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.
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.
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.
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.