Where’s the Beef?

With obesity on the rise in the United States and concern about the safety of meat products growing, more and more people are joining the vegetarian crowd and searching out healthier alternatives to red meat.

With obesity on the rise in the United States and concern about the safety of meat products growing, more and more people are joining the vegetarian crowd and searching out healthier alternatives to red meat.

How do the different brands compare? Staff writers John Titlow and Faye Murman conducted a consumer taste test comparing four popular meatless patties.

Veggie burgers, including the brands tested, are available in virtually all grocery stores, and some of them are standard in many popular restaurants.

On campus, one can find veggie-friendly food at the outdoor food court adjacent to Anderson Hall. The food trucks parked all over campus are worth a try, but vegetarians beware that meatless burgers are often cooked on the same grill as beef and other meat.

Meat substitutes are also available for some meals at the food court in the Student Center.

Brand Calories/
Calories from fat
Carbohydrates,
Protein and Sodium
Flavor Verdict Rating
Calories – 100
Calories from fat – 20
Total fat – 2.5g
(4 percent Daily Value)
Total Carbohydrate 5g
(2 percent Daily Value)
Protein 13g
Sodium 360mg
(15 percent Daily Value)
The flame grilled chicken patties are just one in a long line of meatless products available from Gardenburger. Moderately seasoned and juicier than most, they come very close to the taste of a real flame grilled, skinless chicken patty. 2
Calories – 140
Calories from fat – 45
Total fat – 5g
(8 percent Daily Value)
Total Carbohydrate 10g
(3 percent Daily Value)
Protein 14g
Sodium 430mg
(18 percent Daily Value)
Don’t let the name fool you, these meatless burgers are vege-sgusting. The pieces of actual onions and veggies in the patty are a plus, but not enough to overshadow the taste of a processed TV dinner that these burgers offer. They have the highest fat, sodium and protein content of all four brands. 4
Calories – 100
Calories from fat – 20
Total fat – 2g
(3 percent Daily Value)
Total Carbohydrate 6g
(2 percent Daily Value)
Protein 13g
Sodium 310mg
(13 percent Daily Value)
Although their meat-free chicken products come pretty close to tasting like the real thing, Morning Star’s veggie burgers are dry and somewhat flavorless in the absence of condiments. Adding ketchup, onions, or mustard. will add some kick to that slab of soy between your bun. 3
Calories – 70
Calories from fat – 5
Total fat – .5g
(1 percent Daily Value)
Total Carbohydrate 6g
(2 percent Daily Value)
Protein 13g
Sodium 280mg
(12 percent Daily Value)
The most popular brand of veggie burger is not only very low in fat, but also has the best taste and is relentlessly juicy, even in the face of being overcooked. Boca Burgers are served as meat alternatives in many restaurants, and are available at your local grocery store. 1
Calories – 260
Calories from fat – 80
Total fat – 9g
Total Carbohydrate 33g
(11 percent Daily Value)
Protein 13g
Sodium 530mg
(22 percent Daily Value)
Without any condiments (no cheese, ketchup, pickles or lettuce) this burger was about as bland as bland could possibly be. These values include the bun, whereas the nutrition values for the others do not. n/a

John Titlow can be reached at johnpaultitlow@gmail.com. Faye Murman can be reached at faye.murman@temple.edu.

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