Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Hong Kong mogul Li Ka-shing are among the millionaire investors in Impossible Foods , a company founded by Stanford University biochemist Patrick O. Brown whose purpose is the creation of source foods. vegetable that have the same flavor as meat or equivalent dairy products, and thus be more environmentally friendly.
It should be remembered that meat, above all, is a great consumer of energy, land and water. For example, producing 500 grams of meat requires 10,000 liters of water. Livestock production accounts for 70% of all agricultural land and covers 30% of the Earth’s surface. How to support the demand for meat that is estimated for the year 2050, which will be double that of today?
Both companies are trying to bring food to the table through technology that is much more environmentally friendly and more cost effective to the world.
Manufacturing meat has dire consequences for the environment. So the target of the impossible food is the proud carnivores. Those who love the taste of meat. However, that meat will not come from animals.
With this premise, variables of a ‘hamburger 4.0’ are being experimented, with five vegetables as basic ingredients and a production cost of $ 20 . The secret of its flavor and its appearance is a molecule called heme, present in hemoglobin and responsible for the characteristic flavor of red meat. This component is also found in the roots of some vegetables and legumes.
The result is so real that it has not gone unnoticed by investors. Among them, Bill Gates and Google Ventures , business angels of the business. For this reason, a team of more than 50 people made up of engineers, farmers, chemists, scientists and chefs are dedicated to making a hamburger that, in reality, it is not.
And this is just the beginning of animal meat alternatives. In 2013, researchers from the University of Maastricht already announced the first hamburger obtained from bovine stem cells . This type of hamburger will have 96% less greenhouse gas emissions and will represent 99% less acreage.