2019 has been a big year for alternative meat companies…perhaps the most consequential one yet. Perhaps the biggest and most well-known of these faux-meat producers popping up all over the place the past few years is Impossible Foods. They are nown for their flagship Impossible Burger – a completely meat-free offering made from soy derivatives that has gotten top marks for how well it mimics real beef’s taste, texture, and cookability.
The secret is in the science. The Impossible Burger gets its meaty taste from heme – the molecule found in every living plant and animal that is responsible for its “meaty” taste. Impossible Foods actually produces its own vegan supply of heme from genetically engineered yeast, infusing it deeply into their plant-based products to impart that real meat taste.
While we love our meat, we gotta admit The Impossible Burger is quite the feat – one that could totally upend the meat industry. Traditional meat processing has quite an environmental impact – creating quite a bit of carbon dioxide, methane, and land usage. But if people are actually content to just go with plant-based meats and artificial meats – that actually taste good – that could be a real solution to such environmental concerns.
That’s precisely Impossible Foods’ hope, anyway. And it seems to be working so far: the Impossible Burger has received a lot of media buzz as more and more restaurants and food companies add it to their menu. Even Burger King is getting in on the act, with their Impossible Whopper being rolled out nationwide in mid-August.
Right now, the Impossible Burger is only being sold in restaurants and food wholesalers, but expect it to hit grocery store shelves by year’s end.