Where’s the beef? Plant-based proteins take off

Whether it’s diet consciousness or concerns for sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to meat, there’s no question that plant-based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are getting consumers’ – and investors’ – attention. Even Big Meat producers like Tyson Foods is entering the alternative protein market with plant-based “chicken” nuggets.

If you’re considering becoming vegan or vegetarian or you simply want to reduce the amount of animal meat you eat, here are five plant-based proteins to consider:

Soy: Soy-based products, like tofu, tempeh and edamame, don’t actually reduce male testosterone levels as once thought. That’s good news for one of the richest sources of plant-based proteins, which contain about 10 to 15g of protein per serving. Tofu, also called soybean curds, is a great addition to soups, stews and sandwiches where it takes on the flavor of the dish’s other ingredients. And because soy contains good levels of calcium and iron, it’s a great substitute for dairy products. 

Quinoa: A South American grain that’s gained popularity on recent years, cooked quinoa contains about 8g of protein per cup. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium and fiber and a versatile substitute for rice or pasta in soups and salads.

Hemp seeds: Considered a superfood, hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant but do not produce any mild-altering effects. They are, however, packed with protein – almost as much as soybeans – high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and believed to help regulate the immune system. You can add the seeds to your cereal, yogurt, smoothies and salads or drink hemp milk as you would cow milk.

Mycoprotein: A fungus-based protein often used in “chicken” nuggets or cutlets, mycoprotein is rich in protein at about 13 g per half-cup serving. It’s low in fat and cholesterol, high in fiber and good for sodium-restricted diets. People with a history of mushroom or other food allergies are advised to consider other protein alternatives or consult their physicians or dieticians. 

Other plant-based proteins to consider include almonds, spirulina and chia seeds. Are you on a plant-based protein diet or considering decreasing your meat intake? Let us know why and how it’s going! Share your experiences in the Shop Talk blog community forum.

Did you know? The Governator says hasta la vista

Arnold Schwarzenegger has jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. The former bodybuilder and California governor says he’s now convinced “you really don’t have to get your protein from meat – or from animals.” (Source)

88 thoughts on “Where’s the beef? Plant-based proteins take off

  1. I would try it…why not? It’s not like it’s a big change. If I don’t like it I would just go back to regular meat.

  2. Most of the newest burger brands taste absolutely terrible to a life-long vegetarian, but probably taste great to life-long animal eaters. Unfortunately, the various brands (old and new) tend to have way too much sodium and other unattractive, unhealthy ingredients.

  3. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 25 years and I’m so happy that I am. No animals died for me to eat. I wish more people would realize just what they are putting in their mouths. A chicken’s Leg? A pig’s Hoof? Really? Wake up. Preserve life- not take it!!

  4. Eating meat does not harm the environment like the eco-Nazis would have you believe. Livestock have been raised for thousands of years without harming the ozone layer. In fact, increasing plant-based food consumption raises allergen levels tremendously, and keep in mind most allergens are plant-based. Furthermore, animals can make use of foods that humans can’t–goats chowing down on poison ivy without tainting their milk or meat is an example–and are actually better for the environment than you think. In Third World countries, people are starving because meat is an unaffordable luxury, were they to buy it–assuming they could. These people lack the health and strength to perform daily tasks, and infant and child mortality is high. When charitable organizations such as The Heifer Project come in and give these people animals–chickens, goats, cows, etc.–not only do these people’s health and strength improve greatly, but they have a source of income by selling eggs and milk. Animal fertilizer provides micronutrients in the soil that enable crops to be raised year after year. And animal-based foods provide nutrients in a way the human body can easily process. In addition, there are some nutrients in animal-based foods that do not exist in plant-based foods–example, vitamin B12–or do not exist in the correct form for optimium human health, such as the “complete proteins” of beans and rice. They may be complete, but they are not the best form of protein for humans.
    I personally refuse to consume or consider plant-based fake meats. I prefer real food, thank you very much. Recent scientific findings have shown eating meat and eggs–even animal fats–isn’t as bad for you as formerly thought. There are even some benefits–lard can clear up eczema, for example, maybe even prevent it. Enough with the anti-meat propaganda, and let’s go back to eating the food God gave us!

  5. I’m not the one to eat plant-based products, I have tried the morning star product and it was the taste that just didn’t fit my palette

  6. I’m not completely convinced that cutting out meat protein is the way to go but it’s wonderful that this plant based product has broken so many taboos in regards to taste, texture & variety.

  7. Meat free staples are becoming more common and more people and enjoying them. No longer the province special diets, meat free dishes are available almost everywhere you shop. I glad to have the options

  8. I have no problem with using plant based protein, however, government enforced dietary control led by the anti-meat NWO control freaks is NOT acceptable! I won’t be told what I can or cannot eat! I eat vegetarian products to control my weight and cholesterol, not because I am some wild-eyed vegan anti-meat activist. If we replace meat we will need even more cropland to produce the vegetation needed to feed us. So how is this helping the environment? Those who say we will use less land to produce more crops are high on something. The math does not prove their point. You also can’t lower CO2 emissions and have optimum crop yield, plants thrive on C02, The NWO wants to have people who are desperate and obesient, what better way than to take choices away and control the food supply?

  9. Some how I find the push for artificial meat, milk, what ever a bit silly. If one has an allergy to a natural produce, there might be use. I like my butter, my milk, my meat and really have no interest in advancing unnatural products.

    I am sure some of this is unneeded concern for the environment, however I see no indication of how much energy it takes to produce these fakes.

  10. Some plant based products actually taste good. I have been surprised by some of the really good products out there. There are some that still need work though. If you try one that’s not so good,don’t give up try a different one.

  11. Had no idea you could create a plant burger with so many of the bad elements of the full Whopper. To their credit, it is NOT marketed as healthy or nutritious, just PLANT BASED….maybe to encourage meat eaters to drag vegan friends to BKs. I doubt there’s enough of a market to sustain it once people figure that out.

  12. If we don’t eat the animal based, the animals will be over populated causing diseases that will woe them out then people. It almost happened when deer hunting was cut back. The economy will be severely affected.

  13. I enjoy veggie burgers and other plant-based foods including nutritional yeast. Simply roasting veggies in olive oil is delicious!

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