Allow me to defend the Great American Burger

There’s a thing called the “Impossible Burger.” It tastes just like a real burger, people are saying. But it’s impossible to make a burger out of the stuff in this thing.

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Burger King Begins Selling Meatless Whopper Across U.S.

The “Impossible Burger” is now selling across the U.S.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

I know a burger when I see one. I have eaten 37,597 burgers. I have witnessed billions being sold.

And I have said, maybe 10,000 times in my life, “How about a burger?”

I knew what I meant. Everyone in this country knew what I meant.

But a burger is no longer a burger.

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A juicy, sizzling meat patty is not required. And my fellow countrymen don’t seem to mind.

It’s as if people started calling bicycles “cars” and not a single person said, “Wait a second. A bike isn’t a car.”

There is a thing called the “Impossible Burger” spreading across the land and getting rave reviews. It tastes just like a real burger, people are saying. But it’s impossible to make a burger out of the stuff in this thing.

One source I found on the internet said, “An Impossible Foods burger is made from genetically modified soy, and its characteristic ‘bleed’ comes from soy leghemoglobin (which later turns to heme) that’s made from genetically engineered yeast.”

Burger King has partnered with Impossible Foods. According to the Burger King web site, “Our Impossible Whopper Sandwich features a savory flame-grilled patty made from plants topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles and slices of white onions on a soft sesame seed bun.”

The folks at Burger King guarantee that it has “0% Beef.”

Great. Call it “Big Vegetable Thing.” That’s what it is.

And what the heck do they mean by “plants.” Shouldn’t they have to be more specific?

I have written previously about fast food franchises that have forced cheese down my throat.

A hamburger does not have cheese. That’s why the “cheeseburger” was created.

But many restaurants today automatically put cheese on my hamburger and force me to say, “I want a hamburger without cheese.” And even if I don’t want cheese, I still have to pay for a cheeseburger because, well, that’s the capitalist system. The customer gets screwed and the businessman gets extra money.

So, a cheeseburger has become a hamburger and now vegetables that are flame-grilled are referred to in public as “Impossible Burgers” because that’s what some company claims.

It’s as if people started referring to the Museum of Science and Industry as the Kenneth C. Griffin Temple of Money and everybody said, “That’s just fine because we all love money more than science.”

You have to take a stand.

Words matter.

I realize our nation has become deeply divided between those of us who love the great American hamburger and the vegans, who only eat things raised naturally in manure and grown in acid rain.

I say let people consume whatever junk they choose. It’s a free country, except at Whole Foods.

But a burger is still a burger. It cannot be turned into lettuce, soy, tulips or crab grass without me shouting, “Not in my country!”

This started with the burger being bastardized with cheese and evolved into turkey, bison and venison burgers. People claimed they couldn’t tell the difference. They implied there was something wrong with those of us who believed that the hamburger was as American as hot dogs and Apple computers.

We were told our countrymen were eating healthier, becoming better educated, even as millions of pigs gave their lives so the average burger could be accompanied by half a pound of bacon.

Maybe it’s too late. Pretty soon people will be eating Hummus Burgers lathered in CBD, whether or not they ordered a Hemp Burger.

It’s a plant-based product, after all. It’s good for you.

As for me, I will live by the words spoken by my ancestors, members of the Greatest Generation.

“I’m dying for a hamburger right now.”

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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