The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated that a vegetarian or vegan diet is great as it provides mostly all the nutritional requirements of adults or children. People on vegetarian or vegan diets are at a lower risk of various illnesses such as ischemic or coronary heart disease, certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cataract, macular degeneration and have low cholesterol. A vegan diet tends to be low calorie, making it easier to manage weight. Because vegan food is not processed, high-sodium pre-packaged foods are automatically omitted from one’s diet. But is this all enough to give up your carnivorous craving? LOL! Hard? Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or just an adventurous foodie, these vegetarian meat substitutes can be your saviour. They are unique, tasty, and nutritious. It is the lab grown meat that’s vegan derived from plant ingredients, synthesised and engineered into fake meat. Try swapping out your non-vegan delights for these plant-based substitutes, and wonders, you might not even notice.
But why clean meat?
It is a more environmentally friendly option rather than traditional livestock farming. Here is how, traditional meat (cows in particular) require profound amount of food, water, land and their gastrointestinal methane emission making about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. On the contrary making fake meat from plants is affordable, has adequate capacity and needs less of Earth’s resources. Plant based meats are nutritious and would help in feeding a growing global population, one of the big challenges of all growing economies in the world.
Lab grown meat, The science:
What makes food a food? Well its smell, taste, texture. So all we need to do is create an exact replica which can mimic the properties of `animal-based product using plant-based product’. De-constructing the animal based product to its molecular level to identify its composition (proteins) responsible for its shape, colour, texture, flavours and then carefully look up of its molecular copy cat in the plants. Once identified, isolated and mixed well in right proportions the plant based substitute of animal products (meat/seafood/sausages) is ready. Also plant proteins generally taste more bitter so they have to be engineered first to develop proteins with a cleaner taste. It’s loaded with all manner of proteins that interact with each other giving it fell, aroma, chewiness and juiciness like the ‘real meat’.
The major plant ingredients include wheat protein to give firmness and chew, potato protein to hold water, coconut, beet juice for well, juiciness and then of course the leghemoglobin from genetically engineered yeast (for heme as in animals) for the colour and flavours like that of “meat.” Since fake meat is grown in sterile lab conditions it does not require enormous amounts of antibiotics as in intensive farms.
Who’s doing it?
The following organisations are dedicated in making these plants based substitutes. Let’s have a look at what they are up to:
- The Not Company (2015),Chilean company makes Not Milk, Not Mayo, Not Yogurt and Not Cheese.
- Impossible Foods (2011), Redwood City, USA makes meat-free burger made from wheat, potatoes and coconut oil.
- Ojah (2009), Ochten, Netherlands makes soya and pea-based meat substitutes.
- Super Meat Founded (2015), Rehovot, Israel makes poultry meat without using animal cells.
- Gold & Green (2015), Helsinki, Finland makes high-protein meat called ‘pulled oats’, a mix of oats and beans available in a range of flavours.
- Calysta (2012), Menlo Park makes methane-based feed for livestock, fish and pets.
- Entomo Farms (2014), Ontario, Canada makes insect-based snacks, protein powders and pet food.
- Memphis Meats (2015), San Francisco, is developing lab-grown meat.
- Quorn, England, UK makes burger patties, ground meat, chicken cutlets and turkey “roasts” using fermented mushrooms.
- Beyond Meat (2009), Los Angeles makes plant-based meat alternatives (burgers/ sausages) made from yellow peas and beet juice.
- Sunfed Foods (2015), Auckland, New Zealand makes chicken-free chicken chunks from pea protein.
- The Vegetarian Butcher (2010) Breda, Netherland make plant-based meat and fish substitutes.