There’s a new player in the veggie burger game. On July 27, the Impossible Burger made its debut on the menu of Momofuku Nishi, one of David Chang’s New York City eateries. Take one bite of this burger and you’ll notice the difference from your usual frozen veggie burger patty. In addition to the ground-beef like consistency, the burger bleeds. Yes, bleeds, like a medium-rare, straight-off-the-grill American classic.
The plant-based burger was created by Impossible Foods, self-proclaimed “food aficionados who also happen to be planet enthusiasts,” according to the company’s website.
“The system that we’re using to produce meat right now using animals, and the technology so to speak, puts a tremendous strain on the ecosystems we depend on to keep the planet healthy and habitable,” says Patrick Brown, CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods.
While the company set out to create products that would reduce the impacts of animal farming, Brown says it acknowledges that people are passionate about meat.
“We’re not going to solve this big environmental problem by asking people to stop doing something that they love,” says Brown. “And that meant we had to find a better way to produce meat that would give them all the pleasure they depend on.”
The burger is made using ingredients like coconut oil and potato protein, but the secret to its meat-like resemblance is heme, a molecule that Brown says gives meat its unique, craveable flavor. After extensive research, the team at Impossible Foods found a way to produce heme in high quantities using plants, and the Impossible Burger was born.
In addition to flavor, the patty is a nutritional match for ground beef. One serving is 220 calories, packs 21 grams of protein, and will give you about 10% of your daily iron. Now, excuse us while we wipe all those vegan heme juices off our chin…