New Vegan Burger Makes It's Way To Alaskan Grocery Stores

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A new burger has made its way onto Fred Meyer shelves.
It's been branded as the world's first plant-based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies so much like beef, it's actually in the meat section of grocery stores.

The Beyond Burger has made its way to the Interior; but with Subsistence Hunting being such a way of life for Alaskans, there's the question of how well the product compares to real meat?

Store Manager of Fred Meyer East, Mark Whelchel says, that there is a demand for more alternative options to meat.

"We've got a lot of people asking for it. It's sold in over 600 Kroger stores including Fred Meyer. We have a lot of people that as soon as they know it's here they're coming in and saying, 'give me a whole case,' so we're bringing it in and keeping it going. Yes there's a lot of subsistence hunting and what not but we've got a lot of other people in town that want vegan alternatives. It's definitely selling well and I think it'll be here to stay."

Alaska is separated into subsistence and non-subsistence areas.
Urban areas, including Fairbanks, are classified as non-subsistence, which means many people aren't hunting for their food.
But for those, especially in rural subsistence areas, it's a way of life.

"My line of expertise or anybody at Fish and Game, we specialize in working with folks and researching the practices of people who hunt and fish for a living and that's part of their culture and part of their life way. It's not going to change because of tofu, protein based hotdogs in the store."

According to Beyond Meat's website, this new burger is a plant-based patty, with no antibiotics or hormones, and it's GMO, soy and gluten-free.
And then it was time for the taste test.

"Julia: I'm here at the Fred Meyer East with Store Manager Mark and Meat Assistant Eric and we're about to try the world's first most realistic vegan burger. So guys let's dig in.
Wow! Okay. This is really good actually. So Eric, you're the meat guy here, how does this compare to a real burger?
Eric: It's got really got texture in there, it's got very good flavoring, cooks about the same as a regular hamburger. It's actually pretty good. I'm about to go for another piece.
Julia: And Mark, what about you? What did you think?
Mark: I liked it. Definitely have this as a hamburger and very much enjoyed it."

With Fairbanks being an urban setting, it looks like the Beyond Burger, along with other vegan and vegetarian options are here to stay.