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Impossible Whopper
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Wait, what?! That’s right, meatless burgers are becoming more common and Burger King is the latest chain to hop on the bandwagon.

Burger King is selling the plant-based Impossible Whopper at its more than 7,000 locations across the United States for the next month. It is testing the potential demand for the meatless patty after a trial run in the St. Louis area proved successful earlier this year.

As awareness increases about the health and environmental benefits of decreasing meat intake, some people are looking for tasty ALTERNATIVES to beef. However, Burger King is not the first chain to see the potential for attracting new customers and those looking to try something different.

White Castle has been offering the Impossible Slider since 2018. Carl’s Jr. teamed up with Beyond Meat at the start of 2019 to begin offering the Beyond Famous Star, a plant-based version of the restaurant’s iconic burger. Tim Hortons and Dunkin’ have both teamed up with Beyond Meat as well to offer meat-free options on their menu.

It’s not just restaurants—grocery store chains, including Kroger (Fry’s) and Safeway, have started carrying the Beyond Burger. Kroger also carries the Beyond Sausage, a plant-based option for brat lovers. Impossible Burgers will likely be hitting grocery store shelves soon as a key ingredient in the patties was approved by the Food and Drug Administration at the end of last month.

Both of the plant-based food providers are relatively new on the scene but have been making a big splash since arriving. Beyond Meat started in 2009, while Impossible Foods opened in 2011. They have been so popular the companies have at times struggled to meet the increasing demands.

One thing that nutritionists want to make clear to people is that just because the meat-free options are plant-based does not mean they should be seen as healthy. While the meat-free alternatives contain no cholesterol, they are comparable to beef burgers in saturated fat and are higher in sodium. What does all of this mean for consumers? Plant-based burgers should be treated like beef burgers—as an occasional tasty treat. 

Are you interested in trying one?

Glaciers Quickly Melting from Underneath

LeConte Glacier

Imagine standing on top of a steep rock wall, overlooking a massive glacier—a place that is home to mountain goats with seabirds flying overhead and whales swimming in the water below.

For a handful of students from Petersburg High School in Alaska, they don’t have to imagine. They’ve been making annual treks to the LeConte Glacier to collect data about the glacier’s position since 1983.

The students’ notes about the glacier’s retreat several years ago was one of the things that caught the attention of scientists who wanted to better understand the melting of the glacier.

In a new study published in July in Science, oceanographers and glaciologists revealed their findings using new technology to study the tidewater glacier, the name referring to glaciers that end in the ocean

The research revealed that the glacier is melting far faster than previous theories had suggested. The melt rates were measured to be about 10 to 100 times larger than what theory predicted, according to lead study author David A. Sutherland, an oceanographer at the University of Oregon. 

Glaciers can extend hundreds of feet below the surface of the water. Higher submarine melting rates indicate to scientists that glaciers are even more sensitive to ocean change than previously SUSPECTED. Getting accurate measurements is important in aiding scientists with predicting future sea-level rise.

However, scientists have previously struggled to locate exactly where at the glacier’s terminus, or end, the most intense melting occurs and how quickly it happens. The reason for this is that glaciers may look majestic and unintimidating from afar, but there is real danger in getting close enough to the frozen masses to measure them.

“We are just super jazzed that we can even do this,” Sutherland was reported saying in National Geographic. “We weren’t 100 percent sure it was going to work.” Sutherland jokingly added that it was “pretty simple in my head, and sounded good on paper.” 

Edition: 
Phoenix
Tucson
Issue: 
August 2019