Not So Impossible: Silicon Valley Company Leads Way to Sustainable Food - NBC Bay Area
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Not So Impossible: Silicon Valley Company Leads Way to Sustainable Food

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    Silicon Valley Company Leads Way to Sustainable Food

    As the Amazon Rainforest burned, climate experts at Stanford University's planetary health conference knew what it meant. Scott Budman reports.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    As the Amazon Rainforest burned, climate experts at Stanford University's planetary health conference knew what it meant.

    "They're doing it to grow corn and soy to feed cattle." said Christopher Gardner, professor of medicine at Stanford.

    Cattle to feed the planet's insatiable appetite for beef is doing harm to the earth.

    "And if you do the math and see about greenhouse gasses, water usage, biodiversity, land usage, phosphorus, we're really doing a number on the planet," Gardner said.

    But they are cooking up a different way in Silicon Valley.

    At the kitchen at the Redwood City headquarters of Impossible Foods, chefs and scientists work side-by-side to make the Impossible Burger.

    The food is plant-based, vegan, and more importantly, not doing any harm to the environment.

    "We need to make meat that is just credible, just as juicy, seared, able to mimic everything we love about meat without the cow," said Rachel Konrad of Impossible Foods.

    David Lipman leads the efforts at Impossible Foods. The company launched eight years ago by a Stanford professor.

    "We're using the most advanced technology to understand what is the basis of the flavor, the basis of the texture, and what are commonly available ingredients," Lipman said.

    It's an idea catching on -- from waistlines to Wall Street.

    Plant-based company Beyond Meat went public in May and is already valued at $10 billion.

    Impossible, while still private, is also a unicorn several times over. Consumer can find the company's burgers in restaurants, at Burger King -- and that's just the beginning.

    "The target is the carnivore who absolutely loves meat," Konrad said.

    And they'll be able to reach a lot more potential customers.

    Impossible Foods just announced it will be selling in retail stores.

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