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posted by martyb on Friday June 24 2016, @03:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the Let's-get-Mikey! dept.

Several startups are trying to take plant-based meat alternatives to a new level. They include Impossible Foods, which has created a meatless burger that contains heme, a molecule that contributes color, taste, and texture to meat:

This summer, diners in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will get their hands on a hamburger that's been five years in the making. The burger looks, tastes and smells just like beef — except it's made entirely from plants. It sizzles on the grill and even browns and oozes fat when it cooks. It's the brainchild of former Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown and his research team at Northern California-based Impossible Foods.

[...] It's not the only faux meat company selling bloody plant patties. Last month, Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat made headlines when it released the Beyond Burger, its pea protein burger that sizzles like real meat and "bleeds" beet juice. The burgers quickly sold out after debuting at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colo. Beyond Meat's investors include Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Gates is also backing Impossible Foods. So is billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Google Ventures. All told, the company has raised some $182 million in seed funding. Last year, Impossible Foods turned down Google's offer to buy the company for $200 to $300 million.

The Impossible Burger is more than just peas and carrots smashed together: It's the result of some pretty high-tech research. Brown's team analyzes meat at a molecular level to determine what makes a burger taste, smell and cook the way it does. He wants his burgers to be squishy while raw, then firm up and brown on the grill. He believes everything from an animal's fat tissue to muscle cells can be replicated using plant compounds.

The true test? Making the plant-based substance carcinogenic.


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  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Friday June 24 2016, @05:10AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday June 24 2016, @05:10AM (#364729)

    Some 15 years ago my 20 something daughter lived with us. She went on a minor vegan kick (didn't bother me. As the cook I cook dinner, if you don't want to eat it cook your own). She loved boca burgers. One day I was hungry, had nothing to eat that didn't require 30 minutes time, and there were Boca burgers available.

    Know what? Those things were damned tasty. Not tasty enough to make me give up my own cow-burgers, but if cow wasn't available I'd eat the things. Never mind they cost 2-3 times what cow did.

    That's the short and simple of it. I don't eat cows cuz I hate them, I eat them cuz they're tasty and cheap. Same with pigs, chicken, and fish. Give me an alternative that is just as tasty, and about the same price, and I'll switch in a heartbeat. Try to guilt me out of chicken due to overcrowding or whatever, I'm eating chicken.

    / Not a dick in the kitchen
    // Don't like shrimp? Fine, I won't make shrimp when expecting you
    /// Don't like meat? Tough turkey tits, you're on your own.

    --
    Why can't I age like a fine wine, instead of last week's milk?
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  • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @05:39AM

    by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @05:39AM (#364747)

    Huh. I'll have to try Boca--which variety did you eat?

    The vegetarian/vegan burgers I've tried are OK for a few bites, but not great, and none of 'em held together properly on the grill stove or in the oven. Could be intentional, though--I live in cattle country.

    OTOH, I was at a local diner the other day, and I could have sworn that the burger I received was NOT meat. The flavor was alright, but it had an unpleasant chewy texture that I did not care for. Eugh.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday June 24 2016, @05:52AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday June 24 2016, @05:52AM (#364752) Journal
      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @06:00AM

        by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @06:00AM (#364756)

        Tried that one--it fell apart in the bun, even with cheese. Not a bad flavour, for a veggieburger.

      • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday June 24 2016, @12:11PM

        by CoolHand (438) on Friday June 24 2016, @12:11PM (#364877) Journal
        Those are very good... Unfortunately for us vegans, they are only vegetarian, not vegan...
        --
        Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:13PM (#365000)

          Oh well, as long as you, Live Long and Prosper.

  • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Friday June 24 2016, @05:49AM

    by captain normal (2205) on Friday June 24 2016, @05:49AM (#364750)

    You should try a cricket burger. https://draxe.com/cricket-flour/ [draxe.com]

    • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @06:03AM

      by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @06:03AM (#364757)

      Now that is something you aint gonna find in rural Montana...

      Maybe Missoula...

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:14PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:14PM (#367190) Journal

        Uh, yeah, not. Montanans don't eat bugs. Maybe if you're east of the divide you might, might eat a rattlesnake or Rocky Mountain oysters, but never bugs.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @05:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @05:56AM (#364754)

    She went on a minor vegan kick

    Of course she did.

    She loved boca burgers.

    Which means she was faking it.

    Boca burgers are trying too hard to taste just like meat, so fake vegans who pretend to be vegan can claim plausible deniability.

    I have eaten one hot dog in my life, and I have eaten one boca burger in my life. I threw up each time.

    • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Friday June 24 2016, @06:13AM

      by darnkitten (1912) on Friday June 24 2016, @06:13AM (#364761)

      Oh, some hot dogs are good--not many, and not often, I grant you.

      Usually, you eat hot dogs to remind yourself why you don't eat hotdogs.

      --like candy corn. or grape jelly. or Kool Aid--or any of the thousand-and-one so-called foods you loved as a kid and occasionally nostalgia-crave until you actually taste them again as an adult .

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @06:19AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @06:19AM (#364762)

        what the hell is wrong with you people? I love hot dogs.
        I know I shouldn't eat them very often because they're not healthy, but I love them.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:16PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:16PM (#367193) Journal

          I gotta say I find myself agreeing with anti-hotdog sentiments. I can't take store-bought, brand-name hot dogs like oscar meyer or ballpark. I don't know if they changed their formula or if my body changed, but eating them now makes me queasy. The last kind I could take were natural ones available at the Polish market down the avenue, but they're gone now.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday June 24 2016, @08:12PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday June 24 2016, @08:12PM (#365120)

        Except for the part where basically every single thing that you can eat is bad for you somehow.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by wonkey_monkey on Friday June 24 2016, @07:26AM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday June 24 2016, @07:26AM (#364787) Homepage

      You're an idiot.

