GKM has always been an advocate for accommodating our foodservice to everyone, regardless of allergies, intolerances, or preferences. Imagine our excitement with the newly found craze of plant-based meat for people who do not consume meat! This hot commodity, known for its popular brands such as Beyond Meat®, is in high demand and is a great alternative to actual animal meat. Whether its medical or ethical reasons behind choosing not to eat meat, it is not secret that there are plenty of great alternatives out there at the tip of our fingers.
We are going to dive into different plant-based meat options and their typical ingredients as well as weighing both the pros and the cons to these substitutions. All information on ingredients is pulled directly from Beyond Meat®'s website.
Beyond Meat®’s website states that they use the five basic building blocks of meat: protein, fat, minerals, carbohydrates, and water, but derive them directly from plants. For example:
Proteins: pea, mung bean, fava bean, brown rice.
Fats: cocoa butter, coconut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil.
Minerals: calcium, iron, salt, potassium chloride.
Carbohydrates: potato starch, methylcellulose (plant fiber derivative).
Flavors and colors: beet juice extract, apple extract, natural flavors.
Depending on which kind of plant-based meat is being created, they use a variation of these previously listed ingredients.
There are many pros to plant-based meat; again, some lean towards the ethical side and/or certain beliefs that people may wish to follow. For some, this was not the way they were raised, and maybe they crave meat every now and then. This allows for that craving to be satisfied, but no meat has to be consumed in the process. Pea protein also has great benefits for your overall gut health, and for those with conditions like anemia, it is a great source of iron without having to ingest animal meat. Beyond Meat®, unlike some of its competitors, also is completely gluten-free, so those with gluten intolerances or who have celiac can enjoy, as well.
Although all Beyond Meat® in particular is non-GMO certified, other brands may use soy. Soy is very often genetically modified, so the plant-based meat you are purchasing may be highly processed. It may be best not to indulge too frequently on brands that are not non-GMO certified.
Overall, this is a personal choice and one that should be discussed with a doctor or nutritionist. GKM wants to give everyone the healthiest and best option for their food, but we do not claim to be healthcare professionals. We are also in no way affiliated with the company Beyond Meat®, we are just using this particular company for reference in this article.