Plant-based meat is here to stay. With growing popularity, these cruelty-free options are presenting meat eaters and vegans alike with delicious options on their mission to end animal farming.
Plant-based meat is rapidly growing in popularity. This has created a surge in awareness and put meat alternatives into the spotlight.
2018 was the year that meat alternatives were truly put on the radar of many people outside of the world of vegans. And 2019 was the year that they became a force to be reckoned with. Beyond Meat’s IPO made international headlines and showed people that plant-based alternatives are here to disrupt the system.
Plant-based meat isn’t anything new. In fact, they have been around for decades. Tofurky was launched all the way back in 1980 and the Boca Foods Company, maker of the famous Boca Burger, dates back to 1979. And while those products are still popular to this day, the plant-based meat industry has come a long way since the days of few choices and scarce availability.
Beyond Burger Meatless Patties
Plant-based meat is an animal-free alternative to common processed foods that are typically made of animal parts. These products are typically made from soy, vegetables, seitan, tempeh, pea proteins, and other plant-based ingredients.
Some of the most popular types of plant-based meat are made to replace hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s also easy to find plant-based nuggets, deli slices, cheeses, dairy alternatives, and much more.
And while plant-based meat used to consist mainly of soy and vegetables, new technologies have made it possible to create meat-free hamburgers that can even fool meat eaters.
Plant-based meat (like Beyond Burgers) is a vegan product that is made from non-animal sources. While these meat alternatives might not be the healthiest options (more on that soon), they are appealing to almost everyone. The target audience ranges from vegans all the way to meat eaters. Plant-based meat is different from lab-grown meat, or clean meat, which is also starting to appear a lot in the news. Lab-grown meats are not vegan. They are 100% animal products. Lab-grown meats, or clean meat, comes from animal cells that are swabbed from the mouth of live animals. And while the target audience of these meats is meat eaters, vegans should be applauding the efforts and rooting for victory when it comes to the success of companies like Memphis Meats.
No one is expecting a vegan to consume the clean meat but its success could be an integral part of the fight to end animal farming.While lab-grown meat is a fascinating topic that deserves a lot of attention, this article is going to look into some of the companies leading the way in the plant-based meat revolution.
What is Plant-Based Meat Made of?
A long long long ingredient list
There are a lot of different options out there so each product will have different ingredients.
Back in the day, many plant-based meat alternatives were compressed vegetable patties or soy patties. Some of the brands that made these burgers famous were Morningstar Farms and Boca Burgers, two companies that are still around today and wildly popular.
But, again, let’s look at the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger as those are the products currently making waves and breaking the plant-based diet into the mainstream. To the surprise of many, the Beyond Burger has no soy, gluten, or GMOs. It also doesn’t qualify as a veggie patty because it isn’t made out of vegetables.
Is Plant-Based Meat Healthy?
Many people think of veganism and plant-based eating as a much healthier lifestyle. While many studies point out that this is true, simply going plant-based isn’t a guarantee that you will automatically be healthy. Beyond Meats and Impossible Foods produce delicious plant-based meat alternatives. The fact they are succeeding in a meat eater’s world is proof of that.
However, they are far from healthy foods. It is very possible to follow a plant-based diet and only eat whole foods that provide all of the nutrients you need for optimal health. But junk food exists in the plant-based world. In fact, more and more highly processed vegan junk foods are hitting shelves and making it so people on a plant-based diet have more choices, healthy or not.
Most plant-based meats, especially the ones you find in restaurants or frozen at the grocery store, aren’t meant to be health foods. They are usually highly-processed, delicious options for those that don’t have the time or desire to make their own food. Beyond Burgers and Impossible Burgers are delicious. If that wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t be seeing the success in the mainstream that they are experiencing right now.
But they shouldn’t be confused as health foods. That is an important thing to remember.
They don’t exist for that reason. They exist to give people an alternative to popular foods that come from the slaughter of innocent animals. Ethan Brown, the CEO of Beyond Meats said that their goal is to “make the existing product on the shelves obsolete.” Beyond Meats isn’t a company looking to dominate the health food industry. They are a company looking to disrupt the current food system and end animal farming altogether.
So while they might not be producing the healthiest food in the world, their mission is much nobler than simply human health. They want to save billions of animals from being bred into an existence of suffering and imminent slaughter. And from the reaction to their IPO and the popularity of their products, they are on their way to making that happen.