Think Twice Before Buying This Type of Burger

4th of July is right around the corner and I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day than a good old fashioned BBQ. But I have to be honest here, attending a BBQ produces a bit of anxiety for me every time. Will the host serve only beef hamburgers and hotdogs? (I don’t eat beef or any type hot dog.) Will the meat be organic? Will there be vegetarian options? Will the cook char the meat to death and produce heterocyclic amines that are known to cause colon cancer?

Needless to say, I am honestly a little disappointed when the host decides to serve things I don’t eat but get even more anxious when they offer to pick up some veggie burgers from the store for me. I am downright frightened of the ingredients in those frozen meat flavored patties. My response to their offer is always “No, thank you, I’ll bring a dish” and here’s why:

  • Neurotoxins & Carcinogens – The majority of store-bought veggie burgers contain some form of soy. Non organic soy is extracted using hexane, a chemical byproduct of petroleum refining. The food industry uses the hexane extraction method because it is cheap. Several studies have been published about the neurotoxicity of exposure of humans and animals to hexane, but the most alarming ones link exposure to brain tumors. Currently the FDA sets no limit to the amount of hexane that can be used in non-organic soy products and no one knows for sure how much residue is being consumed by the American public. If you want more info on this – the Cornucopia Institute released an excellent report about several popular veggie burger brands that use hexane. To quote top researcher Charlotte Valleys, “The bigger picture here is that hexane is being released into the atmosphere—since it’s an air pollutant. It leads to smog, which is ground-level ozone, which leads to a whole bunch of health problems, like asthma in kids. These effects are very real.” 
I don’t want this in my body or in the air I breathe – do you?

boca
Table meat v11

*Image taken from Cornucopia Institute’s report on hexane in soy
 

  • Cheap Oils – If you see the words “canola oil, soy oil, corn oil, sunflower, and/or safflower oil” it is likely extracted with hexane too. But what further complicates this matter (if having a neurotoxin byproduct in your burger is not enough) is that the overconsumption of these cheap oils are causing an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids in our diets. The imbalance of Omega 6 fatty acids increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and prostate and bone cancer.
    Traderjoes
  • Textured Vegetable Protein, aka “TVP” – Several frozen veggie burgers available are developed using soy products and Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). TVP is one of those foods I avoid at all costs and no one will ever convince me to eat something this processed. TVP is extracted from soy at a super high heat and made into a powder before it is “reshaped” into strips, chunks and granules and put back into food. The processing can also add artificial and natural flavors, MSG, colorings, emulsifiers and thickening agents, including nitrosamine, which is a carcinogen no one should be consuming. Does this picture of TVP look like nutritious nuggets of real food to you?

Textured Vegetable Protein TVP YL03

  • Chemically Altered Flavorings & MSG – There are several hidden sources of MSG found in vegetarian meat substitutes. The food industry uses MSG to make processed food that is low in nutrition taste good, tricking your taste buds into liking something that isn’t real food. Futhermore, MSG increases your insulin response, tricking your body into thinking you can eat more than you actually should. And this is exactly how scientists make rats obese, by feeding them MSG laced food. I don’t know about you, but knowing there is a potential substance that can trick me into eating more food is reason enough to avoid this at all costs. But MSG is linked to all sorts of terrible reactions in humans like migraines, toxicity, and autoimmune disorders that you can read about in this tell all book about MSG.

Screen Shot 2012 02 06 at 1 05 40 PM

  • Full of Genetically Modified Ingredients (GMOs) – If the burger contains anything derived from corn or soy, you can almost guarantee it comes from genetically modified seeds unless it is certified 100% organic. Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxicity, allergic reactions and fertility issues and have not been studied for their long term effects on our health. Unfortunately, here in the US, companies can get away with including GMOs in our foods without us knowing it. If you want to know if GMO’s are in your food – support the Just Label It.org by signing their petition to the FDA
MorningStarFarmsSpicyBlackBeanVeggieBurgers 345Screen Shot 2012 06 28 at 8 28 21 AM

The Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burger, along with several other brands are guilty of every one of these points above. This burger is marketed as “healthy” and has even more questionable ingredients like caramel coloring (which is linked to cancer) and a slew of other chemical based preservatives. Knowing that I used to eat this particular brand many years ago on a weekly basis, absolutely disgusts me now. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of processed and convenience foods making a fool out of me…share this info with all your veggie burger buying friends and spread the word.

If you know someone who could use this information, please share it with them, you could be a lifesaver!

Cheers,

Food Babe

P.S. This is one of my favorite homemade veggie burger recipes ever.

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368 Responses to “Think Twice Before Buying This Type of Burger”

  1. John Elliott

    I’m coming up on my 30th year as a complete vegetarian. At age 57 I can compete with men half my age in most sports, and I have other health benefits I won’t mention here. I’ve eaten most of the “naughty” vegeburgers mentioned in the article for most of the 30 years. I know that a living organism like the human body has an incredible ability to cleanse and repair itself if the damage is not chronic nor intense. With meat, fish and poultry, however, the damage to internal organs and blood systems is so insidious and pernicious that toxins build up and tissues break down. Given the choice I have in my job (I’m a foreign service officer) between eating animals or vegetables, I’ll gladly take the latter!

