Tag Archives: meat alternative

Abbot’s Butcher – an interview with the founder

We are keeping track of many different new vegan products on the market, and especially those offered by small new startup companies. Abbot’s Butcher is one such company. We caught up with Kerry, founder and CEO of the company, to find out more about their company and products.

Kerry Song, founder of Abbot’s Butcher

How did your company get started?

Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, and part of my path back to health meant making some real changes in my diet.

A lot of us think that being plant-based means you’re automatically making healthy choices. But so many of the plant-based foods on the market, especially the meat alternatives, are filled with synthetic chemicals, additives, artificial colors, flavors, gums and preservatives — highly processed ingredients that we just shouldn’t be eating.

So I set out to create a line of plant-based meats that not only have the depth of flavor and hearty mouthfeel we all crave, but that are made from ingredients we can trust. Ingredients that truly nourish and energize our bodies. 

That’s why, at Abbot’s Butcher, we craft our plant-based meats from pea protein, vegetables, herbs, spices, nutrient-dense oils, vinegars – just real food that we can feel good about and good after eating.

Tell us about the different products you have?

We have three different products –our “everyday essentials” that fit seamlessly into our most-loved, most familiar dishes. 

Spanish Smoked “Chorizo”: Crafted with garlic, chipotle peppers and a Spanish smoked paprika, this crave-worthy plant-based “Chorizo” is zesty and bright with a subtle smoky heat. It cooks up nicely, and it’s incredibly versatile – great for breakfast dishes like scrambles and burritos, or savory dinners like empanadas and enchiladas. With the rich, invigorating depth it brings to the plate, it’s the perfect way to spice things up. 

Slow Roasted Chick’n: This delectable plant-based Chick’n pairs a mild flavor with a robust, meaty tenderness. It browns nicely in a pan and stays tender when roasted. You can marinate it, add your favorite spices and seasonings, or simply cook up and savor as is. With this deliciously versatile Chick’n, you’ll be able to whip up delicious plant-based versions of all your most loved dishes.

Savory Ground “Beef”: Crafted with onion, thyme and porcini mushroom, this Savory Ground “Beef” has the earthy, umami flavor you crave. Bring back classics like Sloppy Joes and Shepherd’s Pie. Or enjoy all your favorites like Spaghetti Bolognese and stuffed peppers. With this rich and hearty Ground “Beef ”, you’ll find countless ways to elevate your most-loved recipes. 

Can you tell us about the ingredients you use?

All of our plant-based proteins are made from a combination of pea protein, vegetables, herbs, spices, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegars. We never use any soy, canola, natural or artificial flavors, gums or synthetic chemicals. Just real food you can feel good about and after eating.

What are the different ways Abbot’s Butcher can be used?

Our products are incredibly versatile – and can be simply swapped into your favorite recipes.

The “Chorizo” has a really nice richness and a subtle heat to it. It’s perfect in breakfast and brunch dishes like scrambles, burritos, hashes and omelets. It’s great in baked potatoes, hearty soups and chilis, and pastas with roasted veggies. Of course, the “Chorizo” is a natural fit into dishes like tamales, tacos, enchiladas and nachos. And if you’re looking for an extra boost of flavor and protein on-the-go, you can cook it up then chill it down to use throughout the week in salads and in bowls. 

The Ground “Beef” is extremely hearty, and has a nice umami depth of flavor. It’s perfect for recreating plant-based versions of classics like a Spaghetti Bolognese, Shepherd’s Pie, Sloppy Joe and Crispy Tacos. You can add new flavor components and make a Mediterranean Bowl, or a Thai “Beef” Salad, for example. You can also cook it up and savor throughout the week in salads, bowls, flatbreads, wraps and meal prep. 

The Chick’n is our most versatile protein. It takes on flavor exceptionally well, so can be used in all types of cuisines. You can crisp it up and enjoy in a BBQ Chick’n Pizza or Buffalo Chick’n Flatbread. You can add some sesame and ginger and enjoy in lettuce cups or a Asian Chick’n Salad. It’s great in tacos, enchiladas, tamales and nachos. You can recreate plant-based versions of classics like chick’n & rice casserole, enchiladas, lettuce cups or pot pie. Or simply crisp it up with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper and use throughout the week – on salads, flatbreads, in bowls or meal prep!

