The meat industry is deeply beloved and popular amongst a multitude of cultures. Yes, I’m talking about mouth-watering cheeseburgers, garlic butter salmon, and how I can forget the all-time favorite sizzling bacon? However, the reality is that the meat industry is about to change. Due to increasing concerns regarding climate change, methane emissions, and the outbreak of Covid-19, a large question mark hovers above the meat industry and its devastating impact on the environment. This is where plant-based meat comes in, an upcoming trend that can revolutionize our food choices. Plant-based meat is a meat substitute that replicates the taste, texture, and protein of the meat. In fact, popular restaurants have already started to catch on these trends!
Here are the top 7 food-tech companies that make plant-based meat products that you should try whenever you get a chance:
Impossible Foods (maybe include a picture)
Selling points - vegan, gluten-free
About - You may have heard of the famous “Impossible burger,” which has hit nationwide in the US grocery stores and can be found in multiple chains such as Burger King, the Cheesecake Factory, and White Castle. As of 2018, 5000 restaurants across the US included this burger on the menu. It is known to replicate the look and “juicy texture” of a rare burger (made from heme from roots of soy plants). It may not taste exactly the same as your conventional cheeseburger, but it’s definitely close!
Nutrition - A 4-ounce patty has 240 calories, 14 grams of fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of fiber, and 19 grams of protein.
Selling points - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO
About - The Beyond burger is another popular meat alternative, replicating medium rare beef. The company aims to make it look, cook, and taste like a beef burger. Also, it changes color while cooking it to mimic the color of beef. You can find this burger in TGIFridays (US), VeggieGrill, Subway, Whole Foods, and Costco.
Nutrition - A 4-ounce patty has 250 calories, 14 grams of fat, 390 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein.
Selling points - Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, Non-GMO
About - Lightlife is a company that makes meat substitutes out of an ingredient named “tempeh” and pea protein. It has produced a variety of products including burgers, Italian “pork” sausages, and bacon. They are available in 7,500 stores in the US, ranging from KFC to Whole Foods.
Nutrition (sausage) - One Italian sausage has 220 calories (compared to 340 calories for a conventional Italian sausage), 12 grams of fat, 500 milligrams of sodium, 3 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein.
Selling points - Vegan, Non-GMO, cruelty-free
About - If you love pork, you should definitely look into OmniPork, with pork products made from shiitake mushrooms, peas, and rice. This food tech company was launched by Green Monday, focusing specifically on Asian cuisines and culinary practices (for example dim sum).
Nutrition - The nutrition quantities for Omni Pork products vary. Most contain 4.6 grams of dietary fiber.
Selling points - Vegan, Non-GMO
About - The Incogmeato lineup has several plant-based products, including burgers, sausages, and chicken nuggets. Their products are available nationwide in stores such as Walmart and Safeway. And as their website states, “Burgers to bacon, pulled pork to corn dogs, vegetarian to vegan; MorningStar Farms is plant-based goodness made for everyone.”
Nutrition - Their burgers have 5 grams of saturated fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of fiber, and 21 grams of protein.
Selling points - Vegan
About - This is another example of a fantastic company that uses whole food ingredients - grains, vegetables, spices - to produce plant-based products. Their products include plant-based nuggets, sausages, meat, and many more options. They are available on Amazon, VeganEssentials, and Vegan Supply. They have a cookbook as well which you can find online!
Nutrition - A serving of 114 grams has 280 calories, 10 grams of fat, 710 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of fiber, and 31 grams of protein.
Upcoming Indian Companies
About - And finally, there are various available meat alternatives in India offered by developing companies such as Veggie Champ (Delhi), Good Dot, Vegeta Gold, etc. In fact, Veggie Champ is reportedly the first company in India to manufacture plant-based meat. Their products contain as much protein as chicken, low cholesterol, no saturated or trans fat, and high fiber.
It is clear that plant based meat is on the rise, and will definitely be a critical component of our futures. Make sure to check out the above companies, as they are a perfect introduction to the new meat. It’s time to revolutionize the way we eat.