In the realm of lab-grown meats, the idea of deriving a burger from plant cells seems to be an easier sell than the kind cultivated from animal cells. Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley startup with a braintrust drawn from the hallowed halls of Stanford and investors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, debuted to the public last summer through a star chef-driven collaboration with the Momofuku Group’s David Chang. A year later, and their Impossible Burger is available at a growing number of specialty burger bars (like Umami Burger) and fine dining restaurants in California, New York and Texas. The company recently celebrated their first year in the market with Impossible BurgerFests in New York and Los Angeles and $75 million in funding.
These lab-grown veggie burgers have little in common with their black bean or lentil patty cousins and aim to share the table with their beefier cousins. In the video below by Quartz, the Impossible Foods team discusses the flavor science, neuroscience behind reverse engineering the experience of eating an animal-derived burger using plant cells.