KFC Is Now Experimenting With Meatless Fried Chicken In Partnership With Beyond Meat

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has been inspired to begin experimenting with a plant-based chicken product alternative to their famous fried chicken in partnership with Beyond Meat.

The fake meat craze has swept the nation, especially since Burger King introduced the “Impossible Whopper” to customers earlier this year.

It’s a product that shows great promise in helping Americans switch to more vegetarian diets, which is especially important because we need to cut our consumption of beef in an effort to prevent deforestation and reverse climate change.

But chicken farming also has its own environmental hazards, so a faux chicken product offered by the most popular chicken restaurant is quite appropriate.

The Beyond Meat KFC fried chicken and chicken nuggets are only being tested at an Atlanta restaurant right now, but it could soon be offered nationwide.

“KFC Beyond Fried Chicken is so delicious, our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based,” KFC president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman said in a press release. “I think we’ve all heard ‘it tastes like chicken’ – well our customers are going to be amazed and say, ‘it tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken!'”

Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown also praised the product his company worked hard to produce.

“KFC is an iconic part of American culture and a brand that I, like so many consumers, grew up with,” he said in a statement. “To be able to bring Beyond Fried Chicken, in all of its KFC-inspired deliciousness to market, speaks to our collective ability to meet the consumer where they are and accompany them on their journey. My only regret is not being able to see the legendary Colonel himself enjoy this important moment.”

It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but there are some health concerns that people should be aware of, especially if people intend to make these faux meat products their only protein choice.

“While there are many positive benefits to choosing vegan/vegetarian protein choices, like no cholesterol, lower total fat, animal rights issues, and environmental impacts, it’s important to note that plant-sourced proteins don’t provide all the essential amino acids,” Purdue University professor of nutrition Leslie Young told Healthline.

There’s also the issue of faux meats being ultra-processed food, which is not good for our health either and is linked to diabetes and other health problems. The product is also still fried in oil.

“I wouldn’t consider it healthy, but it may be somewhat less harmful,” said Julianne Penner, MS, RD, from the Loma Linda University International Heart Institute. “I’m not sure what kind of oil KFC uses for frying or if it’s the same oil that will be used for the Beyond Chicken, but I would assume that it’s unhealthy oil,” Penner said.

It’s good that we have alternatives to beef and chicken that people can turn to in order to reduce their meat consumption. This will definitely have a positive impact on the environment. But we must remember that as with most things we eat, moderation is key to maintaining our overall health.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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