A guide for mock meat - The what and why of plant-based meat.
There has been a significant shift in recent years among the "health-conscious" citizens of India towards not consuming meat. According to the Foreign Agriculture Service report, consumer awareness of plant-based meat substitutes is rising rapidly, with more consumers demanding these products due to their perceived health benefits, and their connection with the rise of veganism.
This shift has given rise to the popularity of “mock meat", with India’s meat substitutes market expected to reach $47.57 million (315 crores) by 2026.
What is Mock Meat?
Mock meat, vegan meat, or plant-based meat is an emerging food segment that is created to resemble animal meat in taste, texture, and appearance but is entirely made from plant-based proteins. In simple terms, mock meat is vegetarian or vegan meat that looks like real meat, cooks like real meat, and tastes like real meat. Mock meat products are designed to appeal to consumers who want healthy, indulgent, and low environmental impact meat substitutes.
It is estimated that 84% of people who have adopted veganism at some point in their lives have gone back to eating meat. This is because changing dietary patterns isn't an easy task. Mock meat acts like a great alternative here and is becoming increasingly popular as more people want to adopt vegan and vegetarian diets. Mock meat products are now available in a variety of fan-favorite meat dishes, such as kebabs, nuggets, burgers, and more.
How Can Plants Taste Like Meat?
The majority of plants have a nutrient called “heme” molecule that adds that meaty flavor and aroma to mock meat products. Heme is a nutrient that is abundantly found in animal tissue, as well as plants. By utilizing this molecule in the production of plant-based meat, one can replicate the taste and feel of real meat. There are a variety of plant-based ingredients that can be used to mimic the taste and texture of meat. Some common ingredients used in mock meats include:
Soy-based products: Tofu and tempeh are both made from soybeans, have a texture that can be similar to meat and are good vegan meat alternatives.
Legumes: Chickpeas and lentils can be mashed or ground to create a meat-like texture.
Grains: Seitan, also known as wheat gluten, has a chewy texture that can be similar to meat when cooked.
Nuts: Ground nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews can be used as a meat substitute.
Vegetables: Some vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplants, and jackfruit can mimic the texture of meat to create vegan meat.
Is Mock Meat Healthier Than Real Meat?
Mock meat has surged in popularity in recent years as people continuously look for healthier alternatives to animal meat. The usage of plant-based ingredients to create mock meat products makes them lower in saturated fat, trans-fat and cholesterol, and higher in fiber, and protein.
Plant-based meats are also a good source of essential nutrients, like vitamins and iron. Vegan substitutes to chicken are relied upon to be lower in cholesterol for the absence of creature fat and higher in their protein benefit. This can make it a potentially healthier alternative than animal meat, and ideal for people looking to cut off meat to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Is Plant-Based Meat Sustainable?
Plant-based meat can be more sustainable than animal-based meat in certain ways.
One of the main benefits of vegan meat is that it requires less land and water to produce, compared to animal-based meat.
This is because plants typically require fewer resources to grow than animals do. A study by FAO reveals that producing a pound of meat takes over 2,400 gallons of water. Shockingly, 60 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used for grazing animals, yet these animals only make up 10 percent of the world’s beef production and 30 percent of sheep and goat meat production.
Overview: How Can You Benefit From Vegan Meat
Here are some reasons why you might want to choose vegan meat/mock meat over real meat:
Health: Plant-based meat can be a healthier alternative to animal-based meat, as it is typically lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. This can be beneficial for heart health and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Environmental impact: Plant-based meat requires less land, water, and energy to produce compared to animal-based meat. Additionally, it doesn't produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which is a byproduct of animal agriculture.
Animal welfare: Vegan meat is a compassionate alternative to animal-based meat.
Religious beliefs: If one is unable to consume animal meat on certain days, vegan meat is a great alternative. Vegan meat can be used on no-meat Mondays and Thursdays, or any other day when consuming meat is not allowed.
Variety: Plant-based meat offers a variety of food options for those looking for meat alternatives in their diet.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is mock meat veg or non-veg?
Mock meat is a vegetarian or vegan imitation of meat that uses plant-based ingredients to mimic the taste and texture of animal meat. Mock meat is vegetarian in composition and sometimes vegan, given the exclusion of dairy products.
2. Is vegetarian mock meat healthy?
Vegetarian mock meat products can be a healthy alternative to meat, as they are comparatively lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. It can also provide a good source of protein and other essential nutrients, which can be difficult to get enough of on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Having said that, it is important to choose high-quality mock meat products, and consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
3. Why do people eat mock meat?
People consume mock meat or plant-based meat for many different reasons- ethical meat consumption, religious no-meat days, vegan alternatives to meat, environmental awareness, or simply wanting to try something new.
4. What tastes like chicken but isn’t?
Plant-based chicken products can replicate the taste, mouth-feel, and texture of real-chicken and make for great vegetarian alternatives.
5. Where can we buy mock meat?
At It Isn’t, you can buy a variety of delicious plant-based chicken products that are perfect for any occasion. Whether you're looking for kebabs, nuggets, or chicken fingers, we've got you covered. We ship directly from our website and deliver your tasty products within the same day.