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Biochemist Patrick O. Brown, founder of Impossible Foods Inc., invented a "magic ingredient" that solves what he calls the planet's biggest environmental problem: beef.

The ingredient, made from soybean roots and genetically engineered yeast, goes into vegetarian Impossible Burgers, which are available in a growing number of restaurantseven fast-food stalwart White Castle.

It contains heme (pronounced HEEM), a key part of red meat and a source of iron, which humans can't live without. Think of Brown's discovery as plant-based blood. Brown, 63, says it makes the Impossible Burger sizzle, smell and taste like real red meat.

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