Food tech revolution: What is clean food?
In recent years, meat substitutes have seen an intense growth in the food markets. Meatless meat had earlier been criticized as bland by real meat lovers. Now, scientists are developing high-tech food to make meat come as close to the natural thing. Previously called "cultured" or "lab-grown," and now dubbed as "clean food", these substitutes are heralding a new food revolution.
The search for a better alternative
Recent years have seen a race among the food tech majors to come up with a substitute of meat. The idea is not for a pro-vegan or vegetarian option for the real deal, but to prevent animal cruelty and promote healthier lifestyle option. For US based Impossible Foods, the drive is towards getting meat lovers trying 'meat burger made out of plants' out.
Can it feel, look and taste like real meat?
Visual aesthetics form an integral part of the dining experience of a consumer. Dutch food technologists have found a way to make faux meat that has the same texture as real meat. A mixture of soya protein, wheat gluten and water is subjected to mild pressure to form a compound. This forms a fibrous structure that almost mimics the texture and taste of meat.
Is this the real deal on the market?
A start-up called Impossible foods has come up with a meat substitute comprised of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes, and heme and the firm says it's as close as it gets. Another start-up, Memphis Meats has made world's first meatless chicken tenders from self-reproducing cells. Food innovation industry believes faux meat can maintain the taste test and also ensure good health, sustainability and animal welfare.
Isn't meat necessary like air and water?
There has been no conclusive proof that a human body needs to have meat and the proteins it gets from it can't be supplemented from other sources. However, meat has been related to heart diseases, diabetes and even cancer. A study found out that eating meat increases the risk of prostate cancer by almost 40%.
India: If you don't ditch it, control it
India, as a growing economy cannot stop consuming meat as it is provides an easy source of protein. Then again, things are going overboard with NFHS survey data pointing out more than 39.3% Indians are obese and the numbers are rising. Over 20.3% Indians suffer from diabetes and it's time to take a call on all of junk food like burgers and chicken tandooris.
The meat story of India
India along with Brazil is the biggest exporter of beef in the world. Indian exports are mainly water buffaloes that are not particularly revered by any particular religious section. The total value of the meat industry and its related industries has been pegged to be that of Rs. 50,000 crore annually. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 60% of meat production in India.
A radical change of diet
America is one of the biggest consumers of meat but things have changed with times. A recent study showed that Americans have slashed their beef consumption by 19 per cent due to health factors and on a bid to reduce carbon footprint.