Impossible Burger making New England debut at Clover Food Lab

The plant-based burger made by Impossible Foods is making its Massachusetts debut Saturday at Clover Food Lab, a food truck-turned-fast casual created by Ayr Muir, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University alum. Clover's goal is to decrease the environmental footprint of the nation's growing restaurant sector by making food that's delicious, nutritious and sustainable, according to a company press release.

"Clover and Impossible Foods are totally aligned in our mission and vision: To make the global food chain sustainable and robust, one delicious meal at a time," said Muir, who launched his business as a food truck on the MIT campus in 2008. "I look forward to growing with Impossible Foods and bringing Impossible's plant-based meat to all of our restaurants and trucks."

Clover is using the Impossible Burger as its base for a meatball sandwich, available for $12.75, at two locations in Cambridge — 1326 Mass Ave., and in Harvard University's Science Center. Next month, Clover will introduce the sandwich to all restaurants throughout the region

Impossible Foods' plant-based meat is served at about 50 restaurants throughout the United States, including multi-unit restaurant groups Bareburger, Umami, TheCounter and Hopdoddy. Just last week, the Impossible Burger debuted at B Spot — a chain of burger restaurants in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana owned by award-winning Chef Michael Symon.

In development since 2011, the Impossible Burger is produced without hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors. It uses about 75 percent less water, generates about 87 percent fewer greenhouse gases and requires around 95 percent less land to produce than the amount of land demanded for production of conventional ground beef from cows, according to the release.

The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including water, wheat protein, coconut oil and potato protein. One special ingredient — heme — contributes to the characteristic taste of meat and catalyzes all the other flavors when meat is cooked. Impossible Foods discovered how to get heme from plants, transforming the Impossible Burger into a carnivore's delight that's light on the planet, according to the release.

Impossible Foods' CEO and Founder Patrick O. Brown will hold a question-and-answer session with students at 3 p.m. today at the Harvard University Science Center. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., Boston-area students may also sample Impossible Burger at the Clover Food Lab inside the Harvard Science Center.

Topics: Food & Beverage, Health & Nutrition

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