Google offered £200 million for a plant-based cheeseburger startup

Google has already shown an interest in health, but the food business is a new frontier it is planning to explore.

According to The Information, Google has been in buyout talks with Impossible Foods - the creators the cheeseburger made entirely out of vegetables. The search giant offered $200 to $300 million (£120 to £192 million) for the startup, but Impossible Foods rejected the offer claiming it was too low.

Impossible Foods takes molecules found in both meat and vegetables and connects them together, allowing them to create a veggie burger that bleeds, grills and tastes like a normal burger. In tests earlier this year, most said they could not taste the difference.

The plan is to make the food taste as nice as normal food, so that customers will not feel like it is a difference. One of the biggest problems with turning people to vegetarian options is the taste is lost with products like Quorn, something Impossible Foods wants to change.

Impossible Foods was created by Stanford University biologist Patrick O. Brown and has been at work for two years on the products. Google may want to snatch it up to continue the research, and find out more about the molecule construction of food.

It is not the first time Google has spent money on genetically modified food. In 2013, Manchester University created a synthetic burger, which was funded entirely by co-founder Sergey Brin. The report did not say if Brin was behind the Impossible Foods offer.

As the world’s population increases, so does its need for animals. We already have severe environmental issues due to the amount of cows, especially in countries like America where drug regulation for animals is more flexible. This will only get worse as we head steadily up to 11 billion in population, which is set to come before 2050.

These synthetic solutions appear to be the best shot at helping the environment, but will face the same popularity concerns that Quorn and other veggie options have for decades.

Source: The Information