Fishless Fish? Impossible Foods Is Developing Fake Seafood for Vegetarians
Impossible Foods is cooking up something sure to make even more of a splash than their Impossible Burger: a fish product totally free of fish.
The California company known for whipping up patties made entirely of plants has set its sights on doing the same for seafood, according to the New York Times.
“The only way we can succeed is to make fish from plants that is more delicious than the fish that’s strip mined from the ocean,” chief executive Pat Brown told the publication.
The Times reports that Impossible Foods has been working on developing alternatives to fish and other seafood through plant-based recipes or by growing cells in laboratories. To recreate the seafood flavor, Brown said the company uses heme, a protein also seen in their meat formula.
The heme is made by fermenting a genetically engineered yeast and injecting it with DNA from soy plants, according to the Impossible website.
Brown said Impossible was able to concoct a plant-based broth last month that tasted like anchovies and was used to make paella.
Upon introducing the Impossible Burger, the company made it clear that its mission was to eliminate meat from diets in the hopes of helping save the environment.
“Animal agriculture occupies almost half the land on earth, consumes a quarter of our freshwater and destroys our ecosystem,” the company says on its website.
Impossible seems to be focused on a similar goal in manufacturing seafood products, as Brown told the Times that declining the fish population was “an ongoing meltdown.”
They wouldn’t be the first company to put fishless fish on shelves; the Times reports that Good Catch already sells fish-free tuna at Whole Foods, while Wild Type has developed vegetarian salmon through cells grown in labs, though it took the latter three and a half weeks to create a pound of the fish.
Impossible, which hopes to offer a replacement for every animal-based food by 2035, has gone more mainstream in recent months, with Burger King introducing an Impossible Whopper to the menu at its St. Louis locations in April.
The patties are also available at chain restaurants like White Castle, Umami Burger, Bareburger and Wahlburgers.