The Impossible Burger Rumor You Shouldn't Believe

Veganism is exploding in popularity. According to data harvested by Plant Proteins, the number of people who have committed to vegan diets shows a trend of continued growth and the plant-based food market is worth an estimated $4.5 billion — that's just in the U.S.

Such successes are great news for the vegan community, the planet, and — of course — business. As the market evaluation shows, eating green seems to be a certain way of reaping huge financial rewards.

Analysis by Vox suggests that two of the largest producers of plant-based meals — Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat — generated their own popularity through partnerships with fast food stalwarts like KFC, Burger King, and Subway, ingeniously infiltrating operating models that relied heavily on traditional meat sources. However, great fortune invariably brings with it great fame. For Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, that meant becoming the focus of a social media firestorm claiming that their meat substitutes contained similar ingredients to dog food.

Comparing meat-free burgers to dog food wasn't quite so simple

The claim was made by Frank Mitloehner on the social media network famed for always sharing the truth, Twitter. In his tweet, Mitloehner uploaded three photos showing the ingredients of burgers for Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods compared to a dog food brand. Mitloehner stated in a further Twitter post that the ingredients of the plant-based burgers were "indistinguishable" from dog food.

Research by fact-checking website Snopes concluded that while the burgers did share some ingredients with the specific type of dog food chosen, the similarities were insignificant. It was found that the majority of shared ingredients were vitamins and minerals (such as salt), which it could be argued are commonly found in a wide range of foods.

While the allegation that meatless burgers produced by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat share distinct physical qualities with dog food is mostly considered to be unfounded, Serious Eats details that the smell of the burgers is actually far more accustomed to our fluffy friends.