Impossible Burger: The Fake Meat That’s Making Real News
It seems like healthy foods have been steadily gaining popularity in these recent years. You don’t have to try hard to find countless brands of veggie sausages and tofu burgers at your local supermarket. However, all these meat alternative foods share a common problem: They just don’t TASTE as good as meat. Sure, making healthy replacements for meat is a noble goal and all. Livestock-raising is extremely taxing on the environment, consuming an exorbitant amount of water, space, and crops each year. And not to mention, livestock generate more than ALL global transportation combined (Yes, cow farts are literally poisoning our planet)!
So the solution is to either reduce our consumption of meat (HA!) or find meat alternative foods which are more environmentally-friendly to produce. Perhaps if this new food is cheaper, healthier, and tastier than meat, then we can gradually transition our diet away from meat. The world would certain be a better place, finally free from underneath the meat industry’s massive carbon footprint. Cows, pigs, and chickens would certainly be happier too.
OK, how do we make food that people would choose over meat? That certainly seems impossible! Well, speaking of which, Impossible Foods, a private company based in San Francisco, is tackling this problem. Their solution? Create a 100% plant-based patty that not only looks and tastes just like beef, but it also BLEEDS like beef! How do they do it? Well, they take a very scientific approach to food. Material, chemical, and flavor scientists analyze and break down beef down to its very elements to see why beef is so beefy. The textures, flavors, moisture, even the smells are closely examined. Food scientists then try to replicate these features using plant-based ingredients to be near-identical to the real deal. The result? A combination of wheat, soy, potato protein, coconut oil, and a variety of other ingredients are combined to make the meat that’s beefy you wouldn’t believe it’s fake.
But that’s not all. Remember what I said about the bleeding beef? There is a secret ingredient that Impossible Foods uses to push their veggie burgers ahead of the competition.
Never heard of it? Well, let’s take a step back. You know that red liquid that comes out of beef when you cook it? Fun fact, that’s not blood. That’s a protein called myoglobin, which is what allows red blood cells to carry oxygen. Within the myoglobin protein is heme, an iron-containing molecule. Heme is what gives meat that deliciously unique iron taste!
What does this have to do with plants? Well, leghemoglobin is the myoglobin equivalent protein in plants. And as you probably guessed, leghemoglobin is what is used to give the Impossible Burger the juicy, bloody, irony taste that beef is known for! Impossible Foods holds a patent for this ingredient, ensuring that they are the only ones who can use leghemoglobin in meat-analog food products.
So where can you find the Impossible Burger? Well, it’s actually served in many restaurants across San Francisco. The Impossible Burger is served in over 1,400 restaurants across the US, including popular chain restaurants such as White Castle, Applebee’s, and Cheesecake Factory. They are also branching out internationally in Hong Kong and Macau. For a list of restaurants with the Impossible Burger on the menu, check it out here:
The future of food is uncertain yet exciting. Impossible Foods is just one of many organizations that is striving to create food that is economically efficient and environmentally sustainable. Who knows what the food industry will be like in ten to twenty years? Will we still be eating meat five generations from now? Or will there come a day where eating a cow is perceived to be equivalent to eating your pet? Only time will tell but that doesn’t mean you can’t broaden your horizon today. Try something new! You might just be eating the food of the future!
For a complete list of ingredients, nutrition facts, and more information, head here: