As promised, I am continuing my reviews of the Beyond Meat brand of vegan meat substitutes. Today’s review focuses on the Beyond Meat Sausage, of which there are two varieties: Hot and original Bratwurst. I have tried both versions of the Beyond Meat sausage and of course, my favorite is the hot sausage. Read along to find out if it’s worth it to add the Beyond Meat Sausage to your vegan or vegetarian staples.
What Is Beyond Meat Sausage?
The Beyond Meat Sausage is a vegan sausage substitute created by the innovative team at Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat’s philosophy is to create vegan meat substitutes that are so similar to the real thing that your taste buds will be fooled and your appetite satisfied. Their mission as stated on their website:
“At Beyond Meat, we believe there is a better way to feed the planet. Our mission is to create The Future of Protein® – delicious plant-based burgers, sausage, crumbles, and more– made directly from simple plant-based ingredients. By shifting from animal to plant-based meat, we are creating one savory solution that solves four growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.”
This is indeed an honorable mission, and I must say from all the Beyond Meat products I’ve tried so far, they’re really onto something. Their Beyond Meat Sausages are so realistic that you question your very senses. So, what’s in the Beyond Meat sausage? Here are the ingredients as listed on the package:
Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Refined Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Contains 2% or less of: Rice Protein, Faba Bean Protein, Potato Starch, Salt, Fruit Juice (For Color), Vegetable Juice (For Color) Apple Fiber, Methylcellulose, Citrus Extract (To Protect Quality), Calcium Alginate Casing.
Upon first glance, these are pretty benign ingredients used to produce a pretty convincing substitute for a traditional pork bratwurst or hot sausage. This begs the question, is the Beyond Meat sausage,
Too Good To Be True?
Let’s take a closer look at the Beyond Meat Sausage and what it means to anyone following a vegan diet or is trying to eat less meat. Most of the ingredients presented above look pretty healthy and all natural, but I still have questions about some of them. For example, I have no issue with water, coconut oil, sunflower oil, pea protein isolate, rice protein, faba bean protein, fruit juice, vegetable juice or citrus extract as ingredients.
I do, however, have questions about methylcellulose, natural flavors, and calcium alginate casing. What exactly are these ingredients and are they healthy to eat? Let’s first take a look at methylcellulose, what is it exactly? A quick wiki search gave this description:
“Methylcellulose is a chemical compound derived from cellulose. It is sold under a variety of trade names and is used as a thickener and emulsifier in various food and cosmetic products, and also as a treatment of constipation. Like cellulose, it is not digestible, not toxic, and not an allergen.”
This definition shows that methylcellulose is essentially a food additive made by chemically modifying a natural compound. Take this fact however you like. Next, let’s examine the ever-popular “natural flavors” found in food and beverage products. According to wiki:
“The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations describes a “natural flavorant” as: The essential oil, oleoresin, essence, or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating, or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit, or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf, or any other edible portions of a plant, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose primary function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
I have heard a lot of negative press about natural flavors, but this definition shows that natural flavors are essentially food additives derived from natural sources. Therefore natural flavors are nothing to be overly concerned about. Let’s take a look at the last ingredient of concern, the calcium alginate casings used for the Beyond Meat Sausage. What is calcium alginate? Our friends at wiki offer this definition:
“Calcium alginate is a water-insoluble, gelatinous, cream-colored substance that can be created through the addition of aqueous calcium chloride to aqueous sodium alginate. Calcium alginate is also used for entrapment of enzymes and forming artificial seeds in plant tissue culture.”Alginate” is usually the salts of alginic acid, but it can also refer to derivatives of alginic acid and alginic acid itself; Alginate is present in the cell walls of brown algae, as the calcium, magnesium and sodium salts of alginic acid.”
This calcium alginate in the Beyond Meat sausage is also a naturally derived, albeit, highly processed ingredient. Now that we have a clear idea of what is in the Beyond Meat sausage, let’s examine if it’s worth making it an important part of our vegan staples.