    Reply
    • Willie B (to John Elliott)

      Thanks, John. I am trying to eat less meat and I have been eating everyone of the products mentioned in this article. I was happy to hear that you have and are eating them as well. I guess moderation is always important. I eat them for the protein. I imagine there must be other sources of protein other than the convenience foods mentioned above.
      Thanks again,
      Willie B

      Reply
    • Lynda Balz (to John Elliott)

      Well said, John Elliot. I agree completely! My husband and II likewise have over 30 years without eating other beings, and rejoice at the variety and ease provided by the meat substitutes. We are past our mid-60′s and still work full-time at regular jobs in addition to running a full-service animal shelter that takes in 9,000 animals a year, a low-cost spay/neuter clinic that alters over 6,000 animals a year, and an equine rescue that houses over 40 equines at all times. We run a bingo to fund it all, and haven’t had a weekend off for 27 years. We run circles around our younger friends and associates as well. Men half my husband’s age marvel at his stamina and hard work at the equine rescue farm where he does all the heavy lifting and manual labor. Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
    • tom (to John Elliott)

      so your body knows the difference? A toxin is a toxin.

      Reply
    • Janet (to John Elliott)

      John,

      Check out the veggie burgers from Hilary’s Eat Well. They currently have four flavors available nationwide that are all non-gmo verified, gluten free, organic and allergen free! Agree with you to always avoid the big brands. Hilary’s burgers are the best!

      Reply
      • JDE (to Janet)

        @Janet, thank you for the shopping info, very good lead!

      • Jennifer Wahab (to Janet)

        Lol, I was going to suggest Hillary’s Eats Well as well. They are amazing. Of course I am bias, she is my cousin. She worked very hard to develop these burgers in her restaurant “Local Burger”. She has put much love, time and energy into developing whole food products. I love her products and her dedication to wholesome healthy food.

      • Choko (to Janet)

        Be careful, though! Hilary’s veggie burgers have the “cheap”, dreaded sunflower oil on their ingredient list. Sigh. I knew they were too good to be true.

      • Dan8 (to Janet)

        Those burgers also have 30% saturated fat!
        That will clog your arteries.
        Too bad, always looking for the better veggie burger.

    • Erasto (to John Elliott)

      I’m 25 and on my 7th year as a vegetarian… Your response inspires me…I hope I look as good as you do at your age…

      Reply
    • Todd (to John Elliott)

      John, not to rain on your parade…It’s great that you are healthy and all, and I applaud your decision to eat based on morals. I do the same with a limited amount of humanely raised and slaughtered meat. But saying that you are healthy BECAUSE or even in spite of these burgers is just silly (if my guess is true). And here is my guess: you have eaten lots of high quality produce and you probably otherwise take care of yourself. That probably counteracts all the nasty stuff in these burgers. Trash is trash, whether trashy meat, or trashy plant food full of toxins. A preponderance of evidence is showing that quality, well-raised and pastured meat is incredibly healthy when balanced with a low grain, high produce diet.

      Reply
      • Timothy Laker (to Todd)

        Todd, thanks for bringing some common sense to the discussion. A lot of people spend too much time surfing the net or living and breathing their favorite health book which becomes like a religion almost, and as with religion… there are many paths to the “promise land” of health, but don’t confuse PERSONAL moral positions (impositions?) with objective reality.

      • LJE (to Todd)

        Actually, research shows that the consumption of red meat in ANY amount increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. So there is no such thing as “healthy” meat.

      • Anet (to Todd)

        I love it when they say ‘humanely raised and slaughtered “. How about humanely slaughtering a human? Or humanely raping a woman/child/boy/animal? As long as it’s done “HUMANELY”, conscious is clear so go ahead, end a life, kill a spirit, only humanely though. God loves you!

      • Todd (to Todd)

        Anet…I’ll get to you in a sec. First, LJE: the research you are looking for isn’t there…keep parroting that disinformation though (sponsored by General Mills). That research is being thoroughly debunked and populations that eat meat alongside plenty of produce have wonderful outcomes. Next up, Anet: I love all the facetiousness and high and mightiness in your response. You might think I haven’t wrestled with the ethics of meat, but I very much have. I ran a farm business and I saw the pigs I ate grow from piglets to full grown. I ain’t your yuppie Whole Foods shopper who doesn’t know any of the links in the food chain. I am burdened by the way animals are treated, but not by eating them. Nature itself is “red in tooth and claw”. It is the way of life. Your grain products displace animals and cause suffering as well. There is no way around it. That said, your analogy of humane rape is a sick one. That would imply that rape can have some benefit for which the “humane” portion matters. There is no benefit to rape and there is no “humane” way to take someone’s dignity. However, there are proven benefits to meat. It has increased our brain size. It has nourished mankind. Wondering who your god is, because my God does allow for the taking of an animal’s life. I will agree that we have fallen down on the stewardship part and most animal products are the result of barbarism. I am dying to know what makes you think you are wiser than native Americans who took an animal’s life with appreciation and used all of the parts? I’m wondering if you think an animal is on par with a human in terms of value of their life? The fact that you point to the rape of a child as an apt analogy scares me.

