It cooks like beef, smells like beef, taste like beef, and even “bleeds” like beef if cooked rare. But it’s 100% made from plants. It’s the impossible burger that is blowing the minds of meat-eaters and chefs all around the world.
While many would already swear by a vegie-burger, founder Patrick Brown of Impossible Foods said that to change the mindset of meat eaters it was more than giving just another substitute. He told the Courier Mail, “The only customer that we care about … is someone who loves meat, is not looking for an alternative, and is not going to compromise on the pleasure of eating meat.”
Impossible Foods had the nearly impossible task of breaking down every park of the meat burger experience and recreate each piece with a vegetable substitute. The key to the breakthrough was the discovery of a molecule named “heme”. This molecule is what gives meat it’s unique flavour, its minerals, its red colour, and it’s “juice”, blood, consistency. Heme is also found in plants so once it was introduced into their recipe, they knew they had something special.
While animal rights do play a small part in the push for alternative “meats”, it is also about the planet. The resources needed to sustain the beef industry is crippling the environment. Turning to these meats, while adding some health benefits, can also help the planet. As the company’s website states “replacing one quarter-pound beef patty with an Impossible Burger saves as much water as a 10-minute shower, takes 18 driving miles of greenhouse gas emissions off the road, and frees up 75 square feet of farmland”.
Even harsh anti-vegan critics like chef David Chang has thrown his support behind the Impossible burger saying he was “blown away” when he tried it. This is also just the start for Impossible foods as they have big ideas for the future saying “our research will enable us to produce virtually any meat — beef, pork, chicken, fish — as well as cheeses, yoghurt, milk, and cream — all from plants.”