The Secret of These New Veggie Burgers: Plant Blood Startup- "Impossible Foods" Seeks to Replicate the Taste of Red Meat Using Plant Matter "Impossible Foods" cracked the code on fake meat that looks like meat, bleeds like meat, and even sizzles on the grill. Patrick Brown, a 60-year-old Stanford University professor turned first-time entrepreneur, says he has found the secret to replicating the taste of red meat: plant “blood.” On a recent afternoon in his company’s expansive laboratory, Mr. Brown poured a deep-red liquid into a plastic cup. The thin concoction looks like blood, has the same distinct metallic taste, and is derived from the molecule found in hemoglobin that makes blood red and steak taste like steak. But this bioengineered blood comes from plants and is the crown jewel of Mr. Brown’s three-year-old company, Impossible Foods, which has so far created a hamburger that looks, feels, tastes and cooks almost like the real thing. “Livestock is an antiquated technology,” said Mr. Brown, a biochemistry scientist known for his genetic research.