      • pulciee (to Todd)

        Actually there IS a benefit to rape just as there is a benefit to meat, the thing is it’s ONLY beneficial to the one inflicting the rape/suffering/murder, not to the one being raped or slaughtered & consumed. It brings a rapist pleasure to rape as it brings an omnivore pleasure to taste dead flesh. Does that justify it? We now know that meat is NOT necessary to live a long as healthy life, and we have many choices and alternatives that we simply choose to take or not to take, just as a rapist makes a decision to rape or not to rape. Have you watched the documentary earthlings? There is NO SUCH THING as humane slaughter, even the kosher houses have been exposed for violating their so called “regulations”. So the only conclusion is that you either care enough to change your lifestyle for the benefit of another or you don’t. Don’t justify your ways though with “I only eat humanely murdered flesh” just as a rapist can’t justify rape by saying “well she was dressed slutty, we were on a date, she made the first move, etc”. It is what it is, so don’t act all self-righteous when you’re the same as every other person justifying their inhumane lifestyle.

      • Todd (to Todd)

        Pulciee – yeah, I’m the same as someone who slogs back Smithfield bacon. You go ahead and think that. Honestly you and the previous commenter are not looking all that stable putting an animal on the level of a rape victim. I don’t need to see a documentary because I’ve seen the whole process! There are more humane methods than factories. There are methods where the animal barely knows what is coming. There are farmers who treat their animals better than you probably treat some humans. If you think we can all eat plant-based foods and the world’s problems are over, you’re wrong. Every action we take to sustain our life takes the life of another…clear cutting land displaces animals and causes them discomfort. And I’m a beyond organic food grower…so I truly believe in the power of plant-based foods. Even plants have social structures. Anything we eat has energy and wants to live. Period. If it makes you feel superior to lump me in with the person who watches Food Inc. and then goes to McDonald’s because they are on a road trip, go right ahead. The fact of the matter is I take care to only consume animals that are raised with dignity. If I don’t know who raised them, I eat crackers or whatever else is sitting at a party. And the one argument you will not get around is that nature is red in tooth and claw. Do you go to the wilderness to protect deer from wolves? Bet not. Pain happens every day. I disagree that consuming meat is frivolous and sadistic for those who care about the life cycle of an animal. Rape gives a sick and evil person pleasure (and provides comment fodder for extremists, apparently). Pasture raised meat gives me B12 and much of the negatives you might quote are being debunked when consumed in moderation. Stop it with the askew rape parallel.

    • Genna (to John Elliott)

      Has anyone added black beans to the recipe?? Just curious……

      Reply
    • Alisa (to John Elliott)

      Sorry john, but the “damage done by meat poultry and fish”?? Of course you can’t mean organic meats that nourish your brain and body with protein, and minerals that plants simply do not provide. You’ve been fed a load of crap about animal proteins and saturated fats harming our bodies. Mother Nature isn’t stupid. And veggie burgers are freaks of nature.

      Reply
      • Scott (to Alisa)

        Sorry Alisa, but there is a lot of proof that animal based food is harmful to humans. If you really are interested, or care about your health, read “The China Study” or “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”. A plant based diet is the best for our bodies. Most of the chronic diseases in our western society are caused by our western diet of high intake of animal products, and these same diseases are almost unheard of in cultures around the world that eat primarily a plant based diet. You can ignore this evidence if you want to. Can you elaborate on your statement about nutrients that “plants simply do not provide”? Which nutrients are you talking about? A plant based diet can provide everything that a meat based diet can. Where do you think the animals that you eat get those nutrients? From plants.

      • Alisa (to Alisa)

        Oh you mean the study that’s been thoroughly debunked?
        You’ve been misled, friend. google it.

      • Scott (to Alisa)

        Alisa: I’m sure you are referring to Denise Minger when you say the China Study has been debunked. You may not be aware that many prominent scientists have posted on her blog pointing out the flaws in her reasoning…because she has deleted their comments. But their comments are available on the web if you want to google it. One prominent cancer epidemiologist said that “Minger was out of her depth, and she offered to give Minger some some assistance and teach Minger some proper methods of analysis.” 23-year-old Minger lists her educational and professional qualifications on her Facebook page as writer, Catholic school teacher, summer camp instructor, and “Professional Sock Puppeteer.” I can hardly put her up against Dr Colin Campbell who is respected around the world as a top nutritional biochemist and Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He is the one who advised President Clinton on becoming vegan. Denise Minger debunking Dr. Campbell? I think not. Minger publicly admits that she could use help understanding Dr. Campbell’s research, because she doesn’t have professional expertise to analyze and interpret the data. I think it is you who has been misled my friend.

      • Alisa (to Alisa)

        In almost every argument about vegan diets or animal foods, someone brings up The China Study. This is a book that was written by biochemist and nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell.

        The book makes a case for animal foods (animal protein, in particular) being the main driver of killer diseases like heart disease and cancer. The case is loosely supported with data from a massive epidemiological study called The China-Cornell-Oxford Project, along with a number of other observations and studies on rats.

        Then he uses confusing terminology to make it seem like the rat studies using isolated proteins like casein have anything to do with diet and cancer in humans. The book has been criticized by a number of people who have analyzed the findings:

        Dr. Chris Masterjohn: What Dr. Campbell Won’t Tell You About The China Study
        Denise Minger: The China Study – Fact or Fallacy
        Dr. Michael Eades: The China Study vs the China study
        The findings of The China Study have also been contradicted by various other studies, some of which are of a much higher methodological quality.

        Read more: http://authoritynutrition.com/top-11-biggest-lies-about-vegan-diets/#ixzz2xBxus1OU

      • LJE (to Alisa)

        The only thing that a vegetarian diet cannot provide is B12, everything else is taken care of.

      • Katie (to Alisa)

        There is research stating that a diet containing meat AND full of Glycine from bone broths and gelatin, etc. will offset the supposed risks of cancer from a diet high in animal protein.

