Plant-based eaters everywhere, rejoice — a Stanford University biochemist has made the most meatlike veggie burger ever!
Dr. Pat Brown, who is vegan, was on sabbatical when he decided he wanted to use his background in genetics and disease-fighting technology to combat, as he tells Buzzfeed, “the most important problem in the world I thought I could have an impact on,” which is animal-based food.
Brown is concerned with the impact that the meat and dairy industries are having on our natural resources — and he also wants to dispel the myth that plant-based food can’t be sustainable and tasty.
So Brown left Stanford University and began Impossible Foods, a vegan food startup whose first product is the “meatless and meat-like Impossible Burger.”
Here’s the thing. The Impossible Burger is so much like the real thing that it actually “bleeds.”
According to Buzzfeed, the most important ingredient in the patty (currently patent pending) is called heme, a molecule containing iron and derived from soy beans. The patty’s ingredients also include water, potato proteins, soy, amino acids, sugars, and coconut oil — different from the typical veggie patties we are used to.
With its successful debut at the David Chang’s Momofuku in New York City, Impossible Foods says that its Impossible Burger will be on the menu of three California restaurants: San Francisco restaurants Jardinière and Cockscomb, and Los Angeles hotspot Crossroads Kitchen.
Brown, now the Impossible Foods CEO and founder, says:
“Animals are really, if you think about it, just a technology for transforming plants in meat, fish, and dairy foods. They didn’t evolve for that function and they’re really not very good at it. We had the opportunity to take a fresh look at that problem and say, ‘OK, if you were in 2016 trying to come up with the best possible way to make these foods sustainably, affordably, scalably delicious and optimized for nutrition and so forth, how would you do it?’ Well, the last thing you would probably ever think of is ‘let’s just put plants into animals and kill them and eat them’.”
Making plant-based food that will appeal to meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike is hard work — but Brown and Impossible Foods may have done the impossible here.
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