Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of how their food choices impact the environment and their health.
Research shows the consumption of animal products, like processed and red meat, increases the risk of certain health issues. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. One study out of the University of California, Davis, found 75 percent of people have considered giving up meat for their health.
In lieu of animal products, many consumers are opting for less meat in favor of healthier, plant-based proteins. Los Angeles-based company Longève is one brand that’s harnessing the power of plants to make healthier “meats.”
The company’s CEO, Douglas Kantner, says turning 50 was a major catalyst in his health journey and ultimately inspired the company’s mission and concept.
“I’ve always been interested in health and fitness, and have been a lifelong athlete—I played football in college,” he said. “But when I hit 50, I found myself becoming more and more interested in what I could do to prolong my longevity.”
Longève, which is a play on “longevity,” is revolutionizing the clean-eating market with its debut products: Gluten-Free Breadless Crumbs and Plant-Based Protein Crumbles—both of which are made from 100 percent sustainable pea protein.
‘Eat For A Better Tomorrow, Today’
Founded in 2019, Longève set out to create innovative, plant-based foods that aligned with consumers’ desire for good health, overall wellness, and longevity for not only themselves but for the planet, too.
With the tagline “Eat for a Better Tomorrow, Today,” Longève developed the world’s first shelf-stable, plant-based meat crumbles using pure-plant ingredients.
“After working in the food industry for more than 30 years… I decided to use my industry experience to find ways to help people find a way to put more plants on their plates,” Kantner explained.
He continued, “I wanted them to actually enjoy products that were plant-based, clean label and had nutritional value in a way that was more pleasurable than punishing, while also keeping an eye on planet sustainability.”
The plant-based demographic has greatly expanded as more people adopt flexible eating habits. Health concerns, as well as environmental factors, have driven the popularity of the flexitarian diet.
Flexitarianism—also called the semi-vegetarian diet—promotes the consumption of plant-based foods. A flexitarian diet typically consists of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. But it isn’t as strict as vegetarian and vegan diets. So, proponents of flexitarianism may still eat animal products like meat and fish, but only in moderation.
Along with wanting to create foods that are healthy and good for the planet, the notion of flexible eating also inspires the Longève team. But they believe the definition of flexitarianism should expand to include people who simply want to eat more vegetables.
Although the company’s products are plant-based, it doesn’t just cater to non-meat eaters. It says it made its products to support all dietary choices and lifestyles. One of its missions is to help people achieve their health goals in the “cleanest, most efficient way possible.”
Longève’s goal is to help people easily transition to eating more plant-based foods—a goal that Kantner says the company’s clean, healthy products will help them achieve.
“All of our products are clean label and made with minimal ingredients and no additives. We use 100-percent sustainable pea protein as the sole ingredient in our Plant-based Protein Crumbles and Plant-Based Breadless Crumbs, and we’re extremely proud of the fact that they’re Project Non-GMO Certified, Certified Gluten-Free, NSF-certified Plant-Based, and soy-free,” he said. “That makes them one of the cleanest meat replacements on the market, and a great foundation for any flexitarian diet.”
What Are Pea Proteins?
Pea protein is becoming increasingly more popular amongst manufacturers like Longève because the protein source is plant-based, better for the environment, and more economical to produce.
Pea protein is obtained from ground yellow split peas. It is a more favorable plant-based protein source because it doesn’t contain common food allergens like soy or wheat. It also features a good profile of nutrients like fiber, folate, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and copper.
Pea protein is also a “complete” protein. This is because it contains all nine amino acids that are essential for the human diet.
Harnessing The Power Of Plants
Longève’s plant-based ground crumbles not only taste realistic but have a similar texture to traditional ground meat.
“The reaction to our Original Plant-based Protein Crumbles [has been] incredible—lots of people love the fact that [the crumble’s] neutral flavor makes them a great base for their favorite recipes,” Kantner said.
The CEO explained that the favorable response to the original crumbles led the company to launch two new flavors. They also created a Chopped Protein product designed to replace chopped poultry and pork in recipes.
“We did, however, have lots of requests for flavored crumbles that would make it even easier to get dinner on the table during busy weeknights. We’re really excited to [introduce] two flavored crumbles—Masala Curry and Fiesta Taco—later this summer. Both [crumbles] come with seasoning packets to make preparation a snap. We will also be launching Chopped Protein which will replace white meats like Turkey and Pork,” he said.
If the company’s Instagram is anything to go by, its products are extremely versatile. It showcases the Plant-Based Protein Crumbles in a variety of dishes. These include chilis, enchilada lasagnas, tacos, and “meaty” spaghetti, to name a few
Chef Lee Gross says the products’ ease of use makes adding high-quality plant protein into dishes a breeze.
“[The crumbles] can be used in a virtually endless range of applications, adaptable to almost any cuisine or cooking style I can think of. Prep is a breeze, requiring only a quick soak to be recipe-ready with a distinctive, meat-like texture, and can even be used straight from the bag in dishes such as soups and stews,” he said.
High Protein Vegan Meat
The crumbles also stack up well to ground beef. One six-ounce bag of Plant-Based Protein Crumbles offers roughly the equivalent of three pounds of traditional ground meat. The crumbles also feature a high protein content. A single serving of Longève’s nutritious, pea protein-based “Original ” variety contains 40 grams of protein. The “Fiesta Taco” and “Masala Curry” crumbles contain 41 and 44 grams of protein per serving, respectively.
Longève’s three varieties of shelf-stable Plant-Based Protein Crumbles are available to order on Amazon. Its Gluten-Free Breadless Crumbs—which come in two varieties: Panko and Plain—can also be purchased online.
To learn more about Longève, visit LongeveBrands.com.
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