Is Your Plant Meat Real Food? No Evil Foods Shares How to Make Sure
May 19, 2021 02:43 PM EDT | By Leah Johnston, RDN
Plant meat is certainly having its moment in the sun, and it's not just with vegans and vegetarians. According to Food Navigator, sales of plant meats and fresh meat alternatives were already experiencing 158.3% year-on-year sales growth, even before the nation started stocking up for the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, consumer interest in clean ingredient lines is also increasing as people look for ways to improve their health. But many wonder: aren't all plant-based meat alternatives made from fake food?
While it's true some category leaders are made with unrecognizable ingredients, one brand is keeping things clean. At the intersection of plant meats and clean labels lives No Evil Foods, ready to meet the consumer demand for flavorful, real food products. Their mission is to deliver complete proteins from a few simple ingredients, to the betterment of people, the planet, and animals.
You might know that eating plant meat is better for the future of our planet, because producing these products takes less of a toll on the environment than traditional methods of animal meat production. But you also might wonder:
1. What actually is plant meat, and what is it made of?
2. Are these products actually healthier for me than regular meat?
So what is plant meat, and what's it made of?
Generally speaking, plant "meats" are products whose ingredients are derived from plant sources and are made to resemble and taste like meat. (This is not to be confused with laboratory-grown meat-when stem cells from an animal are used to construct actual cuts of animal meat). Some plant meats are created in a lab, but not all. Companies like No Evil Foods started making their products from scratch with recipes developed in a home kitchen. So in short, yes plant meat is real food-most of the time, but it's important to make sure.
As a Registered Dietitian, I always encourage people to pay attention to the ingredients in food products and the same goes for plant meat products. We should know what is in our food to better understand the quality of the food itself. An ingredient list that is very long is an indicator that the product is highly processed and contains a lot of additives or preservatives. I like to look for a list that's on the shorter side, where I can actually pronounce the names of all the ingredients. It's even better when I recognize each ingredient! Next time you are at the grocery store and looking for a plant-based meat alternative, turn the package over and examine time ingredients. You may find that many brands have a long list of ingredients, including things like methylcellulose, cultured dextrose, or soy leghemoglobin.
Luckily, No Evil Foods products offer labels with recognizable ingredients. Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Sadrah Schadel started recipe testing in her own kitchen with ingredients like organic red kidney beans, chickpea flour, vital wheat gluten, and thyme. It's plant meat that you can feel good about eating because you know what's in it - and it No Evil Foods reviews are great on taste, too. As one customer stated, "They work some kind of crazy magic out of simple, healthy plant ingredients and produce food that is not just ok - but amazing!" The ingredients and the taste make plant meat appealing to both meat and non-meat eaters alike. Betsey Crockett is one of those meat eaters turned No Evil fans, "Honestly, I'm neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, but I'm very impressed with the quality of your products."
Are these products actually healthier for me than regular meat?
Most plant meat products are designed to be nutritionally equivalent, if not superior, to their animal counterparts. When compared to animal meats, plant meat generally contains less saturated fat, no cholesterol, equal or more sodium, equal or more vitamins and minerals, and in some cases, a little bit of fiber. Reading this, you might think that these alternatives are definitely better for you! But remember, not all plant meat is equal - many of these products are highly processed and contain a long list of ingredients that we have to research to know what they are. Since the popularity and demand for these products are relatively new, we are lacking scientific research on the overall health effects of eating these foods on a regular basis. However, there is a wealth of evidence on the health benefits of a plant-based healthy pattern!
My philosophy is that there is room for any and all foods in a healthy eating pattern when moderation is practiced. When shopping for plant meats, look at the ingredient list and see how many ingredients you actually know right off the bat. Opt for products like those from No Evil Foods, ones with quality ingredients you know-and may even have in your kitchen-to eat on a more regular basis.