It sounds like a great product. Where can I find it?

In the Pacific Northwest, our products are available at all Metropolitan Markets and Huckleberries. We are excited to grow throughout this region, and are eager to learn more about grocers the plant-based community loves!

Outside of that – we’re with all Sprout’s Farmers Markets, and Whole Foods across California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. We’re in the South and Southwest, and we’re also on the east coast. 

If you prefer to order online, you can find our products through the Hungryroot – an incredible curated grocery platform that ships nationally!

Can you give us a glimpse of products that may be on the horizon?

We are going to be launching our fourth plant-based protein in 2022. It’s something we’ve been working on for quite some time and we’re excited to see it come to fruition. It’s another everyday essential – and something both meat eaters and vegans alike will love!

We also have a number of other products we’re working on. But whatever path we go down, and whatever products we create, we will always be committed to being 100% plant-based and clean-label. 

What are your future goals for the company?

As a team – it’s about growing thoughtfully! We’re building a brand that’s synonymous with quality, and that means doing the little things right. That ethos guides every decision we make – as a team and as a company. 

As a company and brand – our mission is to get quality plant-based meats into every household! We want to help grow the space, to expand the market, and to work together with other like-minded companies to create a kinder, more compassionate world. 

Cultured controversy

With the spread of factory farming — today the source of 95 percent of meat, eggs, and dairy items — the fate of farm animals went from regrettable to abhorrent, from merely sad to morally untenable.

Veggie burgers were the first step on the road to creating a non-cruel alternative, but some are trying to go even further with cultured meat. As this innovation reshapes the market, is there any further claim of necessity for industrial animal farming, an enterprise that long ago slipped the boundaries of reasonable and conscientious practice? In addition to the cruelty involved in factory farming, the environmental and public-health impact is equally reckless. For meat companies — already challenged by popular, plant-based alternatives — culturing technology will mark a radical redirection, and there is no industry more in need of one.

Cultured meat is meat without killing. Cultured meat is produced in bioreactors and then combined with plant-based ingredients. The cells used to start the process came from a cell bank, and did not require the slaughter of a chicken because cells can be taken from biopsies of live animals. The nutrients supplied to the growing cells were all from plants. From Singapore comes news of the world’s first commercial sale of cell-cultured meat by Eat Just, an American startup.

Cultured meat is controversial. The companies developing lab-grown meat believe this is the product most likely to wean committed meat-eaters off traditionally produced animal sources. Perhaps, or perhaps not. Once full production goes into effect, there will be substantial environmental benefits, in terms of reduced methane production, reduced water pollution, and reduced animal feed requirements. It does prevent the overcrowding, cruelty and the slaughter of animals. However, it would seem to have less health benefit than the existing, and much improved in recent years, veggie burgers and chicken. For instance, while it contains fewer if any accumulated toxins, it still contains saturated fat and cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and other health concerns. Some religious authorities are still debating the question of whether in vitro meat is Kosher or Halal (e.g., compliant with Jewish or Islamic dietary laws).

Some vegetarians will be turned off by the likeness to meat. If you’re already a vegetarian or vegan, we suggest that you stick to your current preferred protein sources, whether they are veggie burgers or other meat substitutes, beans, or tofu. But if you’re having a hard time giving up eating meat, cultured meat is likely to be a better choice than animal raised meat.

We will be keeping track of this new and controversial technology.

Omnipork – vegan pork in China

Omni PorkDavid Yeung wants to take a bite out of China’s massive market for pork. As founder of Green Common, a vegetarian grocery store and casual dining chain in Hong Kong, he started bringing plant-based burgers and other meatless products to Asia, and he saw an opportunity. According to Yeung, “One of the most consumed meats in the world is actually overlooked – that is pork”. Pork accounts for nearly 40% of worldwide meat consumption, and in China it’s by far the highest consumed meat. With this in mind, he launched a new product called Omnipork which he hopes will change people’s diets in mainland China. Read more