Plant-Based Meat: The Future of Food
By Tanaya Mehta
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” This was said by famous physicist Albert Einstein. I quite agree with this statement. Choosing the right foods which are good for our health is important because it affects the health of our ecosystem. Nowadays, there are new alternatives, but one that has intrigued me the most is the substitute of meat: plant-based meat.
You may be wondering, why did I choose to write an article on plant-based meat? This is because of my growing interest in food science, a field involving the aspect of science, food processing, and the development of food technology. My first thought was, 'what would be better than to write about something I'm interested in?' Also, affects the food industry, that will stay relevant for years to come.
Plant-based meat, one of the world’s newest inventions, is a product designed to imitate meat. While earlier products like tofu were meant to replace meat, newer products such as plant-based meat are trying to mimic its taste, texture, smell, and appearance. It seems to be getting more recognition nowadays. I have tried a plant-based burger before and I personally couldn’t tell the difference between the plant-based and a real meat burger. Several brands such as ‘Impossible Foods’ or ‘Beyond Meat’ have become famous worldwide for their new substitute. According to new research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, imitation meat is found to be a good source of fibre, folate, and iron, while containing less saturated fat than ground beef.
Plant-based meat is more sustainable and less damaging to the environment. They emit 90% fewer greenhouse gases than normal animal protein production. It doesn’t rely on land use or animal agriculture. Plant-based meat is also healthier than regular meat as it is lower in saturated fat and calories. Although it is quite beneficial, a plant-based lifestyle should not solely rely on plant-based meat. People should consume a balanced diet that has all the proteins and vitamins required for the human body. The ingredients in plant-based meat include coconut oil, vegetable protein extract, and beet juice. Some examples of everyday food are plant-based burgers, ground meat, sausages, nuggets, and seafood. These are now becoming more available in shops and restaurants. While this imitation meat is a great asset to our economy, it can be very expensive and is not as easily available as regular meat. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people tend to avoid the transition from regular meat to plant-based meat.
Implementing and involving these new substitute foods into our life can help reduce climate change, reduce the slaughter of animals, and is extremely healthy. With the help of food scientists, talented entrepreneurs, and investors plant-based meat has become the newest creation in the food world. “People eat meat and think they will become strong as an ox, forgetting that the ox eats grass.”