Major meatless meet-up showcases Israeli foodtech
Israel has secured its place as an early and leading player in the fields of plant-based culinary innovation and cultured meat, grown in the laboratory from extracted animal cells.
By Eytan Halon, The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
Feb 10, 2020
The wafting scent of scrumptious schnitzels, heavenly hamburgers and sizzling shwarma is not usually associated with plant-based diets.
That is, at least, until you meet the ambitious entrepreneurs leading the meatless revolution – a culinary uprising that promises to transform the way humanity consumes its food. While the recent excitement surrounding meat substitutes – including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods – may be welcome news for vegans, the developers have the world in their sights.
Israel has secured its place as an early and leading player in the fields of plant-based culinary innovation and cultured meat, grown in the laboratory from extracted animal cells. The rapidly-growing market for meat substitutes is driven by an increasing combination of health and environmental concerns.
Dozens of leading Israeli start-ups and well-established firms showcased their innovations at Tel Aviv Port on Monday, at the first conference for plant-based culinary innovation, targeting professionals and suppliers from the food industry. The conference was organized by Vegan Friendly and the Israeli branch of Meatless Monday.
Alongside mass munching on innovative food products, including chickpea-based ice cream and “bleeding” burgers, experts from the field presented a series of lectures on the future of meat and alternative proteins.
“Everyone is here to learn what can be served instead of meat, fish, eggs and dairy to people who want to reduce their animal product consumption,” Or Benjamin, the chairwoman of Meatless Monday, told The Jerusalem Post. “This event is definitely not for vegans, we do not market it to vegans and there are very few of the vegan community over here at all. This is intentional, as we believe that plant-based food is not only for vegans, but that everyone can benefit from moving to a more plant-based diet.”
With the growing range of plant-based solutions on offer, Benjamin said that there is no longer any need to compromise on taste, enjoyment or culinary interest when reducing meat consumption.
“There are both more and less processed products here, ranging from vegetables to burgers that stimulate the experience of a beef hamburger, but they do so without the deforestation and without a lot of the resources that go into producing meat,” Benjamin said. “This is a very exciting conference where the culinary scene meets the foodtech scene, and it is interesting to thousands of people visiting today.”
MORE THAN 350 hi-tech firms currently operate in Israel’s expanding agri-food sector...
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