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Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test 466

assertation (1255714) writes "Bill Gates and the founders of Twitter are betting millions that meat lovers will embrace a new plant-based product that mimics the taste of chicken and beef. Meat substitutes have had a hard time making it to the dinner tables of Americans over the years, but the tech giants believe these newest products will pass the "tastes like chicken" test. Gates has met several times with Ethan Brown, whose product, Beyond Meat, is a mash-up of proteins from peas and plants."
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Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

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  • by Scarletdown ( 886459 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:53PM (#46853875) Journal

    Prepare to be targeted by an angry mob from PETA...

    The other PETA, that is... People Eating Tasty Animals.


    • by The123king ( 2395060 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:29PM (#46854089)
      I don't know... If everyone in the world switched from eating meat to eating vegan substitutes (which is more environmentally friendly), you're going to end up with a massive animal welfare crisis on your hands. All those cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc are no longer going to be wanted by mankind. What this means is many thousands of years worth of natural and artificial selection will be wasted, most animals domesticated for meat will die out, and us as humans will lose a large chunk of what makes us "human".

      TL;DR good for environment, not so good for the billions of animals domesticated for meat.
      • by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:38PM (#46854141)

        If everyone in the world switched from eating meat to eating vegan substitutes (which is more environmentally friendly), you're going to end up with a massive animal welfare crisis on your hands. All those cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc are no longer going to be wanted by mankind.

        I think I see what you mean. But the words "animal welfare crisis" seem pretty adequate to describe the way our meat ends up on our plates right now.

        Personally I am a meat lover of the hypocrite kind: if I had to slaughter my own, I'd be a vegetarian tomorrow. So I have this sort if compromise where I only eat meat maybe two or three days a week, and then I choose the more expensive kind which is supposed to be from animals which could be argued to have had a half decent life.

      • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:43PM (#46854169)

        You do realize that farm animals are bred and raised on... duh, farms and that this is done in response to a "market" where people demand food from these animals. Basic "market" principles apply here. If there is less demand then the farmers won't breed and raise more animals.
        So... if the market goes away there won't be a lot of homeless animals.
        Also, all of the breeding and natural and artificial selection of animals has only served to produce odd monocultures of animals and nothing would be lost. I'm sure that some people will keep some demand for these animals.
        It would be good for the environment (and the animals) for people to switch to eating fewer of them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        All those cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc are no longer going to be wanted by mankind.

        But if we get rid of them, where are we going to get all the sh*t for the organic veg?

        • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:53PM (#46854541)

          The same place we do now - from the animals eating the vegetables (in this case people)

          We're already facing an impending fertilizer shortage, phosphorous in particular IIRC. Plants need it to grow, animals then eat the plants and incorporate it into their own flesh and waste, and humans eat the meat and do the same. Net result a continuous flow of valuable soil nutrients into sewage treatment facilities where it gets sequestered. Sooner or later we're going to have to go back to closing the loop.

          • Seattle's already doing this. The water treatment plants compost solid waste and turn it back into, well, usable compost. [] I've heard this is becoming common elsewhere as well. The big issue, now, is to reduce agricultural run off which represents a huge break in the nutrient loop.
            • Seattle's already doing this. The water treatment plants compost solid waste and turn it back into, well, usable compost.

              Are the human medicines removed from the compost?

              Also, how about the persistant herbicides.? This isn't granola-speak, if your composting facility is accepting grass clippings, you're almost certainly getting herbicides.


              And our over-medicated society? Here's a post for King County


              Even when we don't dump old medicine down the toilet, we whizz out a lot of it.

        • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:02PM (#46854589) Homepage

          "Better soil, better food, better planet.... We see a future of thriving farms and gardens producing healthy, nutrient-dense food in great abundance. We see exuberant forests returned to a state of grandeur not seen in centuries, silently sequestering the carbon dioxide that so threatens our planet today. We see a stable climate and a cleaner, healthier environment. We see all of this being possible through the simple and effective process of soil remineralization."

