A twist on an old idea may have you saying “Mmmmm…”

You may have heard of a veggie burger before: a mix of vegetables and grains ground up and made into a burger-like shape. Though they are called burgers, they don’t look anything like the beef patty that Americans feast on. Burgers are in high demand in America; in fact it’s estimated that over 50 million burgers are consumed in America each year. The meat industry has caused a lot of environmental issues, so this new burger could be a great solution for those who don’t like vegetarian replacements to their meat products, but can’t stand some of the inhumane ways animals are slaughtered for food.

Pat Brown, a former Stanford biologist, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, believes he may have the solution to this problem: To separate the proteins, amino acids, fats and vitamins from vegetables, beans, and grains and reform them based on their flavor and texture. Mr. Brown even believes they will taste, feel and even sizzle like the beef burgers we are so used to. It seems they aren’t trying to make a meat substitute, but to make meat a better way. The California startup is hoping to get their product into production in 2016, and Mr. Brown along with a group of 80 inventors, chefs, and scientists hope to change the way we eat food. It would seem Impossible Foods is well on their way to receiving $150 million from investors so far. They’re also in talks with Google, Bill Gates and other firms.

They plan to aim marketing at dedicated meat eaters, not vegetarians, so that maybe they can make a dent in the damage being done to the environment from the beef market, an 88 billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, the beef market just isn’t able to be sustained. It takes massive amounts of feed and even more water to produce only a few pounds of beef for consumption. The gases released from farm animals are also having a bad effect on the ozone layer, and as the earth’s population grows the demand for meat grows as well.

 

VOCABULARY:

Patty (n.) : a small flat cake of minced food, especially meat
Consumed 
(v.) : when talking about food – “to consume” means to eat.
Inhumane (adj.) : cruel, without compassion
Slaughtered (v.) : killed; usually refers to animals
Sizzle (v.) : make a hissing sound when cooking or frying
Aim (v.) : to aim means to direct at
“make a dent” (expression) : to make a small amount of progress
Sustained (adj.) : to continue for a long time without running out or being interrupted
Massive (adj.) : a lot
Consumption  (n.) : the action of using something up (see “consumed”)