Impossible Burgers Opens Huge East Oakland Production Plant

Launched last week, the plant is expected to produce a million pounds of faux flesh per month.


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Image courtesy of Impossible Foods

Mass-production of mock-meat burgers began last week at a huge 68,000-square-foot East Oakland plant.

It is the first large-scale plant operated by Redwood City-based Impossible Foods -- maker of what media pundits call "the first veggie burger that bleeds" and it is expected to produce enough plant-based "meat" to create about a million Impossible Burgers per week, according to BusinessWire.

Production at the Oakland plant will soon further expand. The company expects to produce a million pounds of hormone-, antibiotic-, cholesterol-free faux flesh per month.

"In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger is the world's only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows -- but is made entirely from plants, with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals," according to BusinessWire.

“Our mission to transform the global food system is urgent, and the opportunity is huge," said Impossible Foods CEO and founder Patrick O'Reilly Brown, as quoted in BusinessWire. 

A professor emeritus in the Stanford University biochemistry department, Brown was deeply concerned with sustainable agriculture and food production for many years before founding the company in 2011. Impossible Burgers quickly attracted attention when they started being served at trendy spots such as Momofuku in New York City and Jardiniére in San Francisco. They are now also served at Umami Burger and Gott's Roadside, among other restaurants.

"We are embarking on one of the most ambitious scale-ups of any startup in the food industry," Brown said of the Oakland plant.

"Our goal is to make delicious, sustainable, nutritious and affordable meat for everyone, as soon as possible.”

What makes Impossible Burgers "bleed" is soy leghemoglobin -- a laboratory-produced protein that has aroused some controversy, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

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