Boca Burgers Exposed

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When I first went vegetarian, I was a busy college student.  I didn’t have time for cooking so bought these on a regular basis.

These look familiar?  They are vegan so they must be healthy right?  That was my thinking before I knew better.  Let’s look at the ingredients.

There are a couple of scary ingredients here.  The first is “natural” favor.  Who knows what that is?  Why do they have to use that blanket statement?  When I eat food, I want to know what every ingredient is.  It’s not like there is a bottle of “natural flavoring” you can buy at the store.  This is also a slippery slope for vegans, because natural flavors can come from animal or plant sources.  Here it is labeled non meat, but other labels may not specify. Yeast extract contains MSG.  Moving down to another very scary ingredient, caramel color.  Caramel color is a known carcinogen.  These burgers are looking not so healthy.  If you would like a veggie burger, you are better off making your own.  You can make a big batch and freeze the extras so they will be just as easy to reheat as these processed ones. You can try my Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers or my Mushroom and Lentil Veggie Burgers.  Please boycott this brand.

41 thoughts on “Boca Burgers Exposed

  1. I am researching a post about the ingredients in soda and came across Carmel coloring and discovered the awful truth about it. Some soda manufacturers are reducing the amount of coloring to avoid having to label it as potentially cancer causing. While that’s a start, it’s definitely not enough.

    1. What I don’t understand is why they think food, drink, whatever has to be made to “look” like a particular color?? Isn’t it the way it tastes? I’d rather have a clear carbonated drink (if I drank them) and know that I’m not drinking a carcinogen. Ever take an orange off a tree? Not completely orange when ripe, huh? etc.

        1. sooooooooooooooo grateful found your site!!!! i cant stop reading and here i thought i was semi-knowledgable….YOU ROCK!!!

          1. Thanks for reading. I thought I was knowledgeable too! Until I started reading labels myself.

      1. Do you remember crystal Pepsi? People actually will be way less likely to drink clear cola. That’s why they color it. It would benefit the manufacturers not to because they wouldn’t have to pay for an additional ingredient. These things are added because they’re proven to make the product sell better.

  2. I think the problem in our society is that when we read food labels, we are taught to only look at calories and fat grams. We completely forget to look at the composition of what our food is made from. In my profession as a registered nurse, I am making a concerted effort to give my patients the tools to be more informed about what they eat. Not only do I educate them about eating well, I show them how to read ingredients on a food label. The rule of thumb is if it has more than five ingredients then you might want to choose something else. In addition if it has too many words you are unfamiliar with then choose something else.

  3. Thanks so much for another informative article. I did not know about caramel coloring being a known carcinogen. Although all soy scares me off these days, due to the increase in GMO based soy. It is really frightening to think I ate these products for years without reading the ingredients, and the big corporations are getting away with selling harmful foods. Keep up the great articles!

    1. Thank you and you are welcome! I, too, ate these all the time. It is scary to think about. Now, when I buy soy products, I just make sure they have the non GMO verified label on them.

  4. Boca Burgers, like many meat-substitutes, relies on “soy protein concentrate” (aka “soy protein isolate”). This heavily altered version of the soy bean is damaging to your endocrine system and can cause dramatic hormonal imbalances. Stick with whole, unprocessed soy in reasonable portions and ditch this chemically processed

  5. I really appreciate your blog post, too! I’ve been eating Boca Burgers as a healthy alternative, but as I’ve been educating myself about soy products, they don’t look that great (besides the other nasty things like caramel coloring). I’ve read that you can hardly find a soy product in the US that’s not GMO. Thanks for the recipes, I’ll be trying them out.

    1. Do you have any idea how they make the soy and water congeal to feel like a real meaty product? I have been experimenting and know some of the process, but I am in my eighty’s and some younger sharp vegetarians, may have the secret. I would be happy to compare notes.
      P.S. I think there must be dozens of healthier ingredients that can be used to color, other than carmel coloring.

      1. I’m sorry, I don’t. However, I think most meat-like veggie burgers are made from seitan, not soy.

  6. I like your “foods exposed” to the point where its scary. (Kidding only!) I’ve been reading labels ever since I was six to now (I’m 17), but your website gives me tons more information. I think you should make more “foods exposed”.

  7. I like your “foods exposed” to the point where its scary. (Kidding only!) I’ve been reading labels ever since I was six to now (I’m 17), but your website gives me tons more information. I think you should make more “foods exposed”.

  8. Wow! Thanks for your informative blog I always read labels ( mostly for calories and fat content) but have been learning it’s not always “the more the merrier” when it comes to ingredient lists! And here I’ve been eating Boca Burger’s and believing I’ve been doing the healthy thing!

  9. Are you serious? It’s a burger, what do you expect? Full meat burgers taste good because they’re full of fat and flavorings. How is a veggie burger supposed to compete if they don’t add things? I’m a vegetarian, and you’d have to be pretty unaware to eat any burger all the time. You wouldn’t eat French fries all the time just because they’re vegetarian, veggie burgers are the same way. I like my Boca Burgers as a nice treat when my family is eating dead cows around me, nothing more.

  10. FYI MSG is a naturally occurring product in yeast. It happens in nature with or without manufactures.

    Natural Flavor: means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

  11. You know, I am not a vegetarian/vegan in any sense of the word. My daughter’s food allergies are what have caused me to inspect labels more closely. I work with several women and men who are vegetarian and vegan and have been for years. A few of them have been diagnosed with cancer and had the deer in the headlights look when they were told that eating healthier is only a slice of the pie. Every last one of them warns me every day about not eating GMO’s and cancer causing agents in food. It makes it hard for me to believe that it helps in any way when even they aren’t immune to the big C. As for me, I look for it because cancer runs high on one side of my family, so I am expecting it some time down the road. I will bypass these in the store, thanks for the info.

      1. I came across this article by accident while looking up Boca Burgers…I am glad I did…my son is seven and doesn’t like meat…he is too young to be a vegetarian. ..he loves soy milk, fruits n veggies, and the only meat he will eat is BACON!!! I am headed over to Trader Joes to check out some things to buy for him so he can get some protein in his diet…any suggestions??

    1. I think if you get grass fed beef, it supposed to be better. I can’t say for sure though since I am a vegan haha

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