With today’s environment of anti-GMO fearmongering, marketing, and mandatory labeling, who would have guessed that there would be so many think pieces on Impossible’s White Castle launch with hardly any mention of the fact that the slider is GMO-based? Did the hysteria around GMOs suddenly stop? Unfortunately, despite the occasional lifestyle piece taking a reasoned look at GMOs, the hysteria is still here. But there’s a strange, near-Beyoncé-level halo surrounding the Impossible Slider and its big brother, the Impossible Burger. Why?
I believe the explanation is straightforward: the Impossible Burger is better.
It is a better plant-based burger. For those seeking an non-meat experience as close as possible to eating a real meat burger, Impossible Foods’ “beef” is more meat-like than any other vegetarian burger on the market. And that alternative is only possible because of genetic engineering. Impossible Foods uses bioengineered yeast to create the key ingredient — “heme” — that imparts the burger’s blood red color and iron-rich, meat-like taste.
The lesson for other synbio startups worried about anti-GMO sentiment is simple: use bioengineering to make a better product.
Editor’s note: Stephen Lamb is a co-founder of ZBiotics, a company that makes bioengineered probiotics
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