People that follow a plant-based diet sometimes want to eat foods that resemble the meats that ate in the past but without an animal being killed. There is an industry that is grown to develop and offer these fake meats – or faux meats – to meet this consumer demand.
The industry is most highly developed in southeast Asia where a significant portion of the population does not consume meat due to religious belief. Faux meats have been made from soya beans (tofu, TVP – Textured Vegetable Protein, tempeh), wheat gluten (seitan), mushrooms, nuts, and grains.
Faux Meats by many names
Faux meats are technically called meat analogs. They are also referred to by many other names: fake meat, veggie meat, mock meat, meat substitute, wheat meat, meat alternative, vegan meat, and vegetarian meat. There have recently been some new developments in meat analogs technology by using pea proteins and other types of feedstock to make faux meats.
Earth’s General Store offers an excellent variety of meat analogs/alternatives/faux meats.
- Tofurky: deli slices, sausages, pizzas, hot dogs, breakfast links, tempeh, chick’n strips, veggie ground (ground beef substitute), chorizo, roasts (seasonal).
- Gardein: burgers, chick’n strips, meatballs, ground, fish fillets, pockets (pulled pork, pepperoni), roasts (seasonal)
- Butler Foods: Soy Curls, Soy Fines, Jerky
- Beyond Meat: Fiesta blend ground/crumbles, plain crumbles, Southwest flavoured chick’n, Lightly Seasoned chick’n, Beast Burger, and plain chicken strips.
- Field Roast: burgers, sausages, roasts (seasonal).
- Sailin’ On: Bac’n bits
- Primal Foods: Jerky
- Louisville: Jerky
- Vegetarian Gourmet: Burgers
- Hilary’s: Burgers
- Happy Veggie World: Bac’n strips, Lemongrass Chick’n, Kung Pao Chick’n, Drumsticks, Ginger Chick’n, Citrus Spareribs, Black Pepper ‘steaks’, and Lemon Chick’n.
- Green Cuisine: Tempeh in a variety of flavours
- Soyganic: Tofu – soft, medium, firm, extra-firm, super-firm, pressed, smoked, smoked garlic, smoked Sriracha
A healthy diet should consist of a focus on plants and complex carbohydrates. Meat analogs should be consumed sparingly. The first diet book I read was written by Pritikin and he said that in the healthiest cultures in the world used meat as a flavouring and not the focus of the meal. This reduced the cost of the meal, added the extra protein and texture that meat offered, and reduced the health costs created by excessive meat consumption.
According to the Worldwatch Institute, replacing meat with meat analogs will greatly reduce the environmental impact that meat production causes.
You can get meat analogs from most major grocery stores these days, most Asian supermarkets carry them and there are some specialty stores that focusses on these products.