A startup selling 'bloody' plant-based burgers has a new factory that can make 4 million burgers a month

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Impossible Foods, a tech company on a mission to reinvent our definition of meat, is launching its first large-scale production facility to help bring its plant-based “bloody” burgers to the masses.

Based in Oakland, California, the factory will produce at least one million pounds of meatless meat per month — or four million burgers — once the site is up and running later in 2017.

At an event to unveil the factory, CEO and founder Pat Brown called it “the birthplace of a whole new industry.”

Impossible Foods, which has raised $182 million in venture capital from the likes of Bill Gates, Google Ventures, and Khosla Ventures, has been surrounded by buzz since its burger debuted at Chef David Chang’s restaurant Momofuku Nishi last summer. Foodies travel from far-away places to try the burger at the eight (mostly high-end) restaurants that serve it, while others track its whereabouts with the persevere nce of Apple fans scouring for iPhone 8 leaks.

The Oakland factory will increase Impossible Foods’ production capacity by 250 times, allowing the company to supply burgers to more than 1,000 restaurants in the future and introduce its flagship retail product within the next few years.

The facility offers the first evidence that Impossible Foods will not remain a boutique, Silicon Valley-esque obsession and may actually meet demand in a wider market.

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Impossible Foods was founded on the idea that there’s a better way to satisfy people who enjoy meat. The world’s population could reach nine billion people by 2050, and there aren’t enough resources on the planet to support sustainable animal agriculture at that scale. As it stands, animal agriculture takes up about a third of the world’s land, and is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Brown, a molecular biologist, left his teaching job at Stanford University in 2009 to make a veggie burger that meat-lovers will actually want to eat. The Impossible Burger is made of wheat and potato protein, coconut oil, additives found in processed foods, and a not-so-secret ingredient called heme a molecule that carries oxygen through the bloodstream in animals and through energy-producing mechanisms in plants. It smells and even bleeds like real meat.

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Several Business Insider reporters, from the most ardent meat-eaters to vegetarians, have tried the Impossible Burger. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Kim Renfro, who stopped eating meat 10 years ago, said it “immediately transported [her] back to meaty memories.”

I tried the Impossible Burger for my second time at the factory’s opening. The patty has crispy, caramelized bits on the outside and a pink, juicy center. For me, this biggest giveaway that I was eating something other than beef was the slightly rubbery, mushroom-like texture.

As the company gains the ability to produce at scale, its new challenge may be convincing average Americans to make the switch from meat to an alternative. Most veggie burgers resemble hockey pucks more than beef, as Brown likes to say. Still, he’s optimistic.

“Being made from animals has never been part of the value proposition of meat. It’s just been inseparable from what consumers do value, which is deliciousness, nutritional profile, and so forth,” Brown tells Business Insider. “As soon as they experience [the burger], they can now disconnect things they value from the way it’s made.” In other words, eating is believing.

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The company will continue to roll out the burger in restaurants, where Brown says consumers can expect consistently great experiences trying the burger.

Starting this week, Californians can find the Impossible Burger in three new restaurants: KronnerBurger in Oakland, Public House in San Francisco, and Vina Enoteca in Palo Alto. The burger will appear on the menu at 11 restaurants nationwide by the end of the year.

The company fields a huge volume of requests from restaurants that want to serve the burger, according to Brown. Impossible Foods is deliberate in its selections.

“The chefs we work with aren’t just great chefs, they’re great meat-chefs. It’s a very effective way to communicate to consumers that if these people are willing to put their reputations on the line to serve this product, you can have confidence that you’re not going to have a crappy experience,” Brown says.

SEE ALSO: Inside the Bill Gates-backed startup on a mission to reinvent meat

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LastPass fixes serious password leak vulnerabilities

Developers of the popular LastPass password manager rushed to push out a fix to solve a serious vulnerability that could have allowed attackers to steal users’ passwords or execute malicious code on their computers.

The vulnerability was discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy and was reported to LastPass on Monday. It affected the browser extensions installed by the service’s users for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

According to a description in the Google Project Zero bug tracker, the vulnerability could have given attackers access to internal commands inside the LastPass extension. Those are the commands used by the extension to copy passwords or fill in web forms using information stored in the user’s secure vault.

