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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: 5, Interesting) by Spelli on Friday June 24 2016, @01:07PM

    by Spelli (6123) on Friday June 24 2016, @01:07PM (#364895)

    That carnivore/herbivore comparison chart is a load of bull. You can't pick and choose what suits your theory best.
    Even cows will eat a dead rabbit if it suddenly pops up - the calorie/time ratio is just too good to pass up, even wrongly equipped digestive tract.
    What about our carnassials? What about the gall bladder (predominantly a carnivorous trait)? We also have the proper enzymes to digest meat. Get a man on a diet consisting of almost only meat, and he'll have highly concentrated pee just like a carnivore. (That one i actually tested on myself, when my meat-filled freezer went kaput during summer)
    Humans are extraordinarily flexible diet-wise.

    We did not hunt most of our prey as a lion or most other carnivores do today. We exhausted them by exploiting our energy-efficient bipedal mode of locomotion and their escape behaviour - most animals will sprint away when they feel threatened until the threat is gone. We just followed their trail at a leisurely pace until they sprinted again, etc. repeat until prey is utterly exhausted. Lab experiments with mice show that when exposed to similar stimuli, many will actually die of a heart attack caused by wildly fluctuating adrenaline levels before becoming bodily exhausted.

    Disclaimer: I'm a biologist master student, and sorry for the mediocre english.

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