Google has explored at least a few fields that have precious little to do with internet searches, but sources for The Information claim that it nearly went in a very unusual direction: the fast food business. The folks in Mountain View reportedly tried to buy Impossible Foods, a startup developing plant-based alternatives to meat and cheese, for between $200 million to $300 million. The young firm's crowning achievement so far is a veggie cheeseburger (you're looking at it above) that should taste like the real deal when it arrives later this year. If the rumor is accurate, Google only balked because Impossible wanted a higher sale price.
Just why Google would branch out to edibles isn't clear, although the company has explored food in the past. Co-founder Sergey Brin helped fund a burger made solely from stem cells, for example. However, the most logical explanation is that this reflects Google's recent fondness for projects that help humanity as a whole. If Impossible's technology takes off, it'll get people on to healthier diets, reduce the footprints of farms and feed people in areas where animals are impractical. It's not certain that Google is still shopping around for an alternative, but don't be shocked if the company's next acquisition has more to do with cooking than code.