Where’s the beef? Plant-based proteins take off


Whether it’s diet consciousness or concerns for sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to meat, there’s no question that plant-based meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger are getting consumers’ – and investors’ – attention. Even Big Meat producers like Tyson Foods is entering the alternative protein market with plant-based “chicken” nuggets.

If you’re considering becoming vegan or vegetarian or you simply want to reduce the amount of animal meat you eat, here are five plant-based proteins to consider:

Soy: Soy-based products, like tofu, tempeh and edamame, don’t actually reduce male testosterone levels as once thought. That’s good news for one of the richest sources of plant-based proteins, which contain about 10 to 15g of protein per serving. Tofu, also called soybean curds, is a great addition to soups, stews and sandwiches where it takes on the flavour of the dish’s other ingredients. And because soy contains good levels of calcium and iron, it’s a great substitute for dairy products. 

Quinoa: A South American grain that’s gained popularity on recent years, cooked quinoa contains about 8g of protein per cup. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium and fiber and a versatile substitute for rice or pasta in soups and salads.

Hemp seeds: Considered a superfood, hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant but do not produce any mild-altering effects. They are, however, packed with protein – almost as much as soybeans – high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and believed to help regulate the immune system. You can add the seeds to your cereal, yogurt, smoothies and salads or drink hemp milk as you would cow milk.

 Mycoprotein: A fungus-based protein often used in “chicken” nuggets or cutlets, mycoprotein is rich in protein at about 13 g per half-cup serving. It’s low in fat and cholesterol, high in fiber and good for sodium-restricted diets. People with a history of mushroom or other food allergies are advised to consider other protein alternatives or consult their physicians or dieticians. 

Other plant-based proteins to consider include almonds, spirulina and chia seeds. Are you on a plant-based protein diet or considering decreasing your meat intake? Let us know why and how it’s going! Share your experiences in the Shop Talk blog community forum.

Did you know? The Governator says hasta la vista

Arnold Schwarzenegger has jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. The former bodybuilder and California governor says he’s now convinced “you really don’t have to get your protein from meat – or from animals.” (Source)

77 thoughts on “Where’s the beef? Plant-based proteins take off

  1. I am a pescatarian and I love plant based alternatives. I haven’t eaten meat in over 20 years and I eat some fish but no meat. I am very healthy n in good shape. I’m so happy
    I stopped eating meat.

  2. I have not eaten animals and their by-products for more than 25 yrs, so yes I knew all this. Nice to see others are finally getting it!!

    Loved ‘The Game Changers’, I believe more men will finally get it!

    It’s nearly 2020, time to get yourselves veganized!

  3. I tried a meatless burger. It was lacking in texture and flavour. There are more calories in it than regular meat. Also it is a highly processed food, the more something is processed the less healthy it is for you.

  4. I became a pesto vegetarian 7 years ago. I lost a lot of weight and felt healthier. My main reason is because of the treatment of animal for food production.
    My health improved. I no longer had high blood pressure, I no longer had high cholesterol. I no longer needed medication for these ailments.
    I’ve always LOVED veggies so the switch was not that difficult for me.

  5. Chemicals hiding in your plant based burger
    Tertiary butylhydroquinone. TBHQ is a synthetic preservative that prevents discoloration in processed foods. The FDA limits the amount of TBHQ allowed in foods because studies of laboratory animals has found an association with TBHQ and cancer.
    2.Magnesium carbonate. Remember when some bread was accused of having a yoga mat chemical? Well, magnesium carbonate, used in foods to retain color, is also used in flooring, fireproofing, and fire-extinguishing compounds.
    3.Erythosine (Red #3). Red #3 is an artificial food coloring. The FDA banned the use of Red #3 in products such as cosmetics in 1990 after high doses of the substance were linked to cancer. But it can still be used in foods like fake meat.
    4.Propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid used as a moisturizer. It’s also used as a liquid in e-cigarettes and is the primary ingredient in antifreeze.
    5.Ferric orthophosphate. Also called iron phosphate, this chemical is used to fortify foods. It can also be used as a pesticide to kill slugs and snails. While generally considered safe (for people) in food in small quantities, it can be a skin and eye irritant and may cause an upset stomach.
    Maybe think for yourself rather than following the crowd. Remember the lemmings.

  6. Je pensse que ça prend de l’engrais qui vien des animaux fumier d’animaux donc ces pas co bon pour la planète que ça pour faire poussée les plantes et les jardin !

