Scientists Create the Most Convincing Veggie Burger Yet

By Noah Kaufman |

Your veggie burgers don't have to look like this anymore. © John Kernick

Vegetarians have long had to endure the indignity of cardboard-like veggie burgers. Even some of the good ones are more akin to a fritter than a burger. If you prefer the flavor of vegetables to meat, you still may be missing that juicy burger texture. Prepare to be amazed.  A company called Impossible Foods has engineered an incredibly juicy veggie burger using something called heme. Heme is found in the haemoglobin of animal blood, but also in plant matter. Even in plants it still has a red color, metallic taste and viscous texture giving it the nickname plant blood.

Impossible Foods and its founder, biologist Patrick Brown, use plant blood as well as proteins from five different species of plant—they aren’t revealing the recipe though—to construct their burger substitute, which, by all accounts looks pretty convincing. The patties are deep red, they brown and caramelize as they’re grilled and when they’re done, that same heme that gives them their burger-y color, oozes out like the juices we meat eaters have come to know and love. They’ve even been testing them in undercover food trucks where they pose as real burgers. The taste and texture may amaze, but these miracle patties don't come cheap. Brown says it currently costs about $20 a piece just for production—never mind the retail markup. Still this is one cool step towards plant domination. 


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