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Source: Impossible Foods

We Tried The Bleeding, Vegan 'Impossible' Burger

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Since 2016, the Impossible Burger has touted itself as the totally plant-based burger that bleeds. In those two years, the Silicon Valley startup has built a legion of fans who swear it’s the best alternative to red meat — a burger that actually tastes just like a burger, with a fraction of the carbon footprint the beef industry leaves behind. 

The secret is heme, a protein found in animal blood. Heme is what gives meat its distinct sizzle and smell, and as Impossible Foods discovered, it’s also abundant in the roots of soy plants. The company genetically engineers heme through fermentation, in a process that has earned lots of attention and some scrutiny. Once the heme is created, it is mixed into a combination of coconut oil, wheat, and potato protein to form the patty. Although it doesn’t contain a single animal product, the Impossible Burger is supposed to sizzle and bleed like beef, thanks to the magical properties of heme.