    1. Come on guys, you really like meat, otherwise why say it tastes like a burger. Meat never hurt anyone and like anything else everything in moderation is good for you. So stop being a follower because it’s the in thing to do. If you like it eat it!!

    2. No thanks as I have read up on plant based diets and the health concerns that go with it. I will stick to my meat products plus by eating meat head to tail we are reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. It is called the circle of life.

    3. The population is at an all time high. Is it going to decrease any time soon? No idea. The plant needs more grain made food and homegrown in fact individually.

    4. There is alot of good alternative options out there if you want to change your eating habits and become vegan. I’m eating more plant base foods . I feel better more energy.

    5. I’ve seen studies on w5, it appears
      plant based replacements for meat
      also have additives that actually do more
      than good. It’s not a vegetarian or
      vegan, which I’m not. Just the thought of
      eating dead animals doesn’t work for
      me. So I feel eating plant based
      meat with unknown additives, thumbs down.

    6. LOL what an imagination. Nothing wrong with plant based foods which are far better than meat from animals raised in cruelty.

  7. I if I want to eat veggies I’ll eat them the way they are meant to be eaten. Either whole or steamed or baked. If I want to eat a burger I’ll eat the real thing. I don’t want a processed veggie burger full of. Additives to try to make it taste better and stick together and not good for you!! Don’t mess with real food groups in my opinion. You couldn’t pay me to try one of those processed burgers!!! In my opinion it’s just another minority group of opinionated people trying to sway the rest of the population that how we have lived and eaten so far is not good for us!! People need to start thinking for themselves and have a right to their own opinion without feeling wronged!!

  8. I’ve replaced red meat but still use seafoods and occasionally chicken and turkey. I do try to get my fowl free range and also free of hormones and antibiotics. I’m not very fond of tofu though but there are Chinese dishes where it works.

  9. Recent news reports on eating red meat vs. plant based proteins is suggesting that the potential dangers of red meat ingestion has been overblown by the press without stating the results of recent scientific studies.

  10. Tim Horton’s has started a trial of Just Egg in their breakfast sandwiches. I’ve had this product and it is excellent. What’s the likelihood that we could get it here in stores? It’s currently being sold in American Costcos.

  11. I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons. The idea that an innocent animal would give up its life so that I could EAT it was enough to make me stop eating meat. I am so glad that there are so many choices now in meat alternatives, for those, like myself, who have chosen the ethical course.

  12. I have tried the plant based beyond burgers, and beyond sausage And it doesn’t smell good it taste good …if ppl looked into the ingredients of these plant based alternatives they will see that it all contains some of the ingredients in dog food….I will stick to a veggie burger and meat burgers…

  13. Either way, meat or plant based meat products…all growth requires C02 and lots of it. This is why nurseries and massive plant growth companies PUMP C02 into their green houses. How does this work when Climate Nuts against C02 are destroying what nature provides to give food. Research it!!

  14. I have Beyond Meat hamburgers this summer and found them to be delicious. Though they are a little expensive when not on sale, I would never go back to meat for soooo many reasons. It is good companies have come out with plant base hamburger, nuggets, etc, but I do not have to have something that resembles meat. I am very happy with all the flavours, colours and recipes that vegetables and fruit provide for my meals. I have been a ~vegetarian for 5 yrs now. I do eat fish, eggs and cheese.

  15. Thanks for the information on protein substitutes. My youngest daughter has been vegetarian for 1 1/2 years and i believe she is almost vegan now! I am guilty of enjoying meat, however, I am becoming less and less interested in meat for a very important reason. Climate Change!!! I have always loved veggies and typically dive into them first when on my plate. I feel that meat has for far too long been an important part of our daily lives.
    It is time for all of us to make a change to our eating habits and ingest less meat if any. There are plenty of ways of enjoying food and eating what comes from the earth, not what inhabits it as well.
    So, on that note, I will eat more of the products listed above and definitely not eat anymore meat. Sure would be nice if we could all make a conscious decision for make changes for our children and grandchildren.

  16. I just don’t like eating meat. I’ve always loved animals. They don’t judge you, they love you unconditionally. I have two cats, and while I feed them meat from a can, no meat for me.

  17. Soy has its negative side also. Look it up. I prefer eating real meat, even though I eat little beef there are better options than soy. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE SENDING OUT THIS STUFF,

  18. I’m a carnivore so please do not try and change my thoughts on this..I grew up on a farm and will always be a meat eater

  19. I think this is great! Although soy is totally out for me, I love quinoa and hemp seeds….it’s amazing there’s finally so many new options and people are finally responding in a positive way. It’s always a happy day when the animals win ♥️

  20. One should look at the chemicals and GMO products in each of these meatless burgers before jumping on the band wagon. Some have stuff you would never eat and some have appeared to have bypassed testing.
    Read you labels and ask for all and I mean all ingrediants.

