For a country that has more cattle than people, where a meal without beef is regarded as incomplete, a meat less burger could be a farfetched idea of cooking. Infinite Foods thinks not. Last week Thursday, they just did that, launched…guess what, a meatless burger. The burger is a new plant-based protein offering. Also launched on the day was Nature & Moi Cheese.
The event was held at the Caravela Restaurant, a Portuguese flavoured eatery in Extension 4, in the periphery of the African mall shopping complex. The big launch was attended by the media, and notable faces in the banking and hospitality industry, including the outgoing M.D of Baclays Bank Botswana, Reinette van der Merwe, as well as the General Manager of Cresta Lodge, Greg Soutter, among many others.
The moment of truth came for the attendants to sample and bite this burger. When this reporter heard about the meatless burger, her initial reaction was of curiosity. Will the bite live to the expectation of a meat burger as it is known to be? The Patti was something else, could not tickle the beef taste buds. Needed some seasoning, perhaps. If it was an audition and this reporter was the judge, the burger would probably have frowned at the verdict. The launch comes on the back drop of the signing of a contract between Go Fresh and Infinite Foods.
The deal will see Infinite Foods distributing the leading plant-based protein products in Botswana. It is part of the Botswana-based fresh produce brand expansion plans, to include plant-based protein products as part of its offerings. A press release explains that the brains behind Go Fresh is none other than leading entrepreneur Michelle Adelman. The company, says the release, has been delivering high quality fresh produce to consumers in Gaborone and Maun since 2014 and has won numerous awards for its technology-abled farming and approach to engaging Batswana youth leaders to run the company. It further says that The Beyond Burger is the flagship product of leading US plant-based meat company Beyond Meat.
The company, explains the release is at the forefront of the growing global movement towards a more sustainable approach to meat and protein. “Livestock agriculture has a detrimental impact on the environment, and it has become imperative that sustainable, less detrimental meat and protein alternatives be sourced. Companies like Beyond Meat are using cutting-edge science to change the way we think about and define meat. While the positive impact of plant-based meat on the planet and to human health is massive, the most revolutionary thing about The Beyond Burger® is that it looks, cooks, and tastes like beef. It is made entirely of plants and has no added hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, soy or gluten,” says the release.
According to the Director of Infinite Foods, Phenyo Moroka, as much as Batswana love their beef, we know that too much meat has been linked to high cholesterol, cancer and heart disease. He also says that it is high time we find ways to eat less meat.
“These are the words most of us don’t want to hear but imagine if you could enjoy all the things you love about eating meat, get all the protein, nutrients and delicious taste, but have no health worries linked to eating too much meat? That’s what has consumers going crazy for The Beyond Burger. It really is The Future of Protein,” he says.
A Beyond Burger patty has 20g of protein, more than a beef burger, with less saturated fat and no cholesterol. It also uses 99% less water than a traditional 113-gram beef burger, 93% less land, and produces 90% fewer greenhouse gases, according to a joint study by Beyond Meat and a major US university. Infinite Foods will initially launch The Beyond Burger in restaurants and foodservice outlets, adding to Beyond Meat’s current distribution in more than 12,000 restaurants including Carl’s Jr., TGI Fridays, BurgerFi, Bareburger and A&W Canada.