Showing results for: Substitutes for meat & dairy
This is a systematic review on consumer perception and behaviours in relation to meat, meat substitutes and the environment. It finds that both awareness of the environmental impact of meat consumption and a willingness to reduce meat consumption is low in the studied populations. The authors identify as a key research area the investigation of strategies that might help to motivate more moderate, sustainable meat consumption behaviour.
This article in Nature Scientific Reports details a new approach for generating skeletal muscle from pigs which can be used to make skeletal muscle – the main component of pork meat – in vitro. The techniques are potentially applicable to other types of muscle, such as heart muscle tissue, as well.
FCRN members Prof. Dr. Susanne Stoll-Kleemann and Uta Schmidt (MSc.) have brought our attention to their recent article on reducing meat consumption.
This study, which analyses data from two long-term epidemiologic research studies in the US, found that specific food sources of protein in the diet affected health outcomes in differing ways. Taking into account a number of other dietary and lifestyle factors, the authors showed that animal protein intake was weakly associated with a higher risk for mortality.
This study examines how a shift to lower environmental impact diets (diets with less meat and dairy) might the affect nutrient intakes of young children in the Netherlands. It is unusual in that it looks specifically at children, rather than adults or the general population.
This Bloomberg article describes how as a percentage of all new milk products on the market in 2014, non-dairy milk products made up 24% and 31% in European and North American respectively. In addition to oat, soy and almond milk, scientists have also developed alternatives based on from hemp and quinoa. The article focuses on the case of a Swedish Oat-milk producing company Oatly – a company that has seen sales grow significantly with revenue increasing with 37 percent this year. It describes how “(t)he expanding range of options has helped broaden the appeal of products such as Oatly beyond vegetarians, vegans, and the lactose intolerant”.
This paper provides a useful overview of the nutritional, and (very briefly) some of the environmental differences between cow’s milk and substitute milks made from plants such as soy, rice, quinoa and oats. Having described the process of transforming plants into milks it then goes on to conclude that there are important nutritional differences, with cow’s milk generally richer in protein and essential micronutrients. It notes, however, that the GHG footprint non-dairy substitutes tends to be lower. It concludes:
The launch of the new vegetarian alternative to the meatballs – grönsaksbullar - is what Ikea calls “the first step to include a wider variety of healthier and more sustainable food choices”.
This video portrays the work of Beyond Meat, a company focusing on creating plant-based meat. Their "chicken" and "ground beef" comes from a soy-protein-based hamburger patty.
A decline in meat production combined with further increase in demand could spur businesses to look for alternative food protein sources, said Media Eghbal, head of countries analysis at Euromonitor International when being interviewed by the Food navigator.
This research from Wageningen University focuses on biotechnology and cultured meat. The same technology that is starting to be used to create new organs from stem cells, could in principle be used to produce meat.
This Dutch study looks at consumers’ potential preferences for snacks made from a range proteins with lower environmental impact and segments according to their values and attitudes to food. In this hypothetical experiment, people could choose between written descriptions of a range of snacks containing lentils or beans, seaweed, insects or a combination of meat and a non-specified meat substance. The study found that a hybrid meat product may be preferred by many consumers before insects or seaweed. The researchers found that, overall, people who tended to eat more meat were less likely to choose the lentils and seaweed snacks while those who ate more fish were more likely to choose the seaweed snack.
The European Commission released an announcement before Christmas 2013 on new proposals for regulation of animal cloning in the food chain. The proposal argues that farm-animal cloning should be banned in the European Union, along with imports of cloned livestock and the sale of food from such animals. In a report commenting on the new regulation the consultancy ICF GHK argues that in principle the EU could however still produce offspring of clones by importing reproductive material from clones from EU trading regions, and by importing live animals or food products derived from such animals.
FCRN network member Hannah Tuomisto has co-authored a life cycle analysis of (hypothetical) in-vitro meat production here: Tuomisto H L, Teixeira de Mattos M J (2011) Environmental Impacts of Cultured Meat Production. Environ. Sci. Technol. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es200130u
Bill Gates seems to have entered into the meat question. In his view it is simply not possible to feed 9 billion people on a high meat diet and the way forward is therefore the development of artificial meat and eggs.
FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger has recently been awarded his thesis on the following subject: "Worldwide Alternatives to Animal Derived Foods – Overview and Evaluation Models", subtitle "Solutions to Global Problems caused by Livestock".