The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for March

March was a heck of a month for vegan news. On the food side of things, plant-based protein brand Beyond Meat announced that it would launch vegan ground beef. Fast food giant McDonald’s launched meatless veggie nuggets and KFC teased that vegan chicken will be trialed in the UK later this year.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who has mocked vegans in the past, is steadily embracing vegan food with new additions to his restaurant menus. And inspired by dwindling honeybee populations, award-winning actor Morgan Freeman turned his 124-acre ranch into a sanctuary for bees. That’s not all — from an unsavory condition known as “keto crotch” to new evidence pointing to the health risks of eating eggs, here are the top 11 vegan news stories from March.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for March

1. Beyond Meat Launches Vegan Ground Beef

Beyond Meat will launch vegan ground beef this year

El Segundo, California-based brand Beyond Meat announced earlier this month that it will launch vegan ground beef. Made from a blend of mung bean, pea, and rice protein, the new product will have a realistic taste and texture in a vein similar to the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage. Unlike ground beef, Beyond Beef is higher in protein at 20 grams per serving. It’s also healthier, containing 25 percent less saturated fat. According to the brand, it’ll have the same functionality as the real thing, so one can shape vegan burger patties and meatballs or add it to any recipe that calls for ground beef — vegan hamburger mac and cheese, anyone?

Beyond Beef is set to launch later this year.

Check it out here.

2. Gordon Ramsay Embraces Vegan Food

Gordon Ramsay adds more vegan food to Bread Street Kitchen’s menu

In a pleasantly surprising turn of events, Gordon Ramsay has embraced vegan food. In March, the famous British chef permanently added a vegan Sunday roast dinner consisting of a beet Wellington, rosti, vegetables, and gravy to the menu of his London-based restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen. Later that month, he added to Bread Street Kitchen’s animal-free options with the introduction of a vegan tofu breakfast scramble, writing “who knew tofu eggs were this tasty?!” It comes served with quinoa, mung beans, sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and a side of white or brown toast.

The once vegan-averse chef even defended his decision to add plant-based options to the menu after being trolled by “Good Morning Britain” host Piers Morgan. “Veganism is on the rise, we’ve got to adapt and eat a slice of humble pie,” he said.


3. Ricky Gervais Shuts Down Animal Testing in Less Than 1 Minute

Ricky Gervais takes on animal testing | image/After Life

English comedian Ricky Gervais shut down the argument for animal testing in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live. The antiquated practice was once thought to be a necessary evil in determining the safety of products but, “It doesn’t work,” Gervais said. “Ninety-three percent of all experiments that work on animals then fail and are dangerous on humans, because the models don’t work. Computer models work better than animal testing.”

Recent technological innovations, such as the human organs-on-chips models, are helping companies move toward a cruelty-free method of testing products and ingredients. But breeding animals to be tested on is still an existing and profitable racket. “It’s propaganda because people get paid,” Gervais continued. “People who breed the beagles, they make £1000 or £2000 per dog, universities get kick backs from farmer companies to do research, it doesn’t work and it’s cruel.”

Check it out here.

4. McDonald’s Launches Vegan Nuggets

Fast-food giant McDonald’s launches vegan nuggets in Norway

McDonald’s launched vegan nuggets in its Norway locations. Not quite meat-free chicken nuggets, the fast food giant’s new vegan option consists of chickpeas, cauliflower, corn, carrots, onion, and potatoes coated with crunchy breading. It follows the launch of the Vegetarian McFeast, a veggie burger featuring a bean-based patty, “McFeast” sauce, dairy cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. It can be made vegan by ordering it without cheese.

Check it out here.

5. ‘Keto Crotch’ Will Make You Give Up Meat

The keto diet might cause a smelly problem

Similar to the popular Atkins diet of the early aughts, the keto diet is said to help the user lose weight by depriving the body of carbs and eating a diet high in protein — typically, this means a lot of meat. This causes metabolic state called ketosis where the body burns fat instead of glucose. But the diet comes with health consequences. Along with an increased risk of mortality, it can cause a condition known as “keto crotch” — it’s as unpleasant as it sounds. Many followers have reported that the diet causes strong, unpleasant vaginal odors. Yikes.

