MACON, Ga. — If you've been on social media in the last week, you've probably been somewhat caught in the crosshairs of a chicken sandwich conundrum -- Popeye's or Chick-fil-A?
Amid all the chatter, another fast food option is quickly rising up that contains no meat at all.
Food companies across the nation have been switching up their menu to keep up with the hot trends like vegan and vegetarian options.
Burger King released its Impossible Whopper nationwide earlier this month and KFC announced that they would be testing out meatless nuggets and wings this week in Atlanta.
Some stores that carry the meat-free burger are struggling to keep up with the demand.
Lajustice Reese, store manager at WNB Factory on North Avenue in Macon, says the restaurant started carrying the Impossible Burger in May and they sold out of the popular item after a month.
“We couldn’t order any for like two months and just recently got them back,” Reese said. “One of the months they went out of production, so they weren’t sending any out.”
Most of the customers that come in to order an Impossible burger come in just to try it and see what the buzz is about.
“With it being a new trend, we do some people who are trying it at the moment,” Reese said. “Because it was hard to find.”
Reese says customers who come in to try the burger love it.
“A lot of people say it still tastes like beef, but it’s not beef,” she said.
Reese says she does not know whether WNB Factory corporate will start making other food options ‘Impossible,’ but she does know that the meatless burger will stick around.
“We plan to keep it for as long they don’t sell out anymore,” Reese said.
According to the Impossible Foods website, the plant-based burger is made from genetically modified soy called soy leghemoglobin, which is made from genetically engineered yeast. Soy leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants and it carries an iron-containing molecule called heme.
The website says heme is found in every living being.
“Impossible Foods discovered that it’s what makes meat taste like meat,” the website says. “We make the Impossible Burger using heme from soy plants – identical to the heme from animals – which is what gives it its uniquely meaty flavor.”
If you are planning on ordering an Impossible Whopper at the local Burger King to get a healthier alternative to your fast food favorite, you might want to think again.
The Impossible Whopper and the traditional Whopper are not too different. According to the Nutrition facts for both burgers on the Burger King website, they have a comparable calorie count when they share the same condiments as a traditional Whopper – lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, pickles, ketchup, and a sesame seed bun.
The Impossible has 630 calories and the original Whopper surpasses the plant-based option by just 30 more calories at 660.
Most of the nutrients for the Impossible Burger have less than a nine-gram difference from the regular Whopper.
Some stand out differences in nutrient measurements are the sodium and cholesterol count. The cholesterol count in a burger with meat has a whopping – no pun intended – 80 milligrams more cholesterol than the Impossible burger.
The meatless burger has no trans fats, but the Whopper has 1.5 grams of trans fats.
The sodium count in the Impossible burger is 100 milligrams higher than that of the classic Whopper.
The Burger King on Gray Highway in Macon cooks its Impossible Whoppers in the same area beef patties are cooked, which means the meatless burger is not technically vegan or vegetarian.
So just because it is plant based, does not necessarily mean it is a healthier option. Some 13WMAZ staff tried the Impossible Whopper. Watch our reactions above.