There are so many on the market right now, and there seem to be more emerging everyday! I am going to be looking more closely at some of options out there, through my Battle of the Burger Series! Taking a closer look at the ingredients in well known products, so we can all make better and informed choices for our health!
I started this post as a battle between three kinds of veggie burgers that I had in my freezer and realized there is way more to this than I actually thought! And because I value your time, and mine - I chose to turn this series into individual product overviews!
Today, we are going to take a look at Boca chicken patties. A long time favorite of mine! Vegan, non-gmo, great source of protein, or are they?
Boca is a seemingly “healthy” alternative to those looking into a more plant based diet or to reduce their meat consumption. As with most things - all veggie burgers are not created equal!
I tend to put these on top of my salads to get some protein with my meal. Immediately, when I scanned over the ingredients I was already surprised. It read almost like a processed food label!
First ingredient: Water...Phew.
Second ingredient: Soy protein concentrate... Already feeling like a red flag.
Third ingredient: Soy protein isolate. Hmmm...
Fourth ingredient: Yeast extract. Sounds normal enough?
Next, we have already fallen into the “Contains less than 2%” category for the rest of these.
I will mention a few that stuck out:
Wheat gluten, Methycellulose, Natural flavor (non-meat), Succinic Acid, Washed raw sugar, Caramel color.
Now as someone who is cautious - or tries to be aware of my food choices – I have to say I was truly surprised at what this label had on it. I had been so caught up in making sure there was no dairy in the product, that I focused on the fact that it said the word VEGAN right across it and I never read the ingredients!
Now, I do this. So, I know there has to be many of you doing this also! You think you are making a good choice - or a better choice - but maybe we actually aren't!
I had to learn a bit more about the main “protein” in this burger.
Soy Protein Concentrate and Isolate.
A quick Google search brings up an explanation of how this is made from soybean meal and the beans are "dehulled and defatted" and are then PROCESSED into three kinds of protein commercial products: soy flour, soy concentrates and isolates.
Okay, so not only are you telling me that I am not receiving a complete protein source of any kind, but before it has even gotten into all the other processing – my protein source has ALREADY been processed?
Now to be clear – I understand when purchasing a product such as a Boca burger I am not expecting it to say ingredients – salad! What I am expecting is a plant based source of protein in a convenient way. To me - this is no better than eating a cookie!
The other ingredient that really stuck out to me was the ingredient- methylcellulose. Sure didn't sound plant derived to me!
Another quick Google search. In short - this is a laxative. You have got to be kidding me? 2% or less I don't want this in my body! It is a white powder, that is used to bind together ingredients and can be found in many processed foods.
This food is HIGHLY processed. While it may be vegan, it is not a good source of nutrition! I am on the hunt to find the best burger options out there, without making your own from scratch. Because lets face it, there are going to be those times!
These have now been moved to a "treat" category for me. Fuel your body right, to feel the difference!
P.S - yeast extract is actually a hidden term for MSG. We can do better!
Kaitlyn Elizabeth McCann
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