Meatless Meat: What is at ‘Steak’?

With veganism being the new buzzword, a number of people are already looking for meat alternatives and doing ‘their bit’ for the environment.

Meatless meats are the plant-based substitutes for animal meat and are made with soy and pea products. These meats are a healthier option and their consumption is encouraged owing to the health risks associated with animal meat and for taking a step toward saving the planet. Latching on to this are a number of startups, launching meatless meat products targeted at the more conscientious customer.

What is Meatless Meat?

Meatless meats replicate the structure of normal meats on a molecular level. The protein derived from these plant-based meats have less saturated fats and are rich in fibre and vitamins.

Unived is one such start-up that has come up with a range of mock meats developed from plant-based products.

"Meatless meats - are natural or lab-grown options to meat derived from animals. Unived uses a natural Jackfruit in our popular Vegan Meat product, due to its versatility as a fruit and its likeness in texture and taste to real meat. One of the biggest advantages is the cholesterol free, hormone free, and non-cancerous nature of the fruit, unlike real meat. Jackfruit allows you to enjoy the taste & texture of meat, without all the negative side-effects.   " - Amit Mehta, Founder and CEO, Unived

“I have been vegan for over 10 years. This is the only sustainable diet for ourselves, and our planet. Animals should not be objectified, used, tortured, and made into the commodity that they are today. “ adds Mehta.

Red meat and its vegan counterpart have different nutritional values. While actual red meat may have more protein it also has more cholesterol. When it comes to taste, according to experts these meatless meats taste very similar to actual meat.

Also Read: How Healthy Is a Vegan Diet? Should You Go for It?

Why Meatless Meat?

The demand for animal meat is likely to increase by 73% by 2050 which in turn will have a detrimental impact on the food chain and the farming sector. According to nutritionist, Rupali Dutta, “Meatless meats are made from really good quality proteins. Consumption of meatless meats is therefore good for the environment as well as health as it is low in cholesterol and fats.”

Consumption of red meat is also associated with cancer risks and heart problems. Studies also suggest that in order to meet climate targets and for a healthier environment it is extremely important that meat consumption be reduced.

"Meatless meats are a good option for people who want to cut animal meat from their diet but want the taste and texture of animal meat. " - Dr. Rupali Dutta, Nutritionist

Also Read: Cut Meat, Shift to Plant-Based Diet to Save the Planet: Lancet

Why Not Meatless Meat?

Would you believe these gorgeous burgers are vegan? 

In order to give the meatless meats the same texture and taste of actual meat the plant-based meats are heavily processed and packed with preservatives which can cause health risks.

“Since such a vast population in the country is non-vegetarian, I don’t think everybody will be able to convert to a vegan diet”, said Dutta.

"It depends on how these meatless meats are processed. High sodium and other additives in these meats will completely defeat their purpose. " - Dr. Rupali Dutta, Nutritionist

Also Read: 63% Indians Want to Replace Meat with Plant-Based Food: Report

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