The Impossible Burger, made completely of plants, has made its way through numerous select restaurants in many states including California, Texas, and New York. First making its debut in New York in 2016, the Impossible Burger had gained far-reaching popularity across the United States.
The many scientists and chefs behind the revolutionary burger spent over 5 years studying how to make burgers without the use of meat. The result is heme, a compound found in both meat and plants.
By including heme as a vital ingredient in their burgers, chefs are able to mimic the taste, feel and smell of meat. Scientists genetically engineer yeast to produce heme, minimizing the impact on the environment.
“I would definitely be willing to try the burger,” says Sally Oh, a fourth year student at UCLA. “I think it’s a great alternative for beef from cows. It’s also great for people who don’t eat meat but wish to try.” Because these burgers utilize only plants, animal agriculture, which has a devastating impact, is not required.
The company behind the famous “Impossible Burger” is Impossible Foods, which started in 2011 and was founded by Patrick O. Brown. At the moment, the burger is not available in retail and is limited to entering restaurants. However, the company hopes to expand into retail and be sold in grocery stores and more.
“I’m still very wary of the burger because it’s still relatively new,” says UCLA student Scott Kang. “I don’t know if I would try it but it seems very resourceful and helpful to the environment.”
There is still much controversy over this “bleeding” burger because the heme additive had not received approval from the FDA. In addition, the food undergoes massive amounts of processing and provides limited nutrients.
Nonetheless, the product is growing exponentially and is available in many restaurants across America. Although it has not expanded in other countries, the industry is making plans to make their burger product available in stores and in other countries in the near future.