It seems like every month there's a new plant-based meat alternative on the market. In 2020 the world-wide plant-based meat market was $5.6 billion and is expected to grow by 15% through 2027.
Since 2015, plant-based meat substitutes that mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of animal products have exceeded 4400 products worldwide. Veggie burgers have been around for years – since 1982 when London-based natural foods restaurant owner Gregory Sams introduced the "VegeBurger." The first veggie burgers were made from lentils, a variety of vegetables, nuts, and seeds and didn’t taste anything like a beef burger.
Today the focus is on replicating the taste and texture of meat using plants plus the latest technology, moving away from the traditional veggie burger and toward highly-processed foods.
What Ingredients are in Plant-Based "Meats"?
Manufacturers use a variety of ingredients to make plant-based "meats," including:
- Wheat gluten
- Wheat seitan
- Pea protein
- Potato starch
- Various types of oils
- Different types of starches (these act as binders to hold everything together)
- Commercial flavoring and colors
- Fermented, genetically engineered yeast
But are these meat alternatives better for your health than actual meat? Find out in the post Are Plant-Based "Meats" Healthier than Meats?
By Lynn Grieger, RDN, CDCES, CPT, CHWC
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- Smithsonian Magazine. The history of the veggie burger. K. Annabelle Smith. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/history-veggie-burger-180950163/ published 3-19-14. Accessed 9-25-21
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.