In this file:
· Big Food takes bigger strides into vegan market
… so this era could very well wind up as a win for consumers, a win for vegan mom-&-pops, a win for national brands, a win for a carbon-neutral planet and, above all, a win for the animals...
· The Meat Myth is Dead: Plant-Based Proteins Build Muscle Same as Animal Protein, Study Finds
Big Food takes bigger strides into vegan market
by Vance Lehmkuhl, The Philadelphia Inquirer
February 15, 2017
Great news: This morning Ben & Jerry's officially unveils three new ice cream flavors, nearly doubling the size of the company's overall vegan product line. Even greater news: This is just part of big push by household-name brands to get new vegan products into the hands and mouths of customers, tapping into the growing appeal of animal-free foods.
The three new Ben & Jerry's flavors - all very hush-hush, of course, until some retailers got them early and zipped them onto shelves, from whence they zipped to the internet - are: Cherry Garcia (another existing flavor in a vegan version, joining two from last year); Coconut Seven-Layer Bar and Caramel Almond Brittle.
Thanks to Sean Greenwood, chief of PR for Ben & Jerry's, who was passing through Philly yesterday, I got a chance to try all three flavors and they were all up to the high standard already set by Ben & Jerry's existing line. Probably my fave was the Coconut Seven-Layer Bar, although the crunchy textural contrast in the Caramel Almond Brittle gave it an extra zing, so it's a hard choice. The Cherry Garcia tasted fine, but then, I was never a major Deadhead.
I chatted with Greenwood about the company's move in a non-dairy direction and he explained B&J's long-term "carbon tax" - the company has worked out its own carbon footprint and is implementing a plan to neutralize it. The strategies thus far focus on making the company's dairy operation more sustainably efficient, but as I noted, since dairy comprises 42% of the footprint, an easy solution would be to wipe out that whole liability by going 100% animal-free. Greenwood agreed with the math, but didn't see that strategy coming to the fore just yet. Still good to see a company seriously working on these issues.
The three new Ben & Jerry's flavors would be a cool enough treat, but the even more mainstream (and Philly-born) Breyers is currently rolling out two all-new, all-vegan flavors...
... CVS itself has begun outfitting many stores with a "Vegan Trend Zone," grouping together vegan snacks and power bars and adding a some new ones...
... The best news, though, is that these high-profile animal-free products will have more people than ever thinking about and considering changing, even veganizing, their diets, so this era could very well wind up as a win for consumers, a win for vegan mom-&-pops, a win for national brands, a win for a carbon-neutral planet and, above all, a win for the animals...
The Meat Myth is Dead: Plant-Based Proteins Build Muscle Same as Animal Protein, Study Finds
by Jill Ettinger, Organic Authority
February 15, 2017
If you’re vegan for any length of time, you may hear this common question: “Where do you get your protein? Well, according to science, plants will do you just fine. The long-standing myth about the necessity of meat for building muscle has been disproven as a new study found plant-based proteins benefit muscle health the same as animal protein.
The study, published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that the type of protein consumed — be it plant or animal — didn’t matter to muscle mass or strength. Only the amount; those subjects who consumed the least amount of protein had the lowest levels of muscle mass, but type of protein had no impact on muscoskeletal health.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell researchers compared the health records of close to 3,000 adult mean and women between the ages of 19 and 72, including detailed dietary questionnaires the subjects completed. Dietary habits, particularly the sources of protein (meat, eggs, fish, chicken, or vegetarian sources like legumes, nuts, or seeds), were compared with lean muscle mass, bone mineral density, and quadriceps strength, “all measures that are important for fitness, health, and better functioning, especially as we get older,” notes Health.com.
The conclusion was that increased protein intake from any clean source is directly connected to healthier, stronger muscles, an important consideration as we age and begin to lose muscle mass.
Lead study author Kelsey Mangano, PhD, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, told Health.com, “As long as a person is exceeding the recommended daily allowance for protein, no matter the source in their diet, they can improve their muscle health.”
Of course, plant-based proteins have numerous other benefits over animal products...
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