          You are right that much of today's organic industry has become co-dependent on conventional livestock farms to use the manure for fertilizer to make up for what is removed from the soil. And returning human waste back to the soil has not proven that workable in the USA because sewage sludge is often contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs.That is a big difference from the "Farmers Of Forty Centuries" in China with cleaner sewage back then.

          Also related:
          http://www.globalecotechnics.c... []

          From: []
          Benefits of Remineralization
          * Provides slow, natural release of elements and trace minerals.
          * Increases the nutrient intake of plants.
          * Increases yields and gives higher brix reading.
          * Rebalances soil pH.
          * Increases earthworm activity and the growth of microorganisms.
          * Builds humus complex.
          * Prevents soil erosion.
          * Increases the storage capacity of the soil.
          * Increases resistance to insects, disease, frost, and drought.
          * Produces more nutritious crops.
          * Enhances flavor in crops.
          * Decreases dependence on fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
          Soil Remineralization (SR) creates fertile soils by returning minerals to the soil in much the same way that the Earth does: during an Ice Age, glaciers crush rock onto the Earth's soil mantle, and winds blow the dust in the form of loess all over the globe. Volcanoes erupt, spewing forth minerals from deep within the Earth, and rushing rivers form mineral-rich alluvial deposits.
          Within silicate rocks is a broad spectrum of up to one hundred minerals and trace elements necessary for the well-being of all life and the creation of fertile soils. Glacial moraine or mixtures of single rock types can be applied to soils to create a sustainable and superior alternative to the use of ultimately harmful chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
          SR has been shown in scientific studies to achieve fourfold increases in agricultural and forestry (wood volume) yields and to produce both immediate and long-term benefits from a single application.
          Hundreds of thousands of tons of appropriate rock dust for soil and forest regeneration are stockpiled by the gravel and stone industry.

          I hope more people learn about this.

          On the topic of this article on meat alternatives, about seventeen years ago I wrote a letter to a person I had met who was trying to raise fund for some kind of recreational complex in Des Moines, Iowa. His family was a producer of equipment for meat grinding. Inspired by the work of Jon Robbins and "Diet for a New America" and EarthSave back then, I suggested in the letter he consider adapting the technology to make meat substitutes, which I told him was a growing industry. Never heard back from him. See also:

          Glad to see peop

      • by gutnor ( 872759 )
        Maybe we will go back to reasonable population of those animals, raised on regular farm and not in factories. "Vegan" meat will essentially replace cheap meat, there will still be a market for $60 per kilo sirloin.
      • by blackpaw ( 240313 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:16PM (#46854667)

        All those cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc are no longer going to be wanted by mankind. What this means is many thousands of years worth of natural and artificial selection will be wasted, most animals domesticated for meat will die out

        I suspect there will always be a market for real meat, in the situation you describe I image real meat will move to being a delicacy and a luxury, hopefully supplied by animals farmed in a more "humane" manner.

    • by bug1 ( 96678 )

      I recently switch to buying RSPCA endorsed chicken fillets, and i have to say, they are much TASTIER.

      It seems to me that if the animal is looked after better, its much taster to eat when you eat it. It creates a bit of a catch22 for animal welfare groups, the more succesful they are the less vegetarians there will be.

      • Could it be placebo? Your conclusion coincides with naive expectations.

        In absence of double blind studies - do you know incidences of people who didn't know the animal was looked after better, before eating the animal, and remarked that this meat was tastier than average?

        • by bug1 ( 96678 )

          I didnt have any consious expectations that it would taste better so it cant be a placebo.
          But of course that doesnt make my experience objective either, im not aware of any studies that concure (or disagree) with my experience.

  • by Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki ( 895364 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:55PM (#46853885)

    Stuff like this tends to be prohibitively expensive. That seems to be the greatest obstacle to acceptance.

