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With Looming Meat Shortage, Controversial Soy Burgers Appear on Store Shelves

By Jack Davis, Western Journal News

Grocery giant Kroger announced last week that it will be selling the Impossible Burger at 1,700 locations. The action comes as supply-chain issues are causing interruptions in delivery schedules, making meat scarce in some stores.

The Impossible Burger has been available at Burger King and more than 2,700 other grocery stores, but the deal with Kroger will lead to what the company called an “18-fold increase” in its retail space gains, according to USA Today.

“The launch of Impossible Burger at Kroger grocery stores nationwide signals our intention to make Impossible Burger available everywhere America shops – at brick-and-mortar retailers and their increasingly popular online ordering and delivery services,” Impossible Foods CEO Dennis Woodside said.

The brand does not have “a lot of the challenges that the meat industry does,” CFO David Lee argued, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

“One thing that is similar is our set of customers,” Lee said, claiming that “95 percent of people who buy Impossible Burgers are meat-eaters.”

The Impossible Burger is not without its detractors.

Dr. James Stangle, a South Dakota veterinarian, has claimed that estrogen levels in the Impossible Burger represent a health hazard (though his case has largely been debunked).

Twitter has debated the burger.

Healthline explained that “[h]eme, or soy leghemoglobin, is the ingredient said to set the Impossible Burger apart from other plant-based burgers,” but it is also “perhaps the most controversial ingredient in the Impossible Burger.”

“Unlike the heme found in beef, the heme in the Impossible Burger is genetically engineered by adding soy protein to genetically engineered yeast.

“Though Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some raise concern about its potential health effects,” an article on the website explained, adding that “its long-term safety is still unknown.”

“Current studies on soy leghemoglobin have only been conducted in animals and over short periods,” the article read.

Furthermore, although the studies showed no ill effects, “it’s currently unknown whether it’s safe for humans to eat this man-made compound over longer periods.”

Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown has pushed back against the critics.

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