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· Plant-based ‘pork’ edges into Southeast Asian plates
· China set to lose half of its pigs to epidemic. Can fake pork save the day?
Plant-based ‘pork’ edges into Southeast Asian plates
via The Philippine Daily Inquirer - September 19, 2019
BANGKOK — With a sprinkle of chili, some pinkish “pork” and a few basil leaves tossed into a sizzling wok, chef Songpol swears his vegan version of punchy Thai favorite pad kra pao is a match for the original, as plant-based protein creeps onto Southeast Asia’s meat-heavy menus.
“It has the texture, the flavor (of pork). The rest is about technique,” he said in the bustling kitchen at the Bangkok You & Mee restaurant.
But he concedes some diners remain to be convinced of the merits of fiddling with old recipes in a country ferociously proud of its cuisine.
“They do not expect plant-based items to be cooked with Thai dishes,” he added.
Global food producers are racing to dominate the “alt-protein” sector, an industry Barclay’s bank estimates could be worth $140 billion in a decade, as environmental, ethical and health concerns drive a plant-based boom.
Shares of beef-less burger maker Beyond Meat soared from their initial pricing of $25 to over $65 on the first day of trading on Wall Street in May, whetting the appetites of both investors and consumers who shun animal products.
Burger King already sells the beef-free “Impossible Whopper” in many US locations, KFC has trialled vegan nuggets and wings, while plant-based milk, cheese and even seafood are proliferating.
‘Thais love their meat’ ...
China set to lose half of its pigs to epidemic. Can fake pork save the day?
by Jane Zhang, Inkstone News
Sep 19, 2019
With pork prices in China spiking in recent months, a food company thinks now is the perfect time to convince the world’s largest pork consumer to try something new: fake pork.
Since last August, a deadly swine epidemic has left 40% of China’s pigs dead or culled. Financial service firm Rabobank estimates China could lose half of its pig herd by the end of 2019.
Despite China’s move to release emergency pork reserves to the markets, pork prices have jumped close to 50% since July, according to China’s agriculture department.
Hong Kong-based Omnipork, a plant-based meat producer, sees a “good window of opportunity” as consumers and restaurants look for pork alternatives.
David Yeung, co-founder and chief executive of Green Monday, the company behind Omnipork, said its alternative pork, made of rice, peas, soy and shiitake mushroom, can be an ideal substitute.
Omnipork is far from the first alt-meat companies eyeing the Chinese market. The Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods called China its “essential” market earlier this month.
But Yeung believes his company and his Asia-rooted team members have an edge when it comes to selling meat substitutes in Asia.
“In China and most of Asia, the meat we eat the most is not beef, not chicken but pork,” said Yeung.
Chinese people will need alt-meat that works in steam dishes such as soup dumplings and various dim sum and fried pork patties, which require different flavor profiles from sausages and burger patties, added Yeung.
But while the potential upside is huge in China, experts said the Chinese consumers have more concerns than rising prices...
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