A Silicon Valley startup is turning heads in the food world with its new vegan burger, which mimics the texture of beef and the intensely meaty flavor that burger-lovers crave. Fueled by prominent investors like Bill Gates and Google Ventures, the five-year-old company, intriguingly named Impossible Foods, is the first to extract plant proteins and fuse them with fats, amino acids and vitamins to create a raw "meat" without any animal products. Their meatless burger uses 85 percent less water and emits 89 percent less greenhouse gases than the real thing.
While Impossible Foods' precise formula is top-secret, the company admits that some pretty strange ingredients have been used in the quest to make the perfect product. Think algae, coconut and honeydew melon. The "magic ingredient," according to the company's website, is heme, a meaty-tasting protein found in both animals and plants. Early converts include everyone from Questlove to Top Chef Masters runner-up Traci des Jardins to meat-loving celebrity chef David Chang of Momofuku.
"Today I tasted the future and it was vegan," Chang wrote, raving about the burger on his Instagram page. "I think it might change the whole game."
The burger was also big hit at Questlove's recent book release party in New York City, where he declared it to be "super amazing like a real burger" and shot video of some patties cooking on the grill.
Impossible Foods is planning on a summer debut for the burger, so look for it soon at a restaurant near you.
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