The industry is flooded with plant-based meat that claims to be both sustainable, nutritious, and as good to taste as the real thing. And while it accounts for only 1% of the total meat sales in the US, for the past few years, the industry is growing at an exponential rate. It is a clear indication that plant-based meat will be the food of the future. We might be in for a major transformation in the way we produce and consume our produce.
The plant-based meat industry grew by 23% in 2019 alone as consumers bought around 157 million units last year of plant-based meat. The main reason for the switch to healthy and mindful eating is that people are more aware than ever before. This has brought about drastic changes in food habits across the country.
People in large groups are gradually moving from animal meat to other forms of substitutes that mimic the taste, texture, flavor, and looks of meat. But the products used to make them are more sustainable and are made from products that are acquired naturally. This helps people make a conscious effort to move towards better products that are both nutritious and environmentally friendly.
The chief marketing officer at BlueTribeFoods, Mr. Sohil Wazir said that the company has made it a mission to change the eating habits of the world. His company, which makes a substitute for meat which are as tasty and nutritious, is directed at meat-eaters. He says that a cut back in the consumption of meat was vital if we are to avoid another pandemic.
Mr. Wazir that scientists at his company have been able to identify the reasons that give meat its flavor, taste, and texture. He says that the products made by his company tasted exactly like the original.
A Few Common Plant-Based Meat
There are quite a few substitutes for meat being sold, explains Laksita Jain, meat technologist, clinical dietician, and the founder of NUTR. They include green peas, soy, jackfruit, various types of beans, and Seitan (wheat gluten). To give the texture, and flavor of meat, nuts, whole grains, and seeds are added. They also enhance the nutritional value of the final product.
Sairaj Dhond, the CEO and founder of Wakao Foods says that improvement in technology has helped people to try out sustainable substitutes for meat. His company offers plant-based meat products made from jackfruits.
He says that the current preference is mushrooms and soya chunks for vegans while vegetarians prefer cottage cheese. But there has been much interest in the relatively newer entrant, jackfruit. While it has various nutritional benefits that can match meat, it also has other characteristics like texture, and taste that can make it perfect plant-based meat.
The Benefits Of Plant-Based Meat
While some call it mock meat, plant-based meat scores better in several fields against real meat. It has a lower fat content and is also low on calories. At the same time, it is richer in both fiber and protein. Studies have proved time and again that substituting animal meat with the plant-based variety can eliminate the chances of cancer and even various lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Plant-based meat is the ideal substitute for those who have been advised to shun red meat on medical grounds but find it difficult to shift to a vegetarian diet. It has helped people with cholesterol, hormonal imbalance.
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Experts on PCOS add that substituting meat with plant-based substitutes goes easy on the digestive system. This helps healthy gut flora to flourish. Also eliminating meat, which has a high content of saturated fats can help in drastically reducing inflammation, controlling insulin resistance, and balancing hormones.
Mr. Wazir of BlueTribeFoods said that the plant-based meat products of the company had the same amount of minerals, proteins, and various other nutrients found in animal meat. And additionally, the products have low sodium content, contain no steroids and antibiotics.
Reasons Plant-Based Meat Will Be The Food Of The Future
It took years of experimentation but scientists have finally produced plant-based meat with ingredients like jackfruit, soybean roots, and pea protein, which are convincing replacements. Even major meat producers have joined in the process. Companies like Burger King have rolled out meat alternative products like Beyond Burgers at its 7,300 restaurants.
Even supermarkets have begun placing plant-based meats in the meat section which have increased interest in the product.
Evidence of the harmful effect of red meat has sparked interest in products that are safe but are close in taste to the meat. The consumption of red meat has been linked to heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
The production of meat has been directly linked to land degradation, excess water consumption, and deforestation. Even the agricultural system in the US is overwhelmingly geared towards support.
Meat Consumption And Its Effect On The Environment
The increase in the per capita intake of meat has put a great amount of stress on the environment. The production of meat drains resources at an alarming level. Plant-based substitutes help to conserve natural resources which in turn puts less pressure on the environment.
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The meat industry is the primary contributor to climate change, pollution, and food shortages. Their production takes a massive toll on the land, water, and energy. Entire ecosystems have been destroyed to make room for cattle grazing and factory farms that produce meat. Grazing by cattle has left land barren, which has led to the increase in the desert land.