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Oh Look, It’s so Shiny!

Should we buy just because it’s new and Vegan?

How far will you go to get the new shiny Vegan food or product?

Is it worth making an hour (or more) drive to the nearest Target because you heard they finally got the birthday cake flavor of Just Cookie Dough. I mean, you drove there to pick up the chocolate chip so why not this flavor? You have to try it, right?

That’s how I felt about Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger. It’s supposed to be the closest thing to a meat burger, obviously without the meat. For months I’ve seen friends and other Instagrammers posting pics of it and talking up how amazing it is.

I would check the retailer list once a week to see if my local Whole Foods was finally carrying it. 2-3 days ago they made the list and I immediately packed up and headed toward Hyannis to get a package. I was elated; excited even! I was finally going to try these magical burgers.

I got into the store, grabbed a package and was hit by a wave of disappointment. The burgers were the size of sliders. There was only 2 to a package. They were $7.99! WHAT?! For real? To buy two slider sized burgers for that price they better cook themselves for crying out loud, yet I’m certain they do not.

Needless to say, I walked out of Whole Foods empty handed. I could not justify that cost. To be honest, I could just go get the black bean burgers from Lightlife. Hell, I could buy two packages for less than the Beyond Burgers and have 8 burgers!

8 > 2  is a much better cost ratio at $7.99!

Do they taste good? I don’t know, I’m sure they do though. I love Beyond Meat’s products; the grounds are amazing and the chik’n strips are untouchable. But these new burgers? Keep em! Until the price comes down I will stick to other brands. And to be honest, this has taken the wind out of my sails a bit as far as jumping on the bandwagon for the newest and coolest vegan products.

There’s so much new stuff coming out. Watching my Instagram feed I’ve been taking a virtual tour of the Natural Products Expo West. It looked like people were having tons of fun. But I’m starting to wonder, is it just more hyped up crap? I certainly hope not. If that happens these companies are going to scare away potential new vegans with the cost. The myth that vegan food is expensive has already been perpetuated, this is just going to help keep that alive.

Do you jump at the new shiny vegan product? Were you ever let down by one? For what?

addendum 7/23/2017: So um yeah, I tried em and they are worth that hype. My post is moot at this point… I buy them whenever I can and justify the cost because of the taste and pleasure they bring. I know, hypocrite: bite me!

 

Tyson & Beyond Meat; A Match Made in Heaven or Hell?

A few days ago the news broke that Beyond Meat and Tyson Foods were in a collaboration of sorts. After dusting aside the inconsistent headlines and internet based subterfuge, it came down to the fact that Tyson food invested 5% in Beyond Meat. That’s not to say that controversy doesn’t remain though.

One of the concerns those in the vegan community have is that Tyson somehow will have a say in what Beyond Meat does. That is not correct. Ethan Browne, the founder of Beyond Meat, has vehemently said that Tyson does not have a say, nor will they have a seat at the table when it comes to making company decisions. “It is just an investment at this point,” Brown said. That’s a little bit of a relief, but questions regarding ethics continue.

ifyoucantbeatemjoinem-lgDoes this mean Beyond Meat is willing to take “blood money” in order to move forward. How is that ethical? Listen, I love Beyond Meat and we use it quite a bit in my household. Whether it’s using the ground for tacos or the chikn strip for stir-frys; we enjoy Beyond Meat. This investment has me scratching my head though and not understanding how they can take the money without some sort of promise of change from Tyson.

Was it greed? Could Beyond Meat be worrying more about the bottom line? I know for shit sure that Tyson is looking at this as a money-making opportunity. They could give a crap about ethics and morality as they’ve been caught time and time again treating animals cruelly. Recently they fired 10 employees that were caught in a Mercy For Animals undercover sting. That’s after being caught many times over the years for animal cruelty in their factory farms, or in farms that they partner with. Simply Google search “tyson animal cruelty” and you will be amazed at all the stuff that’s been reported about these guys.

Is it also possible that Tyson is seeing profits subside and that consumers are asking for less cruelty on their plates and more healthy options? Could there be the slightest bit of compassion arising from the depths of their blackened souls? I’m not holding my breath on that end, that’s for sure.

As far as Beyond Meat and their next move? I guess what we will have to do is wait and see. In his piece, “Why I Am Welcoming Tyson Foods As An Investor In Beyond Meat” Ethan Brown says this, “What can you expect from Beyond Meat going forward? More of the same relentless pursuit of meat. With Tyson’s investment, we are expanding the Manhattan Beach Project, our already formidable research and development program to understand animal meat better than anyone else so we can build it from plants. We will remain committed to non-GMO inputs and will continue to strive for understandable ingredients, always plant-based. Lastly, we won’t let a product that is “good enough” distract from what we know to be possible: building meat from plants.”

What are your thoughts on this? Are you still backing Beyond Meat?