The Other Fake Meat: Impossible Foods’ Big Reveal

Like the burger, Impossible Food’s pork and sausage are made from soy but mimic the taste and texture of ground meat. Image: genuine pork sausage on the grill

“A crappy product won’t win over meat lovers.” 

With millions of feral pigs running wild in the U.S., do we really need ‘Impossible Pork’?

PLUS: Texas Reforms Feral Pig Law

Jan 7, 2019 |

By DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer

After a big year for its plant-based burger, Impossible Foods has something new on its plate.

The California-based company unveiled Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage on Monday evening at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas.

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It’s Impossible Food’s first foray beyond fake beef. The Impossible Burger, which went on sale in 2016, has been a key player in the growing category of vegan meats.

Like the burger, Impossible Food’s pork and sausage are made from soy but mimic the taste and texture of ground meat.

Impossible Pork will be rolled out to restaurants first. The company isn’t yet saying when it will come to groceries. Impossible Foods only recently began selling its burgers in grocery stores, although they’re available at more than 17,000 restaurants in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

Burger King will give consumers their first taste of Impossible Sausage. Later this month, 139 Burger King restaurants in five U.S. cities will offer the Impossible Croissan’wich, made with plant-based sausage coupled with the traditional egg and cheese.

Hollywood Swallows Vegan Agenda, Bans Meat From Awards Gala

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Burger King did a similar test of the Impossible Whopper last year before expanding sales nationwide.

The pork products and the Impossible Burger are made in a similar way. Impossible Foods gets heme — the protein that gives meat its flavor and texture — from soy leghemoglobin, which is found in the roots of soy plants.

To make heme in high volume, it inserts the DNA from soy into yeast and ferments it. That mixture is then combined with other ingredients, like coconut oil.

The company tweaked the ingredients to mimic pork’s springy texture and mild flavor. For the sausage it added spices.

“Where’s The Beef?” BK Goes Vegan With Meatless Whopper

Impossible Pork has 220 calories in a four-ounce serving. That’s not much less than a serving of Smithfield 80% lean ground pork, which has 260 calories. Smithfield’s animal-derived pork has more total fat, at 20 grams, than Impossible Pork, which has 13 grams. But Impossible Pork has far more sodium, at 420 milligrams. Smithfield has 70 milligrams.

But health concerns are only part of the reason consumers are eating more plant-based meats. Animal welfare and environmental concerns are also a factor. Nearly 1.5 billion pigs are killed for food each year, a number that has tripled in the last 50 years, according to the World Economic Forum. Raising those pigs depletes natural resources and increases greenhouse gas emissions.

“Everything that we’re doing is trying to avert the biggest threat that the world is facing,” Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told The Associated Press.

Brown said the company decided pork should be its next product because customers were frequently requesting it.

Impossible Foods started working on the new products about 18 months ago and accelerated development in the second half of 2019.

Painful Effects of Vegan Diets

Brown said ground pork is also critical to meeting the company’s international expansion goals. While Americans eat more beef and chicken, pork is the most widely consumed meat worldwide, according to the National Pork Board. Chinese consumers eat more than 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of pork per year, compared to 65 pounds (30 kilograms) for Americans.

Brown said he believes a product like Impossible Pork is critical in China, which has limited arable land and relies heavily on imported meat. Last year, Chinese pork prices surged after African swine fever wiped out millions of pigs.

Brown said Impossible Foods is talking to Chinese regulators and potential partners that could make Impossible Pork — as well as plant-based burgers — in China.

“This is a huge opportunity for China in terms of its food security,” Brown said.

Impossible Foods is also waiting for approval from European regulators to sell its products there.

In the U.S., 2019 was a breakout year for plant-based meat. U.S. sales jumped 10% last year to nearly $1 billion; traditional meat sales rose 2% to $95 billion in that same time, according to Nielsen.

