The fourth fastest growing brand in the United States is not in the Silicon Valley, even though you might think it is. It is Impossible Foods™, a product that is changing the way we eat, even fast-food chain Burger King has had a trial with the Impossible Whopper in more than 7000 locations in the US. Will the public accept the new alternative?
The impossible burger made from plants is a new trend that has been seeing rapid growth in 2019. Soy and potato proteins are used to give the product its nutritional value. Its flavour comes from the heme molecule, which is the same molecule that is containing iron in meat, responsible for making meat taste so good for us humans. It is also the molecule that holds on to oxygen in your blood and carries it around your body. The heme is won through soy leghemoglobin, the iron-containing molecule made with a genetically engineered yeast.
Impossible Foods™ has applied for the right to sell their meatless meat in the European Union last year in October.
“Our intention is to sell plant-based meat in every single region of the world.”Rachel Konrad, Spokeswoman at Impossible Foods ™
We need to keep in mind that even though it sounds like a complete breakthrough, Impossible Foods™ is selling a genetically modified product, a.k.a. GMO. GMO’s have been criticized a lot and multiple studies claim that GMO’s cause cancer and people independently reported toxic effects caused by them.
But is this something new? Since the 1990’s, GMO’s have been sitting in the shelf of supermarkets. More than 60 % of all processed foods on U.S. supermarket shelves—including pizza, chips, cookies, ice cream, salad dressing, corn syrup and baking powder—contain ingredients from engineered soybeans, corn, or canola. It’s everywhere.
A biochemist from the Michigan State University, Dean DellaPenna, believes that GMO’s are the saviour for the next generation. He envisions tomatoes and broccoli with cancer-fighting chemicals and vitamin-enhanced crops of rice, sweet potatoes, and cassava to help nourish the poor. So peanuts and wheat without allergens and food containing vaccines. Something that sounds like heaven for some, sounds quite scary for others.
Even though many studies claim that GMO’s are completely safe for consumption, there are still a lot of critics that swear that genetically modified food has not been studied for long enough to fully understand the long term effects on our biology.
Saving animals from a life in mass held shelters for the sake of human consumption is a clear positive aspect of GMO’s, but what about the crops that can be sprayed with pesticides much stronger due to their modified DNA leaving all other ‘normal’ species vulnerable to its effects?
If Impossible Foods ™ wants to expand to Europe, they are better off using a non-GMO alternative as the EU does not really favor genetically modified food products. Whether GMO’s will be proven safe in the future or not, it is the big corporations that control the research and most of the studies published about the effects are funded by companies like Monsanto.
GMO foods may be more resistant to pesticides and disease but what about the environment around it? Will we start genetically engineering everything to keep it alive or is there another alternative?
Is Impossible meat really the future or just another hype? I have not tried it yet but if it is available in Europe I will. For now I prefer to have organic meat, vegetables from the farmers market and a great cup of coffee. But who knows how long this will be possible.
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