of Estrogen per tablet. Now the Impossible Whopper contains 44 milligrams of Estrogen. So if we break this down in an approximate estimation the Impossible Whopper contains 44,000mcg of Estrogen but the average birth control tablet has only 50 mcg of this same hormone. So you see what’s wrong with this, especially if you are a male? If that doesn’t make you sit up and think then you better give your head a shake.

Impossible Whooper has More Estrogen than Birth Control!


So another thing to consider about the Impossible Whooper is that it’s main ingredient isn’t just soy but is also most likely GMO soy. Now if soy on its own isn’t bad enough to lower your testosterone, kill your sperm count, and give you a pair of man jugs that would make Dolly Parton jealous then hold on to your bra straps because there is more. One thing that I have talked about for years is the dangers of GMO foods and have many times in the past preached about staying away from these items. The large majority of soy that is available on the American market is genetically modified. GMO foods can contribute to digestive issues, allergies, reproductive malfunctions, autism, and much more. This is just scraping the surface in terms of the negative health effects of GMO foods as this is an article in itself. As much as the powers that be try to push GMO foods down our throats and tell us they are just as healthy as regular foods, don’t believe it.

Unfortunately that’s Not Trenbolone in Your Corn!

Fast Food or Science Project?

Another thing you should take note about the Impossible Whopper is one ingredient known as Heme. This is created by artificially splicing a gene derived from hemoglobin into some form of yeast. You will see the promoters of this ingredient label it as leghemoglobin. Now if you didn’t know, this is an iron containing molecule that will add that red colour to your fake Whopper to make it look red and juicy like a real Whopper. I don’t know about you but this is all sounding like a scientific experiment more than food. So what we have here is some fake GMO soy that looks like meat, then some more fake GMO shenanigans with the Heme making this thing a monstrosity of whopping proportions.

Does this Look like Homestyle Cooking to You?

PETA is Pissed!

One piece of drama that you might find interesting is the involvement of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the interaction with the Impossible Whopper but not in the way you might think. Now you might be thinking that PETA must be big fans of the Impossible Whopper because its an all American burger with absolutely no beef. Well you might think that its a match made in heaven but you better think again. PETA is actually upset at Burger King even though this wonderful veggie burger experiment is reducing the carbon footprint of meat eaters all over the world. Now what could they be upset about you might ask? They are pissed that 188 rodents were killed and even cut up into pieces as part of a feeding test that involved that wonderful soy leghemoglobin or legume hemoglobin that I mentioned earlier.

Some PETA Propaganda at its Best!


So take it from me. I know the majority of you reading this are meat eating red blooded powerhouses that love protein more than their family members. Just the thought of trying to get jacked and massive off bean sprouts and tofu most likely isn’t going to happen no matter how many Anadrol you pop or ampoules of Sustanon you inject. Now you all know I am not a big fan of fast food even though I have to admit powerlifters in particular are known to frequent these establishments more often then they should. With what I explained above I am sure you can see that it is in your best interest to stay away from the Impossible Whopper and if that grilled flame broiled taste has got you pulled in with no control then just get yourself a regular Whopper. I know it sounds like I am recommending Whoppers here, (even though I am not) but the reality is that even myself if I had to choose between these two options I would take that real beef patty burger without blinking an eye compared to the science experiment known as the Impossible Whopper!


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