BY: TYLER FYFE
One of the hardest parts of being vegetarian is that the menus of most major city restaurants are designed against you. To add insult to injury, dinnertime with meat-lovers inevitably turns into debate club. So ex-Stanford biochemistry professor Patrick Brown started thinking, if you can’t entice a carnivore with spinach salad, then why not lure their bacon wrapped hearts with something no red-blooded American can resist—a fully loaded cheeseburger.
Along with vegan celebrity chef Tal Ronnen and cheese company Monte Casino, Brown co-founded Impossible Foods, a company with the mission to bring the benefits of vegetarian lifestyle to the masses by creating delicious meats and cheeses completely from plants.
What makes Impossible Foods’ plant-based cheeseburger so innovative, is that they understand that when it comes to making individual decisions in the public interest, the lust for comfort often results in complete inaction. Convincing mass amounts of people to stop eating mouth-watering cheeseburgers is an impossible task. Making the production of cheeseburgers sustainable so that you don’t have to is much more effective.
The company aims to deal with a few major problems. One in every four deaths in the United States is the result of heart disease. Cancer comes in at a close second. The reason is because the average American eats 71.2 pounds of red meat and 54.1 pounds of chicken a year.
Besides the negative effects of an overload of protein, the reality of production is that most animals are injected with antibiotics and hormones to limit disease and up profit in over seriously crowded factory farms.
Raising 10 billion animals to eat annually puts a significant strain on the environment. Mass production of livestock is responsible for fifty-one per cent of global GHG emissions. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, animal agriculture is the number one source of water pollution.
Beef is especially harmful. It only accounts for 24 per cent of the world’s meat consumption, but is responsible for the deforestation of 30 million square kilometres of land.
So far Impossible Foods has drawn the attention of large players who hope to see a more sustainable future where no one is hungry. A group of backers that include Bill Gates and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing just invested 108 million dollars. This is in addition to the 75 million dollars Impossible Foods pulled in with their first round of investment. Sticking to their mission to pave the way to a more conscious global appetite, the company even reportedly turned down a $300 million acquisition by Google past summer.
Here’s to waving goodbye to the gummy veggie patties and saying hello to a new breed of plant-based burger that actually sizzles on the grill, looks, tastes and smells like meat. Because let’s be honest, a soggy black bean patty will never seduce the tastebuds of any self-respecting meat-lover—but the Impossible Food cheeseburger just might. You see, sometimes you don’t need to choose between comfort and conscience after all.