21st century veggie burger: ‘Bloody-pink and fleshy’ thanks to genetic engineering

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The 20th century veggie burger was a beige patty packed with whole grains and carrot chunks, sold in a brown paper wrapper. The 21st century version? It’s bloody-pink and fleshy, thanks to heme, an ingredient created via genetic engineering.

To those steeped in the natural-food movement, the acronym GMO — for genetically modified organisms — has traditionally been almost as taboo as a plate of braised veal. However, that view could be changing as a new generation of Bay Area entrepreneurs upends the alternative meat and dairy industry, using biotechnology to create vegetarian foods that taste more like meat and promise ecological advantages to boot.

“As somebody who has my entire life been a hard-core environmentalist — I went vegan for a large part for that reason — genetic engineering is one of the most important tools we can use in terms of environmental conservation,” said Mike Selden, co-founder and CEO of Finless Foods in San Francisco, which is replicating fish fillets out of stem cells, though not currently with genetic engineering.

Not everyone agrees, and as these products hit the market — including the aforementioned “veggie burger that bleeds” from Impossible Foods — consumer and environmental groups have called for greater oversight and testing than what’s currently required by the federal government.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Meatless, tasty and genetically modified: a healthy debate

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