In this file:
· On Shelves And In Trends, Where Does Fake Meat Fit In?
Does fake meat belong in the meat aisle?
· Meat Alternatives Will Let Kids Ditch Hamburgers For Happier Meals
· Alternative meat producers struggle to secure supply of yellow peas as demand for plant-based burger skyrockets
On Shelves And In Trends, Where Does Fake Meat Fit In?
Does fake meat belong in the meat aisle?
Will Coggin, Opinion, Drovers
July 8, 2019
Coggin is managing director of the Center for Consumer Freedom
Imagine this: You go to your local grocery store, only to find the produce section stocked with Fruit Roll-Ups and Gushers. Would you do a double-take? Sure, these products mimic the taste of fruit and even have the word “fruit” on their boxes—but clearly these products don’t belong alongside apples, oranges, and strawberries.
Sound far-fetched? It’s already a reality for grocers who have to decide where to stock fake meat.
One of the biggest players in the fake meat market, Beyond Meat, is proudly promoting its product as the first plant-based “burger” sold in the meat aisle. But does fake meat belong with meat?
Grocery chains are now having second thoughts about stocking Beyond Meat alongside ground beef, pork chops, and chicken breasts. Instead, retailers are now placing fake meat in dedicated vegan sections.
There’s some logic to the move—after all, it’s not like consumers will be confused by finding Beyond Meat in the vegan aisle. But supermarkets would actually be better off putting the latest veggie burgers in the junk food aisle.
Consider there is a grand total of one ingredient in ground beef: beef. Compare this to the Beyond Burger, the ingredient list of which is 19 ingredients. (Its previous recipe contained even more.) One is refined coconut oil, which one Harvard professor called “pure poison.” Indeed, the American Heart Association recommends people avoid consuming coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content.
Coconut oil is not the only heart health risk that comes in these processed patties. In an age where processed food is everywhere, salt is arguably one of the most significant health risks—in fact, 9 out of 10 Americans eat more than double the recommended amount of salt. Excess sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
A single serving of lean ground beef contains about 50mg of sodium. Compare this to the two leading fake meat burgers. In a single serving, the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger contain 390mg of sodium and 370mg of sodium, respectively. That’s nearly eight times the amount of salt in healthy lean ground beef.
The slew of ingredients in fake meat can pose numerous health risks. One of the most commonly found ingredients in these offerings are soy protein isolates and concentrates. These are created by separating soy proteins from fats, which can involve a process where soybean flakes are bathed in hexane, a known human neurotoxin that is suspected of damaging reproductive health. Even though most hexane is removed through evaporation, small amounts inevitably remain. The European Union strictly regulates acceptable hexane residue amounts—but the FDA has no comparable regulation. Independent testing has found American food products containing more than five times the amount of hexane allowed under Europe’s safety threshold.
One of the most unappetizing fake meat ingredients, titanium dioxide, is found in a number of Tofurky’s “chick’n” strips. Titanium dioxide, or TiO2, is a whitening additive used in products including paint and sunscreen. Needless to say, you won’t find TiO2 in a chicken—but you will find it in fake meat. Research shows that ingesting small particles of TiO2 causes liver and brain toxicity in humans...
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Meat Alternatives Will Let Kids Ditch Hamburgers For Happier Meals
Plant-based meat alternatives may sound like science fiction to parents, but kids will accept them as normal. And that's very good news.
By Thor Benson, Fatherly
Jul 09 2019
On May 2, Beyond Meat became the first plant-based meat company to go pub, listing its shares on the NASDAQ and seeing a nearly 600 percent spike over the ensuing months. Meanwhile, the companies chief potential competitor Impossible Foods has publicly flirted with the idea of an IPO while collecting massive investments from, among others, Serena Williams, Katy Perry Jay-Z, Will.i.am, Jaden Smith, and Paul George. The two companies are now valued at a more than $6 billion and their products are proliferating in fast food joints — the Impossible burger is a hit at Burger King — and grocery stores — Beyond Burgers and Beyond Sausages stand out in the frozen food aisle.
Does this mean that today’s children will grow to be, as Richard Branson has suggested, shocked that their parent tolerated the presence of slaughterhouses in the industrial food chain? Perhaps. Most vegans and vegetarians in America are under 50 and food industry experts have long suggested that Millennials, who constitute the bulk of new parents, and members of Generation Z are early food adopters. But with the average American still consuming some 222.2 pounds of beef annually, plenty has to change meatless meat becomes a staple of family dinners.
Change will no doubt be driven both by personal preferences as well as, more broadly, by environmental awareness. Animal agriculture is responsible for between 13 and 18 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Additionally, meat takes up space. Over 40 percent of American land is farmland and a little less than half of that land is grazed by livestock. When environmentalists claim that consuming meat is unsustainable, they have a point. But that point has not historically driven change in consumer decision-making. That is really only starting to change now.
“Millennials appear to be the key drivers making choices away from meat and animal-based proteins to plant-based,” says Diane Holtaway, the Associate Director of Client Services at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center...
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Alternative meat producers struggle to secure supply of yellow peas as demand for plant-based burger skyrockets
Emiko Terazono | Financial Times
via Genetic Literacy Project | July 8, 2019
The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.
From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods …
The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself …. but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace.
While soya is the most abundant and cheapest source of plant-based protein, it is also an allergen, and often genetically modified in the US …. leading to fears of adverse health effects among some consumers...