Why consumption of meat alternative products is increasing?
Traditionally, meat products provides people with the nutrients and energy they need to work all day long.
While going vegan could benefit our health and the planet, most people have remained unfazed by Plant-based meat alternatives. Until recently, first-generation Plant-based meat alternative foods have been primarily aimed at vegetarians and flexitarians, who anticipate distinct tastes from meat-free proteins. Hoping that traditional Plant-based meat alternatives’ new offerings will be nearly indistinguishable from conventional meat products, attracting those who eat meat regularly. Convincing consumers to accept Plant-based meat alternatives as a meat substitute is quite tricky. A higher rate of acceptance of Plant-based meat alternatives is achievable by striving for the improved structural and sensory resemblance of plant-based options. Likewise, eating habits, nutritional education, personal income, and social media influence the customer mentality.
Humans have kept meat to be essential in their food regimen. Mammalian evolution has been closely tied to the consumption of meat. Globally, beef, pork, and chicken are the most in-demand in North America.
However, the shortfalls of meat production compared to crop harvesting and the potential harm of meat consumption on human health have lately become topics of concern.
In recognition of these increasing concerns, food manufacturers are developing plant-based meat-substitute products to meet the public’s expectations. Recently, the food science community has focused on cultured meat and plant-based meat made from plant-based ingredients obtained with the necessary processes to produce a structured meat substitute. Natural resources such as land and energy are essential for food production.
Despite advancements in meat manufacturing and processing, they are still much less energy efficient than plant growth and harvesting. Many crops, such as grains and fossil fuels, are needed to be used as feed and to maintain the farming facilities required to hold livestock.
Plant-based diets can achieve an approximately 25 to 55% reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions and around a 15% to 60% reduction in land use. Thus, a move to plant-based food production is essential to maintaining natural resources and ensuring human survival!
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), N-nitrosamines, and heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) are well-known mutagenic compounds found in processed meat products. It’s also been proven that people who eat saturated fats have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. Other harmful factors present in processed and red meats include heme, which can raise the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer risk, and salt, which can increase blood pressure. A research even estimated the global death rate from excessive meat to plant food to decrease by 6 to 10 percent.
An increased number of governments and non-governmental animal welfare groups, like the World Health Organization for Animal Health (OIE), have recently proposed to help animals. Yet, many animals are likely to be confronted with stressful situations when they are being treated, moved and when they are being slaughtered on farms. The well-being of animals has become a significant issue for the public as more people have become concerned with the treatment and living conditions for livestock; thus, we have seen the trend toward vegetarianism and/vegan diets.
As Plant-based alternatives present mouth feel and some other characteristics like meat, they are excellent candidates for switching to new eating patterns. Thus, their development to serve a larger number of people is an additional avenue for reducing meat intake and keeping human health intact.