A big trend in food over the past few years has been finding alternatives to meat that might make the need to rear animals redundant.
There is a dizzying array of ways that groups are attempting to achieve this, whether it’s growing beef in a lab from stem cells, or formulating plant-based foodstuffs that mimic the taste and texture of the real thing.
Photo: Jan Willem Schouten
One thing that most of these alternatives have in common, however, is that they are not yet commercially available. Many, such as test-tube beef, have not yet scaled production costs to make them viable. Others have big-name backers but are yet to launch a product.
The Impossible Burger
One exception is the Impossible Burger. It is a vegan patty that uses heme, a component abundant in animal tissue that has been synthesised from plant sources, to give the patty the taste and texture of beef. And, accompanied with a brioche bun and some all-American cheese, it really does taste like beef.
95% less land needed
The company behind the Impossible Burger says the resulting product uses 95% less land, 74% less water and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 87% when compared with beef production. It’s also cholesterol free.
It tastes, looks and has the texture of the real thing – and any farmer producing animals for food should take note – the next step might be a poultry substitute that offers the same thing.