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Impossible Foods offers Impossible Pork Made From Plants

But America’s Orthodox Union won’t give it certification.


Impossible Foods, an American firm that offers meat alternatives made from plants, now has an alternative pork product, simply called Impossible Pork. Jews can now celebrate.

There is an old joke about how the ultimate Jewish dilemma is when the supermarket has a big sale with pork at half price. Now there is not only kosher pork, but it is healthier for you and a vegan product.

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But is it really kosher? Apparently, yes, but America’s Orthodox Union, the major kashrut certifier there, has declined to extend its approval to the new product.

There are also plenty of Israeli companies doing the same thing these days. For people who keep kosher, their meat alternatives can be cooked and eaten with real dairy products. And their fake dairy products can be cooked and eaten with real meat.

Redefine Meat is one of a number of Israeli startups moving forward in providing the technology necessary to give the world viable meat alternatives. It does so by way of 3D printing technology. Israeli meat alternative startup Aleph Farms grows steaks directly from non-genetically modified animal cells. It is working on a plan to one day grow its fake meat on Mars.

SuperMeat offers vegetarian chicken meat grown directly from chicken cells. Last fall, the company opened its own restaurant to showcase SuperMeat products. Called simply The Chicken, the new restaurant is located in Ness Ziona. Near Tel Aviv.

“Earlier this month, we beat the animal with the launch of Impossible Chicken Nuggets,” said Dennis Woodside, president of Impossible Foods. “With Impossible Pork, we’re beating the animal again while satisfying even more types of cuisine — another important step towards making the global food system much more sustainable.”

Impossible Foods

Impossible Foods explains that animal meat production uses nearly half of the world’s land, is responsible for at least 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions and consumes 25% of the world’s freshwater. We make meat from plants using a small fraction of the land, water and energy — so people can keep eating the foods they love, without harming the planet they love.

And it truly is made from non-meat natural and kosher products. Just like other Impossible Meat alternative products that did get the O.U. thumbs up.

So, what’s the Orthodox Union’s problem when it comes to kashrut certification for Impossible Pork? Are they concerned that a glut of such new foods could lead to more porcine eating habits among vegetarians? Well, apparently not. Even though the company’s other products did get the certification, the O.U. finds it too distasteful to certify something called “pork” kosher.

Impossible Food

Rabbi Menachem Genack, the CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher division, told JTA that “The Impossible Pork, we didn’t give an ‘OU’ to it, not because it wasn’t kosher per se. It may indeed be completely in terms of its ingredients: If it’s completely plant-derived, it’s kosher. Just in terms of sensitivities to the consumer … it didn’t get it.”

Apparently people once objected to certifying alternate bacon products as kosher and this was taken into consideration in the O.U.s decision. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other kosher certification organizations that very well might give the Impossible Pork their approval, in which case, we will all be able to pig out on it.

And soon enough, Jewish men will truly be able to bring home the bacon.

Impossible Meat says that Impossible Pork features a mild savory flavour, just like with pigs. Impossible Foods declares that it can be served in any ground meat dish including spring rolls, meatballs, dumplings, xiao long bao, shumai or tacos, and can be cooked in a steamer, oven, charbroiler, flat-top grill or sauté pan.

Impossible Pork is certified gluten-free and contains no nitrates, no animal hormones and no antibiotics. Compared to a 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of 70/30 U.S. Department of Agriculture ground pork, Impossible Pork contains 37% fewer calories (220 vs. 350 calories), 59% less total fat (13 grams vs. 32 grams), 36% less saturated fat (7 grams vs. 11 grams) and 2.7 milligrams compared to 1 milligram iron per serving for pork from pigs. Impossible Pork contains 0 milligrams of cholesterol (7 grams saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) per 4-ounce serving (113 grams).

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