Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods—which came first? While the Impossible burger lags behind the earliest generations of Beyond Meat products, the San Francisco-based business remains a pioneer in both the retail and restaurant spaces. What started as an upscale restaurant burger served solely in New York City's finest eateries quickly devolved into a two-for-$6 Impossible Whopper accompanied by retail shelf space and extra meaty goods such as sausages and chicken nuggets. Given the market saturation and amount of media hits, it's normal to have questions about this giant firm. From what Impossible meat is composed of to where to purchase the nuggets, here is your comprehensive guide to Impossible meat.
The origins of Impossible Foods
The idea for Impossible Foods came to Patrick Brown, a biochemistry professor at Stanford University at the time when he was on sabbatical. It was the same year that Beyond Meat made its debut as a firm, however, the Beyond Burger as we know it today was still a few years away. Brown saw the damage caused by the present food system and sought to establish a more sustainable alternative, beginning with beef. Brown established a team of culinary scientists and business astute people to develop a firm around the first product, the Impossible Burger while continuing to work at Stanford until 2013.
Impossible Foods, unlike Beyond Meat, did not target the retail sector from the outset. Taking a cue from Oatly, which launched in the United States in 2016, Impossible Foods went the foodservice approach in the hopes that professionals would best exhibit the product and generate early adopter awareness. The first Impossible Burger was served in New York City at famous chef David Chang's Momofuku Nishi restaurant (which has since been permanently shuttered). “We are pleased to have a chef of David Chang's ability and vision as our anchor chef in New York.” “The Impossible Burger is progressing to the next level of flavor under David's skillful touch,” Brown said of the debut. The Nishi Style Impossible Burger had romaine lettuce, a beefsteak tomato slice, pickles, and a special sauce held together between two potato buns.
Following a successful debut, Impossible sold its grounds to high-end restaurants in California, including Jardiniere in San Francisco and Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, in the fall of 2016. By 2017, the Impossible Burger could be seen on the menus of chain restaurants such as Bareburger and Umami Burger, and in 2018, White Castle made history by being the first large fast-food restaurant to add the burger to its menu. Impossible Burgers were available in over 5,000 eateries across the United States and Hong Kong by the end of that year. Never one to let up, the firm topped its 2018 triumph by introducing the Impossible Whopper in Burger King outlets around the country. That same year, Impossible patties made its retail debut, competing for shelf space with its main competitor, Beyond Meat.
In 2019, seeing an Impossible Burger on any given menu was standard practice. In the shape of flexible grinds, Impossible's sausage has also made its way into retail and restaurant menus. Frozen Impossible Meatballs followed, and in the autumn of 2021, the company debuted Impossible Pig for food service exclusively, to match the wild success of Hong Kong's vegan pork product, Omnipork. The company's plant-based pork product, like the original Impossible Burger, was launched in a David Chang restaurant, Momofuku Ssam Bar, before expanding to over 100 more locations in the United States and Hong Kong.
While Impossible continued to refine and expand its beef and pork offerings, it was developing another product to join the next trend in vegan meat alternatives—chicken nuggets. Impossible's tit-for-tat with Beyond Meat followed in September 2021 in the shape of a golden, crispy chicken nugget. The nuggets were initially exclusively offered as limited-time deals at certain eateries, but they eventually made their way into nearly 10,000 grocery shops.
Expansion into new stores and restaurants appears to be top of mind for Impossible Foods, but innovation also plays a significant role. milk might be the next Impossible product to hit the market. In October 2020, the company stated that it has increased its research and development staff to focus its efforts on developing a completely functioning plant-based milk substitute.
What is the meat by Impossible Foods manufactured from?
In the previous six years, impossible meat has progressed. Impossible Burgers 2.0 and later 3.0 eliminated gluten and increased iron and protein content to make them more equivalent to cow-based counterparts. Impossible patties are far from the homemade vegetarian burger, and the ingredients reflect that. The majority of the burger is made up of soy protein concentrate, which is combined with coconut oil to simulate the juicy sizzle of beef. These essential elements are combined with a variety of natural tastes, starches, dextrose, methylcellulose, salt, and fortified vitamins and minerals.
Impossible nuggets are likewise vitamin-fortified and soy-based, but they also contain wheat gluten, spices, maize flour, yeast extract, and leavening.
