I’m sorry, but burgers suck. Sure, juicy meat pucks may be among my favorite stomach stuffers, but meat has so many guilt-inducing problems. Are there any restaurants where I can ingest the greasy bovine disks I crave without killing cows, the environment and myself, all without forfeiting the beefy goodness? One joint is answering my prayers with a bloody veggie burger.

New York restaurant Momofuku Nishi will be the first to serve the Impossible Burger, a veggie-based bleeding-but-not-bleating burger alternative from Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods, starting tomorrow.

Eater reports:

[Impossible Foods Founder Patrick Brown] says it’s all part of an effort to reduce the environmental impact from eating meat. The ingredient list includes water, textured wheat protein, coconut oil, and “natural flavors,” but the key ingredient to getting that meat look is “heme,” a molecule found in animals but less prevalent in plants.

Heme is the Impossible Burger’s secret. It’s an iron-containing molecule and part of the more familiar hemoglobin, a protein with the heme molecule attached. Heme gives blood its red color and iron-y flavor.

Meatless burgers that taste more like beef than vegetables suspended in glue would be a major boon. Agriculture represents around 10 percent of the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions according to the EPA, much of that from cow farts. Plus, while I’m still a bit skeptical of this one, the World Health Organization reports that a “every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18 percent.” Also, this may come as a surprise, but beef burgers require killing cattle, and if you’ve ever read Michael Pollan you’d know that there’s a whole lot of issueswith the beef industry.

If a product has everything in common with a burger except doesn’t have those three huge problems, well, that’s awesome.

While I haven’t tasted the burger yet, the fake meat movement is gaining steam. A competitor’s burger sold out “in an hour” at a Colorado Whole Foods, according another Eater article, and tastes “somewhere between beef and turkey,” said Evelyn M. Rusli in an article for the Wall Street Journal.

So, will I be seeing any of you at Momofuku Nishi tomorrow?

source: popsci.com By Ryan F. Mandelbaum

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