      Eating non-meat products that taste like meat is not "faking it." If anyone's being a hipster, it's you.

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @10:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @10:00AM (#364847)

        I Couldn’t Stop Eating Meat

        I was enthusiastic about becoming a vegetarian. My understanding was that certain foods, such as corn and lima beans, could be mixed together to form complete sets of protein – valuable proteins that would enable me to keep running my Unreal Tournament fan site without the frequent nausea and unconsciousness that accompanied my efforts to cease eating alltogether.

        The first day without meat was fine. I had a craving for a hot dog shortly after lunch, but I ate some yougurt and then licked the aluminum foil lid until the cravings passed some thirty minutes later. Dinner consisted of what vegetarians call “quiche,” which is pronounced “quiche.” It’s like a pie, but there’s no meat, not even the obvious choice of bacon – which seemed very strange to me.

        By the third day the traffic on my Unreal Tournament fan site was up. I think this is because, possibly while I was feeling faint in the late morning, I replaced my webpage background pattern with a brilliantly tiled .gif image of raw, tasty ground beef.

        The sixth day was almost my worst. I had taken some tofu and mashed and kneeded it until it was roughly the shape of a turkey leg. Then I inserted a curling iron into it, to pretend it was a bone. I forgot it was on. Tasty, though. Worth the pain. I had seconds.

        The seventh day I blacked out.

        My eighth day as a vegetarian was my last. I awoke covered in foam that seemed to be eminating from my mouth. I crawled to a soup kitchen and stole a barbecue fork from a man wrapped in a garbage bag. As if in a dream I watched myself standing on a table threatening passers-by. “Meat!” I shouted. “Meat! Meat! Meat! Meat! … Meat! Meat! Meat! MEAT! … Meat!” A woman in white was serving soup. It was potato soup. They had no meat that day. I had a fork.

        The woman in white was delicious.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @05:20PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @05:20PM (#365036)

          Strangest delicious sausage creepypasta I've ever read.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday June 24 2016, @01:35PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 24 2016, @01:35PM (#364906)

      Hot dogs have an extremely wide quality margin. Generally the more expensive it is the fewer buttholes and lips are blended into it. I will never eat hotdogs at someone else's cookout for that reason. People buy the cheapest garbage. Plants generally don't suffer from that kind of problem.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 1) by kurenai.tsubasa on Friday June 24 2016, @05:28PM

      by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Friday June 24 2016, @05:28PM (#365040) Journal

      Not everybody has a weak stomach. Sucks to be you, I guess.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @08:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @08:24PM (#365127)

      I have eaten one hot dog in my life, and I have eaten one boca burger in my life. I threw up each time.

      We can't withstand tastiness of this magnitude!

      Up it comes

  • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday June 24 2016, @11:59AM

    by CoolHand (438) on Friday June 24 2016, @11:59AM (#364871) Journal

    That's the short and simple of it. I don't eat cows cuz I hate them, I eat them cuz they're tasty and cheap. Same with pigs, chicken, and fish. Give me an alternative that is just as tasty, and about the same price, and I'll switch in a heartbeat. Try to guilt me out of chicken due to overcrowding or whatever, I'm eating chicken.

    / Not a dick in the kitchen
    // Don't like shrimp? Fine, I won't make shrimp when expecting you
    /// Don't like meat? Tough turkey tits, you're on your own.

    Would you give it up for the environment? Animal agriculture is one of the worst things we have going against the environment, and is not sustainable for the population as a whole, even with current "factory farming" processes. Check out the documentary Cowspiracy [cowspiracy.com] for some eye-opening enlightenment in this area..

    Would you give up meat for your health? Animal fats are what causes high cholesterol, a lot of heart disease, possibly a lot of cancers. There have been studies showing a switch to a whole foods plant based diet will quickly reverse about all that ails you. Your body wants to heal itself, the only thing holding it back is all those animal products.. Check out the Documentary "Forks Over Knives" [forksoverknives.com] for an eye-opening experience on that..

    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24 2016, @04:23PM (#365005)

      I've seen Cowspiracy.

      I'm a farmer.

      I was caught between paroxysms of hilarity and paroxysms of rage at the lies, disingenuity and crazy, boxers-on-head level of conspiracy theory madness.

      If you want the real deal, go take a few courses on agricultural practice, on zoology and botany, on ecology and so on. Maybe do a few farming internships.

      Animal agriculture in the US of A isn't a saintly exercise of self-denial, but neither is it the last plague brought by the horsemen of the apocalypse either. Animal agriculture has been downright beneficial in some ways - and all you people who like to eat row crops while you complain about burning oil had better be prepared to pull the tilling machinery yourselves, if neither tractors nor horses are doing the job.

      As for the heart health thing, I know a world-class, renowned cardiology researcher. He loves him some rare steak. I've eaten at his place. It's pretty good.

      By all means, watch your propaganda videos. Then do your own analysis, and make it well-rounded.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25 2016, @03:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 25 2016, @03:13PM (#365605)

        There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see. - Leonardo da Vinci

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:12PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 28 2016, @06:12PM (#367189) Journal

    I second boca burgers. I love beef but can't eat it anymore. Boca burgers taste better than many varieties of beef patties, and there's an added bonus that they're not greasy and don't leave you feeling greasy after having eaten them.

    They are expensive, though. Pity.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.