The choice seemed obvious: Burger A was the real meat, Burger B the one made from plants. Glenn Beck was sure of it. During a broadcast of his radio show last May, he took a big bite of the first burger, and knew. He should have: When he’s not whipping his fans into a lather over those meddling Democrats, he’s a cattle rancher, after all. Then a colleague revealed that Burger A was none other than the Impossible Burger 2.0, a plant-based imposter made with protein from soy, not cows.
“That is amazing,” Beck exclaimed. “I am expecting my cows to be taking their little hooves and pushing plates of this towards me.”
Impossible Foods, the Redwood City, California-based creator of these remarkably beef-like patties, is just one of the rising stars in the faux-meat market. Beyond Meat, another maker of plant-based meat, had one of the most successful initial public offerings on Wall Street last year. At the same time, alchemists at startups like Memphis Meats and Just Inc. are pioneering “clean meat” grown in labs from an amalgam of animal cells and other products, no slaughterhouse required.
This explosion of alternative meat is driven by a mix of environmental c... Read more