Major beef is brewing over fake beef.

As The Post exclusively reported this week, competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut won’t be gulping down scores of hot dogs at the venerable Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4 because of his new partnership with Impossible Foods.

“To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with [Major League Eating] or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with,” Chestnut clarified on X on Tuesday. “This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.”

For its part, Major League Eating told The Post that it is “devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs.”

“For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions,” the statement continued. “However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship.”

Impossible Foods recently introduced its Impossible Beef Hot Dog, claiming these plant-based dogs have half the saturated fat of traditional beef links and generate 84% less greenhouse gas emissions, 77% less water and 83% less land than animal-sourced sausages.

So how do the hot dogs from Impossible Foods stack up to Nathan’s beef franks in terms of nutrition?

Keep in mind that Chestnut set a world record in 2021 by consuming 76 franks and buns in 10 minutes.

Nathan’s Jumbo Restaurant Style Beef Franks vs. Impossible Beef Hot Dog

  • Calories: Nathan’s: 210 calories per hot dog, Impossible: 120 calories
  • Fat: Nathan’s: 20 grams, Impossible: 7 grams
  • Saturated fat: Nathan’s: 8 grams, Impossible: 2.5 grams
  • Sodium: Nathan’s: 650 milligrams, Impossible: 430 milligrams
  • Total carbohydrates: Nathan’s: 2 grams, Impossible: 2 grams
  • Protein: Nathan’s: 8 grams, Impossible: 12 grams

While the Impossible dupe dog has fewer calories and less fat and sodium than its Nathan’s competitor, recent research suggests that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) including vegan meat substitutes may increase the risk of heart disease and early death.

Researchers linked a dietary increase in plant-based UPFs to a 12% rise in heart disease-related deaths, subverting the idea that a processed, plant-based diet is healthier than other alternatives.

But let’s not celebrate traditional tubed meat just yet.

Hot dogs have a terrible reputation in the health world.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified processed meat such as hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef, and beef jerky as definitively “carcinogenic to humans,” noting that there is “sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”

The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests swapping processed meat products for fresh chicken or fish while stressing the importance of a balanced diet rich in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

But when it comes to the ultra-competitive hot dog wars, that can be tough advice to swallow.

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