Plant-based or myth-based? 🌿Aug 02, 2022
While animal meat continues to dominate the market, plant-based meat alternatives are on the rise, in part because people believe they’re healthier and safer. But if you share that belief, then, according to scientists with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, you should hold your horses – and your grills – a little because faith in the inherent safety of plant-based products might be misplaced.
- Contrary to popular belief, plant-based meats are actually ultra-processed and packed with chemicals. As for their safety related to microbial pathogens, there’s not enough data to attest to it.
- Have you ever thought that meat burgers had to be cooked, but that plant-based burgers were just fine to eat uncooked? If you have, consider the latter often harbor equally high levels of foodborne pathogens. This means they’re potentially just as risky, and more research is necessary.
The bottom line is that, no matter what their composition and protein source is, all burgers should be handled the same way. That is, they are supposed to be cooked (ideally, at an internal temperature of 160ºF / 71.2ºC as measured with a digital thermometer), cleaned, not cross-contaminated (by chicken utensils, for instance), and chilled.