    • by wiggles ( 30088 )

      It's available at Whole Foods today for a MSRP of $5.29 for a 12 oz package.

      • Re:But the price? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:26PM (#46854079) Homepage
        a pound of ground beef (16 OZ 90%) is under 4.50 as I write this in my local store. Also chicken breasts are going for 2.99$ a pound. Im not going to spend more money for less of a product, that is not even real meat
        • Re:But the price? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:53PM (#46854221)

          Recently I bought a 6 lb package of 88% ground beef at Costco for less than $18.

          $5.27 for 12 oz is double what I'm paying for beef.

          I'm all in favor of reducing meat consumption but not at the price of doubling my food budget.

          • Re:But the price? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by houghi ( 78078 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:17PM (#46854681)

            Why is meat so cheap compared to vegetables when you need several times as much vegetables to feed the animals for the same abount of nutricion.
            Logic would say that vegeatians would be a financial choice. It is the same in Europe.

            • Wild guess: they don't feed cattle on asparagus and mangetout.

              • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

                It doesn't matter if it's cabbage.

                The animals we eat are simply much better at deriving nutrition from plant matter. Much of what they eat isn't just inefficient for humans to try an eat, it's entirely undigestible.

                The idea of feeding corn to a cow is a pretty new one borne out of the rise of industrial farming.

            • Re:But the price? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @07:17PM (#46855297) Journal

              1. Transportation, packaging, and stocking costs are large for vegetables in cities. Usually, frozen, canned, or otherwise processed vegetables are cheaper than fresh vegetables in the supermarket because you have to take into account transportation and waste.
              2. Subsidies for farm animals, corn, and soy.
              3. Some of what is fed to farm animals is not considered fit for human consumption.
              4. High concentration animal agriculture is quite an efficient machine.
              5. People are picky with produce. You see a shelf of vegetables and you pick through it for the best piece, because it all costs the same anyways. With meat, it's a hunk of unidentifiable flesh in a package--it's all the same since you can't easily tell the difference.

            • Re:But the price? (Score:5, Informative)

              by crioca ( 1394491 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @07:26PM (#46855329)

              Why is meat so cheap compared to vegetables

              Tens of billions of dollars in farming subsidies every year and the animal feed subsidy is almost as large as all the others combined.


              It's not that meat is so cheap compared to vegetables, it's that you pay the difference in other ways.

        • Within the last 6 weeks chicken has been for sale for 99 cents a pound twice. Breast meat filets have been on sale for $1 per pound once and for $1.99 several times.

          Beef seems to be holding around $4 bucks but oddly- steak dips lower (as low as $3) periodically.

        • To be fair one should compare the price of cooked chicken since they are precooked. Are the chicken breast both skinless and boneless? If not than one has to subtract the weigh to both of these to figure the true cost of the meat. I am sure that their product is much easier to prepare and serve. If one values their time than one would consider that too. I would think that one could microwave them and put them out with some sauce in no time at all. I would assume that they do not need to be refrigerate

          • all good points. In my case they were boneless skinless chicken breasts. and When I buy them its to prepare a meal, If I wanted easy id go to the frozen food dept and buy some chicken nuggets and throw them in the nuker. There is something satisfying though about spending an hour crafting a great dish and finishing it off with a good quality beer
      • by mspohr ( 589790 )

        Whole Foods is a rip-off store. Everything there is overpriced because it has a good "story" that appeals to clueless tree-huggers.

        • that's not actually true. the commodities/basic ingredients (apart from meat) are very competitively priced. i bought some excellent coffee there for $5.70/# which could easily have sold for $12/#.

          canned beans, salsa, bread, etc., are very well-priced for the level of quality you get. even the cheese department usually has a few very good things on sale.

          it's the meat, organic bullshit, and pre-packaged convenience items that get ridiculous fast.

  • AND?? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Gavrielkay ( 1819320 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:55PM (#46853887)
    Peas and plants. Because now peas aren't plants? Who wrote that?
    • Aren't peas the seed of a plant instead of the plant itself?

