Impossible Burger's Imitation Meat Earns Its Halal Certification
Although Impossible Foods burst onto the scene a while ago, 2018 may have been its biggest year yet. The company's plant-based burger—which isn't just similar to meat in taste and texture, but also “bleeds” like the real deal—was deemed safe by the FDA (“heme,” the iron-containing molecule responsible for that "bleeding" effect, had previously been called into question), offered nationwide at White Castle (hi there, Impossible Slider), and certified kosher by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. And now, the imitation meat is set to receive its official halal certification from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America next Tuesday, December 11.
“Securing halal certification is a significant milestone for us,” David Lee, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Impossible Foods, said in a statement. “Our goal is to make plant-based meat available to everyone around the world—including to those who have religious dietary restrictions. We’re thrilled that the Impossible Burger can now be served in halal establishments.” Distinctions like this could also help Impossible stay ahead in the growing imitation meat market—Beyond Meats, one of the brand's biggest competitors, is not yet certified kosher or halal.
Before receiving this certification, Impossible Foods' Oakland, California manufacturing plant was inspected by a halal auditor, who observed the production process from start to finish to make sure that everything adhered to Islamic dietary laws, as defined in the Koran. The term halal, which is Arabic for allowed or permitted, applies to all kinds of products, from cosmetics and toiletries to food.
So now that the Impossible Burger has some new bragging rights, what's next? To start, 2018 Vendy Award Winner Royal Grill Halal Food—a popular Midtown food truck run by a husband and wife who make a killer chicken and rice—will serve Impossible products on December 11. Guests will "pay-what-you-wish" with all proceeds going to The Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization that provides legal and business assistance and advocates for vendors across New York City.