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Meatless Meat: Is it Really Better?

Name: Chapin Eager

Class: ENES464

I find the transition to more meatless diets exceptionally interesting. In order to fit this changing demand, there are companies creating “meatless meats” which seek to give consumers the taste and texture of meat without consuming meat. During my research to find an interesting disruptive technology, the article I used mentioned three ‘meatless meats’ companies: The Impossible Burger, Beyond Meat, and Memphis Meats.

The main reasons when switching to a meatless diet relate to environmental impacts and personal health. On Beyond Meats’ website they provided a chart of the environmental and health impacts of the meat industry.

Personally, I have severe soy and nut allergies. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), the presence of food allergies has increased 50% from 1997 to 2011. Additionally, soy, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts are among the top 8 food allergens in the United States. The Impossible Burger contained wheat and soy, and Beyond Meat contains no major food allergens. Interestingly, Memphis Meats is actually made from meat, but the meat they use is produced in a lab and seeks to counteract the environmental impacts caused by raising animals for meat production.

According to Science Alert, switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet would not actually decrease the environmental impact. Due to caloric intake needs, the amount of meat versus vegetables needed to achieve the same nutrition levels are vastly different. From their research, the author believed the greatest solution to the environmental impacts of the meat industry is to reduce the nation’s caloric intake.

My research into meatless meats has made me consider this as a possible successful alternative in my own life. Due to my allergies, I believed I could not eat a vegetarian diet, but I found a possible solution with the Beyond Meat burger. It is not a major change, but if a large enough population switched to this diet, it could have major impacts on the farming industry (especially those factions related to livestock raising and food production for the animals) and the health industry.


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