When one thinks of American cooking, the hamburger is at the top of the list of quintessential American cuisine. With our rapidly changing climate and demand to ranch less cows and find a protein alternative for our ever expanding world population, enter the “impossible food.”
Interesting name for a food creation that has little relation to the beef-based burger. And the food it is designed to replace has its own issues.
Americans consume about 5 billion hamburgers a year. It is presumed that most fast food hamburgers are composed primarily of meat but that’s not the case. In a study of 8 fast food hamburger brands, water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4% (mean, 49%). Meat content in the hamburgers ranged from 2.1% to 14.8% (median, 12.1%). In other words, about 10% of fast food hamburgers are actually beef.
By comparison, the Impossible Foods' website notes the five main ingredients of an Impossible Burger 2.0 are: Water. Soy-protein concentrate and coconut oil, all plant-based materials. The combination includes wheat, coconut oil, potato protein, soy protein isolate, and a little known molecule known as heme, which is how the burger is able to simulate the meaty original. Heme is responsible for our blood carrying oxygen, and which gives it its red coloration.
Impossible "meat" also contains 2% or less of:
Food starch, modified.
Now I don’t eat much red meat, maybe twice a year. I also realize the jury is still out in terms of whether this product is healthy. It’s best to eat real food in moderation and, like anything else, not to make a habit of making this part of our regular diet.
But let’s get to how does it look and taste?
I tried a Burger King “Impossible Whopper” which cost $6.40 late August 2019. It looked like what I remember a fast food hamburger looks like. It also tasted like a grilled hamburger to me, especially the grilling flavor.
They did not have it in a smaller size but once that is available, if you are wanting another non-beef option, this may be worth a try.