The new ‘Impossible Burger’ is so realistic the human body might not be able to tell the difference.
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Have you heard of the Impossible Burger? It’s widely considered to be the best vegetarian burger for folks who want a veggie burger that most closely resembles one made from meat.

It’s become a massive hit in America, showing up in restaurants across the country and often selling out in popular dining spots.

The founders recently unveiled the “Impossible 2.0” during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In fact, it’s the first ever food product to be displayed by the legendary trade show and reportedly “left the crowd stunned with its smell, texture, flavor and color -- almost like a real hamburger.”


And the 2.0 is such a masterful approximation of the “real thing” that it made one vegetarian food critic physically ill as his primal mind told his body he was eating meat, even though his conscious mind knew he was eating a plant-based food.

“I have a pretty strong stomach. Roller coasters are my jam. Virtual reality never makes me queasy,” Joan Solsman writes on CNET, noting she’s been a vegetarian for more than 10 years.

Solsman was tasting out some of the 2.0 in the form of a pseudo steak tartare, noting that even the local Vegas chef said he couldn’t tell the difference between animal-based steak other than tasting less iron. So far so good. Then Solsman swallowed her first bit of the Impossible creation.

My stomach started objecting to what was going on in my mouth. "I haven't had beef in more than a decade," I said through my mouthful, hoping the disclaimer might mask my growing revulsion. "It's kind of grossing me out."

Solsman said she had a much better experience eating the traditional preparation of the Impossible -- in burger form:

The very best was the actual burger -- with the soft bun, tangy sauce, zesty crunch of barely-there raw onion and refreshing crisp of lettuce and tomato. Combined with the juicy, chewy patty, it tasted amazing because it tasted like a real burger.

However, she also notes that she’s not necessarily opposed to meat -- after all, she only became a vegetarian because of her husband.

And even the real steak tartare isn’t necessarily a big hit with traditional carnivores. Still, it’s hard to deny the allure of one vegetarian’s body literally rejecting what on some level it is convinced is actual meat.

Like the emerging industry of lab-grown meat, the Impossible line of products is offering an increasingly viable alternative that has much, much more to offer than simply a tasty option for those already on the vegetarian or vegan side of the aisle.

After all, reducing our consumption of meat -- and eventually phasing out livestock farms entirely -- is great for the environment, good for reducing the spread of viruses, and, of course, great for the animals we’re not killing.

If we can do all that while enjoying a burger so good it makes some people sick, all the better.

And if you think that’s something special, just wait. Impossible founder Pat Brown said the company’s next unveiling is going to be a vegan steak.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.