Finding An Alternative
The impact of traditional sources of protein, such as beef and poultry, are leading consumers to demand new sources of protein. Advances in food technology might just give consumers exactly what they are looking for. Food companies are now interested in developing “meatless” meat. Although there are currently vegetarian options available the new wave of meat alternatives aim to offer a better taste and better nutrition than current options while focusing on reducing the environmental impact of producing meat alternatives. Everything from coconut oil to potatoes is currently considered by food companies.
The Reasons Behind The Demand
The biggest reasons consumers are demanding meat alternatives are related to the environmental impact and safety of meat. Growing and slaughtering cattle isn’t a cheap or carbon efficient process. Health concerns are an influencing factor as well. E. Coli, Salmonella, and Yersinia outbreaks have discouraged consumption of meat. Alternatives to meat offer protein from sources free of bloodborne diseases that may taint cattle sources.
The Nutrition Of Meatless Meat
A major concern of any consumer is exactly what nutrients food may have. Meatless meat already offers the nutrients common to plant sources, but innovations in food production have allowed producers to offer nutrition more commonly available among carnivourous diets. Vitamin B12 is easily obtained from meat in adequate daily amounts, but it is often difficult to find a vegetarian source of this vital nutrient. Beyond Meat, a company specializing in meatless meat, allows consumers an excellent source of vitamin B12 with the Beast Burger. This burger contains more than 20% of vitamin B12 needed without any of the drawbacks of meat.
The Taste Of Meatless Meat
The most important part of meatless meat for any consumer is the taste of the product. Although many believe that meat alternatives in the past did not mimic the taste or texture of meat innovative recipes offer savory options. A great example of this innovation in work is the use of heme. This iron based plant derivative allows customers to finally eat “bloody” meatless burgers and receive the same satisfaction of beef. Through innovations like this the meatless meat market will eventually grow to include even customers who haven’t traditionally consider meatless meat.