The Impossible Burger and Its Possible Risks

The meat substitute created by Impossible Foods contains a mix of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and “heme” derived from genetically engineered (GE) yeast. A primary ingredient in the Impossible Burger is GE soy leghemoglobin, which releases a heme-like protein when broken down.

This protein is what gives the plant-based patty its meatlike look, taste and texture, and makes the patty “bleed” when cooked. While the company refers to it as “heme,” technically, plants produce non-heme iron. Heme iron only occurs in meat and seafood. A main difference between heme and non-heme iron has to do with their absorbability.

Plant-based non-heme iron is less readily absorbed. This is one of the reasons why vegans are at higher risk of iron deficiency anemia than meat eaters. Moreover, while soy leghemoglobin is found in the roots of soybean plants, the company is recreating it using GE yeast. As explained on the company website: Cotninue reading…