MP Nathan Guys says Air NZ should promote NZ beef and lamb over vegan 'Impossible Burger'

  • 04/07/2018
The Impossible Burger.
The Impossible Burger. Photo credit: Supplied/Air New Zealand

National MP Nathan Guy has criticised Air New Zealand's decision to promote the "Impossible Burger", insisting the national carrier should promote NZ beef and lamb instead.

Air NZ announced it would be serving the burger, which is made from plant-based materials, in business premier class on flights between New Zealand and Los Angeles from Tuesday.

Mr Guy wasn't happy with the promotion of "substitute meat" though and tweeted to say NZ meat should be promoted instead.

"Disappointing to see Air NZ promoting a GE substitute meat burger on its flights to the USA," he wrote.

"We produce the most delicious steaks & lamb on the planet - GMO & hormone free. The national carrier should be pushing our premium products and helping sell NZ to the world."

The Impossible Burger contains the genetically engineered soy leghemoglobin or "heme" to reproduce the bleeding effect of a normal burger.

Twitter users were quick to point out that Air New Zealand already offers meat options for their customers.

"You know it's a vegetarian burger, right? And that vegetarians don't eat lamb or beef? And that beef and lamb options are available to those who prefer them," one user replied.

A sample menu for the Air New Zealand business class flights includes beef short rib, salmon dusted with New Zealand lemon kelp and Masala rubbed chicken breast.

The vegetarian option is tomato and lemongrass soup with coconut cream and fried shallots.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson told Newshub the airline spends millions of dollars a year on NZ beef and serves around 135,000 beef meals a month on flights.