Is The Beyond Meat Sausage Worth Buying?
We now have a good idea of what’s in the Beyond Meat sausage, and it can be said without question, that this vegan pork sausage substitute is a highly processed food. The actual ingredients in the product are all natural and many are standalone healthy. However, the process to create the sausage entails heavy manipulation of these ingredients to create a palatable product. That said, I’ll state what I view to be the pros and cons of the Beyond Meat sausage.
- 16 grams of plant protein per serving
- 38% less saturated fat and 43% less total fat than pork sausage
- Soy & Gluten Free
- Non-GMO & Kosher
- High in sodium (500 mg per serving)
- High in fat (18% RDA per serving for fat and 25% RDA per serving for saturated fat)
- Expensive compared to the meat version
With these pros and cons in mind, is it worth buying? I say yes, but with a few caveats. If you are determined to make a positive environmental impact by consuming fewer animal products, the Beyond Meat sausage is a tasty compromise. It is reminiscent of real pork sausage and is without question, delicious! If you’re accustomed to eating pork sausages more than once per week, then I suggest only eating one or at most two of the Beyond Meat sausage per week.
What Others Are Saying About Beyond Meat Sausage
As always, and in efforts to be impartial in my assessment, I’m including a few recent Amazon reviews of what others are saying about the Beyond Meat sausage. The Beyond Meat sausage enjoys a 4.5-star rating on Amazon as seen in these reviews.
Treasure118 5.0 out of 5 stars No Garlic No Onion. May 15, 2019, Verified Purchase
I love it more than I can say! Beyond meat taste so good. I am so glad that the ingredients had no garlic, no onion, no leek…
iLoVeAmAZon 5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty and good. May 11, 2019, Verified Purchase
Sue J. 5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to be Vegan! May 7, 2019
Love the taste, the texture, and the level of spice. Smells and tastes like the real deal. Thanks, Beyond. Looking forward to more products!!
Daniel J Brizek 5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Beyond Meat products. April 13, 2019, Verified Purchase
These are my favorite vegetarian sausages. Nice fennel flavor and good texture compared to other brands.
DJJ 5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! February 15, 2019
These are really good. Incredible flavor and pretty close to a regular sausage in terms of texture. I’m really glad to be able to have sausages be a part of my menu again!
Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Calling all sausage link lovers. January 28, 2019
Vegans, veggies, meaties, these are the real deal amazing. I have tried many vegan brands and these have the best flavor. We need these hotties worldwide ASAP. If Amazon could please get these in stock ASAP!!!
I agree with the sentiments expressed in these reviews because the Beyond Meat Sausage really is delicious and very reminiscent of pork sausage.
Final Thoughts on Beyond Meat Sausage
I stopped eating pork, and consequently sausages, many years ago. I did not stop eating pork because of environmental concerns, I stopped eating it due to the practices in pork husbandry. The often unsanitary conditions in which conventional pork is reared is extremely off-putting to me. Additionally, I have come to learn that a predominantly vegan or vegetarian diet is best for overall health. This is why discovering the Beyond Meat sausage was so exciting for me.
If you are concerned about the environment and wish to enhance your diet by eating more vegan or vegetarian products, then I highly recommend you try the Beyond Meat sausage. It has the texture and taste of traditional pork sausage, and the casing even snaps and sizzles like real pork sausage! Another great thing about the Beyond Meat sausage is that it cooks up much faster than regular sausage and is ready in about 6 minutes.
So, yes, do add the Beyond Meat sausage to your vegan staples, but be careful to only enjoy it one or two times per week. It is high in saturated fats and sodium and thus may not be a good choice for individuals with hypertension or high cholesterol. Even with these caveats, the Beyond Meat sausage is in my opinion, the best vegan sausage meat substitute available in the market today.
Have you tried Beyond Meat sausage? Are you thinking about trying it? Let me know in the comments and until next time: Happy Eating!