About a year ago we wrote about the possibility of lab-grown meat in our near future. Well, that future is here as the company Impossible Foods, which raised $108 million for it’s plant-based & lab-made burgers the year prior, is ramping up the burger production on a mass scale. It plans to create about 1,000,000 pounds of faux meat every month.
The initial cost to make a single lab burger was a whopping $325,000 and has since been made a tad more affordable at $11.
The burger itself is made completely from plant proteins, but it is engineered to look, taste and even smell like beef. The company claims that it aims to clean up the way burgers are made currently and reduce the pollution and our need to rely on animals for meat. Impossible Foods wants to change our food industry and it may very well do that IF it gets the approval of the consumers.
With the backlash to GMOs, it’s not hard to see why this task may be a difficult one. Not only they have to convince meat eaters that their plant-based burgers are just as good (or better) they also has to convince the non-meat-eaters that it’s a healthy and viable option. All of this, while also making their burgers affordable and removing the image of meat being made in a lab. However, up until this point, meat came from slaughterhouses, which is a far worse image than something being made in a lab.
But it seems like the consumers have been accepting of the burger as it’s planning to ramp up its production and go from being in just eight restaurants to 1,000 eateries by the end of this year. To make that happen they will need to open up a factory that is roughly the size of an entire city block. Their goal is to pump out 1 million pounds of this meat monthly.
Up until this point, the burger was only sold at eight mostly upscale restaurants with the burger averaging from $12-18 with some sides.
The CEO, Pat Brown, says “The way we’re producing meat now is incredibly destructive. Our mission is to reduce the environmental impact of the food system”. It currently takes about 441 gallons of water to produce just one pound of boneless beef. Needless to say, it’s an unsustainable system for sure. “You don’t need animals to make uncompromisingly delicious meat,” he said. While it certainly seems like an ambitious goal to improve our environment, how will our bodies react to artificially grown meat long-term?
The human-controlled production does have some advantages. For example, lab-grown meat can prevent bacteria that ends up in some meat due to the way animals are raised and slaughtered. It also eliminates the need for the use of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides, which are used in meats and other foods. Not to mention how many animals will be saved and the impact this reduction of pollution will have on our environment.
The end goal for Impossible Foods is to have its products in every grocery store and not just eateries.
Will you be trying out this burger? What does this mean for the future of organic foods?