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Impossible Burger has done the impossible and created the first ever kosher certified "cheeseburger." Okay, it’s not technically a cheeseburger, because the Impossible Burger isn’t made with any actual animal products. But it’s as close as we’re ever going to get.
The fake meat company announced today that it has received its kosher certification from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Earlier this year, a Rabbinic Field Representative visited the company’s Oakland factory, where 500,000 pounds of plant-based ‘meat’ is produced every month. There, the rabbi was able to confirm that every step in the process of making the Impossible Burger complies with kosher standards—not a hefty proposition, of course, since the Impossible Burger doesn’t require any actual slaughtering of animals.
Jewish dietary law also specifies that dairy and meat products cannot be eaten together, which is why there is really no such thing as a kosher cheeseburger. But because the Impossible Burger uses soybean roots to replicate the texture of real meat, and an ingredient called heme (a molecule containing iron, which you can learn more about here) to impart the plant product with a meat-like taste, they're claiming that the meat-free patty plus cheese counts as a cheeseburger. We'll let you decide.
However you feel about calling this fake meat burger with cheese a "kosher cheeseburger," you can expect to see more of the Impossible Burger in the future. Last year, the company received a $75 million investment, and it has been expanding ever since. Fatburger and White Castle both have vegan Impossible Burger options on the menu, and even Disney jumped on the planted-based meat bandwagon with the debut of its ‘no meatball’ sub earlier this year.
And it's not just the Impossible Burger that's cropping up everywhere. Trends in meat alternatives are on the rise across the board, with the advent of both clean meat and plant-based meat. (Clean meat is made from lab-grown animal products, while plant-based options like the Impossible and Beyond burger are entirely vegan.) So make room at your barbecue this summer for some meat-alternatives and check out these 14 great recipes for veggie burgers while you're at it.