The most talked about item at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas wasn’t the next iPhone or snazzy new wearable technology. It was a game-changing vegan burger.
And based on reactions from media taste testers, the new Impossible Burger is a not-to-be-missed wonder.
Just listen to the raving reviews:
- Digital Trends: “I am well aware that it’s only Tuesday and that the CES show floor just opened up, but I seriously doubt I’m going to see anything else here that tops what Impossible fed me yesterday.”
- Mashable: “[T]he taste and texture is basically indistinguishable from a real burger. I’d even say it’s a slightly better simulation than the first version, which I also found to be a convincing simulation. The meat is solid but chewy, like a well-packed burger patty that isn’t too greasy. And the texture was spot on.”
- Gizmodo: “The new Impossible Burger is stupid delicious.”
- CNET: “Impossible Burger 2.0 is a tinkering of and improvement on the first version. If the current burger tastes like an OK Sizzler steak, then this new version is a well-massaged Kobe ribeye.”
- Tom’s Guide: “Shockingly good… The well-seasoned not-beef exploded with umami, and even more importantly, the texture was so close to beef that if I hadn’t known what I was eating, I would have happily assumed it was a cow.”
- Engadget: “It’s plant-based, better for you and will help the planet, but none of that would matter if it didn’t taste so good. Thankfully, the Impossible Burger 2.0 does.”
What makes the Impossible Burger unique is its formulation. It’s made of potato protein, soy protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil and soy leghemoglobin, or ”heme.” Unique to this product, heme is the hemoglobin found in soy, a legume.
Heme is an iron-containing molecule that, as it turns out, in animal form is responsible for why raw beef starts tasting like “beef” when it’s cooked. The plant-based version works the same way.
The Impossible Burger is a treat — something to eat every so often when you don’t want to consume meat but you’re yearning for a cheeseburger.
Meat eaters love the Impossible Burger, and that’s what drives Impossible Foods. The company isn’t really aiming this burger at the vegan and vegetarian market. Instead, the brand is targeting meat eaters who want to reduce the impact their food choices have on animals and the environment.
Impossible Foods says its burger uses less land, water and energy than a burger made from cows. And the following numbers tell the story.
A hamburger made from a cow:
- 20.5-23.5 gallons of water for drinking and crops
- 83-251 sq feet for growing and raising feed crop
- 2.3-7.4 kilograms of CO2 emissions
An Impossible Burger:
- 6.0 gallons of water for drinking and crops
- 4.5 sq feet for growing and raising feed crop
- 0.8 kilograms of CO2 emissions
Another change from the first iteration of the Impossible Burger? This upgrade is suitable for more than a burger. The consistency and flavor is such that it can substitute for ground beef in any dish, from meat loaf to tacos. It’ll be sold by the pound in grocery stores by the end of 2019, if all goes to plan.
Vegetarians and vegans, some of them at least, will be turned off by this product because of its realism. Not me, though. I’ve been vegan for nearly 7 years, but I didn’t give up eating meat because I hated the taste.
I welcome products like the Impossible Burger. Like nothing else, they hold the promise of convincing meat eaters that they can enjoy the same types of food in a way that doesn’t hurt farm animals.
Can you imagine the day we have truly realistic non-animal chicken and pork in addition to beef? So many companies are racing to capture this market. I wish them success — and I wish they’d go public so I can invest in them. They’re the future of food.
Photo credit: Impossible Foods