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With the rising popularity of plant-based meats, you’ve surely heard of them – and likely even tasted them in the form of burgers and sandwiches.

What’s shocked the world about plant-based meats is just how good they taste. Unlike traditional “mock meat” options, this isn’t simply fried tofu or dough, coloured and sliced to look like drumsticks and char siew – these meats actually look and taste like animal meat! For restaurants, this is a game-changer.

But one question remains. What exactly is inside these delicious “meats”, and are they healthy to consume?

What are plant-based meats?

While every plant-based meat manufacturer has their own unique recipes and processes, in general, plant-based meats contain ingredients such as soy and wheat-based proteins, peas, plant oils, and other ingredients that come from plants.

Plant-based meats offer new and exciting options to diners who want to eat tasty, meat-based dishes, but are concerned about the perceived risks associated with eating meat – mostly related to health, animal welfare and environmental considerations.

And although the burger is currently the star of the “plant-based meat dish” revolution, suppliers of plant-based meats are expanding their offerings – so restaurants can now offer a whole menu of dishes made from plant-based meats. The Vegetarian Butcher, for example, offers beef and chicken patties, beef meatballs, as well as chicken nuggets and chunks that can be used in a wide array of dishes.

 

Are plant-based meats healthy?

When it comes to alternative meat options, the big question that’s on everyone’s mind is “Are plant-based meats healthy?”

Here’s the good news, they are. In fact, plant-based meats even beat animal meat in several ways:

  • Lower in cholesterol: Plant-based meats are generally lower in cholesterol than their animal counterparts, which is a useful selling point to attract health-conscious diners. 
  • Fibre content: Being plant-based, these meats generally contain more fibre than traditional meats (which don’t contain any fibre).
  • No growth hormones or antibiotics: One of the reasons why diners look for meat alternatives is a concern about what farms may feed to cows to help them to grow – especially growth hormones and antibiotics. With plant-based meats, these concerns are naturally removed, as no animal meat is involved – only natural plant proteins.
  • Plant-based nutrients: The ingredients in plant-based meats offer diners a dose of plant-based nutrients and vitamins, while reducing common concerns among animal meat eaters – especially those who eat processed animal meats and red meats, which are classified as Group 1 and Group 2A carcinogens (and are linked to cancer).

 

A fantastic alternative (though not necessarily a replacement)

With all these positives, are plant-based meats better than animal meat in every single way?

Not completely. Animal meats do have their advantages too, such as providing diners with animal-based nutrients. What’s more, diners who want their animal meat, will still choose animal meat – even if the alternative tastes just as good.

But plant-based meats aren’t here to replace animal meats, they’re here to complement them in your menu. As a chef, plant-based meats provide you with a fantastic opportunity for you to expand your menu and attract more diners – by offering both animal meat and plant-based meat options in your restaurant.

Meet the New Meat

Meet the New Meat

Looking for more information and the latest cuts of The Vegetarian Butcher? Find out more on the meatiest vegetarian range, get tips on menu naming and get hooked on our recipes. Download your handbook now!

Sacrifice nothing. It's time to Meet the New Meat.

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