    • Peas and plants. Because now peas aren't plants? Who wrote that?

      Not all peas [] are plants, and I would imagine these already taste a lot like chicken.

    • I guess somebody probably meant to write "peas and vegetables". At least that would make sense as peas are legumes and not vegetables...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:58PM (#46853899)

    "The difficulty now comes in finding a way to convince carnivores to switch."

    If it tastes like meat, smells like meat, and looks like meat, then I won't refuse it on principle. How do you get me to switch? Make it cheaper than real meat.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I don't get the fixation people have with 'tastes like meat' (actually the texture is the tricky part, taste is rather easy). If you actually learn to cook reasonably well then meat dishes actually aren't the most fantastic things around. I find that not eating meat is pretty trivial and given the cost, health, sustainability, and ethical advantages of that choice why not do it? I have yet to meet a person who switched and didn't FEEL much better afterwards. Almost any garden variety restaurant in China can

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:47PM (#46854193)

        I don't get the fixation people have with 'tastes like meat' (actually the texture is the tricky part, taste is rather easy). If you actually learn to cook reasonably well then meat dishes actually aren't the most fantastic things around....Almost any garden variety restaurant in China can make you a dish that usually can't be distinguished from a meat dish, and if I wish I can make several of them myself. OTOH there are plenty of other ways to enjoy your vegetables more.

        Show me a vegetable dish with the flavor and texture of a nice medium rare filet mignon, or a slab of prime rib medium with au jus, and I will switch. Until then, I am keeping my meat.

        • by afgam28 ( 48611 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:54PM (#46854895)

          A good steak really is an amazing thing, and no meat substitute is likely to replace it. A fake meat product that is made from "peas and plants" doesn't sound anywhere near as nice as a rare filet mignon, but it still sounds a lot better than mechanically separated pink slime and the mystery meats that fast food restaurants put in burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc.

          It's still early days and I'm sure this Beyond Meat product will get cheaper, to the point where this could replace the low-grade meat that is so common in the food industry. This would be a massive win in terms of animal welfare, sustainability, nutrition and maybe even cost to consumers.

          I suspect that a lot of people would prefer vegetables that have most of the taste, texture and protein of meat, rather than food that is grown in horrific conditions but technically meets the definition of meat despite being quite different nutritionally.

        • by Radtastic ( 671622 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @08:32PM (#46855649)
          Artificial meat is going to happen at some point, well before it can surpass the filet mignon or prime rib. Right now, it just needs to be better and cheaper than Meat Slurry [] , then, market forces will accelerate the quality.

          Trust me on this, the bar is set pretty low for it to succeed.
      • Texture is key. There's a group of people with a certain condition who can only eat certain foods, and apparently the food is so godawful that it is hard to get these people to eat at all above the bare minimum. There's a few companies experimenting with 3d printed versions of this food to improve the texture.

        It is not hard to go without meat, certainly don't need it every day, and there are plenty of tasty veg dishes, as long as they are real veg dishes, not with crappy tofu or whatever mixed in to "r
      • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @08:05PM (#46855531)

        I find that not eating meat is pretty trivial ...

        Good for you. I'm reminded of a quote from a comic I read when someone expressed shock and incredulity that another character had not seen Star Wars. Her response was simply, "Your life experiences are different from my own." What you are basically saying here is that you don't really like meat all that much and it was no big sacrifice to give it up. That's not the case for everyone.

        I find the switch to a meatless diet extremely hard, and I become just absolutely ravenous when I go more than a few days without it. I've tried three times for all the good reasons that you mention, and I just get a craving that cannot be satisfied by anything else.

        Almost any garden variety restaurant in China can make you a dish that usually can't be distinguished from a meat dish, and if I wish I can make several of them myself.

