Burger King has a new artificial-meat Impossible Whopper, advertised as a plant-based, healthier alternative to the beef whopper.
But according to veterinarian James Stangle, DVM, what Burger King doesn’t tell you is that one Impossible Whopper contains 18 million times as much estrogen as the regular beef whopper. Eating four Impossible Whoppers a day will grow boobs on men.
Stangle is a large animal veterinarian in Milesville, South Dakota.
In an article for Tri-State Livestock News, Dr. Stangle writes:
- To begin, the impossible whopper patty is made from 24 ingredients, the most important of which is soy protein. The regular whopper patty has just one ingredient, beef. (See the list of ingredients in an impossible whopper patty here.)
- The impossible whopper has 44 mg of estrogen and the whopper has 2.5 ng of estrogen. Since there are 1 million nanograms (ng) in one milligram (mg), that means an impossible whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular hormone-implanted beef whopper.
- Six glasses of soy milk per day or four impossible whoppers have enough estrogen to grow boobs on a male.
- Nor is the impossible whopper healthier:
- The impossible whopper (with 630 calories, mainly from added oils) has only 5% fewer calories than the whopper (with 660 calories).
- The impossible whopper (22 grams) has 10 fewer grams of usable protein than the beef whopper (25 grams). (Protein consists of amino acids. Of the 20 amino acids, 9 are essential. Each of these 9 essential amino acids must meet a certain level to make a complete protein profile. An essential amino acid that does not hit the required amount is “rate limiting”. In beef the rate limiting amino acid is tryptophan, which is at 79% of the required level; in soy protein, however, the rate limiting amino acid is methionine, which is at 41% of the required level. In other words, you would have to eat 2¼ impossible whoppers to get the same protein in one whopper.)
- The impossible whopper contains a genetically-modified organism (GMO) — leghemoglobin. Leghemoglobin mimics the hemoglobin that gives beef its red color. To make enough leghemoglobin to add to the impossible whopper, scientists spliced the gene for leghemoglobin into yeast, which is then added to the impossible whopper.
It should be pointed out that:
(1) Dr. Stangle is writing for a meat website, Tri-State Livestock News, which calls itself “a leading publication within the livestock industry” and thus has a vested interest in promoting beef against Burger King’s meatless burger.
(2) Stangle provides no sources for his many claims, including the alarming assertion that men will grow breasts from drinking six glasses of soy milk or eating four Burger King impossible whoppers a day.
It turns out the claim about six glasses of soy milk comes from an “unusual” clinical case of a 60-year-old man who developed breasts (gynecomastia) from drinking 3 quarts (twelve 8-oz cups) of soy milk a day. After he discontinued drinking soy milk, his gynecomastia decreased and the estrogen in his body slowly returned to normal. (See J. Martinez and J.E. Lewi, “An unusual case of gynecomastia associated with soy product consumption,” Endocrine Practice, 14:4, May-June 2008, pp. 415-418.)
According to an article about the impossible burger by Paul Kita in Men’s Health:
[I]n the 2000’s a few small studies and rodent studies appeared to show that compounds within soy called phytoestrogens might disrupt hormones, which could lead to low sperm count and man boobs.
Several news outlets (including this one), may have overblown those findings. “Such a link has never been substantiated in human studies,” says Qi Sun, M.D. assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, told Men’s Health in October 2018. “I don’t think this is a concern at all.”
In fact, men who consumed diets that included soy had a 29 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a 2018 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients.