The company – Beyond Meat – makes vegan meat substitutes so authentic that carnivores would have a problem telling them apart. Its founder, Ethan Brown, recently conducted a blind trial on renowned food journalist Mark Bittman and managed to fool him into thinking it was the real thing.
Beyond Meat makes a variety of products that taste like chicken, beef and pork out of vegetable protein, soy and pea powder, carrot fibre and gluten-free flour.
Given the ability of Williams and Stone to pick a trend, it seems likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more from the company in the future. Last week a week’s supply sold out in two days at a Whole Foods in North California, and as Grist.org points out: “Maybe you don’t think you WANT a better fake meat, but you probably thought you didn’t want a social network that let you transmit 140-character bon mots, either.”
The hope is that Beyond Meat’s products will win over carnivores who aren’t even aware that they are enjoying a meat-free burger, for example.
By making the move to “vegan meat”, fast food outlets could simultaneously cut costs and improve their health credentials, while at the same time saving the lives of millions of animals and cutting the carbon cost associated with raising them.