Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

2017: The Year of Plant-Based Meat?

Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

2017: The Year of Plant-Based Meat?

Article excerpt

The non-meat "meat" world is exploding. In October, Tyson Foods--the biggest American marketer of chicken, pork, and beef--shocked the industry by buying a 5 percent stake (no pun intended) in Beyond Meat, which makes burgers, chick'n strips, beefy crumbles, and more, mostly from soy and pea protein.

And Gardein--which uses grain and soy protein to make tenders, beefless tips, fishless filets, and more--has been bought by Pinnacle Foods, which owns Armour canned meats.

Both are duking it out with burgers, chick'n strips, bacon strips, and breakfast sausage from MorningStar Farms (owned by Kellogg).

Then there's Impossible Foods, which uses heme molecules made by genetically engineered yeast to try to replicate the taste of real burgers. And you've got the familiar veggie-burger brands like Boca (owned by Kraft Heinz) and Dr. Praeger's.

But it's not just red meat, chicken, and fish that small companies--some backed by venture capitalists--are going after.

There's Just Mayo, an egg-less mayonnaise by Hampton Creek. Dairy-free milks abound, based mostly on soy, almonds, cashews, or (now, with Ripple) pea protein. And newcomer Perfect Day is developing milk, cheese, yogurt, and other cow-less "dairy" foods using genetically engineered yeast to make the same proteins that are found in milk.

Not only are these foods convenient; many of them taste great. Most are also good for you, though some are too high in salt or too low in protein, so you still have to read labels

Plant-based "meats" are booming. …

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