        As someone who likes meat, I find that statement laughable. If the vegetables in the dish are the most interesting and delicious part to you, then that's probably true for you. However, while I do enjoy many vegetarian Chinese and Indian dishes, I will NEVER confuse them for those with meat. The taste of the meat is not found in the meat itself but also in the sauces.

      • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @11:33PM (#46856391)

        I agree that veggie dishes can be tasty. I even thing that, because of my wife's belief that all "real" meals must contain meat, I personally eat way too much of it. I've had some vegetarian Indian dishes that blew me away.

        But bacon is good. Steak is good. Burgers are good. No one needs these things, of course, but you can't deny that these things are delicious to a whole lot of people.

        If we expand to animal products, you would destroy some of my very favorite meals - my absolute favorite breakfast is two eggs, sunny side up, home fries, side of bacon and rye toast with a coffee and OJ. Bacon, butter, and eggs.

        Cost: Americans spend less on their food than just about any other country on the planet. Cost is not an issue.
        Health: Most of us would probably get more bang for our buck by exercising, cutting out processed foods, and putting down the booze.
        Sustainability: As an individual, any choice I make will affect everyone else - but not in the way you think. I cut out meat, it just gets slightly cheaper for those who do not. Perhaps if we had some kind of collective action it would be effective, but this individual stuff is just feel-good nonsense.
        Ethical: I hear you guys. The arguments are sound and rational, but ultimately appeal to emotions. They just do nothing for me. I'm just not very empathetic of livestock. To me, eating a cow is no different emotionally than killing a house mouse. Maybe better, since I'm actually using the cow.

        have yet to meet a person who switched and didn't FEEL much better afterwards.

        I find this to be true of any choice people make. Otherwise their choice would be a poor one and they would feel stupid. Basic human nature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Slugster ( 635830 )

      If it tastes like meat, smells like meat, and looks like meat, then I won't refuse it on principle.

      I would. "Carbs that taste like meat" is still carbs.

      A few years back I tried eating low-carb out of curiosity (that is--high meat & fats). Best thing I ever did, and the regular medical checkups I get reflect that. It may not be what the AMA advises, but 5000 years of Eskimos trumps whatever the committee opinion is this year.

      Besides, they could make the carb-meat "cheaper" just by placing a ridiculo

      • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:14PM (#46854657)
        Well, but it's vegetable protein, not vegetable carbohydrates. That doesn't as such mean they are good at getting all the pea starches out...but let's look at their packaging (assuming they're not committing fraud)

        For an 85g (3oz) serving of Beyond Meat "chicken" strips, the macros are: 3g fat, 20g protein, 6g carbs, 2g fiber.

        For 85g of cooked chicken breast (grilled) the macros are: 2-3g fat, 19-21g protein, 1-2g carbs, 0g fiber.

        So 4g net carbs vs 1g net carbs. Even on Keto I wouldn't worry too much about the difference. Overall the macro balance is quite close to chicken breast. They also appear to have more iron than real chicken by a lot (20% RDI vs 3-6%). More than steak, even (~15%).
  • It's not enough to industrialize agriculture, now they want to trick us with fake food.

    Cows graze around boulders and on slopes, where tractors can't work. They cannot be effectively replaced. (Feeding cows corn & soybean meal is rather foolish, and is the real problem here.)

    • Goats do a much better job of mowing lawns than cows do, and they are a lot easier to move from one yard to the next.

  • Americans (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is really a regional problem (understandable in a country that has never had capacity issues raising cattle on enormous scale).

    Outside the US, many countries have been eating significant quantities of meat substitutes for ages - my favourite, even as a meat eater, being Quorn, which is genuinely rather nice tasting and doesn't have to taste 'like' meat to appeal to me (though it's not a vegan product in any sense).

    Within the US, Quorn received a seriously dubious monstering from CSPI, but even in the U

  • why copy meat? (Score:2, Informative)

    by peter303 ( 12292 )
    Non-meat dishes, if properly done, have great flavors and textures all their own. And can satisfy the appetite.

