Burger King’s Impossible Whopper has become a hit for the fast-food franchise, but a conspiracy theory that the meatless burger causes men to grow breasts has become a growing concern online.
Men all over the Internet have sounded the alarm on the plant-based Impossible Whopper’s alleged side effect.
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“Healthy young man goes to Burger King, gets pumped with a massive shot of Impossible Whoppers, doesn’t feel good and changes – BREASTS. Many such cases!” one Twitter user posted on Wednesday.
Another person tweeted on Thursday, “Sure, let’s turn our boys into girls fast!!! What a great agenda!”
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“Social engineering is not enough apparently these days, so let’s do it with the food that we eat!” another wrote.
Apparently the origin of the concerns stems from a Dec. 20 report by Tri-State Livestock News, which claimed that the Impossible Whopper, supplied by Impossible Foods, contains so much estrogen that it could lead to literal man boobs.
“There are 1 million nanograms (ng) in one milligram (mg). That means an impossible whopper has 18 million times as much estrogen as a regular whopper,” wrote James Stangle, a doctor of veterinary medicine in South Dakota. “Just six glasses of soy milk per day has enough estrogen to grow boobs on a male.”
Stangle’s number crunching and conclusion, however, may be skewed, the Washington Post reported.
For one, Tri-State Livestock News is a trade publication for the livestock industry and according to its About Us page, “growth and success of Tri-State Livestock News is due to the long-term support from the publication’s stockmen and agribusiness customer base.”
For obvious reasons, the growth of plant-based companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat has become an adversary of sorts to the livestock industry.
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However, experts have pushed back against the suggestion that plant-based foods, often containing soy estrogens, cause men to grow breasts or have other negative outcomes.
“Asians have been eating soy products for millennia and don’t seem to be any the worse for it. They have among the longest lifespans and best health, at least in classic diets,” said New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle.
“There is a special concern about . . . men and boys who eat soy products, but again, if you look at populations that eat a lot of soy products, there is no evidence of particular problems. No, they don’t grow breasts.”
What’s more, she said, there’s a ton of research that can make the case for both arguments in terms of the health benefits or harms of eating soy products.
“Whether this is good, bad or indifferent depends entirely on who you read and what you read,” she added. “There is an enormous, enormous, enormous amount of literature on soy estrogens, and it comes to sort of baffling conclusions. Some studies show harm, some studies show benefits. What do you do in a situation like that?”
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“My take on soy products is that they’re foods like any other, and like any other, they should be eaten in moderation,” Nestle said.
“Eating it once in a while is unlikely to be harmful. Eating it every day and having it as a main source of calories, I don’t know anybody who does that.”
Or as one Twitter user put it: “Eating too much Burger King in general will give you a nice set of man [boobs]. It has nothing to do with the impossible Whopper.”