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It wasn’t the money: Wozniak on robots, design, and Apple’s origins

More than 40 years after founding Apple Computer, Steve Wozniak has a lot to say about the early days of the world’s richest company — and about technology, learning, and being a born engineer. On stage at the IEEE TechIgnite conference in Burlingame, California, on Wednesday, he gave a glimpse into how a tech legend thinks.On open source In the early Seventies, Wozniak read about phone phreaking, in which “phreakers” made free phone calls by using electronics to mimic the tones used for dialing each number. To learn how to do it, he went to the only place he knew that had books and magazines about computers: The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He went on a Sunday and walked right in. “The smartest people in the world don’t lock doors,” Wozniak said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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LinkedIn add news curation with ‘trending storylines’

LinkedIn is taking a more forceful approach to news curation. The company today is releasing a “trending storylines” feed that lives alongside your personally curated feeds to showcase news articles and related posts personalized based on your interests and profession.The experience is like the trending topics Facebook surfaces for its users. The trending storylines are determined by a mix of algorithms and human curation from LinkedIn’s editorial team. When you are in the trending storylines tab, you can also follow new people and topics to improve your primary feed. LinkedIn LinkedIn’s new trending storylines feed is personalized by algorithms as well as editorial curation. (Click for larger image.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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LinkedIn add news curation with ‘trending storylines’

LinkedIn is taking a more forceful approach to news curation. The company today is releasing a “trending storylines” feed that lives alongside your personally curated feeds to showcase news articles and related posts personalized based on your interests and profession.The experience is like the trending topics Facebook surfaces for its users. The trending storylines are determined by a mix of algorithms and human curation from LinkedIn’s editorial team. When you are in the trending storylines tab, you can also follow new people and topics to improve your primary feed. LinkedIn LinkedIn’s new trending storylines feed is personalized by algorithms as well as editorial curation. (Click for larger image.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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Facebook tests an enhanced local search and discovery feature offering business suggestions

 Facebook is testing an enhanced local search feature that could see the social network creeping in on Google Maps, Foursquare and Yelp territory, TechCrunch learned and Facebook confirmed. Facebook users are now able to surface recommendations of nearby places – like “dinner nearby” or “bars nearby,” for example  – by entering a query in… Read More

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Viro wants to make mobile VR development a snap, and raises $2.5M to do it

 VR is all over the place, but sometimes it’s not where you most expect it. Plenty of apps out there might could do with a wee bit of VR to help show off an apartment or a bit of 3D content, but those experiences can be pretty labor-intensive. Viro is a new company that hopes to empower mobile developers to add VR to their apps simply and using familiar tools and code bases. Read More

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THE APP ENGAGEMENT REPORT: The tools and tactics brands, marketers, and app makers can use to keep users invested and maximize value

bii user time spent in apps 2016

Mobile-app makers and content creators are vying for consumer attention in a crowded and noisy market.

Even if an app can stand out enough to prompt a consumer to download it from among a list of millions, it then faces the challenge of enticing him or her to use it enough times to recuperate development, maintenance, and marketing costs. To make matters worse, those marketing costs have hit record-high levels over the past year as discoverability has become more challenging.

And while consumers are spending more time in apps, most of that time is spent in a few favorites. Consumers spend almost three-quarters of their total smartphone app time in just their three favorite apps, according to comScore. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom: There are numerous tools at a publisher’s disposal to engage and re-engage consumers, and there are new products and solutions coming to market that can help alleviate some of the issues around this app engagement crisis.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explore the current state of the app market, the issues around engaging consumers, and the tools at a publisher’s disposal. We then identify best practices for the implementation of some app engagement tools, and present the pitfalls that some publishers fall into in this pursuit. 