Check it out here.

6. Eating Just 3 Eggs a Week Linked to an Early Death

Are eggs healthy?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating as few as three eggs a week can increase the risk of early death. According to researchers from Northwestern University, this is linked to consuming 300 milligrams or more of cholesterol daily. The team analyzed data from more than 29,000 people over the course of 17 and a half years, finding a total of 5,400 cardiovascular events, including 1,302 strokes, 1,897 incidents of heart failure, and 113 other deaths related to heart disease.

Check it out here.

7. 12,000 Doctors Urge USDA to Ditch Dairy

Doctors say it’s time to stop recommending dairy

Is milk really all that good for you? Earlier this month, members of PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) urged the USDA and Department of Health to remove dairy from the upcoming US Dietary Guidelines.

“The National Institutes of Health estimates that 30 million to 50 million American adults are lactose intolerant, including 95 percent of Asians Americans, 60-80 percent of African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews, 80-100 percent of Native Americans, and 50-80 percent of Hispanics,” the nonprofit said in a statement. “The Guidelines have never taken into consideration these populations’ natural progression toward not breaking down a major sugar found in milk.”

The group added that dairy is the number one source of saturated fat — which increases one’s risk of heart disease — in the American diet.

Check it out here.

8. ‘MasterChef’ Gets the Ultimate Vegan Challenge

‘MasterChef’ issued a plant-based challenge

“MasterChef” went vegan for the last challenge before the quarter finals. Chefs were challenged to create a dish using only plant-based ingredients by Alexis Gauthier, owner of the famous French fine dining restaurant Gauthier Soho in London. Participants whipped up both savory and sweet options, some that even taught the esteemed chef new culinary tricks, such as the use of paste made from umeboshi — Japanese pickled plum — to impart strong, sour flavors.

Check it out here.

9. KFC Will Launch Vegan Chicken With ‘Amazing’ Flavors

KFC promises its vegan options won’t disappoint

It’s finally happening. KFC announced that it will launch meatless options in UK locations later this year. Veganism as a trend has really blown up. “We’re currently in the process of working on both vegetarian and vegan options in the innovation kitchen here in our head office,” said Jack Hinchcliffe, innovation director at KFC, adding that the chain wouldn’t disappoint vegans with something like a bean patty. “For us, it’s about taking the amazing tastes of KFC and offering those in a vegetarian or vegan alternative,” he continued.

Check it out here.


10. Morgan Freeman Is Running a 124-Acre Sanctuary for Bees

Morgan Freeman wants to help save the bees

Morgan Freeman converted his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a sanctuary for bees. The Academy Award-winning actor explained that he took up beekeeping after learning that honeybees are dying off en masse — an event known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).

“There is a concerted effort for bringing bees back onto the plane,” The “Million Dollar Baby” star said. “We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation…I have a lot of flowering things, and I have a gardener too. As she takes care of the bees too, all she does is figure out, ‘OK, what would they like to have?’, so we have got acres and acres of clover, and we have some planting stuff like lavender, I have got like, maybe 140 magnolia trees, big blossoms.”

Check it out here.

11. IKEA Launches Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

IKEA Vegan Options
IKEA’s dairy-free strawberry soft serve is made from fruit puree | image/IKEA

IKEA is launching vegan strawberry soft serve ice cream at IKEA Bistro locations across Europe this April. Made from fruit puree, the dairy-free frozen treat has half the carbon footprint of traditional ice cream, according to the Swedish furniture giant.

“In the past month we have been working closely with our supplier to find both the right taste and the perfect texture for this new soft ice. Our ambition was to create a plant-based treat that is as soft, airy and delicious as our popular dairy-based soft ice,” Sandra Lindh, Commercial Manager IKEA Food Services AB, said in a statement. “It’s an easy, affordable and delicious treat for customers that either need or want to skip dairy products and prefer plant-based food options.”

According to IKEA, it will work on other vegan soft serve options, which may be made from soy or oats. While the dairy-free strawberry ice cream will launch in Europe first, the plan is to eventually roll it out to Bistro locations globally, with flavors specifically tailored to the region.

Check it out here.