每日英語跟讀 Ep.K109: Big Meat Hops on the Meatless Bandwagon
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, scrappy startups that share a penchant for superlatives and a commitment to protecting the environment, have dominated the relatively new market for vegetarian food that looks and tastes like meat.
But with plant-based burgers, sausages and chicken increasingly popular and available in fast-food restaurants and grocery stores across the United States, a new group of companies has started making meatless meat: the food conglomerates and meat producers that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods originally set out to disrupt.
In recent months, major food companies like Tyson, Smithfield, Perdue, Hormel and Nestlé have rolled out their own meat alternatives, filling supermarket shelves with plant-based burgers, meatballs and chicken nuggets.
Once largely the domain of vegans and vegetarians, plant-based meat is fast becoming a staple of more people’s diets, as consumers look to reduce their meat intake amid concerns about its health effects and contribution to climate change. Analysts project that the market for plant-based protein and lab-created meat alternatives could be worth as much as $85 billion by 2030.
Now, at supermarkets across the United States, shoppers can find plant-based beef and chicken sold alongside the packaged meat products that generations of Americans have eaten.
“There is a growing demand out there,” said John Pauley, the chief commercial officer for Smithfield, one of the largest pork producers in the country. “We’d be foolish not to pay attention.”
In September, Nestlé released the Awesome Burger, its answer to the meatless patties of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Smithfield started a line of soy-based burgers, meatballs and sausages, and Hormel began offering plant-based ground meat.
Many supporters of meatless alternatives have hailed the new products as a sign that plant-based meat has gained widespread acceptance.
But the emergence of these meat companies in the plant-based protein market has also prompted suspicion and unease among some environmental activists, who worry the companies could co-opt the movement by absorbing smaller startups, or simply use plant-based burgers to draw attention away from other environmental misdeeds.
Pat Brown, the chief executive of Impossible Foods, has long described the project of creating faux meat as an environmental imperative. Brown has even set a deadline: eliminate animal products from the global food supply by 2035.
Not all his new rivals are quite so idealistic. Their goal is not to upend the meat industry in the name of sustainability. It is mainly to make money.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/4169563
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