Meatless meat would solve a lot of issues for a variety of issues for the conservative vegans as well as the meat-eating populace of the great earth. If you go in and dive deeper and do a study you will come across allegations that everything global warming to a myriad of health concerns can be fixed with just a person switching their diet from meat to vegetarian if not vegan. But how do achieve this? We are after all genetically programmed to crave meat.
- The first came trying to convince people, there are reasons and a lot of them
- There has been a growing discontentment with animal welfare and factory farming
- Just in 2018 Americans have managed to eat 222.4 pounds of red meat which is five times the recommended amount.
- It’s a known fact that a plant-based diet uses less water and emits fewer greenhouse gases.
- Increase in hypersensitivity to red meat.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when we begin with trying to separate fact from fiction in the case of creating meatless meat. With the revealing of these facts, there has been a new movement gaining traction- “Meatless Meat”. Looks like meat, tastes like meat but has everything but meat in it. Also christened due to regulations “Alternative meats”.
Just in the past year two companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have both changed the landscape on which we operate. Both these companies have valuations that have been soaring through the roof. Beyond meat went public recently and became the most lucrative IPO of 2019 and Impossible foods have closed an additional 300 million in investor funding. What does this spell out for the future of this industry?
Here we need to understand another important distinction that lies between lab-grown meat and plant-based meat.
AKA Cultured meat AKA Cell-based neat AKA Clean Meat, it is all the same thing. It is still meat just grown in a lab. it is grown from a couple of cells of an actual animal but it is still animal. Not imitation meat, real meat and I cannot stress that enough. Here comes in every issue of animal welfare slipping quietly into the night and another big issue of contaminants also being eliminated. As the meat is cultivated in a sterilized environment the chance for pathogens to grow significantly falls. This is what is considered to be a disrupted of the meat market.
Now coming to the phenomena taking over the market the plant-based alternative to fast food meat. Unlike the lab-grown meat, this meat isn’t actually anything close to meat. It is the processed food answer to meat. Now is it different from everything that already exists on the market?
Yes, veggie burgers exist. But you need to understand that meatless burgers aren’t geared towards the veggie crowd. No. It’s for the current meat craving population. This makes them different from the veggie options which has traditionally been geared towards the vegetarian populace.
Its meat or more precisely beetroot juice in Beyond’s case and a new FDA approved ingredient called soy leghemoglobin in the case of Impossible Foods. This new ingredient gives the bloody appearance and the meaty flavor to the burger.
Now, this is where both lose. One would think that a meatless version would be healthier as it is plant-based. But in the case of fast foods, the nutritional values end up being more or less the same.
They do make a huge difference in the environment by every possible metric you can stand against it, From land use, water use to climate change. Everything is significantly less and environment-friendly. Plant-based has the ability to create a much smaller carbon footprint and will give you the satisfaction of enjoying your breakfast burger without any guilt.
Fad or Future?
Now here is the interesting breakdown. Most fast-food companies have aligned themselves with one of these companies who at this time are the only two at the forefront of this revolution. Impossible Foods has announced partnerships with Burger King, Qdoba and dozens of others whereas Beyond meat is in collaboration with Del Taco, Subway, and KFC. After testing its plant-based whooper in one location Burger King put up in the offering in 7000 locations to astounding success. Two meat selling companies Tyson and Perdue Farms are also both gearing up to come up with their own plant-based meat products.
So what does that say about the fad aspect of the situation?
The meat market is poised to grow, we have too many mouths to feed and align that with the growing awareness and you have a recipe for ensuring weather it is lab-grown or plant-based, they will get their due.