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Inside the Bill Gates-backed startup on a mission to reinvent meat


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The world's population could reach nine billion people by 2050.

The bad news for carnivores: There aren't enough resources on the planet to support sustainable animal agriculture at that scale. Raising chickens, pigs, and cattle already takes up 30% of the Earth's surface.

A number of companies are tackling the challenge with meat and dairy alternatives, but one stealthy startup out of Redwood City, California, has garnered buzz with a veggie burger it says is indistinguishable from real beef.

Impossible Foods recognizes that most veggie burgers resemble pan-fried Frisbees more closely than meat. Their mission to reinvent the burger targets the most ardent meat-lovers, with an offering that sizzles, smells, and even bleeds on the griddle.

The Impossible Burger became available at Momofuku Nishi in New York over the summer. Starting October 13, people on the West Coast can try the burger at three restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Business Insider recently toured the lab and test kitchen at Impossible Food's headquarters to see how the future of plant-based meat comes together.

In a Redwood City, California, office building with blacked-out windows, scientists, foodies, and Silicon Valley veterans work on making the perfect veggie burger.

But don't call it a "veggie burger" within earshot of founder Pat Brown and his team. In 2011, they set out on a mission to make a plant-based burger unmistakably meaty. While a black bean or mushroom burger fools no one, the Impossible Burger might.

"I have no reason to believe cows make the best meat," Chris Davis, director of research and development at Impossible Foods, tells Business Insider.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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