We love it when students like you focus on Impossible for school projects! Unfortunately, we’re not able to respond to each student project request individually, but we’re happy to point you in the right direction.
If you need executive bios, photos, or news releases, check out our Media Kit. You’re welcome to use all the materials there in your project. Please credit Impossible Foods-- otherwise no further permissions from us are needed.
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive from students, along with links to resources and news articles where you can take a deeper dive.
How did Impossible Foods come to be?
In 2009, Stanford University professor, Dr. Patrick O. Brown, decided to alter the course of his career to address the urgent problem of climate change. In particular, he wanted to make the global food system sustainable by making meat directly from plants. In 2011, Pat founded Impossible Foods and brought together a team of top scientists to analyze meat at the molecular level and determine precisely why meat smells, handles, cooks and tastes the way it does. We debuted our first product, Impossible™ Burger, in 2016. Learn more about our mission in Pat’s words here, or listen to him tell the story here.
How do you measure your impact?
We publish an annual Impact Report that details our progress towards our mission. Check out our 2019 Impact Report here (and you can access reports from 2018 and 2017, too). You can also take a look at a summary of our most recent Environmental Life Cycle Analysis to learn more about where our sustainability stats come from.
How is Impossible™ made?
The Impossible Burger is made by mixing carefully selected ingredients, derived from plants or by fermentation, to create something unique and delicious. Our key ingredient is heme, the molecule that makes meat taste like meat. We make ours by taking the DNA from soy plants and inserting it into a genetically engineered yeast, then fermenting the yeast to produce heme. Learn more heme from our scientists in this video.
What’s a challenge you’ve encountered, and how have you overcome it?
Every day we face challenges head-on and keep blasting ahead! One was figuring out how to scale fast enough to meet skyrocketing demand for our product. When we experienced a product shortage, we accelerated hiring, optimized production for efficiency, and even took volunteers from our corporate office to go work in our factory. We also launched a new manufacturing partnership to help us meet demand as it continues to grow for many years to come.
How did you get to where you are today?
One step at a time! We started with just one restaurant in 2016, and built our reputation with chefs and consumers. In 2017, we became part of a nationwide distribution network, in 2018 we launched in our first market outside the US, and in 2019 we released our new, best-ever recipe and entered our first grocery stores. Read more about our journey here.
What do you look for in employees?
Our CFO David Lee recently told Forbes that diversity is one of the secrets to our success. The team at Impossible Foods is so diverse that there’s not a precise blueprint for what we’re looking for. Every year we welcome a group of college interns to our offices over the summer to get a taste of what it’s like to work here. Sound like something you might be up for? Learn more about our internship program here. You can also see a list of our open positions here.
If you’re specifically interested in learning more about our scientists, get to know a few of them here.
What does the future hold for Impossible Foods?
We’re working hard to expand to more locations around the world, and to arrive on more grocery store shelves in the US. And the future won’t just be burgers-- we’ve started working on fish, steak, and lots of other foods, too.