Every year, Americans grill and eat billions of burgers, or about three burgers per person per week. Burgers are delicious, but they’re not always healthy, and producing them takes a toll on the environment. Thanks to new advancements in food technology, there’s a way for you to have your burger and eat it, too. The Impossible Burger is a new creation that hopes to replace traditional burgers in the near future.
The History of the Impossible Burger
The Impossible Burger is one of the best-received vegan burgers to hit the mainstream markets. Launched in July 2016, it has quickly become a hit with meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike. The first burgers were produced in Rutgers, New Jersey and Redwood City, California, and they were sold in several New York and California eateries. Since then, the burgers have appeared in numerous grocery stores and restaurants, including all 377 White Castle locations and nationwide in Burger King.
A new version of the Impossible Burger, the Impossible Burger 2.0, was released on January 9, 2019. This burger is kosher, halal-certified, vegan and gluten-free, whereas the original contained wheat. The new version is lower in saturated fat and sodium while still retaining its high protein count. If customer feedback is anything to go by, it’s just as tasty as the first version was.
What’s in the Impossible Burger?
The Impossible Burger contains a range of high-quality ingredients, including sunflower oil, yeast extract and vitamin B12. The vitamin supplements are especially useful for vegans and vegetarians who may have nutritional deficiencies. The ingredient choices reflect Impossible Burger’s mission to be accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of dietary restrictions. However, people with potato, soy or coconut oil allergies should stay clear. Also, the burger is not organic, and it contains two genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs: heme and soy protein.
Heme is the molecule responsible for blood’s red coloring. The Impossible Burger uses a plant-based heme that comes from the roots of soy plants. Though there have been no long-term studies about heme’s health effects on humans, studies conducted on animals have shown no adverse effects. Conversely, animal proteins have been connected to various adverse effects, including an increased risk of cancer.
How does the Impossible Burger Compare to Beef Burgers?
Although experts are currently debating the Impossible Burger’s nutritional value, studies suggest that the Impossible Burger is generally healthier than beef burgers. Furthermore, the Impossible Burger poses significantly less risks to the environment.
Beef burgers are one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases due to flatulence released by livestock. These burgers also require huge amounts of water and land to produce. For instance, 2.2 pounds of beef requires almost 4,000 gallons of water. The Impossible Burger, on the other hand, can be created with far less resources. Thus, the goal of Impossible Foods, the makers of the Impossible Burger, is to create a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable burger that also tastes great.
In order to make the burger as meat-like as possible, the makers of the Impossible Burger used both heme and coconut flakes. The former gives the Impossible Burger its “bleeding” ability, as well as flavor, while the latter resembles fat frying on the grill. Together, these ingredients have created a delectable, meat-like food that many consumers can’t tell apart from real beef.
Food Like the Impossible Burger
Due to its high demand, various stores have quickly sold out of the Impossible Burger. If you can’t get your hands on one of these burgers, you might also like the Beyond Burger, and for those who prefer chicken to beef, MorningStar has several options. However, polls suggest that the Impossible Burger is at the top of most people’s lists.
What’s in the Future?
The brains behind the Impossible Burger are already working on a new plant-based food: Impossible Sausages. They’re similar to the Original Burgers, though they don’t contain any potato proteins. Once released, Little Caesars has signed on to distribute these sausages as toppings for their pizzas. If their experience is anything like White Castle and Burger King’s, it’s bound to be a success.
A future goal for the Impossible Burger is disbursement in grocery stores. Furthermore, the creators hope to sell their burgers at a lower price. Currently, these burgers tend to cost more than regular burgers, with an Impossible Cheeseburger at Red Robin costing over $13 while a regular burger is closer to $9.
The Impossible Burger is an environmentally-friendly, delicious burger that you can find in various fast food restaurants. In general, it’s healthier than a normal burger and contributes much less to global warming. If you’re a vegan who’s looking for a meat-like burger or a meat eater who’s trying to cut down on meat, the Impossible Burger is worth a try. Not only is it a realistic, tasty burger — it’s also a responsible, healthier decision.