Science and technology often cross paths. Every year the CES event in Las Vegas unveils many new innovations in which could go on to revolutionize our daily routines. These innovations can range anywhere from new cars to new home appliances to new burgers. Yes, you read correctly, new and innovative burgers! This has us asking today’s big and tasty question: What’s the newest burger technology? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
Science and technology have paired up to send humans to the moon, provide us access to the internet on our phones, invent better medicines, create the perfect snuggie, and beyond. Occasionally food gets involved in the science and technology world too. At this year’s CES in Las Vegas the folks at the Impossible Burger company had some big news. But first let’s take a quick look back at their last release. In 2016 we chatted about the Impossible Burger, a plant based patty designed to look and feel like a real burger from a cow. Many folks that did a taste test also were surprised by how much it tasted like a real burger.
The secret to the Impossible Burger's success is HEME, a plant protein with iron which provides the flavors we associate with meat. Now the Impossible Burger company has rolled out their latest technological food product, Burger 2.0! Similar to their other release this one also comes with a whole lot of new upgrades and features for us to geek out on. So what are the new features of this new edible technological creation? Well simply put, it’s gluten free and can be used in place of beef in any recipe.
The 2016 Impossible Burger was only able to be made into a patty, delicious but limits meal options. Another issue was that they used wheat protein making this out of reach for a gluten free diet. So, the wheat protein formula has been swapped out for a new soy formula and viola we have Burger 2.0! This change allows for this heme laden food to take on the shape of meatballs, patties, crumbles, and whatever else one would associate with traditional beef options plus it's now Gluten free as well.
Why all this fuss over fake meat? Keep in mind that real beef production requires a lot of resources. The cattle industry is also responsible for some huge wastes on our planet as well. In fact nearly 2 billion tons of food (equaling about a trillion dollars worth of food) is wasted every year with livestock related items being about 78% of that waste. Just consider the water footprint of beef for a moment. Nearly 1800 gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef, but for a pound of Burger 2.0 you only need a quarter of that. These lab grown foods could substantially lower environmental impact while elevating health and nourishment benefits for many places around the globe.
Burger 2.0 will make its way into the marketplace throughout 2019, initially at select restaurants, but then eventually into super markets. Currently the company has an interesting plan to limit distribution to specific places. Select high end restaurants, casual dining eateries, and fast food locations have been carrying this product, but the hope is for the 2.0 version to make it into grocery stores by the end of the year. Representatives from the company are saying they want to keep prices comparable to regular beef in order to truly compete in that industry.
There you go, science and technology at work. A friendly reminder that science and technology have been able to take us from horse rides to self driving electric vehicles. With that said, these leaps in innovation can happen for food as well. This is just one of the many fake-meat options being developed as more and more people begin to reduce their consumption of red meat for healthier alternatives.
So what did these scientists say to each other after introducing Burger 2.0? Duh, Well Done!!