Expert opinion

5 commentsupdate:Feb 13, 2018

Fake meat could soon take over the world

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
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.


  • Marit de Haan

    Poultry substitutes already exist and they are really nice, better for the environment, nature, climate and better for the animals. One exemple is the Vegetarian Butcher from Holland

    Comment changed by a moderator

  • paul cote cote

    I a sense we already have fake chicken with the over pumping of the breast meat with sodium ................... just to make that right price for the consumer and profit for processor and the consumer isn't aware that the chicken has been modified - hard to competite -- with our beautiful raw natural chicken against over pumped product at haft the price - so again it's already here - consumer should wonder why it's still pink in color when cooked ?

  • RLC Joerissen

    The world understands by now that we Dutch are using ice skates to reach our work, but that we call people who kill plants "butchers" is not so easy to explain!

  • Comment deleted by a moderator

  • HM Meyns

    Next to the texture and taste of fake meat, I wonder how well these products resemble real meat in composition regarding vitamins, minerals and trace elements and can fully replcace the nitritional need for meat.

Load more comments (1)

Commenting is closed.