Fake meats have had a great year. Sales for artificial, plant-based and lab-grown meats have skyrocketed, and they are even predicted to surpass the meat industry in the next 20 years. But there’s one fake burger that shines above the rest: the Impossible Burger. Already sold at high-end restaurants around the world as well as major fast-food spots like Burger King and White Castle, the Impossible Burger tastes the most like real meat. It even has a blood-like substance called soy leghemoglobin, which received Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approval on July 31, which means Impossible Burgers are approved for sale in grocery stores starting September 4.
The soy substance, generally called heme, was thought to be an allergen, but the FDA just deemed it safe for sale to customers in raw burgers. Meat products also contain an animal-based heme, which gives red meat its juicy flavor, texture and feel. The scientists behind the Impossible Burger have mimicked animal heme so closely that customers claim this burger is the closest thing to the real thing.
Impossible Foods, the creator of Impossible Burgers, will have to significantly ramp up its production to meet the demand of grocery stores around the country.
Critics argue that the fake meat trend is just a fad and that it has yet to impact animal-based meat sales, but the expansion of the Impossible Burger and other Impossible Foods products might make enough waves to actually impact and disrupt the meat industry.
Ninety-nine percent of all animal-based meat products consumed in the U.S. originate from factory farms with abusive animal conditions. The livestock and meat industry is also a major contributor to carbon emissions. Artificial meat products offer a solution for animal lovers and environmentalists. Impossible Foods also believes that with its top-notch recipe, it can even convert meat-lovers who want a guilt-free product without sacrificing taste.
Image via Impossible Foods