Impossible Foods' "Lean" Ground Beef Has More Protein and Less Fat

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Jun. 22 2023, Updated 2:16 p.m. ET

Impossible Foods Vegan Ground Meat, Impossible Beef Lite
Source: Impossible Foods

Many meat-eaters have a fixation on "lean" meat, which is meat with a lower fat content. But no matter how lean animal meat is, it's still causing the same amount of harm to the planet and to animals.

So, Impossible Foods is hoping to appeal to those consumers with an exciting product: Impossible Beef Lite.

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The product is essentially a vegan version of lean ground beef — without the cholesterol, carcinogens, animal suffering, or environmental degradation associated with farming cows.

Keep reading to learn all about this product, some of Impossible Foods' other 2023 innovations (including Impossible Indulgent Burgers and a few chicken products), and a few other vegan ground beef options — both on the market and recipes you can make at home.

Impossible Beef Lite in package on a blue background
Source: Impossible Foods

Impossible Beef Lite features 21 grams of protein per serving.

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Impossible Beef Lite is Impossible Foods' new, lean, vegan ground beef.

On March 8, 2023, Impossible Foods unveiled Impossible Beef Lite, which the plant-based food company "designed to be better than lean ground animal beef."

The product can be cooked and used just as you would use ground beef (or regular Impossible Beef), and the brand claims that it both tastes and satisfies just like lean ground beef made from animals.

Impossible Beef Lite nutrition:

One serving of Impossible Beef Lite contains 21 grams of protein — which is more than traditional Impossible Beef, which contains 18.9 grams of protein per serving. It also contains 6 grams of fat per serving, which is less than half of the 12.8 grams of fat found in one serving of Impossible Beef.

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And compared to cow-based, 90/10 lean beef, Impossible Beef Lite contains 75 percent less saturated fat and 45 percent less total fat, as well as zero cholesterol or hormones, unlike beef.

Impossible Beef Lite also contains various other nutrients, including fiber (of which you'll find none in animal meat), iron, B vitamins, zinc, and potassium.

"We’re constantly working to compete with beef in all of the ways that matter to consumers, including nutrition,” Peter McGuinness, president and CEO of Impossible Foods, said in a statement shared with Green Matters when the product launched.

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“A lot of health-conscious fans and shoppers are looking for a plant-based beef option that’s high in protein and nutrients with even less fat, and Impossible Beef Lite is our solution to that," McGuinness continued. "It's a perfect plant-based way to customize all of the great recipes that call for lean animal ground beef."

Impossible Beef Lite Tacos
Source: Impossible Foods

Impossible Beef Lite can be used in place of ground meat in any recipe, such as tacos.

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Ever since "tech" burgers by brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have hit the market, many skeptics have complained that these products are too processed and unhealthy. However, being healthy was not the point of these products — the point was to create a plant-based alternative that would cause less harm. And now that major brands have achieved that goal, we love that they are starting to experiment with ways to make even more nutritious versions of their flagship products.

So basically, this version of Impossible Beef is not only healthier than animal-based beef, but it is also healthier than regular Impossible Beef.

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Where to buy Impossible Beef Lite:

Impossible Beef Lite is available for purchase in select supermarkets across the U.S. — where you'll find the product in the meat aisle, alongside animal-based meat.

You can check out the locator map on the Impossible Foods website to find a retailer in your area.

Impossible Foods also launched the Impossible Indulgent Burger.

Impossible Indulgent Burger patties in package
Source: Impossible Foods

A few months after rolling out Impossible Beef Lite, in June 2022, Impossible Foods released the Impossible Indulgent Burger. In press materials shared with Green Matters, the brand described the product as "a new, more premium version of the original Impossible Burger patty with a recipe that’s juicier, meatier, and all-around more indulgent."

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“Our burger put us on the map and it’s the core of our business. But we’ve heard from our fans they’d like something bigger and even juicier, so we of course said yes,” Peter McGuinness, president and CEO of Impossible Foods, said in a statement.

McGuinness believes that the Indulgent Burger will give "consumers more options and ways to try and buy Impossible," meeting more "consumers where they are."

A hamburger made with an Impossible Indulgent Burger patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and more.
Source: Impossible Foods
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Where to buy the Impossible Indulgent Burger:

As of launch in. June 2023, the Impossible Indulgent Burger is only available at Bareburger (locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Ohio) and Monty’s Good Burger (locations in Los Angeles). As summer goes on, the product will launch in more restaurants as well as select grocery stores, with larger nationwide availability to come.

Impossible Foods also put out new chicken products in 2023.

And in February 2023, Impossible Foods introduced three plant-based chicken products: Impossible Spicy Chicken Nuggets, Impossible Spicy Chicken Patties, and Impossible Chicken Tenders.

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There are a few other vegan ground beefs out there:

In 2021, Beyond Meat — Impossible Foods' No. 1 competitor — released a lower fat version of its traditional Beyond Burger. The patty featured 55 percent less saturated fat than 80/20 beef. However, as of 2023, the product no longer appears on Beyond Meat's website.

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Until you can get your hands on Impossible Beef Lite, if you're looking for other nutritious or low-fat vegan ground beef products, a few other options out there include Plant Boss' Organic Plant Crumbles and Gardein Ground Be'f.

There are also plenty of ways to make your own nutritious vegan ground meat — check recipes by My Quiet Kitchen, The Hidden Veggies, and Karissa's Vegan Kitchen.

This article, originally published on March 8, 2023, has been updated to include the Impossible Indulgent Burger.

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