I am seeking to raise awareness regarding the highly publicized Impossible Burger. While Impossible Foods has aggressively driven the roll-out of this product, it presents some unpalatable issues.
Advertised as “the burger that bleeds,” this products star power comes from the addition of leghemoglobin, a protein that can be found in the blood and muscles of animals, and also the roots of soybean plants. While this ingredient may sound innocuous, the FDA has actually questioned its' safety and lack of long-term testing. Due to a glitch in U.S. law, Impossible Foods by-passed the FDA and did a full-scale roll-out of its product, without ever convincing the FDA that the burger is safe to eat or allergen-free. The Center for Food Safety and other consumer groups have now filed a lawsuit against the FDA over its exemption of food additives from pre-market approval because of this legal loophole.
Leghemoglobin or heme (pronounced HEEM) is the ingredient that gives the Impossible Burger the ability to “bleed” like “real” meat. Impossible Foods uses genetically engineered yeast to produce this ingredient in a lab; thus it has never really been consumed by humans.
And there's more. According to Bloomberg news, studies from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reported there’s “strong evidence” that eating heme can contribute to the formation of carcinogens in the gut.1
Many people who eat veggie burgers do so for health purposes, and/or because they are vegan or vegetarian. They follow dietary practices that demand products be healthful, whole-food, and hopefully, non-GMO. The Impossible Burger is none of these. Worse, it is a completely genetically-engineered food that is not approved by the FDA.
Consider the following quote taken from the Impossible Burger website:
QUESTION: Do you produce heme by genetic modification?
ANSWER: Yes. We genetically engineer yeast to make a key ingredient: heme. The process allows us to produce the Impossible Burger at scale with the lowest achievable environmental impact.
Please consider boycotting the Impossible Burger, or if you are an eating establishment, removing it from your menu and replacing it instead with a whole-food, non-GMO, vegetarian (or vegan) burger. There are many healthy and delicious options available from local industries that can replace this psuedo-burger. Your health conscious patrons will appreciate it!
1 - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-18/fda-delays-response-to-impossible-burger-s-magic-ingredient