After meatless burgers and nuggets, a new plant-based product resembling pork is on the horizon and it's going to be a game-changer.
Attendees got to try out the new product which is made with soy protein and designed to be sustainable while still looking, cooking, and tasting like real meat — similar to the firm's Impossible Burger. The new product was created as part of the meat lab company's plans to expand in Asia, where African Swine Fever has cut pork supply in recent years.
It also caters to consumers looking for more diverse meat substitutes and might become a viable option for people who don't eat pork for religious reasons including followers of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and several other faiths.
At first glance, the product looks perfect for those who can't eat pork due to religious restrictions given that it has no traces of pig meat. However, it has yet to receive official kosher and halal certifications as per Impossible Foods CEO and founder Pat Brown.
"This product isn't designed specifically to target people who have religious objections to eating pigs, but it's important for us, so we will definitely seek certification as kosher and halal," Brown said in a statement.
"For those Jewish people and Muslims who have always wanted to eat a pig -- I doubt there are many, but if there are any -- this is the opportunity," he added.
Abrar Al-Heeti, a Muslim journalist who tried the Impossible pork, said it "has a chewy consistency and a flavor similar to that of chicken, albeit with a bit of a more savory, smoky essence."
In an article published on Cnet, she highlighted her experience trying out a product that tastes like pork for the first time ever. Al-Heeti pointed towards an issue that could surface for Muslims who are interested in consuming the substitute, saying that it can be hard to mentally separate it from the real thing because it "so closely emulates real pork."
Halal pork? Muslims have questions
The launch of Impossible pork caused quite the stir online and generated polarized opinions among Muslims.
Some want to give it a try to experience it for themselves while others are questioning whether it's halal to consume a product that mimics the taste of pork.
Speaking to Cnet, Mustafa Umar, an imam based in California, said if people were to ask him whether they should eat the plant-based product, he wouldn't encourage them to.
"I would say no. Don't do it unless you've already been eating pork and you're trying to quit," he said.
The debate and questions continue to swirl on social media. Here's a glimpse into what Muslim tweeps are saying: