Impossible Foods is hosting a world-first Cook-A-Thon to combat food insecurity in America, which has spiked since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Impossible Cook-A-Thon (Graphic: Business Wire)
The Impossible Cook-A-Thon is an all-day virtual variety show on the company’s Facebook page (via Facebook Live) today from 9 am – 5 pm PST. All donations during the 8-hour gala will go directly to No Kid Hungry, part of Share Our Strength, a global organization working to end hunger and poverty.
Co-hosts are director/actor/author/winemaker Eric Wareheim and award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. Together, they’ll virtually take viewers into the homes of chefs, investors and culinary trendsetters.
Viewers will visit the homes of a wide range of innovators. They’ll riff with actor and comedian Kal Penn, drink coffee with Impossible Foods’ CEO Pat Brown, hear acoustic melodies dedicated to first responders from Richard Marx, mix margaritas and make Impossible empanadas with acclaimed chef Mary Sue Milliken, and see what investor/entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian is cooking for his family.
Viewers can tune in all day — or return throughout the show for surprises and unscripted fun. The schedule is here.
COVID-19 exacerbates America’s silent hunger epidemic
Despite America’s status as one of the richest countries on Earth, more than 11 million children in the United States live with “food insecurity.” That means their homes don’t have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life. In normal times, one in seven US kids suffers from food insecurity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the longstanding problem of hunger into an acute crisis, with unemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression. In addition, widespread school closures have eliminated a once-reliable source of free or subsidized breakfasts and lunches. Since April, more than one in five households in the United States, and two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, are food insecure.
As the crisis mounts, Impossible Foods has expanded its 2-year-old donations program, which serves at-risk citizens — from the homeless to students and families. Since the start of the pandemic, Impossible Foods has donated more than 100,000 pounds of product to food banks located close to the sites where Impossible Burger is produced.
“Impossible Foods has sent more than a half a million Impossible Burgers to food banks and frontline medical professionals since the start of the pandemic. But we wanted to do even more to help America’s most precious and vulnerable resources — our kids,” said Jessica Appelgren, Vice President of Communications at Impossible Foods. “With so many of us at home right now, riveted to our social media feeds, there’s no better way to bring together our community to rally for a great cause.”
Impossible’s new cookbook tops the charts
Earlier this month, Impossible Foods published its first official cookbook, Impossible™: The Cookbook (Chronicle Books, $29.99). For each book sold on Amazon, $3 goes to No Kid Hungry.
Within a single day of pre-orders, the cookbook became the No. 1 book in Amazon.com’s “sustainable living” category and the No. 1 item in the “burger and sandwich” cookbook category.
The cookbook highlights the convenience and versatility of Impossible Burger — and it shows how simply switching to plant-based meat can transform the global food system. Along with an entire chapter dedicated to burgers, home chefs can also explore flavorful and comforting crowd pleasers for any dinner table, including Churrasco Skewers with Chimichurri, Thai Laab with Fresh Herbs, Turkish-Spiced Sandwiches with Garlic Sauce, Szechuan Mapo Tofu, and many more.
The book features expert recipes and insights from some of the pioneering chefs and personalities who introduced the product to the world, including: Michael Symon, Chris Cosentino, May Chow, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Notable culinary and wine experts who also contributed to the cookbook include Tanya Holland, Kwame Onwuachi, Pinky Cole and Eric Wareheim.
After preparing dishes in the book, home chefs can log into Impossible Foods’ Impact Calculator to learn exactly how much land, water and emissions they’ve saved by using Impossible Burger instead of ground beef from cows.
Delicious, nutritious, ubiquitous
Named top plant-based burger by the New York Times, Impossible Burger rivals ground beef from cows for taste, and it’s also nutritious and versatile in all ground meat recipes, including stews, chili, sauces, braises, minces, meatballs, meat pies or any other beefy menu item. It’s easy to cook on an outdoor BBQ grill, flat top, Instant Pot, high speed oven, steamer or sauté pan.
Impossible Burger has as much protein and bioavailable iron as a comparable serving of ground beef from cows. A 4-ounce serving of Impossible Burger has 0 mg cholesterol, 14 grams of total fat, 8g of saturated fat and 240 calories. (A conventional 4-ounce “80/20” patty from cows has 80 mg cholesterol, 23 grams of total fat, 9g of saturated fat and 290 calories.)
Impossible Burger contains no animal hormones or antibiotics, and is kosher, halal, and gluten-free certified. And because it’s made from plants and bioengineered, it uses 96% less land, 87% less water and 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional beef from cows.
Impossible Burger is available at thousands of restaurants and more than 2,700 grocery stores nationwide, including:
- Kroger-owned stores in 28 states nationwide: Baker’s, City Market, Copps, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Gerbes, King Soopers, Kroger, Marianos, Metro Market, Payless Super Market, Pick n Save, Quality Food Center, Ralphs and Smith’s
- All Albertsons-owned stores in California and Nevada: Safeway, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions
- All Jewel-Osco stores in the greater Chicago area and portions of eastern Iowa and northwest Indiana
- All Wegmans stores along the Eastern seaboard
- All Gelson’s Markets in Southern California
- All Fairway Markets in the New York City region
Inc. Magazine’s company of the year and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Genius companies, Impossible Foods continues to supply thousands of restaurants — from large chains to mainstreet diners. Impossible Burger is available at Burger King, White Castle, Red Robin, Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Cafe and thousands of independent restaurants.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Impossible Foods has also launched collaborations with restaurants nationwide to sell Impossible Burger inventory directly to consumers. Some of the most innovative restaurants, including Prairie in San Francisco, Grindhouse Killer Burgers in Atlanta and Founding Farmers in the Midatlantic region, have set up online “general stores” where they sell Impossible Burger inventory, food kits and cooked items in their kitchens and warehouses.
Please find the nearest location to you at www.impossiblefoods.com.
About Impossible Foods:
Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held food tech startup was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.
Impossible Foods was Inc. Magazine’s company of the year and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Genius companies. The flagship product, Impossible Burger, was named top plant-based burger by the New York Times and received the Food and Beverage (FABI) Award from the National Restaurant Association.