      • Jamie (to Alisa)

        Alisa, I understand you fight for healthy meats diets (I’m a meat eater too, but I do understand the vegetarian dieters as well), but here is an “argument” that has nothing to do with The China Study…Just because the package says what it does doesn’t mean it fully true.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKTORFmMycQ

  2. DigitalBob

    Go eat a nice healthy chunk of dead cow.

    Reply
    • tomketchfish (to DigitalBob)

      Bambi, Bullwinkle and Bugs Bunny’s relatives are preferred on my dinner plate. Lower in fat, high in protein and so delicious. Never a trace of pink slime.

      Reply
  3. Heather Ligresti

    It is too bad you don’t list the many healthy vegan options that are available.

    Reply
    • Kimberlee (to Heather Ligresti)

      Love the heads up on all these products, thank you, but can you list healthy alternatives as well??

      Reply
      • Maria (to Kimberlee)

        Besides making your own?
        Honestly, none of these are THAT bad. I’m a vegan & YES canola is a “cheap” oil, but hey– no one eats these things EVERY DAY.

      • Janet (to Maria)

        Check out the veggie burgers from Hilary’s Eat Well. They currently have four flavors available nationwide that are all non-gmo verified, gluten free, organic and allergen free! Agree with you to always avoid the big brands. Hilary’s burgers are the best!

    • Cmb (to Heather Ligresti)

      I prefer making my own from scratch (for all meals!), but obviously that’s not always viable, especially if you’re short on time.

      If I have to eat a frozen burger patty, I go with Amy’s. They’re one of the few frozen food companies I feel comfortable buying products from as they seem to be pretty up-front with their ingredients. In particular, their Sonoma and California burgers have a fairly small ingredients list without all the weird junk found in most frozen patties.

      Reply
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  5. Clementine

    Try making your own lentil burgers! It is pretty easy c:

    Reply
  6. Joan

    Upon closer scrutiny the ok to eat burgers are listed above in a list with green background on the left at top says “No hexane extracted soy ingredients” and to the right with the red background are listed the no nos.

    Reply
    • Maria (to Joan)

      It’s all in the moderation. No one lives off these things.
      I only keep them in a fridge as an emergency food…& they’re tasty enough for my non-vegan friends to enjoy when I don’t have the time to cook something up.

      Ever had a BBQ in the summer? That’s when these come in handy. Of course, I try to make my own, but frozen patties tend to hold better for grills.

      Reply
      • Priscilla (to Maria)

        Actually, quite a number of people live on these so called “foods”. There are plenty of well meaning, yet misguided vegans out there.

  7. Peter & Eileen Viik

    I would like to be informed of the value of foods that the public has to deal with

    Reply
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  9. Larry@AdventureCruises.com

    Tempeh and edamame are the most nutritious form of soy beans. Tofu, vegeburgers and tvp are very highly processed and the least nutritious. People who need a meat substitute are lost in a jungle of potentially bad choices. My advice is to eat food that tastes really good to you from the healthiest and most nutritious ingredients. It is a real stretch to think you can find something in a plant based diet that tastes like either a raw or cooked animal. But it is a very achievable goal to eat meals that are satisfying.

    Reply
    • Christine Gallo (to Larry@AdventureCruises.com)

      I am reading a lot lately about how pesticide laden soy beans and corn are today (now that corporate farming and Monsanto have taken over production). I know it is important to ck. labels for soy as a hidden ingredient, but I didn’t know edamame was a soy bean?!? Help! It is so hard to stay on top of all this information. Of course it doesn’t help that corporate America has done everything it can to keep us in the dark.

      Reply
      • Carlie (to Christine Gallo)

        Yes edemame is the Japanese word for soybean.

  10. Joe Wills

    Forget this processed burger stuff. Just eat India’s Indian and Sikh Vegetarian cuisine, 100% healthy , 100% mouthwatering, India is the longest civilization been vegetarian for 10′s of thousands of years. Sikhs are by Spirituality not to eat meat, how cool! Just look up Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

    Reply
    • TJ Krest (to Joe Wills)

      The reason India is mostly vegie is because they are poor and don’t have any room to raise cattle like US or Australia. It is also why they use so much Curry. Curry a) masks the taste of most food and b) it is a germ killer, as is most hot spice sauces. That is why you don’t have to refrigerate hot sauce. Everything in moderation. I have been a Vegie since 1972 and 3 years ago I started eating high grade chicken and “Amy’s” style foods. High grade bacon. I feel fine.

      Reply
      • Mary (to TJ Krest)

        Statements made from ignorance—yes, India has many food-insecure areas, but not because they don’t raise cows for meat. Indian veggie cuisine uses LOTS of milk products so nthe people still get a good protein source w/o slaughter.

      • JDE (to Mary)

        Good advice Mary!!!

      • Suzy (to TJ Krest)

        Heights of ignorance… I am from India and ate Beef all my life.

      • Adi (to TJ Krest)

        I can see so stereotype thinking which has formed by listening loud news about India.

        There is also life in India. First try to understand why on all products it is necessary to mark green sign as vegetarian food and red mark for non-vegetarian food in India.

        Eating vegetarian food is not so cheap as you have thought of, there are many variety available not like your imagination that any grain, fruit or anything which is made up of plant can be eaten raw. It is a great culinary art in India to prepare a delicious dish with right spices that works as medicine. So those who live on vegetarian dish are not poor. Second and most important thing, We do not eat meat because we do not want to kill animal for our taste.

