In late June, 2019, University of California-Davis Professor Frank Mitloehner tweeted the ingredient list of three foods, two of which were popular plant-based burgers and one of which was "premium dog food":
Trivia quiz: the following are the ingredients of three food / feed products, two of which are fake burgers ( @ImpossibleFoods burger and @BeyondMeat burger), and the third is premium dog food. you choose the latter? pic.twitter.com/uqzWIkxpQ7
̵1; Frank Mitloehner (@GHGGuru) June 27, 2019
The point, Mitloehner later tweeted was the two most Notable Plants Based Imitation Burgers, Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat Burgers, were "not to be separated from dog food." Prem ium ”grain-free vegan dog food and an impossible burger.
Let's get into the weeds: 10 of the ingredients (take some chemical liberties and completely ignore the relative amounts of each) of the 20 listed for Impossible Burger can also be found among the 28 in the vegan, grain-free dog food:  Impossible Burger
Dog Food (Grain Free Vegan)
Food Starch Modified
Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
Vitamin E Supplement
Niacin [1 9659009] Niacin
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Sunflower Oil Sunflower Oil  Mixed Tocopherols
Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1)
Vitamin B12 Supplement
Most of the are vitamins and minerals. Using the current ingredient list (which differs slightly from the one used in the viral tweet), two of the 18 Beyond Meat burger ingredients also appear among the 28 in the vegan grain-free dog food:
Beyond Meat Burger
Dog Food (Grain Free Vegan)
Pea Protein Isolate
When it comes to comparing Beyond Meat burger, both peas use as their source of protein. Separability may be in the eye of the beholder, but there are significant differences between the burger ingredient lists and the dog food lists.
However, a broader question is, what scientific point does such a comparison make? One might come up with a similar argument that the ingredients in organic, high-tech dog food are "almost indistinguishable" from canned beef chili served in the supermarket, but such a comparison would not be so illustrative. Like the Beyond Meat burger and the vegan dog food, chili and dog meat both use the same protein source.
We asked Mitloehner, who studies chemical emissions from farm animals and who has served as an expert witness defending the agricultural industry in the US Congress, which scientific point he illustrated with his tweet. By email, he stated that his concerns were about how the plant-based burgers were marketed:
These plant-based alternatives are often marketed as plant-based burgers. In reality, they fully qualify for the NOVA definition of "ultra-processed food," of which many (or most) nutritionists, dieticians, and clinicians are constantly warning us.
The claim that they are healthier and / or healthy than real meat is not supported by the facts. These chops are so ultra-processed and consist of almost identical ingredients such as dog poop.
If you compare the three, you may have had a difficult time identifying dog food, right?
Asked about his interest in the subject, Mitloehner stated that it stemmed from "the many media requests I receive about plant-based products including several [media appearences] along with [Impossible Foods founder] Pat Brown and [Beyond Meat founder] Ethan Brown and the many actual false claims they is about animal husbandry, which is otherwise often contradicted in the media. ”
The original thinking behind these plant-based burgers was one of sustainability: being able to produce something that tastes like meat using a process that can scale up and still be sustainable. As an example, this is why Impossible Burger uses GMO yeast to produce a protein – heme – that can theoretically be produced by widespread soy cultivation. The amount of soy required to produce hem would not be sustainable in the long run. (Beyond Meat does not use GMO products and does not include protein heme, which is designated as the key to Impossible Burger's taste.)
These burgers are actually often marketed as a healthy alternative to meat, and that claim is a bit muddier. Pound by pound, meatless burgers have comparable amounts of protein, and Impossible Burgers have the same (or more) vitamins and minerals added, according to the Harvard Medical Schools Health Blog:
The protein content of these newer plant-based burgers has been created to compete with beef. and poultry grams. Both Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger have comparable amounts, the former derived mainly from soy and the latter from peas and mung beans.
Impossible Burger also adds vitamins and minerals found in animal proteins – such as vitamin B12 and zinc – in amounts. equal (and in some cases larger than) both red meat and poultry.
On the negative side, these plant-based burgers also contain comparable, if not high, amounts of saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease. In addition, Mitloehner's points about the level of treatment of plant-based burgers are valid – many of the ingredients are highly processed and appear to meet international standards for ultra-processed foods – generally considered to come with a number of nutritional deficiencies.
In sum, there are shared chemicals in vegan dog food and plant-based burgers. In our view, two shared ingredients of a combined 46 (in the case of Beyond Meat) or 10 shared ingredients of a combined 48 (in the case of Impossible Burger) do not meet the threshold of "do not stand out", and as such we rank the claim most false.