The Impossible Burger

In response to a previous blog post discussing the possibility of a “meatless” future trend, here is an interest alternative to a traditional meat product all carnivores love – The Impossible Burger. As far fetched and scifi as this sound, how is it *pun intended* possible for a plant based meat burger to taste like a traditional juicy burger made from freedom and 100% cattle raised in the second most meat-loving country of America?According to the IPCC AR5, cattle is targeted as one of the main contributors to GHG emission on the Agricultural Industry, directly affecting Climate Change.

A Silicon Valley start up began to officially tackle this issue last year. Impossible Foods, founded in 2011, released their first product – The Impossible Burger –  last year and the reviews from top chefs and restaurants around the country and anything but positive. These patties are all the rave and taste just like regular beef patties, if not better. Bareburger, the first chain to carry them, offer them topped with caramelized onion, dill pickles, lettuce and a special sauce. Customers are loving them served at a price of $13.95. They can be found in some restaurants in NYC and San Francisco.

The company’s mission is simple: make global food systems more sustainable but most importantly, “convince meat lovers that they can ditch carbon-intensive meat without giving up their favorite comfort foods. Certainly, no companies that make imitation meat so far have succeeded.” (The Guardian)

Of course with any company, finances are a key component to their survival. In this aspect, Impossible Foods is doing quite well.  They have managed to raise $182 million since their founding, with high profile investors including Khosla, Google, and Bill Gates. Some of the $108 million raised in 2015 is going into a new factory in Oakland, California, that the company plans to open later this month. This will be a key step in enlarging the company and making the product well-known to the public. If it succeeds in production and it is able to sustain itself economically while also making the product affordable, the possibility for growth of the Impossible Burger is not so *impossible*. The key problem the product faces is not demand, but supply.

Now for the most intriguing question –  What is the burger made from exactly? We know it is made in labs from world-class scientists and engineers, but what exactly would this meat substitute burger patty consist of?

Ingredients include:

  • Potato and Wheat Proteins
  • Coconut Oil
  • Japanese Yam
  • Sugar
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Amino Acids
  • Soy-Based Protein called Leghemoglobin.

The key taste ingredient is Leghemoglobin, which helps the burger bleed and taste like real meat when cooked.

Impossible Foods is also in the process of creating other meat alternatives such as pork and chicken in the coming future. Only time and research will tell if the product is accepted well and could hit main markets in the country. From the looks of what their current sales and research states, it is not the demand that they are worried about, but being able to produce constant patties to all the interested parties.

Impossible Burger featured in the news:

The Guardian , Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, among others.

Check them out on their website: impossiblefoods.com

Social Media: @ImpossibleFoods

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