    As a long-term vegetarian, the main concession I make are vegetable patties. And that is for their form factor and ease of cook and not for a resemblance to a burger. Companies like Moningstar and traders Joes make patties out of all kinds of vegetables and spices- soy, bean corn, peas, garins, mixtures etc.
    • I would say vaginitis is a helluva concession
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'll never understand. For some reason some people apparently don't want to eat meat, but they want to eat a bad imitation of it.
      It's like diet coke. If you want to lose weight, drink some water. If you like the taste of diet coke better, you are a weirdo, but at least I can respect that.

      • If you like the taste of diet coke better, you are a weirdo, but at least I can respect that.

        At last! I have an explanation.

        Actually, I refer the taste of Coke Zero slightly over diet Coke and both over sugared Coke. But what do I know? I am a weirdo.

        • Coke Zero uses the standard Coke recipe and just replaces sugar with artificial sweetener. Diet Coke uses a different flavor profile, actually close to the disaster "New Coke" from the 80s.

    • Because people like meat, and you aren't going to get some people to switch until they can get the experience of meat. The problem is that the primary consumers of vegetarian meat substitutes are people who don't like meat.

      Imagine if we were talking about giving up chocolate. People could tell you that there's all sorts of yummy, fruit flavored alternatives out there that have "great flavors and textures all their own" and "can satisfy the appetite." But none of them are chocolate. They don't compare at

  • This will backfire (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hessian ( 467078 )

    Grand liberal vision:

    We stop eating meat, everyone has more to eat.


    We stop eating meat, people breed until the damage is equivalent to what we're doing now.

    • Actuality: People in poor countries continue to be oblivious to the hipster "Beyond Meat" movement in western countries

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:20PM (#46854045) Journal
    Some of the vegetarians follow vegetarian diet due to religious reasons. An extreme form of that practice is followed by the Jains, They would not even eat root vegetables because harvesting it kills the plant. But they would accept milk because milking does not kill the cow. There are others who would eat all the vegetables, but not meat. These people not only don't want to eat meat, they don't want anything that looks like meat.

    In fact I belong to one such group: south Indian lacto-vegetarian brahmin. My rational mind and my reading of scriptures tell me, it is just a cultural practice, Hinduism does not really ban meat. My reading of books in evolution and my rudimentary understanding of biology tells me Homo sapiens evolved to eat at least some meat. Our closes primate relatives bonobos and chimps both eat meat. Still my cultural training is so ingrained I would not be able to bring myself to bite a piece of chicken, or something that resembles chicken. I am sure bits and pieces of meat must have found their way into my plate by accident. Restaurant workers might not have changed gloves, or the pizza cutter might not have been wiped before cutting my pizza, or the soup might have had a chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. Even after knowing all this, I am not able to bring myself to eat meat or anything that resembles meat.

    I know we form such a microscopic minority what we think or do would not have the slightest effect on the general population and trends. But still, I have no plans to change.

    • by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
      I have an indian friend that tasted meat the first time when he was like 21 or 22. What he described, besides the obvious bacon bliss, is a symptom of protein privation during is whole life - a "meat rush". He will now bite a steak or a burger everytime he can.
  • I enjoy several meat substitutes such as Boca Burgers and meal starters. I would use them more often if the price was more reasonable. It is odd that these substitutes can exceed the price of the real thing.
    • by mspohr ( 589790 )

      Boca burgers are terrible hockey pucks from a factory with lots of added chemicals. Do not eat.
      You can easily make good veggie burgers that are a lot cheaper, healthier and tastier than any store bought veggie burger.
      Here's one good recipe: []

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by fiziko ( 97143 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:32PM (#46854101) Homepage

    The cost of the alternatives: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip 3105 [].

