Future Foods – Meat Alternatives and Their Impact
There was a time when people would wonder if meat could originate from plants. The mere idea to replicate the taste, texture, appearance, as well as protein intake found in meat, seemed unfathomable. Fast forward to today, when technological advancements in the food industry, have transformed this mere idea into reality.
What is Meatless Meat?
Quite simply, meatless meat is a plant-based meat substitute. Why do we need Meatless Meat? There is no single answer to this. However, the demand for sustainable food and the global impact of the meat industry are the notable ones. Let us look into the environmental impacts of the meat industry in detail:
- Methane Gas Emissions – There has always been a lot of scrutiny on actual emission of methane gas from livestock. Methane is a greenhouse gas and is a natural by-product of livestock that comes from waste and emissions from animals. An average cow produces about 150 gallons of methane per day. When methane mixes into the atmosphere, it’s apparently more deadly than any carbon dioxide emission.
- Land and Water Degradation – Around 30% of the world’s land is for raising livestock. And around 15,000 litres of water consumption is to produce one kilo of beef. With land, water and food getting scarcer every year, it’s a major misrepresentation of said resources.
- Deforestation – The meat industry is partially responsible for increased amazon deforestation. Amazon fires have also been linked to its deforestation. Brazil, one of the biggest exporters of beef, relies on the meat industry for its economy. About as close as 70 percent of land deforestation is due to an increasing demand for beef.
- Water Pollution – The biggest contributor considered for dead zones in the oceans is the meat industry. Livestock produces as much as 130 times wastage as humans. This waste gets dumped onto the oceans, destroying marine life and creating dead zones (lack of oxygen in water).
The environment simply cannot sustain at the rate humans are consuming meat. Hence, the need for the Meatless Industry.
Meatless Meat Market – Timeline
The global plant-based (meatless) meat market is a high potential domain. It is may reach USD 10 million by 2022 with a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. Here is an overview on the industry:
Meatless / Plant-based Technology:
To make a vegan burger, you need a meatless patty. The invention for the vegetable substitute was made back in 1901. John Kellogg (of Kellogg’s fame), invented a meatless substitute called Protose. His patent describes the “meaty” qualities of his invention that was made from peanut/wheat gluten blend.
The meatless meat technology revolves around the mission to create mass-market solutions that replace animal protein with plant-based protein. The technology focuses on providing food products that replicate the texture, taste, as well as protein source found in meat.
Such innovation is the result of years of experimentation. Meatless meat brands have so far developed meat replacements by using plant ingredients such as soybean, beat roots and pea protein. Download our meat alternative market report to gain insights into the meatless meat industry.
Meatless Meat (Meat Alternatives) Meals:
- Impossible Foods Burger – When we talk about meatless meat, the famous vegan meat substitute called the Impossible Burger is worth a mention. This vegan burger is famous for its meat-like quality with a beef-like characteristic that actually bleeds! It is said to get its bleed-like properties by adding a protein molecule called Haemoglobin.
- Beyond Burger – Relies on beet to create a similar bleed-like property in its meatless patty. They are also soy and gluten-free, which is a rare combination found in existing market offerings.
- Field Roast I FieldBurger – Formed by hand and made of barley, celery and fresh carrots, this juicy, plant based burger appeases sports fans across United States.
Meatless Meat Industry – Benefits
Meatless meat industry aims to find a better way to feed this planet. By removing the animal from the protein-based production chain, the industry powerfully takes care of the environmental factors discussed above. It also helps in improving human health by combating widespread antibiotic resistance caused by meat production.
The Future Ahead for Meat Alternatives
As more people become aware of the global impact of the meat industry, they are switching to plant-based diets. Hence, we see a rapid growth and expansion in the market for plant-based proteins. And that only fuels the future of the meatless meat technology. It will be interesting to see if future food innovations can discover food options beyond just soy and wheat protein. Food for thought, isn’t it?
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– The Editorial Team