Impossible Foods opens first facility to produce ‘veggie burger that bleeds’ thanks to GM yeast

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[September 7th marked] the opening of Impossible Foods’ new East Oakland plant, meaning that the cult veggie burger that San Francisco diners have lined up to taste will soon make its way to hundreds of restaurants nationwide.

The company estimates that the new Oakland plant will be able to produce 1 million pounds of plant-based meat per month when running at full capacity, which it says is enough to enough to supply 1,000 restaurants. It also claims to be working on other plant-based meat and dairy substitutes.

Founded by former Stanford University biochemistry professor Pat Brown in 2011, Impossible Foods has become famous for its plant-based burger. The “meat” is primarily made from wheat and potato protein and flavored with coconut fat and “heme,” a hemoglobin-like molecule produced by genetically modified yeast cells. The latter lends a blood-like tint and flavor, earning the Impossible Burger the nickname “the veggie burger that bleeds” and drawing criticism from anti-GMO groups.

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