A Burger for the Ages

By Rory Hallowell - Milton ‘20

With global warming on the rise, people are finally starting to realize the effect of fossil fuels on our environment. Today, there are far more electric cars, solar panels, and eco-efficient mechanisms than ever before. Innovation has been key to the fight against global warming and one such innovation, the Impossible Burger, is just beginning to make its mark on the changing world.


The Impossible Burger, created by Patrick O’Reilly, is an entirely meat-free burger that looks, feels, smells, and supposedly tastes like a real hamburger. O’Reilly is no stranger to science; he invented the DNA microarray, and is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford (1, 2). He claims to have invented the burger, and the company that makes it, to “make our global food system truly sustainable” (3).

The Impossible Burger is far more sustainable than the average burger. It uses 25% of the water a similar piece of beef might need, and 5% the land. Furthermore, the Impossible Burger only releases about 13% of the greenhouse gasses that a cow might produce (4). To accompany the reduced carbon emissions, the Impossible Burger boasts more protein, less fat, zero cholesterol, and fewer calories than a hamburger of the same size (5). And to top it off, the Impossible Burger is both Kosher and Halal friendly (6). But most importantly, the Impossible Burger tastes good.

When student environmentalist Ariane Desrosiers was asked about her experience with the Impossible Burger she said “mhmm… it’s pretty good”. In terms of taste, Desrosiers proclaimed that the Impossible Burger was “juicy and meaty.” In summary, the Impossible Burger looks good, tastes good, and does good for you and your planet. That is why I believe the Impossible Burger is a massive breakthrough in the promotion of eco-friendly food. So eat up!

Sources:

1) "Patrick O. Brown - Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus." Toenail trim saves lab mice from common, life-threatening skin condition | Welcome to Bio-X. 03 Mar. 2019 <https://biox.stanford.edu/about/people/affiliated-faculty/patrick-o-brown-professor-biochemistry-emeritus>.

2) "Why we developed the microarray, Patrick Brown :: DNA Learning Center." DNALC Blogs. 03 Mar. 2019 <https://www.dnalc.org/view/15036-Why-we-developed-the-microarray-Patrick-Brown.html>.

3) "Ask us." Impossible Foods. 03 Mar. 2019 <https://impossiblefoods.com/faq>.

4) "How the Impossible Burger Stacks Up on Nutrition and Sustainability." Center for a Livable Future. 03 Mar. 2019 <http://livablefutureblog.com/2018/05/how-the-impossible-burger-stacks-up-on-nutrition-and-sustainability>.

5) Hoshaw, Lindsey. "Silicon Valley's Bloody Plant Burger Smells, Tastes And Sizzles Like Meat." NPR. 21 June 2016. NPR. 03 Mar. 2019 <https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/06/21/482322571/silicon-valley-s-bloody-plant-burger-smells-tastes-and-sizzles-like-meat>.

6) Cheddar. "Impossible Foods Gets Halal Certification for Meatless Burger on Path to 'Serve the World'." Cheddar. 11 Dec. 2018. Cheddar. 03 Mar. 2019 <https://www.cheddar.com/videos/can-the-impossible-burger-save-the-world>.