This article is based on a recent trip that I took to Honest Burger to sample the Beyond Meat plant-based burger.
Promoting plant rich diets came in as the fourth most effective solution to slow down and reverse climate change in Paul Hawken’s 2017 work Drawdown. If you would like to read my review of this book, please click on the link below.
Promoting plant rich diets, is therefore something which is integral to a successful transition towards sustainability.
Having enough protein, is crucial to sustaining a healthy diet. I think it is a moot point that ample protein can be obtained from vegan sources such as vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. People clearly like to eat things that look like meat, hence the success of the Quorn range of products.
At the time, these were great products that vastly enhanced the range of eating opportunities for those following vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. But they were often viewed with ridicule by those who follow more carnivorous lifestyles. This meant that they were unable to break into the mainstream, as they neither looked nor tasted like the meat options that they were intended to replicate.
This is the problem that Beyond Meat was created to solve. If you can use technology to create meat substitutes that look and taste more realistic you have a much bigger chance of becoming a mainstream option enjoyed by large sections of the population, rather than the preserve of those following vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
To begin with, when the burger was dropped off, my first impression was that it was highly realistic. I have eaten many veggie burgers in my life and this was by quite some considerable distance the most realistic looking burger.
The next most important consideration is the taste test and, on this front, the Beyond Burger performed exceptionally well. I am unable to provide commentary on if this is realistic to a meat-based burger, but I was dining with my brother who enjoys such products and he confirmed that it was highly realistic. In comparison to other vegan and vegetarian burgers that I have ever tried, it was probably the best that I have ever sampled.
The amount of greenhouse gasses that are released by different food options varies dramatically. As you can see from the chart below, the impact of Beef is enormous, which is worrying as it is a dish associated with status.
There is therefore a big opportunity for companies such as Beyond Meat to come in with a technological solution to temper the demand for meat, by developing realistic meat substitutes.
These companies are still in their infancy so it is too early to tell whether these substitutes can break into the mainstream. But based on my first experience of the Beyond Burger, where I left exceptionally satisfied, I think there is definitely scope for these options to become a lot more popular in the future.
What you need to know
This was an article about my recent trip to honest burger to sample the Beyond Meat plant-based burger.
Going in with high expectations, I was completely blown away by the quality and the taste of this burger.
Whether you are a lifelong vegetarian or just someone who likes to try new things I definitely recommend that you make the effort to try this burger.
With beef contributing to large quantities of greenhouse gasses and with billions more people this century expecting to have meat as part of their diet, hopefully these types of meat substitutes can continue to increase in quality, so that people have a sustainable and ethical source of protein to choose from.
Thank you for reading,
By Barnaby Nash
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. Do you think these meat substitutes can become mainstream?