It's come to this: Real beef substituted for plant-based "meat"

It’s the sort of headline that could have been ripped straight from the pages of the Babylon Bee. “NYC Burger King has been passing off beef as Impossible Whoppers.” As we’ve covered here previously, Burger King is one of a growing number of restaurant chains to offer plant-based fake beef instead of actual hamburger. Imagine the horror of the unsuspecting vegans who ordered a whopper only to learn later that they’d participated in the untimely end of the life of a cow. But was this really Burger King’s fault? (The Takeout)

People abstain from meat for plenty of reasons—ethical, dietary, religious—and for many, this choice is a serious one. That makes this news of a Burger King in Brooklyn, which admits to serving regular beef burgers to customers who’d ordered vegan Impossible Whoppers, more than a mere mix-up.

Eater reports the Burger King at 736 Broadway in Brooklyn has for weeks been filling Seamless delivery orders for Impossible Whoppers with regular Whoppers, asking the Seamless driver to inform the customer of the switch. But according to customers who spoke to Eater, drivers had not informed them of the substitution, and their receipts read “Impossible Whopper.” The Impossible Whopper is only available in select cities, and NYC is not yet one of them, despite what the Seamless version of BK’s menu advertised.

Burger King is blaming it on a “technology error” but something here doesn’t sound right. Everyone seems to agree that the franchise in question wasn’t advertising Impossible Whoppers at the store. They’re not part of the limited rollout yet, so that makes sense. But the Impossible Whopper was being offered as an option on the menu posted by the meal delivery service Seamless. (They’re similar to Grubhub.) So if Seamless was passing off actual Whoppers as Impossible Whoppers it would be on them and that would be the end of the story.

But according to this report, the people at Burger King had been filling the orders with regular Whoppers and “asking the Seamless driver to inform the customer of the switch.” The drivers were then failing to inform the customers, at least in some cases. But does that make sense to you? If they had run out of one the ingredients and tried to pass off a Whopper without lettuce or something (assuming they told the customer) I suppose we could envision that happening. But anyone who goes out of their way to order the plant-based burger is obviously a vegan of some sort. (Let’s face it… nobody is ordering a veggie burger for the taste.) You’re telling me that they just sent those customers a burger made from real beef and asked the driver to make sure to mention it? This just doesn’t pass the smell test.

But that’s where we find ourselves today. Meanwhile, stocks are soaring for fake meat companies. The monstrosity of “meat” made from genetically engineered plant roots is at the gates of civilization and now fighting is breaking out over what you’re really being served. Before you know it, those creepy robot dogs from Boston Dynamics will be the ones delivering your plant burgers to your door. (At least until they become sentient and start murdering everyone, anyway.) Collectively we could have stopped this, people. But we sat back complacently and allowed it to happen. We have no one to blame but ourselves.