"We can create things that would be unmistakably meat, flavor, and texture, but unlike anything that you've had before in that category." That line that gave Jurassic Park's John Hammond all his ideas was recently said by Patrick Brown, the CEO of Impossible Foods: The company that hopes to change the world with a variety of plant-based "meats," that have the same taste and texture of their traditional animal-based meat counterparts, minus the psychosocial satisfaction of being able to taste humanity's dominance over nature. Brown told the Vergecast podcast that he envisions a future where his company transcends the stuffy confines of the traditional categories of meat to create brand-new types of meats no one has ever eaten before.
What, exactly, he means by that isn't clear. He went on to suggest that the only reason we eat the meats we do today isn't necessarily they're the most delicious, but because chickens, cows, pigs and such were the easiest to domesticate on a large scale. "So, yes, there is a lot of possibility for creating, let's say, flavors that would deliver as meat but are unlike anything on the market." The guy gets one successful Burger King menu item and already he's dreaming about alien sausages, dodo nuggets, and human steaks.
These designer meats are all long-term ideas. For now, the company remains focused on providing an eerily accurate simulacrum of readily eaten meats -- burgers, nuggets and the like. But one day, if plant-based meat alternatives overtake the traditional meat industry the way Brown expects it to within 15 years, Impossible Foods will live up to its name by offering meats that our minds cannot comprehend. Reality-bending meats that fracture the brain and shatter our perceived notions of the meatspace. Meats that transcends the meat-time continuum to tap into the beefs and porks of another realm.
We're looking at a future where meats will either be wild approximations of extinct animal flesh or will be a series of bizarre meat mashups with unsettling names, like the ones we're seeing with Heinz's otherworldly condiment names like Mayochup and Kranch. No matter how good bork (beef + pork) and fuck (fish + duck) turn out to be, they're going to have some naming hurdling to get surmount if they hope to win over the populace.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!
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