  11. Brett

    Ok this is it I’ve always though there had to be something bad in the imitation food I was raised on. From now on its only real meat for me!

    Reply
  12. Grainne

    Easy healthy veggie burgers

    Fry 2 – 3 clove garlics, 2 large onions 2 red peppers and 2 courgettes.

    Boil 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup quinoa/barley/ buckwheat in stock.

    Blend 1/2 cup sundried tomato, ½ tin aduki beans, 1 cup walnuts and a handful basil.

    Blend all ingredients and add breadcrumbs or flour to get burger consistency.

    Fry and serve with salad.

    These freeze really well and can be reheated on a BBQ.

    Reply
    • Priscilla (to Grainne)

      Thank you! Ultimately, if you want to eat a healthy, low toxin diet, you have to cook using high quality, unprocessed (or minimally processed) ingredients. I find it interesting that few people find it odd that many so called healthy prepared foods, be they vegan, vegetarian, organic, or whatever, have relatively long grocery shelf lives. If they were truly “clean”, unadulterated fresh foods, they would last a couple of days tops before spoiling (or rapidly deteriorating).

      Reply
      • Grainne (to Priscilla)

        Yep, the longer the shelf life, the shorter your life!

  13. Tom

    When buying this type of burger, avoid the big brands and go organic or homemade. It’s not hard. It’s not rocket science.

    Reply
    • Janet (to Tom)

      Check out the veggie burgers from Hilary’s Eat Well. They currently have four flavors available nationwide that are all non-gmo verified, gluten free, organic and allergen free! Agree with you to always avoid the big brands. Hilary’s burgers are the best!

      Reply
  14. NutriMom

    The Truth About Grassfed Beef
    Published December 19, 2012 | By John Robbins
    http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/the-truth-about-grassfed-beef/

    Reply
  15. Jen

    Ummm…why not just eat a portabella burger? Easy enough to find organic ones, and only one ingredient. I don’t understand the whole trying to be healthy thing and then scarfing down foods LOADED with crazy chemicals. I’m a vegetarian, but I’d honestly feel safer eating organic, local beef before I’d eat a processed veggie burger.

    Reply
  16. RottenToast

    I prefer making my own from scratch (for all meals!), but obviously that’s not always viable, especially if you’re short on time.
    Thanks for mentioning that this isn’t always viable. I’ll go a step further and just say that it’s not viable at all for most people, and we don’t need to get defensive about the reasons why. Maybe we don’t have time…maybe we just hate cooking…maybe we don’t want to spend our time worrying about every last molecule that goes into our bodies. My goodness…it sounds like I need to live on my own organic farm in the unspoiled wilderness if I want to live a long life and die and peaceful death. But I’ll be all alone without any of the comforts and leisure of modern life. No thanks.

    Reply
  17. Janet

    Check out the veggie burgers from Hilary’s Eat Well. They currently have four flavors available nationwide that are all non-gmo verified, gluten free, organic and allergen free! Agree with you to always avoid the big brands. Hilary’s burgers are the best!

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Janet)

      Thanks! I just looked at their website. The ingredients look good.

      Reply
  18. Didi

    How do you feel about “Hillary’s” brand? Have you tried them?

    Reply
    • JWW (to Didi)

      They are amazing! They are made with out all the yucky stuff listed about.

      Reply
      • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to JWW)

        Have not tried but I’m going to. They sell them at Earthfare!

  19. Robert Hansard

    The standard diet of a meat-eater is blood, flesh, veins, muscles, tendons,and cow secretions from animals that have so many deceases the antibiotic doses the receive are totally unregulated causing the entire meat eating population to come down with antibiotic resistant super bugs.The FDA also permits the industry to meat products with carbon monoxide to keep the meat looking nice and pink to add an extra twenty days of shelf life.
    MRSA is showing up in pork,beef and chicken sold in supermarkets everywhere.Yet these potentially deadly cuts of meat have never been yanked off the shelves,and there are no inspectors who test live animals or meat for MRSA,and you think tofurky is bad

    Reply
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  21. Holliebollie

    Dr. Praugers isn’t certified organic but he claims to use non GMO ingredients. He is on the suspect list with Boca and Morning Star, is it because he isn’t certified? I trust his burgers more than I trust the other ones, personally.

    Reply
  22. scarlet

    I gave up on veggie burgers years ago because of the questionable ingredients. I only regret that I thought they were an okay food for so long, as I didn’t see MSG listed on the label, nor did I believe canola oil and soy were anything but the health foods they were touted to be. I guess I stupidly believed the “garden” in GardenBurger.

    I was a vegetarian for over twenty years, by the way. I’ve always avoided the SAD diet, and I thought I was eating healthy and more than adequately with my whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and standard dairy. I avoided junk foods and sodas, even coffee. I seemed healthy, but the truth is my diet was inadequate in fat-soluble vitamins, B-vitamins, and protein. I may have eaten enough grams of protein, but my body was not able to efficiently utilize this macronutrient when most of my protein came from grains. I had perfect teeth before adopting vegetarianism. Now I am fighting tooth decay that went into a mysterious remission when I began eating pastured eggs and dairy as well as some grass-fed or pastured meat and taking gelatin supplements. Most of my issues became apparent after the enormous strain of pregnancy. I developed gluten sensitivity, for one thing. I put on weight even eating 1500 calories a day. I was low in energy. Sorry, but I am not inclined to take the advice of the vegetarian men posting here. They don’t have to worry about their bodies supporting a pregnancy. Nor do they generally have the issues with weight gain and slow metabolism that many women face. I simply couldn’t eat enough on a vegetarian diet to meet my body’s needs for Vitamins A, D, and B12 without going way above my body’s calorie requirement. Now that I am better nourished, I can eat more and keep my weight stable, my teeth look good again, and my skin is perfect. Sorry, but vegetarian propaganda doesn’t work on me anymore. I’d rather force myself to eat meat than keep rotting my teeth on an inadequate diet.

