Fake Meat: 10 Things To Know About The Biggest Food Trend of 2018

In an effort to eat responsibly, scientists have recreated the taste and effect of meat in a lab. Here’s what you need to know about fake meat

Priyanko Sarkar

The fake meat industry is real. Once that’s sunk in, let’s move to what this actually means for you in particular and the future of food in general. Fake meat is lab-produced food that mimics the taste and qualities of real meat. But there’s a lot more to fake meat that you should know, seeing as it is the biggest food trend of the year. Here are 10 essential facts about fake meat.

1 – Fake meat uses plant protein instead of animal protein and adds taste to match as closely to its animal-based counterparts.

2 – Fake meat is the biggest buzzword in US’ Silicon Valley right now, with some investors describing the situation as a virtual ‘gold rush’.

3 – The fake meat revolution began in earnest in 2014 when US-based Impossible Foods asked the FDA to recognize its plant protein named leghemoglobin made from soy roots as safe.

4 – Today, a wide variety of plant proteins are available in the market such as pea protein extract, potato starch, bamboo cellulose, annatto extract and the holy grail – beetroot juice extract to mimic the bleeding effect of red meats.

5 – Promoting fake meat is a healthy choice for the planet as they use far fewer resources than farm animals before landing on your plate. It is one of the most significant ways of combating climate change.

6 – Impossible Foods’ flagship product Impossible Burger is the most recognised food item of the fake meat industry. Beyond Meats is another close competitor while UK-based Quorn is the biggest name outside Silicon Valley in the fake meat industry.

7 – While fake meats’ claim of reducing meat consumption is legit, proponents of clean eating have an upper hand in criticizing the nascent industry as most of the lab-grown products are ultra-processed.

8 – The traditional meat industry is pushing back against the rising onslaught of fake meat by dismissing the taste of lab-grown meat and pushing legislation to label their products differently but so far they haven’t scored any major points.

9 – Tyson, the largest meat processor company in the US, is an investor in two fake meat companies – Beyond Meat burgers and Memphis Meats. The company seems to be gauging the future of the fake meat industry and it looks positive.

10 – In India, we’ve long used meat substitutes without actually calling it fake meat. Whether its raw banana instead of potato or even fish fillets, cottage cheese instead of chicken or the various versions of vegetarian kofte dishes made with vegetables and lentils.

And finally, here’s a video that tells you fake meat has arrived!



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