The Impossible Burger as the Staple of Vegan Food
The growing popularity of vegan food has become an apparent currency in cultural exchange in the US. Los Angeles isn’t just all about Hollywood glitz and glamor, it’s also all about the healthy and plant-based lifestyle. Eating healthy and cleansing oneself from meat, fried food, dairy, and sugar have become part of the way Angeleans live and function on a daily basis. Looking for healthier alternatives has become a rule of thumb for vegans and vegetarians alike, among other plant-based eating habits practiced in the West and even in the world.
The Vegan Culture in the West
People from and living in Los Angeles, California don’t make the majority of the percentage of vegans in America. With that being said, what exactly is a vegan and what is comprises their diet? According to statistics website Statista, vegans basically exercise a lifestyle of abstinence from animal products, which means avoiding products and substances like eggs, meat, meat-derived products, dairy, and products like honey, silk, and other insect products.
In 2017, vegan and vegetarian food was worth around $2 billion, a figure which had grown by 23% over the previous year, with dairy alternatives being the most demanded products in the emerging vegan movement. Almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk were common in demand staples in the vegan diet 2 years ago and hae continued to rise in popularity in recent years, bringing in $1.8 billion to the US vegan market in 2016.
The vegan market hasn’t slowed down, garnering as much as $3.3 billion in vegan food sales in the US last year. According to the trade organization Plant Based Foods Association, vegan ingredients for cooking and plant-based dairy alternatives have accumulated a significant growth in sales. This includes products like plant-based cheeses which rose to 43% in sales by 124 million, and yogurt which reflected $162 million in sales with a 55% growth in 2018. Also, meat-substitute products have skyrocketed by 24%, amassing $670 million in sales, alongside plant-based creamers which had a huge impact of a 131% increase in the $109 million sale it produced in the last year alone, according to Plant Based News.
Faux Perfection: The Impossible Burger
The forecast for this new plant-based and anti-animal consumption diet has fueled quite a number of lifestyle changes for people and is expected to grow to over $5 billion by 2024. With this trend continuously finding ways to motivate people to go vegan and adopt a more environmentally conscious way of eating and living, restaurants and dining establishments have slowly been incorporating vegan options and specialties in their menus.
In the last few years, a burger trend has emerged in the metropolitan parts of the US, challenging many other burger joints and fast food retailers. The company Impossible Foods’ best selling product, Impossible Burger, was introduced to foodies’ must-try list when it was founded in 2011. It’s a vegan version of a juicy and meaty burger patty presented in the exact same way as a regular burger. The only difference is that its ingredients are made up of plant-based ingredients, it not contain any animal products or by-products, and it does not use animal testing to evaluate the safety of its heme protein, according to CNET.
Aside from being vegan, the Impossible Burger is also certified halal and kosher. It contains mostly organic ingredients which are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Its burgers are just below 300 calories and contain 20 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, as well as nearly 400 million milligrams of sodium. The Impossible Burger is not just one type of burger you can get from one restaurant, but more like a burger patty substitute. Impossible Foods sells to various partner restaurants to help cultivate the vegan dining experience in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
Making Way for More Impossible Feats
Impossible Foods has more than 5,000 restaurants collaborating with their meats and even fast food retailers like Burger King, Red Robin, White Castle, Umami Burger, and Qdoba have partnered with them. The company is leaning towards expanding in grocery stores and hopes to release a “raw” version to be sold in groceries by the end of 2019. However, this goal has been quite a challenge for the company, with struggles to meet the ongoing demands for burgers and several restaurants, resulting in a shortage of production. However, the shortage was eased by a recent $300 million from fundraising. Whether or not you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or even carnivore at heart, one question will certainly pop up in every person’s mind after a bite from the Impossible Burger: how is this possible?
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