I Attended a College Class About Fake Meat. It Didn’t Disappoint. – Jenny Luna Jun. 24, 2017 6:00 AM


The latest episode of Bite podcast journeys into the brave new world of better-tasting veggie burgers.

Photo by Jenny Luna

Burgers that bleed. Eggless mayo. Chicken strips without the bird. In the last few years, a handful of California companies have transformed fake meat as we know it—and earned a ton of press.

But can these Silicon Valley startups take on the multibillion-dollar meat industry? On a recent episode of Mother Jones‘ food politics podcast, Bite, we looked at fake-meat makers that are trying to scale up—and I attended a college class about making meat alternatives. Listen here:

Bite

33 – Inside Silicon Valley’s Race to the Best Fake Meat33 – Inside Silicon Valley’s Race to the Best Fake Meat

00:00 /20:12

Impossible Foods has big plans for its wheat, coconut oil, and potato patties—the burgers that bleed. Right now, just 22 restaurants serve them. But last spring, Impossible Foods unveiled its weapon of mass production—a 67,000-square-foot warehouse in Oakland, California. The company’s chief operating officer, David Lee, said the factory will allow Impossible Foods to pump out 4 million burgers every month—that’s 250 times current production.

“We know our demand is waiting for us,” Lee said. “Not just in fine dining, but in more accessible restaurants around the world.”

Although these companies may not yet have the financial power of the meat industry, their products appeal to a growing number of eaters concerned about their health and that of the environment. Indeed, in 2015 the World Health Organization declared red meat a probable carcinogen. Animal agriculture across the globe is responsible for a whopping 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

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