For vegan foodies who still love to play with the texture of alternative meats, Beyond Meat chicken alternative is the newest player in the alternative meat game, and they are promising to become a top contender. Creating a product that is both vegan and gluten-free, Beyond Meat claims that their fake chicken will blow the competition out of the water in both taste, and price.
The Maryland-based company gave an interview with NPR today in which founder Ethan Brown, a vegan, spoke of growing up on his family’s farm and developing a concern for the welfare of farm animals. After becoming vegan, Brown discovered that the meat alternatives on the market were less than appealing and decided to strike out on his own and reinvent the world of meat alternatives; from there, Beyond Meats was born.
The guardian to 6 rescued slaughterhouse pigs and chickens who lay “happy eggs,” Brown set up shop just a few miles from his own home and went to work concocting his new fake chicken from soy, pea powder, carrot fiber and gluten-free flour. Brown calls it his “modern farm,” and there are no food animals on site, just his production facilities complete with a customized machine to produce his chicken alternative. The faux meat mixture is poured into the machine, cooled, and then extruded in a way that results in a product that, Brown claims, mimics the look and texture of real chicken.
While the launch date for Beyond Meat faux chicken strips has not been announced, the company has announced that it will launch sometime within the next month, and start at Whole Foods in Northern California (something that delighted us since some of our staff is based in Northern California, which means we will be able to bring you an exclusive product review!). Brown states that he wants his product to be a game-changer, launching the company from just another health food brand, to mainstream product for the masses. With that goal, he aims to eventually roll out fake beef and pork products as well.
While we have seen faux meat products, such as Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms, dominate the mainstream market, none have offered the promise of being vegan, gluten-free and chemical free, all at once. There is no doubt that meat alternatives are growing at a nice pace, as even those who eat meat are opting for occasional fake meat meals for health reasons. The practice of “Meatless Monday” has quickly grown into a concept that commands many food blogs and has crept onto the menus of restaurants throughout the United States. If Beyond Meats delivers as promised, we could see a new onslaught of fake meat consumers and the demand for these foods begin to rise.
Brown boldly states that production for his fake meats are by far cheaper than the average production costs of real meats, and says that he is hopeful that, as the trend of fake meat becomes more popular, that the negative implications of animal farming on the environment, economy and animal welfare will see a positive impact. We couldn’t hope for that more.
To sign-up for the Beyond Meat newsletter that will include announcements such as their grand unveiling, as well as their national distribution plans, visit their website.