In March LIVESTRONG invited journalists and social media influencers to an intimate dinner with Chef Tal Ronnen at Crossroads Kitchen to try the fully plant-based Impossible Burger.
It's called the "Impossible Burger" because this vegan patty has achieved an impossible feat — looking, sizzling, tasting and even bleeding like meat. Scientists at Impossible Foods engineered this burger using the molecule called "heme," which has the texture and flavor of blood.
Heme can be extracted from the roots of soy plants. They also used flakes of coconut oil that sizzle like fat when the burger is cooked on a grill.
To get an idea of what it looks like while being prepared, take a look at our video:
At that time the vegan burger that had achieved the impossible feat of looking, sizzling and even bleeding like meat was only available in 10 restaurants worldwide. Now the Impossible Burger is is now available in nearly 400 restaurants nationwide, from Hawaii to Maine. Find out where it's being served.
What Does It Taste Like?
As someone who hasn't eaten meat for the past several years for ethical and environmental reasons, this burger surpassed all my expectations. It actually had the taste, look and feel of eating a typical cheeseburger such as the one from In-N-Out Burger.
It would be able to fool meat eaters! Many attendees at our chef dinner were unable to believe the meat-like texture and taste.
How Many Calories and How Much Protein Is in the Impossible Burger?
Americans often think protein equals meat, so this burger will be breaking that stereotype. According to Impossible Foods, the bioavailable macronutrient content is comparable to conventional 80/20 ground beef.
Their website says that a 3-ounce Impossible Burger patty contains 220 calories and 20 grams of protein. It also contains 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbs (without the bun). The Impossible Burger is completely free from cholesterol.
As far as vitamins and minerals, the Impossible Burger contains almost 100% of our daily needs for vitamin B12 in addition to thiamin, zinc, iron, folate and niacin.
Why Is the Impossible Burger Important for the Planet?
According to Crossroads Chef Tal Ronnen, "The Impossible Burger has more positive environmental impact than driving a Prius."
The Impossible Burger could actually change the world if committed meat eaters decide to choose this more eco-friendly and mouthwateringly delicious option in place of a hamburger made with beef on Meatless Mondays or a few times per month. This could have an incredibly positive impact on the planet.
Meat production and consumption leaves a deep environmental footprint in its wake. Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95 percent less land, 74 percent less water and creates 87 percent less greenhouse-gas emissions. And if that wasn't enough, it's also 100 percent free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients. As the environmental impact of meat becomes increasingly apparent, it's imperative to develop alternative sources of protein that offer a healthier future for the planet and for our bodies.
LIVESTRONG's "Future of Food" Chef Dinner Series
This event was the first of LIVESTRONG's "Future of Food" chef dinner series. In June, we hosted a dinner exploring fermented foods with Starry Kitchen, Nguyen and Thi Tran, the husband and wife duo behind America's most famous underground restaurant. In August we hosted a panel and dinner on "The Importance of Organics" at Feastly in Venice.
In 2018 we'll continue exploring food trends, healthy eating, forward-thinking chefs and scientific breakthroughs through a series of intimate dinner parties.
What Do YOU Think?
Would you try an Impossible Burger, or have you already tried one? Where did you have it? What do you think about it? How did it taste? Leave a comment below and let us know.
About the Author
JESS BARRON is VP & GM for LIVESTRONG.COM, a leading healthy lifestyle website with over 29 million unique monthly viewers. Jess's passion is inspiring people to live healthier and better. In addition to LIVESTRONG, her writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune and MyDomaine. She has appeared on MSNBC, ABC News and XM Satellite Radio. Jess has been a keynote speaker on health topics at Health Further and a panelist at Create & Cultivate and Digital Hollywood. Follow Jess on Instagram at @jessbeegood and Twitter too.