    A reasonable alternative to veggie burgers like the one described are Sunshine Burgers. The ingredients follow: organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic carrots, organic spices, sea salt. Yes, they are still “processed food,” but they seem a much better option.

    Reply
  23. Cindy Smith

    I wish everybody DIDNT EAT OUT OF A BOX and would provide some TASTY VEGGIE recipes!!

    Reply
  24. Stacy W

    While this is all terrific information, I would like to see a list of alternative store-bought products. Homemade from scratch is great but in this demanding life, there’s a reason why people either eat out or reach for pre-packaged goods.

    Thank you and keep it up!

    Stacy

    Reply
    • Priscilla (to Stacy W)

      If you care enough about your health to spend time on sites such as this, you need to make the preparation of healthy, high quality, “clean” food a priority. There is no way around it. It does take time, however one can become efficient at it. Sometimes less is more.

      Reply
      • Stacy (to Priscilla)

        Um yeah I know. Except I wasn’t asking for myself because I get it. But your suggestion doesn’t work for everyone, such as some specific individuals I have in mind.

  25. Rani

    Have you researched Quorn? It tastes great…wondering if it’s good for you. Thanks!

    Reply
  26. kandi moya

    So what is a good veggie burger. to buy then plz share tanks

    Reply
  27. John

    Eat beans for protein (uncanned only) and veggies. Nothing canned. Also, be wary of “natural flavors.” They can be whatever. Anything processed can be a problem.

    Been eating this way for 4 years and I’m much better off. Read “Eat To Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

    Reply
    • Helen (to John)

      Good Advice- Good simple ideas and foods – My dear friend a bio chemist and brilliant woman said it this way “pick foods with one ingredient” for example, nonGMO vegetables, Soybeans/Edamame ( EatEmYummy!) – and broccoli, beans, sprouts, etc.. simple good as God made them- (Genesis 1:28 for a few of us)

      Reply
  28. paul

    Likely this… Likely that… Cancer this, cancer that… Unless you are a licensed and practicing dietician or nutritionist or MD, or a scientist with specific citations on personal scientific studies, whether this gives you cancer or that gives you cancer…then what you are doing is spouting personal opinion. I honestly can’t stand bloggers on a power trip, regardless of your fame or who endorses what you do. You have a degree in computer science from UNC Charlotte, that hardly makes you an expert on cancer or organic food.

    Reply
  29. Greg

    I love animals. They are delicious.

    Reply
    • eric (to Greg)

      Animals are delicious because you have learned to eat cooked meat. Eat your prey the way real predators eat it, without any technology. Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you cant eat meat raw because you have weak hydrochloric acid, whereas carnivores, you know the animals that can rip off our leg bones with their really sharp teeth, have hydrochloric acid 20 times stronger than humans. As a result of that, they could care less about E.coli, Salmonela, or any other bug that you will get from eating raw meat

      Reply
  30. April

    Once again another post about everything evil and absolutely no alternative. Not all of us want or have the time to cook every single meal from scratch. please, please please start offering alternatives that are store bought! i appreciate what you do but if i followed your advice i’d be dead of starvation in a week. Maybe grading things or showing us ingredients from worst to not worst or something so we can make the best choice from the options there are-knowing full well that it won’t be perfect.

    Reply
  31. Tracy

    Hilary’s veggie burgers are fantastic. Given the choice between eating organic meat or veggie meat possibly containing GMOs, what is the less of two evils? I feel torn when choosing convenience foods for my kids.

    Reply
  32. A Mayers

    Moderation is always the best policy! But when we know better, we should do better :). Everyone should check out delight soy products- they’re processed but organic and do have soybean oil, but the ingredients are super simple and they are by far the best tasting meat alternative I’ve ever tried :)

    Reply
  33. Betsy

    Hello Vani – thank you for this information. Because of it I contacted the makers of a product I like to eat on a regular bases and asked them if they use hexane to extract their soy. Here is their response:

    “Thank-you for your email and inquiry about our products. We want to assure you that gardein™ is made with the highest quality ingredients and that we are committed to producing great-tasting and healthy meat-free foods.

    All of the soy used in gardein products is grown in the US or Canada and is non-gmo. The process that is used to extract the soy from soybeans is safe and is the same process used for the extraction of most seed oils, including commonly used canola, sunflower and olive oils. Our suppliers follow strict manufacturing processes to ensure the safety of all of their soy products. We do not use hexane in the processing of our products and hexane is not used or present in our plant. We also work diligently to ensure we meet or exceed all U.S. and Canadian regulatory requirements for food. In addition, Garden Protein International does independent third-party testing of incoming soy protein and Finished Goods to ensure that there are no impurities, including hexane, present.”

