Photo: Richard Levine (Corbis via Getty Images)

We all know that a more plant-based diet can be beneficial to both your planet and your health. Even McDonald’s is joining the meat-free movement by trying out vegan nuggets in Norway. To the burger chain’s credit, these nuggets are not crafted just to mimic the taste of the Chicken McNugget, but instead are “a mix of chickpeas, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, corn, and onion, and are coated in a crunchy breading,” says VegNews. The vegetables are actually visible!

Also part of this launch is a Vegetarian McFeast burger, “a breaded bean-based patty topped with cheese, ‘McFeast’ sauce, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle” (the burger is vegan without the cheese). In 2017, VegNews notes, McDonald’s launched the McVegan burger in Finland and Sweden “where it sold 150,000 within one month.” I used to order a vegetarian Whopper at Burger King that was basically just everything on the sandwich except the burger. It tasted surprisingly similar to the real thing.

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These new nuggets resemble IKEA’s Allemansrätten veggie balls (it’s named, poetically enough, after the “freedom to roam” philosophy of public access to the wilderness). We at The Takeout can vouch for these delicious meatless balls, which IKEA advertises as “clearly visible chunks of chickpeas, green peas, carrots, bell peppers, corn and kale in a beautiful array of colors.” The visible chunks of veggies are clearly a selling point for the Scandinavians.

Other brands have also rolled out vegan options, like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Domino’s Australia. But Inc. states, perhaps with a bit of hyperbole: “McDonald’s surprising new vegan chicken nuggets will completely change the future of fast food as we know it.” The investment of this major brand in vegan options says a lot, and will likely earn McDonald’s competitors’ attention. After all, Inc. points out, 3 percent of the American population now identifies as vegan, and that number is growing. McDonald’s could be in a perfect position to corner the underserved vegan fast-food market with the new nuggets and burger.