What would you call an entrée made with a plant-based meat product that tastes like human flesh? Finger food? A canni-bowl? A Val-this-tastes-like-you meal? Whatever you call it … it’s here, as a company in Sweden recently unveiled The Human Meat Plant-Based Burger. Are Swedish Plant-Based Meat Balls That Taste Like Thor next?
“We developed this burger in no time, as soon as we knew what taste and texture we were after. This is our ultimate and weird way of showing that it’s possible to create any type of food by using just plants.”
Anders Linder is the co-founder and corporate chef of Oumph! – the strangely named leading provider of vegan meat in Sweden. Just in time for Halloween – perhaps to make the announcement seem more plant-based-tongue-in-cheek – Linder unveiled a video (watch it here) announcing The Human Meat Plant-Based Burger on YouTube and in an interview with Plant Based News. His comment on how fast they developed the burger begs the question: how did they know what taste and texture human meat has so their plant-based product could match it? What did they say to volunteers and test subjects in the lab?
“Do you dare taste it?”
That probably depended on whether and how much the taste-testers were being paid. If this story sounds vaguely familiar, it was exactly one year ago that a group of American scientists and designers unveiled the Ouroboros Steak – bite-sized pieces of meat grown in a lab using human cells and blood. The plan was to offer home kits so anyone could grow their own steaks using their own cells harvested from the inside of their cheek and fed serum derived from expired, donated blood. The makers claimed it was technically not cannibalism because the maker would be eating themselves, not someone else – the ‘Ouroboros’ is an ancient Greek symbol of a snake eating its own tail.
Is eating a Human Meat Plant-Based Burger a form of cannibalism? Is “Oumph!’” the sound one makes when they dare taste a Human Meat Plant-Based Burger?
“For us, the most human way of having a burger is a plant-based one.”
Henrik Åkerman, global brand leader at Oumph!, put the corporate spin on the announcement and pointed out that the human-tasting burger would be available for a limited time only around Halloween. We know what that means, don’t we McRib lovers? If the demand is there, it could come back again in Sweden, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and wherever else Oumph! Products are sold.
Speaking of the McRib, would McDonald’s open a new market and potentially lucrative market if it offered a plant-based McRib that tasted like human rib meat?
“Do you dare taste it? Does it taste like the Hamburglar?”