Vegetarian protein has come a long way baby - from the cardboard tasting patties to tasty deliciousness. Maybe you tried meatless meat years ago, and haven’t tried it since then. Maybe – just maybe – it’s time to give meatless meat a second look.
THE COST OF EATING MEAT
It’s no coincidence that the change in our obesity rates in the U.S. mirrors our meat consumption. In addition to our intake of sugars and fats, we’ve increased our meat consumption greatly. This is costing us in terms of heart disease and other health factors.
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RELEASED A REPORT COMPARING 1950 CONSUMPTION TO CONSUMPTION IN 2000.
THE RESULTS ARE FASCINATING.
• 106 pounds red meat
• 20.5 pounds poultry
• 10.9 pounds fish
• 374 eggs per person
• 587.5 pounds fruit & veggies
• 195 pounds red meat
• 66.5 pounds poultry
• 15.2 pounds fish
• 250 eggs per person
• 707 pounds of fruit & veggies
Our meat consumption has gone up even more since 2000. Today we eat five times more meat (including poultry) than we ate 50 years ago.
This is also costing our planet in terms of forests (converted to grazing for cattle), air pollution (cow gases) and water.
Did you know that a single cow puts the same amount of air pollution (200-500 gallons of methane) into the atmosphere as a single car? And according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, livestock waste has polluted more than 27,000 miles of rivers and contaminated groundwater in dozens of states.
While California is suffering a record drought, consider that the standard diet of a person in the United States requires 4,200 gallons of water per day (for animals’ drinking water, irrigation of crops, processing, washing, cooking, etc.). A person on a vegan diet requires only 300 gallons a day.
Albert Einstein, who was better known for his physics and math than for his interest in the living world, once said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
But meatless meat doesn’t look, taste or feel like real meat you say! That is an excellent point. That may have been true once – but no longer.
THE NEW MEATLESS MEATS
You may have tried frying tofu (wrong texture for meat). Or perhaps you tried Boca Burgers or Gardenburgers (tasty but don’t taste like meat).
You may want to try again with Beyond Meat. Its chicken strips look and taste like chicken. Its ground meat looks and tastes like hamburger. Its burgers look and taste like hamburgers.
NBC’s TODAY crew did a taste test and could not tell the difference between real chicken or “fake” chicken and real beef or “fake” beef.
Beyond Meat’s products are made primarily from peas. The meatless meats have more free radicals than blueberries and contain no cholesterol, antibiotics, saturated fat or gluten. A three ounce serving of the grilled chicken strips is 120 calories.
Beyond Meat can be found at Sprouts, Publix, Vons, Safeway, Target and many other stores.
Try it! You may add Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to your Meatless Monday.