Impossible Foods rival Beyond Meat — which already sells plant-based sausage links — had a successful public stock offering in the spring.

Impossible Foods ran short of burgers in the first half of the year thanks to the buzz from Burger King. After partnering with OSI Group, a food service company, Brown said Impossible Foods produced twice as much of its plant-based meat in the last quarter of 2019 as it sold in all of 2018.

Vegan Activist Goes Back To Meat, Her Health Returns

“We have to keep scaling up as fast as we possibly can,” Brown said.

Brown said he welcomes new competitors in the space, including deep-pocketed rivals like Nestle and Tyson Foods. The meat industry is vast, he said, and plant-based meats are still only around 1% of sales.

His only concern is that plant-based products taste good enough to convince meat eaters to switch.

“A crappy product won’t win over meat lovers,” Brown said.

MORE ON TODAY’S HOMEPAGE: Sex Charges Against LA Rehab Mogul | Vanna’s Replacement | Fake Pork | China’s New Flu

Texas Reforms Feral Pig Law – No State License Required to Hunt

Live-captured hogs can be legally slaughtered and sold 

Ammoland Inc. Posted on June 10, 2019 by Dean Weingarten

Feral Pig Shot in Texas by Author

Governor Abbott has just signed another pro-liberty bill, this one about pig hunting. Texas has a problem with feral pigs. From smithsonianmag.com:

Wild hogs are among the most destructive invasive species in the United States today.

Two million to six million of the animals are wreaking havoc in at least 39 states and four Canadian provinces; half are in Texas, where they do some $400 million in damages annually.

They tear up recreational areas, occasionally even terrorizing tourists in state and national parks, and squeeze out other wildlife.

Texas allows hunters to kill wild hogs year-round without limits or capture them alive to take to slaughterhouses to be processed and sold to restaurants as exotic meat.

Thousands more are shot from helicopters. The goal is not eradication, which few believe possible, but control.

The pig in the picture was shot in Texas a few years ago. I was required to purchase an out of state Texas hunting license to shoot the pig and harvest the meat. At the time, I and my companions groused about the necessity of buying a hunting license in order to help Texans control their wild pigs.

It wasn’t that the cost was excessive, though it seemed counter-productive. It was the extra time and difficulty taken to obtain the license. Sure, it was only a stop at a WalMart. But when you are on a tight time budget (I was still working for Uncle Sam at the time), the extra time in finding the place to get the license, going there, and then going through the process to get it, was irritating.

Governor Abbott signed HB 317 into law on May 31, 2019. It passed the Senate, unanimously, on 11 April. It passed the House, unanimously, on 14 May. From news4sanantonio.com:

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has given some ammunition to those who are in a battle against Texas’ feral hog population.

Governor Abbott signed House Bill 317 which allows people to hunt feral hogs without a hunting license. The law, which was authored by Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineloa, was passed unanimously by the House and Senate before going to the governor’s desk.

The bill goes into effect on 1 September, 2019. This is not a huge step, but it is a something everyone in the legislature could agree on. Why put roadblocks in the way of controlling an invasive species that is doing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage?

Many Texas landowners already gain additional income by charging hunters to hunt feral pigs on their property. This bill simplifies things a little more, allowing the procedure to be completely between the landowners and the hunters.

In my experience, Texas feral pigs are fine eating. The one pictured was about a hundred pounds, and it was excellent. Pork from feral pigs tends to be much leaner than domestic pork. I am told the very large boars (over 300 pounds) are not as good for the table.

One Texan hunting guide told me, when asked what size he favored, that piglets were the best.

As with any animal, what the animal was eating prior to being harvested, how the carcass was processed in the field, and how the meat was butchered, stored, and prepared, can have significant effects on the palatability of the meat at the table.

Kudos to the Texas Legislature and to Governor Abbott.

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2019/06/texas-reforms-feral-pig-law-no-state-license-required-to-hunt/#ixzz6ALaebVkg
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
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