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A vegan burger that bleeds. Who would want such a thing? The answer is… quite a lot of people.

Impossible Burger

Meet the Impossible Burger, from Californian startup Impossible Foods – a burger made entirely from plants that smells, sizzles, tastes and, yes, bleeds like meat.

The Impossible Burger is made from natural ingredients, including wheat, coconut oil and potatoes, and has a similar shelf life to conventional beef.

The magic ingredient (or special sauce) that makes it taste like meat is ‘heme’. Heme gives meat its characteristic colour and taste. Heme is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle and is a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. Impossible Foods discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation, making the Impossible Burger a meat eater’s delight.

“Heme is the molecule that makes meat taste like meat. It’s the reason why red meat, which contains more heme, tastes meatier than white meat.”

Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods CEO

In July 2016 the Impossible Burger made its public debut at Momofuku Nishi in New York (selling for $12 with fries) as a partnership between Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown and Momofuku chef and founder David Chang. Impossible Foods plan to launch the burger in restaurants in California and around the US, with a long term goal to make them available in grocery stores worldwide.

The reaction to the Impossible Burger has blown away our expectations. We’re getting rave reviews, including from hard-core meat lovers, with lines still forming at Momofuku Nishi to taste the Impossible Burger. People just love this burger and can’t believe it’s made entirely from plants.

As they point out on their website:

“The way the world produces meat today is taking an enormous toll on our planet. According to livestock researchers, animal agriculture uses 30% of all land, over 25% of all freshwater on Earth, and creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all of the world’s cars, trucks, trains, ships and airplanes combined. We make the Impossible Burger entirely from plants, without the destructive impact of livestock, so that you, your children, and your grandchildren’s children will always be able to enjoy a good ol’ fashioned burger”.

Impossible Foods is part of a wave of startups that are offering an alternative to the meat industry. Beyond Meat, Hampton Creek and Modern Meadow have all raised millions in venture capital, some from the same backers as Impossible Foods.

So can the Impossible Burger compete with meat? Time will tell.

Changing a huge industry isn’t easy and it will be very interesting to see how the Impossible Burger fares over the next few years, but we at Ape are big fans and admire what they’re doing, and the thinking behind it, very much.

Patrick Brown

“We’re going to measure our success by looking at satellite photos of earth. 30% of the land surface of planet earth is devoted to animal farming. 20 years from now, or hopefully less than that, we hope to be able to look at Google Earth and see a different planet.”

Patrick Brown, Impossible Foods CEO

All that’s left to say is… when are they coming to the UK?
We can’t wait to try one.

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By |10th July 2017|