Upper Keys Weekly –11/28/19

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f I told you eating a burger could help save the world, you might color me crazy and tell me to just pass the meat. After all, cows fart methane (a greenhouse gas), and forests that help lower the impacts of climate change are being cut down to create cattle-grazing land and to grow feed for cows. So how does eating more burgers help the planet? Impossible Foods is a California-based company whose flagship Impossible Burger has taken the world – and even the Keys — by storm. The key difference about this burger is that it doesn’t contain any meat. Yes, you read that right. It’s a meatless burger that cooks and tastes like a traditional beef burger. Sounds, well, impossible, right? Keys Weekly sat down for an exclusive interview with the food-tech startup, as well as some Keys restaurants and grocery chains serving the new “meat,” to find out more about this innovative new product. “We developed a product just as delicious, the same or better in health, and with the same culinary experience as meat,” says Rebekah Moses, the head of impact strategy at Impossible Foods Inc. “We’ve made a meatless burger for meat eaters.” The Impossible Burger isn’t marketed as the next big thing in veggie burgers. Instead, it’s presented as a really delicious burger that happens to be plant-based. “Veggie burgers weren’t intended to capture the carnivore market," said Moses. "The watershed moment for Impossible was creating a burger that tastes like a burger.”

The beef made by Impossible Foods is 50% water (just like traditional ground beef), soy protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, potato protein and heme. That last ingredient is leghemoglobin protein, and it’s what makes meat taste like meat. The product is a result of five years of research and development meant to trick the consumer’s senses to forget that they’re not eating meat. Oils and fats allow the Impossible Burger patties to sizzle on the grill similar to how meat burgers do, and the heme tricks our taste-buds into experiencing a meat-like savory satisfaction with each bite. The sum total is a plantbased burger that cooks and eats surprisingly like a beef burger. Nate Amadon, a resident of Key Largo, was pleasantly surprised by the Impossible Whopper from Burger King. “Honestly, I don’t know if I could’ve noticed that it wasn’t beef if I wasn’t told. The flame-broiled taste was still there,” says Amadon. “I’m a carnivore, no doubt, but would I try it again? I absolutely would.” Patrick Unique, the manager of the Burger King on Stock Island, reports similar findings for his store. Unique started serving the Impossible Whopper four months ago, and his customers couldn’t tell the difference. “They loved it. To me, it tastes even better than a whopper. Flavor-wise, it’s all there and it’s never dry,” said Unique. The southernmost Burger King was among the first in the world to offer the Impossible Whopper, and Unique sells almost