Can these mock meat entrepreneurs fool you with a plant-based burger?

 

PBS News Hour

Nov 9, 2017

 

As attitudes toward meat-eating shift and climate-conscious consumers experiment with alternatives, investors are throwing their money at mock meat startups that are replicating the smell and texture of a meaty burger. Economics correspondent Paul Solman explores the emerging technology that might help Americans wean off of their meat habit.

 

Read the Full Transcript

 

††† Judy Woodruff:

 

††† But, first, letís turn to a story about the business of food.

 

††† Economics correspondent Paul Solman takes a look at two start-ups aiming to help the planet and improve health by serving up plant-based burgers that they think will wean Americans off meat.

 

††† Itís part of his weekly series, Making Sense.

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† It looks like a burger, cooks like a burger, bleeds like a burger.

 

††† Narrator:

 

††† Introducing the impossible burger. Itís meat made from entirely from plants invented by a pretty cool scientist Pat Brown.

 

††† Hi, Pat.

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† Pat is CEO of a hot start-up called Impossible Foods.

 

††† This is your impossible place?

 

††† Patrick Brown:

 

††† This is where the magic happens.

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† In a lab-to-table operation thatís raised nearly 300 million venture capital dollars in Silicon Valley to make mock meat.

 

††† Whatís your background? Where were you from before this? I mean, what were you doing before this?

 

††† Patrick Brown:

 

††† I was a professor at Stanford for 25 years, the medical school.

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† And just why has a famous tenured ballyhooed biochemist flipped his super safe career to flip burgers?

 

††† Patrick Brown:

 

††† I realized that animals are just a prehistoric technology, that using animals to produce food is the most destructive technology in use on Earth today. The solution to the problem is develop a better technology.

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† So, his lab rejiggers plant molecules to replicate the fleshy flavor and texture, even the aroma.

 

††† So, this is ó so you get the smell of the burger, right?

 

††† Celeste Holz-schietinger:

 

††† Correct. This is an olfactometer

 

††† Paul Solman:

 

††† Impossibleís flavor scientist, Celeste Holz-Schietinger.

 

††† But why is smell so important?

 

††† Celeste Holz-schietinger:

 

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https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/can-these-mock-meat-entrepreneurs-fool-you-with-a-plant-based-burger