Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just someone who wants to eat healthier food, the rise of plant-based meat is anticipated to be a global trend in the future. Humanity realizes how bad traditional meat products are for our health, the planet, and farm animals. So, it all comes down to making conscious eating choices.
Shifting away from animal-based foods is smart for sustainability and spares billions of animals each year from torment. Therefore, plant-based meat is no longer a niche product. It is essential to bring these products to the public. And there are many reasons why plant-based meat will be the future – read on to find out more.
First and foremost, plant-based meat is meat.
Plant-based is a substitute for real meat made from plants. That’s why companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat don’t call their products fake meat or faux meat because they want consumers to know that their products are just as delicious as the actual ground beef or chicken breasts. It looks, cooks, and satisfies like animal meat.
These products are for the 92% of American consumers who eat meat and want to incorporate plant-based meals into their diet, either because they want to reduce their health risks, reduce their carbon footprint, or help animals. While certain plant-based meats are positioned as healthier alternatives to animal meat and marketed as such, most are sold in the same aisle as animal-derived meat at grocery stores and restaurants because they’re meant to appeal to meat-lovers.
Plant-based meats have been purposefully made to deliver the same taste, aroma, texture, appearance, and cooking experience consumers love about animal meat. And in some cases, its health benefits match or even exceed that of traditional meats.
Plant-based meat is better for the environment than conventionally produced meat.
You may have heard the news: meat is bad for you and the planet. Red meat, in particular, is linked to a host of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease, and it’s also a major contributor to climate change. A new study from researchers at Tulane University finds that if Americans cut their beef consumption in half, it would reduce U.S. emissions by 10%. That’s like taking 661 million passenger-vehicle off the road for good.
So why not eat less meat?
The problem is that people don’t want to give up hamburgers, bacon, and hot dogs forever — they just can’t help themselves. So we need another solution, and luckily there’s a new one on the horizon: plant-based “meat” products that taste like real meat but don’t come with all the negative health or environmental baggage.
It’s true that producing plant-based meat requires a large amount of energy and that the production chain is complex. But the energy needed to make those products is still lower than the energy required to produce traditional meat. Plus, animal husbandry is one of the biggest contributors to global warming and air pollution.
Most scientists agree that we need to drastically reduce our consumption of animal protein to protect the environment. Not to mention that healthy dietary patterns emphasizing plant-based foods can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73 per cent. So, plant-based meats are a good alternative as they can replace traditional animal protein while using fewer resources.
Plant-based meat is healthier.
The meat industry has also been linked to cancer, stroke, and higher mortality rates. On the other hand, plant-based proteins are less likely to cause adverse side effects. People who consume more plant-based foods have a lower blood pressure than meat-eaters.
People realize that meat is no longer a “staple” in their diets and the risks far outweigh the benefits. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared processed meats as carcinogenic and red meat as a probable carcinogen. And compared to animal meat, plant-based meat is healthier in all ways. It has zero cholesterol, lower saturated fats, and no hormones or antibiotics.
They also contain more fibre and antioxidants and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. More specifically, plant-based meat is a better source of protein than eggs or chicken. It also provides more iron per 100 grams than beef and has more potassium — which is important for blood pressure. Lastly, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in plant-based meat is the same as in salmon.
Plant-based alternatives are just as diverse as their real counterparts.
Plant-based protein has come a long way since the days of tofu and tempeh. Today, you can buy plant-based meat alternatives that aren’t just pale imitations of their real counterparts: They’re just as diverse and delicious as the real thing!
The range of plant-based products is just as diverse as that of real meat — consumers can find burgers, sausage, bacon, and even ground beef made with ingredients like soybeans, chickpeas, and mushrooms.
But they come with one big difference: They’re made from plants (like lentils or beet juice), making them an option for anyone who doesn’t eat meat due to health reasons, ethical concerns, or simply wanting to cut back on meat consumption. If you find yourself drooling at the thought of eating a juicy burger or some crispy bacon, know that you can still indulge your cravings while saving animals and protecting the environment (and your health).
Overall, plant-based proteins set the stage for healthy living and environmentally conscious action—and they are producing great results already. As they continue to evolve and improve, their growth appears to be unstoppable.
Traditional meat will not go away anytime soon; however, the future of plant-based meat is bright—and it will continue to be a part of a well-balanced, plant-based diet for everyone. And as the world becomes more and more aware of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, it looks like veganism will only gain popularity. We can only hope that it continues to be the case because the world would be a much better place if we all consume consciously.
Mary Jane Soliman is a freelance writer who offers blog writing services. She provides high-quality sustainability content that gains attention and increases online presence. You can connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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