    Hope this helps you and others that read your blog. Thank you for all you do!!!
    Betsy- Carlsbad, CA

    Reply
    • Nicole (to Betsy)

      Thank you so much for looking into this more deeply, Betsy! I love the Gardein line of products and simply can’t find or afford any of the other products on food babe’s “safe list” in the rural area where I live. So I am VERY pleased to hear that they don’t use hexane during processing.

      Reply
  34. Jennie

    I have ate these burgers and they are delicious . I am vegan I also do not eat refined sugar basically anything white bread potatoes etc.. and I would rather eat this than have a few packets of refined sugar in my tea that’s for sure.

    Reply
  35. Megan

    You talk about genetic modified foods, GMOs, like they are a completely bad thing. Some people are ignorant of the process to create a GMO and believe that a genetically modified organism is unhealthy. The common ignorance of GMO’s has caused a social stigma to be created about the limited risk of a genetically modified organism. The reason it is so expensive and time-consuming to create a now GMO is because scientists want to make sure that the organism is safe. The ordinary common person does not understand the process for developing a plasmid for bacterial DNA. They hear the word bacteria and see the negative side. In reality farmers have been “mutating” their crops for thousands of years. They have done this by choosing the strongest organism and only allowing that organism to reproduce. “Modern biotechnology simply offers a quicker, more efficient path to accomplishing the same goals” (Swenson a GMO farmer). The social stigma over genetically modified organisms is due to a common ignorance about them.

    Reply
    • eric (to Megan)

      If the majority of humans on this planet feel that cannibalism is not a good thing, who is right? the majority or the minority who enjoys cannibalism. If the majority of humans on this planet feel that the recreational use of thc, opium, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, crystal meth, computer pornography, and “texting” while driving is not a good thing, who is right? the majority or the minority who enjoys drunk, drugs, and porn? (yeah, I would also add toxic beverages, but if humans could not have their toxic beverages then there would be no Driving While Intoxicated, there would be no Superbowl, and I would be fighting a losing battle). Look at a map of all the countries in the world that allow Gmos. Then look at all countries where lobbiest’s control the pockets of those who make laws. Who is right? The people who enjoy food as it was before humans could make a profit, or the people who make a profit?

      Reply
  36. Rachel

    Here is a link to SAFE veggie burgers (ORGANIC). Would have been helpful if author of article had given this info to start with rather than scaring everyone with no solution. I’m willing to bet that even the no organic would be better than eating cow with all the stuff that cows are fed. Remember, when you eat an animal, you are eating everything that animal eats.

    Anyway, here is link:
    http://www.cornucopia.org/hexane-guides/hexane_guide_meat_alternatives.html

    Love my veggie burgers!

    Reply
    • Dianne (to Rachel)

      She did, Rachel. Scroll to the top of this post and you will see an image from the Cornucopia Institute, the same people you reference in your link. On the left side (green) is a list of products not processed with hexane. On the right, the others we should avoid.

      Reply
  37. Lindsey smithwick

    Does this apply to all meat substitutes then? I eat a lot of gardein chicken tenders!

    Reply
  38. Cheryl

    I make my own burgers, freeze them with waxed paper in between and take out what I need. My basic formula: equal amounts of rehydrated cooked legumes, cooked whole grains, minced raw onions, raw oats and spices. I blend everything but the oats, put the mixture in a bowl, then stir in enough oats to make the mixture sticky but not gooey. I form 1/2 cup burgers, freeze as above wrapped in foil. I broil them or grill them right from the freezer 5 minutes per side.

    Reply
  39. jill

    How do you feel about dr. Pragers veggie burgers?

    Reply
  40. Bon

    WHY DON’T PEOPLE GET IT, EVERYTHING in a BOX BAG or PACKAGE is PROCESSED. EAT WHOLE! If you want to eat healthy you’ll make the time PERIOD!

    Reply
  41. Alexis

    Hilary’s eat well is a great alternative and is the only store bought veggie burger I have found to have clean ingredients! They even taste so good my meat eating boyfriend buys them for himself!

    Reply
  42. Ann

    Buy Simple Soyman Toaster Burgers instead! Shameless plug for a great little Wisconsin company, owned by a couple of wonderful people interested in creating healthy, pure foods. p.s. – nope, I’m not related, just happy that they’re out there for me.

    Reply
  43. Sun

    Oh wow–SO GLAD she wrote this–I JUST had those TJ’s Marsala Burgers this morning! But I HAVE been wondering if these were good for me….won’t be getting those anymore!

    FoodBabe–I wish you would go after TJ’s. I only shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods these days–but tend to shop TJ’s more as it is more affordable for me (I refuse to go to regular grocery stores!)–but don’t always know if everything I get there is AS healthy as they make it seem.

    Also–Wines! I love that you are going after the beer industry–but it’s the same with wines as well.

    Reply
  44. Sarah

    Sunshine Burgers are the best store bought burgers I’ve seen as far as ingredients go. I’m pretty sure none of them contain oil or soy.

