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July 27, 1999
Meatless Burgers Gain Popularity Across America
More than a year after McDonald introduced its McVeggie on an experimental basis, many of its franchises in big American cities are continuing to offer the veggie burger that uses soy products instead of the traditional beef filling.
The McDonald outlet in New York's Liberty Avenue, which has a large number of immigrants from India and the West Indies, recently started offering the McVeggie. But just as the McVeggie is catching up with vegetarians and occasional vegetarians alike, dozens of restaurants across America offer their own veggie burgers which are more flavorsome and spicier than the McDonald products.
Some animal activists believe in shunning the McVeggie because they do not want to support the corporation that thrives on animal products.
But other vegans are only too glad for the McVeggie.
"McDonalds have been disparaged in the vegan and vegetarian communities for a long while as the largest purchasers of factory farmed beef in the world. Who would have ever guessed McDonalds would turn around and offer -- in limited quantities -- a beefless 'burger'?" asks food writer and firm Vegan David Boles.
"Some vegans have an aversion to eating anything that tastes like or resembles meat, but I don't presently share that philosophy since I know the difference between eating a real cow and a soy imitation: I am avoiding the suffering animal, not the ping on my palette.
"Did I feel I was supporting the continued slaughter of cows, pigs and chickens doomed in factory farms by handing over my hard earned cash to the 'enemy' of vegans worldwide? No. I vote with my money and by purchasing a couple of McVeggies (two guys in another line across from us also ordered McVeggies!), I am placing my support behind McDonalds' belated (better late than never, eh?) attempt to offer a more ethical and healthy meal plan.
"By buying a McVeggie I am fully supporting the Virgin Vegan vein McDonalds is exploring without condemning the entire corporation," he continues. "Money speaks, after all, and if McDonalds sells enough McVeggies, we'll have them available everywhere and that's a wonderful thing, not a bad thing."
McDonald is not the only company that is selling veggie burgers. In many southern states and California, there are many restaurants offering such.
In Phoenix, Arizona, the Terra Nova's veggie burger is a freshly made mixture of moist veggies and sunflower seeds, served with ripe tomatoes, sweet onions, good mustard and crisp lettuce on a whole grain bun. You may ask cheese to be added
It's unlike any fake charcoal-flavored fast-food burger with rubbery pickle, anemic tomato and slippery gray lettuce. Terra Nova's veggie burger is a huge, flesh-and-blood-free meal that tastes as delicious as it looks.
Some restaurants offer veggie burgers with onions, cilantro, red pepper and Cajun spices, and served on your choice of breads with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, red onions.
The following information about McVeggie would be useful to those who live in large cities where the McVeggie is available.
Each McVeggie "burger" patty is 3.2 ounces and only 200 calories. Total fat is 13g (saturated fat 2g, polyunsaturated 7g, monounsaturated 3.5g). Cholesterol is 0. Sodium is 410 mg. Total carbohydrate = 11 g (Dietary fiber 4g, sugars less than 1g). Protein is 12g. Calcium is 9% and Iron is 15%. Vitamins A & C? Zero.
Water, soy protein concentrate, corn oil, soy protein isolate, methylcellulose, salt, modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, malt extract, hydrolyzed wheat protein, dried onion, garlic powder, black pepper, spices, natural smoke flavor, beet powder, autolyzed yeast extract, corn syrup solids.
Wheat flour (bleached, malted barley flour, and enriched with thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil), yeast. Contains less than 2 per cent or less oat fiber, potato flakes, salt, calcium sulfate, ammonium chloride, ascorbic acid, corn flour, soy flour, silicon dioxide, fungal enzymes, calcium propionate (as a preservative), sesame seeds.
Tomato paste, water, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, natural flavorings.
One fresh tomato slice, shredded lettuce and chopped onions.
Ingredients list: Potatoes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate. Cooked in partially hydrogenated soybean and corn oil, TBHQ (to protect flavor), and citric acid.
You can get nutrition and information on ingredients visiting McDonalds online at http://www.mcdonalds.com.
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