Is the meat from Impossible Foods healthy?
Many people have claimed that Impossible Foods goods are unhealthy because of their unusual components. This is an objective statement—it depends on what you're comparing them to. Impossible's plant-based goods are healthier than their animal-based counterparts because they have a comparable nutritious profile without the additional cholesterol of animal-based meals. Plant-based meats are also less likely to be contaminated with zoonotic illness or animal feces, which are occasionally crushed into a final product.
Having said that, Impossible meat is still a recreation of a usually harmful diet. As a result, consuming it frequently is not the greatest thing for your health. Five Impossible Nuggets, for example, provide 240 calories, 12 grams of fat (1.5 grams saturated fat), and 480 milligrams of salt (which equates to one-fifth of the recommended daily sodium intake). Returning to the animal-based nugget comparison, a similar-sized serving of frozen regular chicken nuggets includes 270 calories, 17 grams of fat (4 grams saturated fat), 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 470 milligrams of salt, and no dietary fiber (Impossible Nuggets contain 2 grams of fiber).
Impossible meat, like any burger, sausage patty, or chicken nugget, should be consumed in moderation. Yes, it's a healthier alternative to a beef-based Whopper, but it's still a Whopper.
Impossible Foods Products Menu
The company presently produces five plant-based types of meat for retail and foodservice. Here's the lowdown on all of the juicy, meaty delights.
- The Impossible Burger
The Impossible Burger, the brand's first product, is available in supermarkets and restaurants around the country in both patty and ground form. It is the company's most widely distributed product and, without a doubt, the most adaptable ground alternative. The patties provide 19 grams of protein, 240 calories, 25% of the daily iron requirement, plus a variety of other vitamins and minerals. To be sure, this nutritional package contains eight grams of saturated fat and 14 grams of total fat.
- The Impossible Meatballs
Impossible Meatballs are most typically seen stuffed into hoagies in the foodservice industry, but they also pander extensively to grocery store buyers. You may find them in the freezer department of your local supermarket. Three meatballs provide 200 calories, 12 grams of fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 400 milligrams of salt, 12 grams of protein, and a variety of fortified vitamins and minerals. Aside from pasta and marinara, these meaty pieces are fantastic when drenched in herbaceous vegan gravy.
- The Impossible Chicken Nuggets
Impossible's Chicken is another choice in the vegan nugget mania, and it's very accurate in terms of nostalgia. While the nuggets are frequently available in frozen sections of big retailers, they are difficult to obtain in restaurants.
- The Impossible Sausage
Impossible Sausage has been ground to increase its adaptability for both supermarket consumers and restaurant service, refusing to confine itself to typical link casing. The product is available in two flavors: savory and spicy. A two-ounce portion of Impossible Sausage comprises 130 calories, nine grams of fat (four grams of saturated fat), seven grams of protein, and 380 grams of sodium, making it the lightest of the Impossible range. Restaurants use it to top plant-based pizzas or to make spicy breakfast patties, among other rich meals.
- The Impossible Pork
The Impossible brand's newest offering is ground plant-based pork produced particularly for eateries. A four-ounce portion includes 220 calories, 13 grams of fat (seven grams of saturated fat), 18 grams of protein, and 290 grams of salt, just like its pig-based origin. Not many restaurants have added this plant-based delicacy to their menus yet, but based on the brand's record for growth, we expect to see Impossible Pork significantly more frequently in the not-too-distant future.
Where Can I Get Impossible Foods?
Impossible Foods is continually changing and expanding, with stores and restaurants acquiring the product weekly. Some, like the chicken nuggets, are only available for a limited period, but the majority of the time, the goods are available indefinitely.
The great majority of Impossible Foods' meat replacements are available in a variety of large and regional grocery shops, including Kroger, Gelson's, Albertsons, and even Trader Joe's. Impossible patties and beef grinds, sausage, meatballs, and chicken nuggets are among the retail-ready goods. Many of them are also available at independent and franchise restaurants, ranging from Umami Burger to the Cheesecake Factory.
Impossible Pork is the exotic one, it is available in just a few places in the United States and Hong Kong for the time being.
See the shop and restaurant finder for an interactive directory of Impossible Foods' plant-based meats.