  21. I am sorry, this plant based meat is not meat and my money says that in a few years down the road science will tell us why we SHOULD NOT be eating it. The product is highly processed, just like processed meat, cheese, etc.
    If you want to go natural, the four pointed teeth in your mouth are called canine teeth, they are designed to eat meat. I will stick with natural and continue to consume meat that has not been processed.

  22. When something outrageous as this came up when I was a YOOT, we would blame it on the COMMIES.
    Today, someone is out to get the Ranchers of the land and economically turn their hard work and benefits to mush. Sure looks like someone is organizing these protests with the attempt to disrupt the economy and then when down, take over this Great Country of ours with their beliefs.
    We have so much freedom in this current episode of life, that you can with the help of 50 of your friends totally create chaos and disregard for the law all in the name of some so called mission.
    Lets get rid of Government, Law Makers, the Court system and Police and have the protesters run the country. I understand they know more than all the rest of us.
    The way it is going the entire Country could be brought to a stand-still because of a few disruptive individuals.

  23. I love the beyond meat burger and a burger called life light the only problem is they cost so much money $8 for only 2 burger Patty’s.

  24. These natural proteins are fine but the products being produced for those wanting to go meat free don’t really know what is being added to them and no research has be done to find out the results of long time consumption.

  25. Thank you for the information. I am more happy to know the other source of protein without consuming neat. Now I know what to grab in the grocery store for my meal of the day.

  26. What a bunch of tripe!! Mankind wants to hop on the bandwagon of whatever is today’s flavour of fad.
    There is nothing wrong or immoral or environmentally destructive about eating meat.
    Paradoxically, those who decry eating meat are quite comfortable about abortion.
    Wake up!

  27. It’s INHUMANE TO EAT OTHER ANIMALS. (NOT HUMAN).

    i.e. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. ANIMALS EAT ANIMALS.

    YOU HAVE NOT QUALIFIED TO BE CALLED A HUMAN BEING

  28. All this hype about eating plant based alternatives sounds wonderful. I personally am too skeptical about these alternatives. They are fairly new on the market and not enough research has gone into the long terms affects on humans. Fast forward several years and then you may hear these alternatives cause cancer. I strongly believe in healthy eating and cutting down on too much red meats etc. You want a burger? Eat the real thing, just not as often.

  29. I have tried both Tim Horton’s sausage and A&W’s burger. While the flavour was good, they were salty and not even close to a meat consistency. You can keep your highly processed plant meat, I will be sticking to real meat!

  30. Always like veg, products.but make sure they are low in fat and sodium. Need to lower both when making a nutritious product.

  31. I was born and raised on meat. We ate meat at every meal. To me there is not another more natural way to get protein than meat. Why do you want to eat a chemically produce product? What is wrong with naturally raised meat?

  32. if you want something that looks like a hamburger for gods sake have one has more protein than faked ones also has more nutrients.cattle are raised on land that is not suitable for grain farming.

  33. I’m 55 and been a vegetarian since about age 21. Now suddenly there’s a big “trend” of plant based diets, veganism etc etc etc. I used to get ridiculed by being a vegetarian, back in the 80s and 90s and called “weird”, even though I was never one to broadcast it nor did I condemn those who ate meat – it’s their choice.

  34. I have been vegan for over 9 years and I am so excited about all of the plant based options now available. Vegan for the animals, the planet and my health.

  35. What are the mycoprotein brands available for sale in Canada? I’ve tried Quorn and it’s pretty good, but as far as I know it’s not available in Canada yet (it’s produced in the UK).

  36. I can agree that protein can be sourced from other than natural meat or fish products, after all we have been doing it for thousands of years already. What I have difficulty with is the move by corporate entities to move us to eating genetically modified products and/or lab generated products as a better source than natural.Where is their years of study to prove their claims and the generations of test subjects to prove their claims. Being part of a generation who were told among other claims, that Round Up was not harmful and was actually safe enough that one could drink it, that saccharin was safe and had no side effects and many benefits, etc., etc, I am tired of the proponents of these products opting out of consuming them while they preach the need for the general population to do so.

  37. As a cattle farmer I don’t agree with the concept that people should stop eating meat. If you choose to do so than good on you. Plant based foods are not for everyone

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