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More people than ever before are making the move to plant-based eating. Many are choosing a fully vegan diet, while others are making more conscious choices to cut down their intake of animal products. Whether you are completely plant-based or taking a flexitarian approach, knowing where to find delicious and healthy meat alternatives is crucial.
Supermarkets have seen an explosion of vegan options hit their shelves. As demand for these products rises rapidly, stores of all shapes and sizes are introducing more meat alternatives than ever before. While it is great news for both our health and the planet that these options are more readily available, it is important that we understand what is really going into these alternatives and if they are as good for us and the environment as we first think.
How Healthy Are Plant-Based Meat Alternatives?
The words ‘plant-based’ and ‘vegan’ instantly make us assume that these foods are going to be good for our bodies. From the meat free burgers in your local restaurant to the chicken substitutes in the supermarket aisles, you should be aware of what exactly is going into these popular products. The truth is, the majority of plant-based meat alternatives are actually very far away from a plant. The key plant ingredients are stripped down to leave low-fibre, high-protein substances which are then mixed with preservatives, additives and artificial processors. By the time all the nasty hidden extras are thrown into these substitutes, the end products are not significantly healthier than the real deal.
Are Plant-Based Meat Alternatives Sustainable?
From a carbon point of view plant based eating is incomparably better than meat, especially beef and lamb. BUT be careful many of the bigger plant based brands are, guess what, owned by the huge meat corporations behind the hyper-industrialised forest-destroying, anti-biotic stuffed grain-fed intensive farm-lots. That’s right – look behind the brand logo and you might find the same people. As such they’re not the people committed to bio-diversity, invested in soil and fresh water health, building fair exchange, strong and resilient local economies and a rich ecological landscape. No these are the mono-crop high pesticide and genetic-modification monopolists who have already done so much damage to the planet.
Choosing Healthy And Sustainable Meat Alternatives
We haven’t touched upon what might be in your meat alternatives in terms of additives and preservatives and that’s another reason you might want to be weary of some of the alternatives lined up on the healthy green planet-friendly shelf of your nearest supermarket.
Stage left – the Soya Good range from Organico. Guaranteed deforestation-free, organic grown in European fields, Its Soya Good offers a simple collection of plant-based meat alternatives made simply from texture soya, nothing added, no hidden nasties and definitely GM free. Given the UK government has just opened the floodgates to GM tech and cheap imports, this should become a major concern for consumers looking for a truly healthy alternative.
Soya Good by Organico offers remarkable value for money with the mince pack suitable for between 6 to 8 portions and the chunks, kebabs and fajitas feeding 4 or 5 hungry mouths. As a dry good, it won’t need storing in a fridge, nor will it surprise with a short use by date. Be careful though and follow the advice on pack or in the handy and very quick videos accessed via a QR code on the back: Soya Good is meant to be tasteless or “bland” in and of itself. The product is supposed to be flavoured, above all it needs soaking and then the excess water squeezed out – it’s not a complicated process but needs remembering. It’s normal to add a splash of soya sauce for a bit of umami and saltiness and then your own blend spices and herbs. From there use Soya Good directly or in place of tofu or other protein in any number of sauces. It’s versatile and oh so tasty if you follow the basic instructions and pretty quickly cooked too. Equally good for family or guest preparations, Soya Good is becoming a weekly store cupboard item in a growing number of households. Make your own minds up – we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.