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What are “meat-like” foods, meat-alternative vegetables?

What are “meat-like” foods, meat-alternative vegetables?

After the “fake” foie gras, here are the “fake” steaks, bacon bits and merguez sausages… Focus on simulating meat.

On May 17, Happyvore opened its new factory in Loiret with great fanfare. Journalists, ministers and local elected officials rushed to welcome this French company, which specializes in products that look like meat but are 100% plant-based; they are called imitation meat. Along with Happyvore, other French brands (Hari & Co, Kokiriki, La Vie, Cocoriton) have been launched, but also international ones such as Herta, Findus or Garden Gourmet (Carrefour brand) and even the US market leader, Beyond. Meat.

Five important tips for new vegetarians in this video

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What’s inside?

It depends… Common cores are grains (rice, wheat, quinoa…) and legumes (peas, fava beans, soybeans…). an alliance that allows for good protein intake. But there are also flavorings and preservatives (more or less natural), and depending on the product, wood fibers or even protein isolates, which are markers of over-transformation.

What exactly is it for?

These foods, which look like meat but contain not a single gram of it, are looking to appeal to those looking to green their plate for environmental, health or animal welfare reasons. “With our steaks or merguez sausages, we especially want people to have fun without depriving themselves of good vegetables,” explain Cédric Meston and Guillaume Dubois, co-founders of HappyVore, whose customers range from omnivores to vegetarians.

Why is it called “meat”?

In 2020, the law aimed to ban these vegetable products from using the word meat, but the State Council postponed these designations. Veggie “steak” in burgers, veggie “sausage” for grilling or veggie “bacon” in Quiche Lorraine. In omnivorous French gastronomy, these names allow you to keep your bearings. “Our customers also tell us about their culinary memories,” says Kokiriki manager Thibaut Joule. For example, vegetarians who adored the Cordon Bleus they ate in their youth; they find a way to connect with these pleasures in our plant-based options.”

What is it worth in terms of nutrition?

“When we choose an industrial product, it is always processed and we move away from the natural diet,” explains dietician, nutritionist Anais Minet. After knowing this, between two products, we can also choose the one that gives us the greatest pleasure without referring to the label.” To vegetate your plate, a nutritionist recommends using raw foods instead; learn to cook vegetables and be inspired by world cuisines that pride themselves on plants.

Is it really more ecological?

Is it better to use small amounts of quality meat that is raised locally, or a product that is certainly plant-based but is produced in a factory, packaged and transported? If it’s to replace battery operated chicken nuggets, we go for it. Otherwise, these products have their place, among others, in a varied and balanced diet, whether vegetarian, vegan or omnivorous.

Source: Le Figaro

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