Posts tagged with "Soy"

Dieticians: Plant-based Beyond and Impossible burgers are no healthier than red meat

July 8, 2019

If you had a regular burger on July 4—but feel a little guilty about not choosing one of the newly popular plant-based alternatives—no worries.

Although the marketers behind El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat and its competitor, Redwood California-based Impossible Foods, say that their products are better for us than meat, dietitians are not completely sold on the benefits, CNBC reports.

Scientific research has linked frequent consumption of red meat to heart disease and cancer. Beyond’s website claims that animal-based meats lead to a 16% increased risk of cancer and 21% increased risk of heart disease.

In theory, then, eating plant-based imitations of red meat is healthier. However, Alissa Rumsey, owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York City, told CNBC that—while she believes that we benefit from eating more plants — she isn’t sold on these plant-based options.

“They are not necessarily healthier than beef burgers,” Rumsey, a registered dietitian, said. “They’re totally fine to eat, but there’s no need to replace your beef burger if you don’t enjoy these.”

Rumsey pointed to the amounts of sodium and saturated fat in plant-based burgers, which are roughly the same as those in a traditional beef burger.

What’s more, because both the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger are processed foods, registered dietitian Catherine Perez—who specializes in plant-based diets at The Charge Group in Media, Pennsylvania—told CNBC that she still puts them in the “indulgence category.”

The Impossible Burger uses heme from soy plants for a meaty taste and realistic juices, as well as soy protein concentrate. However, processed soy is controversial because it strips out some of the key nutrients found in traditional soy foods like tofu and can contain unhealthy compounds.

The Beyond Burger does not contain soy and instead uses pea protein isolate for its primary protein source.

All three dietitians said that consumers should try to incorporate more whole foods—rather than processed foods—into their meals.

Research contact: @CNBC

Missouri becomes first state to regulate use of the word ‘meat’

August 29, 2018

The last time most of us had “mystery meat” was either in school or in the military. On June 1, Missouri—the “Show-Me State”—made sure that its residents would never have to see mystery meat or eat it again when it became the first state in the nation to pass a law that prohibits food providers from using the word “meat” to refer to anything other than animal flesh.

This  new legislation takes direct aim at manufacturers of what has been dubbed “clean,” or “plant-based, or “nontraditional”meat, according to a report by USA Today. Clean meat—also known as lab-grown meat—comprises cultured animal tissue cells, while plant-based meat is generally made from ingredients such as soy, tempeh and seitan.

The state law forbids “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Violators may be fined $1,000 and imprisoned for a year.

What’s more, a similar argument is unfolding on the federal level.

The meat-substitute market is expected to reach $7.5 billion-plus globally by 2025, up from close to $4.2 billion last year, based on findings by Allied Market Research.

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, which worked to get the law passed, has cited shopper confusion and protection of local ranchers as reasons for the legislation.

“The big issue was marketing with integrity and … consumers knowing what they’re getting,” Missouri Cattlemen’s Association spokesperson Mike Deering told USA Today. “There’s so much unknown about this.”

On Agusut 27, the company that makes Tofurky filed an injunction in a Missouri federal court to prevent enforcement of the statute, alleging the state has received no complaints about consumers befuddled by the term “plant-based meats” and that preventing manufacturers from using the word is a violation of their First Amendment rights. In addition, the company pointed out, “meat” also refers to the edible part of nuts and fruit.

The statute “prevents the sharing of truthful information and impedes competition,” according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. “The marketing and packaging of plant-based products reveals that plant-based food producers do not mislead consumers but instead distinguish their products from conventional meat products.”

The co-plaintiff is the Good Food Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

MCA spokesperson Deering said he was surprised by the suit because the primary target of the law was lab-grown meat.

Tofurky’s main ingredient is the first two syllables of its name-—tofu.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would regulate lab-grown meat. Traditional animal proteins are the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ernest Baskin, an assistant professor of Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia told USA Today that consumers use the word “meat,” when applied to nonanimal protein as a “shortcut” to understand how they eat the food they see on supermarket shelves.

“There’s a segment of consumers that doesn’t have to eat alternative products but wants to,” he said. “In those cases, putting those options together in front of consumers gives them the thought that ‘Hey, maybe these two are similar. Maybe I can substitute.’ ”

Research contact:@ZlatiMeyer