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The app market today is challenging and volatile. It’s difficult to stand out, and most apps have to be offered for free in order to entice consumers who have too much supply to choose from. This puts greater emphasis on engaging consumers after they’ve downloaded an app in order to recoup costs. 
  • Consumers are more difficult to engage today, as most have dozens of apps installed on their devices yet spend most of their time in just a select handful of favorites. 
  • There are numerous solutions at hand for mobile app publishers and content creators seeking to engage consumers. Push notifications, in-app messaging, and app message centers with badges are three tools publishers can use to engage consumers. 
  • While many publishers mistakenly rely solely on push notifications for app engagements, this is a poor practice because many consumers don’t allow push notifications and those that do can easily be overwhelmed when they receive too many. 
  • The best solution often includes leveraging two or three of these tools to engage consumers with the right message at the right time. The technology in this market has grown increasingly sophisticated, and publishers that don’t diversify their approach run the risk of annoying their consumers to the point of abandonment. 
  • There are emerging engagement technologies that will change the current app engagement norms and present new ways for app publishers to communicate with users. The mobile ecosystem is changing quickly as technology improves and consumers become more comfortable conducting more activities on mobile devices.

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the major challenges in today’s app market and explains why employing good app engagement practices is more important than ever before.
  • Presents the major app engagement tools currently available.
  • Examines the pros and cons of each app engagement tool while outlining some pitfalls that publishers encounter in implementing them. 
  • Prescribes best practices for adopting various app engagement tools or strategies. 
  • Assesses how the market will likely change over the next five years as emerging technologies change both consumer behavior with mobile devices and introduce new tools with which to engage consumers. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » Learn More Now
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Toyota reveals important clues about the future of driving

toyota tril concept teaser

While most automakers are pumping out SUVs, Toyota is looking to go smaller.

The Japanese automaker unveiled its i-TRIL concept car at the Geneva Motor Show that ran March 9-19. The futuristic two-seater is meant to showcase a “viable alternative” to traditional segment cars for people who typically drive in urban environments, Toyota said at the time.

Toyota doesn’t have any current plans to produce a version of the i-TRIL, but the concept shows how it’s researching different transport options for city dwellers. Scroll down for a closer look:

SEE ALSO: Land Rover created an SUV that can launch a drone from its roof for search and rescue missions

Toyota’s i-TRIL concept is a compact electric car that seats two. It features butterfly doors and Toyota’s Active Lean technology, which is designed to improve maneuverability.

Toyota first showcased its Active Lean technology in its i-ROAD concept in 2014, another compact electric vehicle. Toyota’s Active Lean allows the car to slant at an angle of 10 degrees by automatically moving the wheels up and down during turns.

Toyota says the car’s leaning ability improves stability and grip while decreasing the risk of car sickness.

Toyota trialled its i-ROAD concept in Tokyo and Grenoble, France in 2014 to test its Active Lean Technology and get a sense of how people responded to using a compact electric vehicle in a car-sharing setting.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Google Maps will soon let you share your real-time location — here's how it works

If you’re the type of person who texts your friends “I just left, I’ll be there soon” when you’re really about to step into the shower, you’re not going to like this news: Google is updating its popular Maps app with new features to let friends view each other’s location in real-time.

The location-sharing feature only works if you decide to share your current location with a specific person, and you can limit how long a friend sees your location. Ideally, this will provide Google Maps users with a handy way to let their friends know how close, or far away, they are from a rendez-vous — and just how late they really will be.

Here’s a look at how it works:

The new feature looks simple enough to use, requiring only that you tap the blue dot that indicates your location and then select “share my location.”

You can share your location with anyone in your Google Contacts list, regardless of whether they are on iOS, Android or on a computer. You will also have the option to bypass Google Contacts and copy a link to send to any recipient.

Google Maps

You will be able to set a time limit on how long you are sharing your location, and the app will notify you that your location is being shared whenever you are in it, so that you don’t inadvertently forget.

And if you’re using Google Maps for driving directions, the update will allow you to share your location and route with whoever you want, providing them with an up-to-date ETA.

Google said the update is coming “soon,” though it did provide an exact release date. 

These features come on the heels of a Maps update that makes sure you never forget where you parked your car again. Interestingly enough, Google envisions these updates being most useful when planning a surprise birthday party. Take a look:

 

SEE ALSO: This iPhone 8 concept design is the best we’ve seen yet — check it out

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NOW WATCH: Tesla will begin selling its Solar Roof this year — here’s everything you need to know

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