Here's Why Beyond Meat Has A Strange Smell

In recent years, alternative meat products have taken the food world by storm. Vegan and vegetarian burger substitutes have hit restaurant menus and supermarket shelves all over the country, providing meals to satisfy that umami craving while still being completely plant-based. Beyond Meat is one of the most popular vegan meat alternatives on the market. Not only is it completely plant-based, but it is also soy- and gluten-free. The company's mission is to "feed our future ... By shifting from animal to plant-based meat, we can positively impact four growing global issues: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare."

The production of meat is one of the largest contributors to many worldwide climate issues, including global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, excessive water usage, and land depletion, according to the Daily Bruin. Beyond Meat aims to change that by providing a burger alternative that offers all the taste and quality of a great cut of meat, without the negative side effects of meat production. According to its website, Beyond Meat's "process uses basic elements of cooking – heating, cooling, pressure, and mixing – to give the protein from plants a taste and texture that's just like meat." However, the company apparently didn't aim to make its product smell like meat.

The key ingredient is pea protein

The company's process seems to be working. Inside the package, the Beyond Burger looks almost identical to a regular meat patty. It has a thick, meaty texture, and even its slightly pink insides recall the experience of biting into a beef-based burger. However, there does seem to be one element of Beyond Meat that is distinctive from its animal-based counterpart: the smell. Per the Daily Bruin, that particular smell probably comes from the burger's main ingredient: pea protein. According to Beyond Meat, the Beyond Burger gets its 20 grams of protein predominantly from peas, with mung beans, faba beans, and brown rice also added to the mix.

Altogether, the Beyond Burger packs a healthy punch, with only 270 calories per serving, and no sugar, cholesterol, or added hormones and antibiotics in any of the plant-based patties, according to Women's Health Magazine. Beyond Meat offers a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to beef, if you can get used to the smell of peas in your burger.