Impossible Foods: Crafting New Holiday Traditions

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As families and friends gather to celebrate with feasts that have been steeped in tradition for generations, Impossible Foods is showing that presenting plant-based fare on holiday dinner tables is not only possible, but delicious, too. Impossible Foods offers an ever-evolving lineup of Impossible beef, chicken, pork, sausage, meals, and burgers made from plants.

Pleasing discerning — and meat-loving — celebratory diners seems like a tall order, but Impossible Foods is helping redefine what it means to feast during the most festive time of the year.

“One of the primary reasons I joined Impossible last year is because I believe we can — and must — create a more sustainable food system, while still offering consumers what they want,” Impossible Foods’ CEO Peter McGuinness said in the company’s 2022 impact report. “People love meat, but the reality is that there isn’t enough land or resources on the planet to satisfy the rising global demand for it. The good news is that we don’t have to compromise or give up what we love.”

Gourmet Grazing: Impossible Foods Revamping Holiday Eats

On the Impossible Foods website, you can find plant-based options of holiday staples like an Impossible Beef, Apple and Sage Stuffing recipe that involves Impossible Beef, toasted bread, diced apples, golden raisins, diced celery stalks, eggs, onion, and pepper, garlic, sage and other seasonings. It’s simple to assemble and a hit on the buffet table.

Impossible Foods Chef J. Michael Melton has also created an Impossible Holiday Appetizer Meatball recipe. “Is there anything that says the holidays more than a really ugly Christmas sweater and a lineup of slow-cooker appetizers?” Melton asked. “Granted, an ugly Christmas sweater is pretty hard to beat, but we have a candidate for you — our Impossible Holiday Appetizer Meatballs. Make sure you bring enough toothpicks for people to snare ‘just one more because oh, these are so good.’”

The recipe calls for barbecue sauce in a slow cooker with one package of Impossible Meatballs Made From Plants, Homestyle. Sear the meatballs in the slow cooker and set them aside, then simmer the barbecue sauce in the slow cooker, add back the meatballs, and voila — an instant hit at a cocktail bash.

Impossible Foods wants the world to realize any of its products can fit into holiday recipes precisely the way animal meat does. Its products are designed to be a one-to-one replacement. That’s one of the reasons Impossible Foods launched a cookbook in 2020. The soy-based burger brand is continually experimenting with new recipes and encouraging consumers to get creative with their food.

“All cookbooks have recipes. The best have recipes and ideas,” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson shared in a book review of Impossible: The Cookbook. “This cookbook thinks hard about the relationship between plants and the planet, between humans and other living beings, all the while making that hard thinking easy for the rest of us. It’s a cookbook that’s great to look at and fun to read, but don’t forget to do the most important thing: Cook from it!”

The reality is that in 2023, not every person sitting around your holiday table will be a meat eater. Some might be vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian — a person who has a primarily vegetarian diet but occasionally indulges in meat or fish.

Planetary Perks for Embracing Impossible Foods

While Impossible Foods is aiming to inject sustainable alternatives into holiday traditions, the brand is also hoping to inspire people to take more of an interest in how their food choices impact the Earth.

“Recipes being created every day with plant-based meat are incredible. Whether it’s our chicken, beef, or pork products made for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or some of our newer innovations — the future of plant-based food is inevitable,” McGuinness shared in a 2022 company impact report.

“We’re not asking people to completely change their lifestyles or sacrifice on the tastes and experiences they love. We want meat eaters to explore the vast and growing landscape of delicious plant-based products and dishes — all of which can create a huge impact on the planet and dramatically improve animal welfare.”

Impossible Foods’ report reveals if 1% of the production of beef burgers eaten in America every year were traded for Impossible Burgers, that would mean approximately 36 billion square feet less land use yearly, 12 billion gallons less water use, and 3.5 billion pounds less greenhouse gas emissions. The food purveyor signed The Climate Pledge to work toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Still, producing great-tasting food that people enjoy eating is the primary objective.

“Our aim is not to be the best plant-based meat, which is a low bar, it’s to be the best meat,” McGuinness told FoodNavigator.

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