The Impossible Burger, coming soon to a fast food joint near you.
“Why?” you ask.
“To save the planet,” Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley start-up that produces plant-based alternatives to animal meat, answers. Its mission statement is brief and bold: “To save meat. And earth.”
Their website states, “We started with the question: what if we could make meat better? Our approach; understand exactly what people love about meat, dairy, and fish, and then explore the plant world for specific ingredients that recreate those experiences — the flavor, the texture, the juicy sizzle. The result? Meat from plants. Good for people, and the planet.”
They go on to explain that something called heme is what makes meat taste like meat, and that they have somehow duplicated nature’s processes and created a plant-based heme via fermentation of genetically engineered yeast. They stir it up with potatoes, wheat, soy, coconut oil and other stuff. Voila, an Impossible Burger slides onto the grill.
Here in Kootenai County, we look forward to the annual North Idaho State Fair. And who among us can resist a walk through the exhibits to get a look at our young people caring for and showing the livestock and crops they have labored over for the past year?
So, what’s in the future? Can we expect to see lines of 4-H and FFA members stirring pots of heme where the livestock pens used to be? Will judges pass from pot to pot sampling heme instead of judging livestock and crop displays?
In the dystopian novel “Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley envisioned a meat alternative called vitaminized beef-surrogate. Are we there yet?