The new kind of faux meat – Image credit: Plant Based News
Move aside veganism. The new food trend for 2019 is faux meat and plant-based foods. From veggie steaks to seitan sausages, pea protein shakes to tempeh duck, you can now find an increasing variety of non-meat options for cooking while shopping in grocery stores and supermarkets.
The idea of faux meat is not a new one, but the way these foods are made, packaged and promoted is getting a new spin. No longer do consumers see weirdly pink sausages or a blob of greyish brown stuff made of unknown ingredients, meant to be a substitute for meat and a source of protein.
Today’s plant-based foods look credible, taste good and is fun enough for naysayers to give them a try. They exude creativity, inspire confidence, while at the same time, convey loads of health benefits.
Eating for health
Studies have shown the many benefits of not eating meat. Cutting down the consumption of meat can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk for cancer and prevent obesity and diabetes. However, meat-eaters do find it hard to give up meat completely. Faux meat and plant-based proteins could provide the solution. While this trend will not totally eradicate the consumption of meat, it might provide an alternative for which meat-eaters can occasionally lean into, swapping real meat for faux ones.
Cruelty-free and reducing carbon footprint
Image credit: Unsplash
The bonus for choosing plant-based food and faux meat is that it is cruelty-free. Animal lovers can now enjoy scrumptious-tasting “meat” that leaves them satisfied after a meal without feeling guilty.
The drive to replicate meat using plants is also a plus for environmental sustainability. Animal products produce more than half of the global agriculturel greenhouse gas emission. The rearing of livestock as a source of food takes up land and uses too much water. Many environmental issues could be moderated if we consume less meat.
All you need is creativity
Image credit: Minimalist Baker
From New York City to California, London to Berlin, restaurants are leading the way with serving plant-based foods and faux meats. Be it vegetarian pizza or match-kelp noodles, vegetables are coming into the forefront. Beetroot, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and mushrooms are all playing big roles in plant-based menus. The way vegetables are cooked can impact the taste. So grilling, roasting, and deep-frying are ingenious methods in bringing out the best flavors of otherwise boring vegetables. Nuts, grains, and legumes like cashew, chia seeds, chickpeas, and black beans give the feeling of fullness because of the fats and fiber in them.
Plant-based dishes need not be just salads or wraps. Many fast-food chains are looking into including plant-based food in their menus to give consumers more choices. While faux meat and plant-based foods might be a trend in 2019, it seems like a start to what the future of food might evolve to be.