Amid a mounting demand for vegan and plant-based foods, the supermarket meat aisle is seeing more meat-free foods lining the shelves.
Media publication The Wall Street Journal recently discussed the debate between traditional and modern protein. “High-tech upstarts say the proposed labeling rules [that would prohibit plant-based foods from being labeled as ‘meat’ or ‘milk’] are a poor defense, pointing out that on a molecular level, plant-based meat products can contain the same amino acids, fats and minerals as animal flesh,” it wrote.
“People don’t get angry when you call your cellphone a phone,” Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, told WSJ. Beyond Meat’s plant-based “bleeding” burgers are carried in the meat aisle of grocery retailers, with the demand for it so high that the company’s output is set to increase by 200 percent this month. Brown commented that the frozen food box would not be effective for consumers considering a compassionate vegan meat and dubbed it the “penalty box.”
Beyond Meat’s strategy of changing how people see protein seems to be working. Recent data found 86 percent of people buying vegan meat are meat-eaters, while other research revealed plant-based meats can help people transition to a vegan diet more easily.
Jamie Athos, the CEO of popular plant-based meat company Tofurky, added his thoughts. Athos noted that he “objects to any ban on the word ‘meat’ in labels.” He later added that when consumers hear “tofu” or other words synonymous with “bland or not meat-like” foods, they may be unaware that what they are buying is made to resemble conventional meat.
Animal agriculture is increasingly linked to global issues such as climate change, animal welfare, world hunger, and public health. But taxing methane produced by cows can only do so much to save the planet; it is innovative companies procuring modern ways to make “meat” with plants that are finding an affinity in consumers’ shopping carts. The food produced by technology startups and brands with a focus on sustainability, such as Beyond Meat, JUST, and Impossible Foods, are said to cook, sizzle, taste, and even “bleed” like meat from animals. This plant-based food is said to be better for health, the environment, and animal welfare, and does not compromise on taste.
Image Credit: Beyond Meat