The Impossible Foods burger is the product of years of research, more than $180 million in funding, and endless tinkering to try and make a plant-based product that mimics a meaty American staple.
The meatless burger’s magic ingredient is called heme, an iron-rich molecule that carries oxygen, found in all living cells. Heme makes animals’ blood red and gives meat its pinkish hue. By using plant heme instead of animal heme, the creators of this plant burger have been able to achieve much of the texture and taste of beef burgers, as well as a sizzling, browning, fat-emitting reaction to being grilled.
Impossible Foods is joined by plenty of other meatless ventures, including the Beyond Burger, a sizzling pea-based burger that “bleeds” beet juice. Already meatless patties, backed by the likes of Bill Gates and big venture capitalists, have been a boon for vegan outposts like Whole Foods, and Washington DC lobbyists.