Image source: Impossible Foods
Imagine, for a moment that you are cooking a burger patty. The reddish, raw flesh hisses and sizzles as you throw it into a hot pan. The edges sear to a crisp dark brown, as a rich meaty cloud wafts towards your nose. You flip the burger over; the uncooked side spits and protests as it touches the hot surface.
The cooked side facing up, oozes a glossy fat and just a dribble of dark red juice seeps into the pan. You lift the patty out of the pan, and onto a burger bun. Crisp lettuce and a slice of tomato is all you need to complete this classic meal.
Pressing the parts together, you lift the burger to your mouth. You bite down through the soft bread, the chilled crisp lettuce, and deep into the hot, juicy centre cooked to a perfect pink medium rare.
Now imagine that this is a vegan burger. Impossible? Well, exactly.
This is the burger that is taking the US by storm, created by a team of scientists at Impossible Foods with an almost impossible dream – they want to save the environment by eating less meat. They agreed that the solution was not to find an alternative for meat, but rather to create a replacement for meat.
This is the Impossible Burger, made entirely from plant ingredients. Impossible Foods, CEO and founder Pat Brown calls it “plant-based meat”. Initially launched in a select few fine dining restaurants across the United States, it is now (very nearly) mainstream, being served at over 1000 White Castle fast food outlets in almost every US state.
“For billions of us around the world, the meat, fish, and dairy foods that we get from animals are not only an important source of nutrition, but also a major source of pleasure in our daily lives”, said Pat Brown.
The team at Impossible Foods spent 5 years researching the different components of a classic beef burger – the smell, the texture and colour. By investigating each quality separately they mashed them all together to form the Impossible Burger – the ultimate beefy substitute for meat.
Had an impossible burger for the first time from Burger Moto in Milwaukee. I’m in awe. This is the realest fake burger I’ve ever had. The best vegan meal I’ve had since I stopped eating meat. No BS. I can’t even describe how “like” an actual beef burger it is, because it just is. pic.twitter.com/OzM06tqIi7
— ?MicahTheBrave? (@MicahTheBrave) May 5, 2018
the impossible burger is actually insane. this is vegan are you serious pic.twitter.com/AP6G0BPq29
— Casey Raw (@casedgod69) May 1, 2018
“Impossible Foods wants to supply people with all the delicious, nutritious and affordable meat they want. We simply make it in a way that is more efficient and scalable than using animals in the food cycle”
The Impossible burger, using 0% animal derived ingredients requires less water, less energy and generates less greenhouse gases than commercial cattle farming. This is fast food of the future, and we can’t wait for it to arrive in South Africa!
Find all of Food24’s vegan recipes!
How do you feel about plant-based meats and meat substitutes? Should we eat natural, whole foods like biltong and boerewors or should we turn to science to help us feed a growing world?
Let us know in the comments below.