Patrick Brown on plant-meat that bleeds and the science of flavor
Not long ago, I had the chance to eat a burger from a company called Impossible Foods. The burger was delicious. It was juicy, savory, and bloody. Oh, and it was made from plants.Yes, they've created a veggie burger that bleeds. Patrick Brown is the CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods. His company is the Tesla of plant-based meat: they are trying to create a burger that carnivores will prefer to the thing cut from the side of the cow. And they've got some big backers in that effort: Brown has hundreds of millions of dollars from investors including Bill Gates and Google.I sat down with Brown, a biochemist, to talk about the science and business of Impossible Foods. Among other things, we discussed:- Why meat tastes like meat- How to find the flavor of blood in plants - The ways in which the company is mimicking Tesla's strategy for electric cars- The environmental impact of meat, and how plant-based burgers compare- What happens when you break down the individual flavors of your favorite foods- What it means for a food to be "natural"- Why the market for plant-based proteins hasn't developed many premium productsAnd much more. This episode is interesting even if you love your animal protein and will never, ever give it up: we're really talking here about the science of flavor, the business of food, and whether you can combine technology and marketing to change the most entrenched consumer behaviors of all.
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