California-based vegan meat brand Impossible Foods is now certified kosher. The creators of the vegan Impossible Burger received the certification from the Union of the Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the world’s largest kosher certification agency, following a visit to the company’s 67,000-square-foot production facility in Oakland.
“Getting kosher certification is an important milestone,” said Impossible Foods CEO and Founder Patrick Brown in a press release. “We want the Impossible Burger to be ubiquitous, and that means it must be affordable and accessible to everyone — including people who have food restrictions for religious reasons.”
The process of Impossible Foods’ kosher certification began earlier this year when a Rabbinic Field Representative toured the Oakland production facility. The rabbi was able to confirm that all ingredients, processes, and equipment used to make the kosher Impossible Burger are compliant with Jewish dietary laws, known as “kashrut.”
“I’m really excited to be able to announce that the Impossible Burger is now kosher. And because our meat is purely plant-based, for the first time we can all enjoy a delicious — and strictly kosher — cheeseburger,” said Impossible Foods’ Chief Science Officer David Lipman. Lipman is the son and grandson of kosher butchers and cattle brokers who founded the historical Lipman’s Kosher Market in Rochester, NY.
Part of Impossible Foods’ goals is to create vegan meat and dairy for “every region of the world.” The Impossible Burger being recognized as a kosher vegan meat by the world’s top kosher certification agency represents a big step towards the company’s ultimate goal. According to the company, Impossible Foods is also in the process of receiving Halal certification later this year.
Earlier this year, more than 70 rabbis representing the Jewish Vegetarian Society issued a declaration encouraging all who follow the faith adopt a kosher vegan Jewish diet as a means of showing compassion toward animals and the environment. While kashrut is typically vegan by default, allowing for a wide variety of plant-based products including the Impossible Burger, the question now turns to clean meat. The issue of whether clean meat, particularly clean pork, is kosher has been a topic of discussion among some in the community. Some believe that because clean pork is removed from its source, it can be considered kosher.
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