Possibly Impossible

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The Impossible Burger. Photo via Forbes.

Impossible? We have liked what we have seen, more than once. But we remain open-minded in both directions. Thanks to Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner, for the article Is “Food-Tech” the Future of Food? posted on Medium, that raises the right kinds of questions:

…On the surface, the Impossible Burger’s goal to reduce meat consumption sounds important. There are urgent problems with animal factory farming. But at a time when consumers are pushing for more sustainably produced real food, are these biotech products the right answer?

While the Impossible Burger has received glowing press coverage for its “plant-based” product, the specifics about what’s actually in it has been less than clear. The Impossible Burger’s key ingredient, synbio heme, is a hemoprotein produced by genetically engineered yeast, and according to the Washington Post, is what gives the burger a meat flavor. But Impossible Foods doesn’t say what the “plant blood” — the key selling point for the Impossible Burger — actually is, nor does it provide any clear data on safety assessment or environmental impact. This is common among many new synbio startups.

While we and many in the environmental and animal welfare community are fully in support of reducing unsustainable meat consumption, in an era where consumers are increasingly demanding transparency and “real” food and running full speed away from processed, industrial food, it would seem that non-GMO, organic, plant-based meat alternatives that carry less inherent risks are a wiser direction…

Read the whole article here.

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