Like many healthy flexitarians, I didn’t wait until 2021 to try to eat healthy. Mainly vegetables, legumes, cereals, eggs, dairy products, fruits and pastries, frequently fish and seafood, less meat, all chosen with care – local, seasonal, organic or reasoned. With an intact gluttony and curiosity when it comes to finding new tastes, original alliances, an alternative method of cooking, a little sauce that deceives the ordinary … But there is a food department that I I had little explored until then, that of vegetable meat substitutes – too much appetite for real vegetables, no doubt, and too much instinctive suspicion of the dark side of protein stuffing.
Boosted by innovations in the agri-food industry, the commercial offer continues to expand to imitate meat in all registers: steaks (controversial name), minced meat, aiguillettes, meatballs, nuggets, rillettes – even the pot of Bordeau Chesnel now wears a green hat – ” we do not have (definitely) not the same values ”… Opening my mind and appetite, I surrounded myself with willing eaters, vegetarians or not, to taste several specimens of fake meat and review, on this occasion, some received ideas on the subject.
1. This is only intended for vegans and vegetarians
Of course, they are the primary target, but not always and not only. First, because some of them refuse food of industrial origin, especially when it is not organic, and have enough nutritional knowledge to independently diversify the sources of protein. “If I ruled out Herta ham ten years ago, it was not to replace it today with the brand’s vegetable products, resulting from the same production systems”, argues Emmanuelle, 30-year-old veggie savvy.
In reality, “Our plant-based alternative to meat is aimed more broadly at all those who wish to reduce their meat consumption, namely nearly 45% of the population”, Ambitions Guillaume Dubois, co-founder of the company Les Nouveaux Fermiers, which opened, in September 2020, the first plant-based meat factory in France and offers a diverse range.
2. It’s an inane and unnecessary concept
Why the devil stubbornly format in steaks, sausages and the like what is vegetable, and use all the meat terminology? If it is to enrage the breeders, it is won. Beyond that, imitation aims first of all to ensure a transition: “To democratize plant food, it is still necessary to go through a resemblance to meat, otherwise too few people take the plunge”, continues Mr. Dubois. A format which does not abruptly disturb the eating habits of consumers who are familiar with duo blending (meat or fish + vegetables) and which preserves a convivial dimension to meals despite differentiated menus (burgers, barbecue, etc.).
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