Summary: Meat alternatives or meat substitutes are meatless products that are prepared to mimic animal-based meat (red meat, poultry, fish, and seafood) in flavor, texture, and appearance. The first meat alternative sold in the U.S. was a soy burger that went on the market in the late 1930’s. Later in the 1960s, meatless food products were considered to be “hippy” food because a large number of people considered to be “hippies” were vegetarians. Sixty years later, there are so many meat alternatives on the market that it can be hard to keep up with them. Today, the major players in the meat substitute market include companies such as Amy’s Kitchen, Beyond Meat, Boca Food Company (Kraft Foods, Inc), Gardein Proteins International (ConAgra), Impossible Foods, Inc., Maple Leaf Foods, MorningStar (Kellogg’s) and Quron Foods. With so many meat alternatives on the market, it may be difficult to decide what to try. The goal of this factsheet is to provide some background information on some of the plant-based meat alternatives and meat substitutes sold in the U.S.
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