Most people think of veggie burgers as inherently nourishing, but too many patties are light on vegetables and rely instead on processed soy to achieve a meat-like texture and flavor. Some ingredients to watch out for include Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) which is cheap, chewy and easily absorbs flavor-enhancing chemicals like monosodium glutamate (MSG). Also watch for Caramel Color which many times is made up of sugar and ammonia which yields toxins. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein is a flavor enhancer which is made by boiling plant-based protein in hydrochloric acid and then adding sodium hydroxide. The extracted liquid usually contains MSG. Doesn't sound so appetizing, does it?
Never fear. There is always a whole food alternative. If you're shopping for a good veggie burger, the first ingredient should be a whole food (a vegetable like mushrooms or a legume like black beans or even a whole grain like barley. If you want to get even simpler, try grilling portobello mushroom caps or thick slices of eggplant and zucchini instead. Enjoy!