    Reply
  45. sarah

    no food is really perfect (well except spinach and eggs) but i am mostly vegetarian because i dont like causing creatures to suffer in pain because they can feel just like us. I like eggs the best for protein but get bored. I eat chicken when my body is really really in need of protein
    but mostly soy and yes veggie burgers, i was shocked tonight looking at ingredients of boca,yuck, just lots of wheat protein (wheat not for me), fake stuff, soy protein and like no green in there
    however if i look at morning star’s garden veggie burger which I LOVE for taste its only got veggies as first 4 or 5 ingredients, that is good, then the protein is i believe soy or lentil or some other legume. So must look at ingredients first not nutrition, if alot of bad fake stuff, dont buy it.
    also realizing tofu may not be good for thryoid and that is a shock for me because i love cooking it and eating it makes me satisfied.
    But perhaps it caused inflammation because i ate it every nite for dinner, so decreasing soy to 2 a week, inreasing eggs, and going to try fish more even though i dont like taste, i like swai and tilapia, i dont feel like i am hurting an advance nervous system as much , not sure but they dont have vertebrae?? I dont like beans at all except lentils and nuts well i dont want to eat too much because they make me feel so full and sick. eggs and some tofu, lots of greens, some greek yogurt and some nuts going to be my protein sources.

    Reply
    • eric (to sarah)

      I agree with much of what you and many of the logical responders say here. I just don’t agree with how you are saying it. We learn from those who came before us.
      But those were not always right in every situation. We have the bigger brain. Let’s use it! In high school biology my track coach taught me “mitochondria, the little powerhouse of the body converts carbohydrate into ATP (adenotryphosphate)”. He did not say that the mitochondria converts carbohydrates (carrots and blueberries) and protein (the hind leg of a dead pig, the long ribs of a dead cow, or the side of a dead whale). The fact that humans can attain protein from kale, broccoli, nuts, beans, mushrooms, etc adinfinitum makes humans fortunate. We can’t run very fast, that’s why predators prefer chasing us to horses, cows, or rabbits. We can only fly as long as the airplane has fuel and wings, and we can only swim if we have propeller or sail. The only way humans can consume “meat” is to conquer some technology. However, humans can out run and out climb any apple in a tree, any watermelon on the ground, or any mushroom under the ground. How fortunate are we humans that apples, watermelons, and mushrooms do not cause us to have colorectal cancer?

      Reply
      • eric (to eric)

        I’m sorry. I said humans attain protein from kale. I ment to say obtain protein from kale. Attain is to reach a point or level. Obtain is to get and have something. I ran 2.5 miles, now I’m all sweaty, I can think a little better. Now I’m going to shower and eat a big breakfast of anything but sodium nitrite and nitrosamines. Yeah it will have bananas, blackberries, walnuts, dates, raisins, and organic soy milk.

        Does that make you believe that I am a “vegetarian”? I’m not. I hate that word. It’s a dumb made up word by people who don’t understand latin. If vegetarian makes you think I am an eater of vegetables then what kind of conclusion do you draw from the fact that I am also a humanitarian?

      • eric (to eric)

        Duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ment obtain. attain is to reach a level or point. Obtain is to have and hold. Humans obtain protein from kale and mushrooms. We don’t attain it.
        DARRRRR DAAA DARRRR

  46. Liz

    Hi-
    Have you tried Sol Cuisine and/or Qrunch veggie burgers? I didn’t see either listed on the good or bad list above.

    Thanks

    Reply
  47. Patsy (to whooosh2)

    It is all about moderation of everything and eating fresh grain fed meat is much healthier than eating a processed soy burger. I love the Morningstart burgers but now will not eat them because I don’t like what I just read. Shame on them and other food manufacturers whose only thought is how to make money and have no concern for our health and well being.

    Reply
  48. atrebla (to whooosh2)

    i agree with you on one level, and disagree on another.

    i think you’re thinking too much at the level of the individual making a single momentary food choice.

    the fact is, we are part of a food SYTEM, and all parts are intimately linked to eachother – from pesticides, herbicides, to what kind of agriculture, to who is the farm laborer, to how far it travels to you, to what kind of foods are commonly available and what foods are subsidized and which are not, to what is advertized to children, to what you THINK you are putting in your body vs. it’s long-term side effects, the addictive qualities of food, medical bills, etc etc etc. It is ALL CONNECTED.

    So, while I agree with you on the factual “truth” of your statement, I think the point that “it is not which food matter you put in your body in any given moment but how much and how often” is a non-starter. It’s almost entirely besides the point. It is distracting from much, much bigger issues about a food SYTEM. We cannot think about each individual action as SEPARATE from all of this!

    Reply
  49. Maria (to Patsy)

    No one is obligated to buy these. Vegans/Vegetarians that want to enjoy a burger with the rest of their family will purchase these. They’re not meant to be all that nutritious. Labels are there for a reason. Anywho, broccoli is a known carcinogen. So are apple seeds (toxins) & honey. But guess what? No one cares or ultimately looks at it that deeply. Hating on these products makes them NOT want to make a better product & just leave the industry completely. I love my black bean chipotle burgers. I make my own, but keep these in the freezer as an emergency food (unexpected hungry guests on my birthday…cause I don’t keep track of the calender & whatnot).

    Also, vegetables are healthier than meat any day. Go back to living environmental science, the food chain & energy/nutrition absorption & study animal proteins & the affect of said proteins on cancerous cells.

    Reply
  50. Dianne (to Maria)

    Broccoli and honey are known carcinogens? Where do you get your information? Please provide a reference, and thanks!

    Reply
  51. Priscilla (to Maria)

    Where did you get the information that broccoli and honey are known carcinogens? If this is “known”, how come no one else knows it?

    Reply
  52. devil's advocate (to Dianne)

    none of the pro veg comments included a bibliography…double standard?

    Reply

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