  • by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:35PM (#46854123) Journal

    I tried it. The texture and protein feel matches lean chicken or turkey reasonably well. But the fat flavor is missing. This is a general observation I have with all the faux meats. They simulate really lean cuts, but all the flavor comes from the fat, which is missing. It's probably the case that recreating the fat of meat is more difficult than creating the protein. This is a challenge to the manufacturers out there.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:37PM (#46854135) Homepage

    After a long history of failures, from Hamburger Helper to VitaPro, this stuff apparently tastes more or less like processed chicken. It's sold at Whole Foods. It's not cheap. Chicken tends to be chopped up and extruded anyway. ("McNuggets"). Matching the taste of breaded chicken nuggets seems do-able.

    Nutrition is an issue. The nutritional composition of this is entirely determined by the manufacturer. The mix of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is a manufacturer choice. There are few standards on the required nutritional value for human food products. Most concerns about food safety involve excluding undesired or toxic components. It's quite possible to sell something that tastes like meat, is harmless, but has little nutritional value.

  • If this takes off, and I don't see why not (unless it's significantly more expensive), I almost worry that the existing range of quorn-like products will die off. There's a potentially infinite range of tastes and textures out there, and by eating just real meat, we're forcing ourselves to a tiny sub-portion of possible flavours.

    It's about time we moved away from dark-age style slaughterhouses to a tasty meat substitute. Bring it on.
  • I am sure this is going to create an zombie apocalypse due to some mysterious and unexpected side effects. I better get ready to build energy based weapons so that I can survive whatever is left once nature has taken its cut (vultures, dogs, cats and so on).

  • by Coisiche ( 2000870 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:00PM (#46854267)

    In the UK, Quorn is the main faux meat mycoprotein. I'm not a vegetarian but I have tried a few of their products and they are, without exception, all about simulating meat.

    The simulated chicken pieces are probably the most realistic; so much like the real thing in terms of appearance, texture and taste it's uncanny. The steak strips aren't as good texture wise, nor is the lamb cutlet, but both are ok taste wise although to visual inspection the lamb one is obviously artificial. The sausages are good but since the meat content of real sausages is questionable anyway, I don't think there's much comparison to draw. The biggest fail is the Quorn bacon rashers. You have to wonder why they bothered trying. Nothing can compare with real bacon and we can't help vegetarians who chose to give that up.

  • Compare the amount of livestock to the rest of the wild mammals on the planet, it's quite staggering, and i doubt many would expect the numbers to look like this: []
    • by rev0lt ( 1950662 )
      Imagine the ratio of surface area to protein/vital nutrient intake once those animals are converted into plants. Do you know how much grass a cow eats and how efficient it is converting it and water into milk and tasty meat? Do you think you can do the same by just eating grass? Go, help yourself. An adult cow drinks 20-40l of water and produces around 20l of milk, while producing tasty meat. Do the math.
  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <> on Sunday April 27, 2014 @07:31PM (#46855349) Journal

    If it is so good,STOP marketing it as a meat-substitute and market it on its' own merits and strengths. I am not looking to go vegan or vegetarian for that matter but I could always use a tasty new treat. You are only taking on years of fruitless arguing by trying to 'replace' meat.

    Note : I love salads, tofu, and egg plant, but also cheese, eggs, ice cream, and BACON...

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @09:08PM (#46855799)

    This totally misses the point. I, and many people, do not want factory produced food. I want food I can replicate without high technology. I can grow plants, fruit, nuts and MEAT out in my fields. Meat is easy to produce. I have pastures. The sun shines on them. The rain falls. The forages grow. My pigs, chicken, ducks, sheep and geese eat the plants (and bugs). I eat the animals (and plants). It works. It's easy. It's reliable. It's sustainable.

    My way does not require electricity, high technology, a laboratory or shipments of chemicals from distant locations.

    What the factory farmed methods, be they CAFO or huge grain fields, does is to concentrate the power and wealth into the hands of the few resulting in a fragile, brittle system that can easily fail or be attacked and controlled by hostile forces.

    Bill Gates Meatless Meat is a total fail.

    I'll stick to real meat.

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?