Moving Mountains has created a plant-based burger that could really shake up the meat industry

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Moving Mountains plant-based burger

Moving Mountains is a British startup founded by Simeon Van der Molen, who is also Chairman of Ecozone, a company that manufactures environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free household products.

Sustainability is at the heart of Moving Mountains, which is why they’re launching a 100% plant-based burger. People are becoming increasingly aware of the devastating effects of animal agriculture, which can help explain why ‘meatless meats’ are on the rise.

 

The UK’s very own Beyond Burger

US companies Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have developed their own meatless burger patties, called the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, respectively. Both are only available in a few select stores and restaurants in the US, but those who have tried them (vegans and meat-eaters alike) say they taste like the real deal.

This has made vegans and meat-eaters all over the world eager to sample them, to see if they live up to the hype. Luckily, Beyond Meat’s CEO Seth Goldman has said that he intends to launch the Beyond Burger in the UK early this year. Which is also when Moving Mountains’ burger is set to hit the shelves.

Moving Mountains’ burger is very similar to the Beyond Burger in terms of its high protein content and fortification with vitamin B12. They both also look and sizzle like meat, and even ‘bleed’ (due to the inclusion of beets). It’s not clear why vegans – or meat-eaters for that matter – would want a burger that bleeds, since burgers normally don’t, but this does seem to be part of the trend.

It’s interesting to note that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the Impossible Burger as safe for consumption due to its special ingredient – soy leghemoglobin – which is what makes the burger bleed. The FDA argues that people have never consumed this genetically engineered ingredient before and so it could be an allergen.

On the other hand, Impossible Foods say they have tested the safety of the ingredient, made by genetically modifying yeast and using a fermentation process, stressing that it is not an allergen. The ingredient carries heme, which is crucial because this is what allows the burger to sizzle, smell, taste and bleed like meat. The company said:

 

Humans have been eating heme everyday for hundreds of thousands of years. The heme in the Impossible Burger is atom-for-atom identical to the heme found in meat, fish, plants and other foods.

 

In contrast, the FDA says using nitrites to preserve meat is safe, even though we now know that these preservatives, when cooked, can create carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds.

UK residents can feel safe in the knowledge, however, that Moving Mountains’ burger contains neither nitrites nor soy leghemoglobin.

 

The environmental benefits of meatless meat 

Like Pat Brown – the founder of Impossible Foods – Van der Molen’s environmental concerns are a key motivation for the creation of the burger. He said:

 

Our 100 per cent plant-based meat B12 Burger has taken scientists, chefs and farmers over two years to make and is the closest replication to animal meat in the UK, but requires less land, less water and produces less greenhouse emissions.

The environmental impact of the animal agriculture industry is becoming catastrophic and so it is essential that technological innovation keeps up to provide a real solution for food that is sustainable but doesn’t compromise on taste, therefore providing a viable alternative for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

 

Even if these plant-based burgers can get close to the taste of meat without completely replicating it, is the difference in the taste of real meat really worth all of the associated environmental damage?

Also, future developments in the meatless meats industry could eventually produce burgers that are truly indistinguishable from actual meat. When that happens – and when plant-based meat becomes affordable – then we can all start eating sustainably.

 

About the author: Sam Woolfe @samwoolfe

Sam is a writer who is especially interested in space exploration, sustainability, animal agriculture, nutrition, wellbeing and smart drugs.

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