Veganism is no longer the pariah on the popular culture playground. Having a plant-based diet is the environmentally-friendly life choice favored by milennials and baby boomers with a more evolved conscience. Such is the way of capitalism, the market is graciously responding to the demand for accessible and affordable vegan food options. In 2017, Nellson, a food manufacturer which specializes in producing bars, powders and beverages, reported a 140% spike in the demand for vegan products. Cue the entrance of plant-based meats. Thanks to the joys and wonders of high-end, cutting-edge food tech, ‘meat’ products are now being produced with an ingredients list that will astound even the most skeptical of critics.
These meat products are entirely made of vegetarian ingredients, all while mimicking the smell, texture and taste of ‘real’ meat. Beyond Meat is the Los Angeles-based food brand which has long been at the forefront of the production of plant-based meat alternatives. Established in 2009, the company first released their ‘Beyond Chicken’ products in 2013, while ‘Beyond Beef’ hit the market shelves in 2014. The meaty products are made with a perfected mix of pea protein isolates, yeast and other eco-conscious ingredients. Today, the company is rolling out its products to 50 international supermarkets, including Tesco in the United Kingdom, A&W in Canada and Whole Foods in the US.
The public and critical response to Beyond Meat products has been a spectacular mixture of disbelief and applause. The iconic business magnate, Bill Gates, wrote on his personal blog that, “[he] couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken”. And while the taste of these products might be worth praise, the environmental accountability of the brand is nothing short of revolutionary. A peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by the University of Michigan compared the environmental footprint of The Beyond Burger patty to a ¼ lb. U.S. beef burger. The Beyond Burger was found to use 99% less water, 93% less land and 46% less energy.
With all of the deliciousness and none of the apocalyptic environmental effects, there are few reasons not to take a bite out of this seemingly sustainable trend. To veganism, and beyond.To browse and buy Beyond Meat products, click here.