Tag Archives: plant-based

Tofurky wins in court

Good news – more lawsuits are rolling back unconstitutional labelling bans on using meat-based terms. Last month, a federal court ruled that an Arkansas law that had banned makers of meat alternatives such as Tofurky from using commonly understood words to describe their products was unconstitutional. The law prohibited the labeling of any food product as ‘meat’ unless that food product was derived from livestock, and it banned such terms as ‘veggie sausage’ and ‘veggie burger’ from food labeling in Arkansas.

The Arkansas law, U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker explained in her ruling, unconstitutionally barred Tofurky from “convey[ing] meaningful, helpful information to consumers about the products they are purchasing, and Tofurky’s repeated indications that the food products contained in these packages contain no animal-based meat dispel consumer confusion.”  In other words, no one is confused about whether Tofurky is turkey!

We’ve seen the same kind of thing in other states and other products but the meat, dairy and egg alternatives seem to be prevailing.  Last year, a lawsuit filed by Upton’s Naturals forced Mississippi’s agriculture department, which had issued similar rules, to backtrack and amend the rules.

Is the meat industry getting nervous? They should be. The sales of meat and dairy substitutes have been soaring, hence the clamor to adopt rules against using some words to describe meat alternatives. Supporters of such laws typically claim they want to help consumers avoid confusion. However, research and commonsense suggest consumers aren’t confused by terms such as “veggie burger” or the like. Worse, linguistic bans generally prohibit accurate and honest labeling even if—as the federal court in Arkansas found was the case with Tofurky’s labeling—”the product [in question] also states on the label that it’s 100% vegan, plant-based or meatless.”

Fast food restaurants of the future

The growing interest in plant-based foods is giving rise to new startup restaurant chains on the horizon. For instance, John Mackey, co-founder of Whole Foods Market, plans to build a plant-based restaurant chain. Mackey is listed as a partner in Healthy America LLC, Bloomberg reports, which aims to launch vegetarian restaurants nationwide. Mackey’s past success scaling a business promoting healthy lifestyles is attracting plenty of investor attention as vegetarian and vegan diets grow in popularity. Several former Whole Foods executives are already joining Mackey in his new endeavor.

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Vegan athletes compete at Mr America contest

Robert Cheeke – vegan bodybuilder

A team of 28 vegan athletes just participated in this year’s Mr America competition in Atlantic City, NJ, to show the world that vegans can be just as strong, muscular and fit at meat-eaters, if not better.

The Mr America contest includes 4 different challenges for both men and for women:

  • Bodybuilding, where the judges score each athlete based on muscular development, proportion, conditioning, posing and general appearance,
  • Olympic weightlifting, where the athlete lifts a 400-600 pound barbell from the floor to an overhead position,
  • Kettlebell sport, where athletes have to repeat a certain movement with a designated weight in a certain amount of time.
  • Crossfit, which is designed to test the athlete’s level of physical fitness, measuring strength, speed, agility and overall fitness.
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Quarterback Justin Fields chooses vegan for performance

Justin Fields 2022

Justin Fields, the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears, has discovered that following a plant-based diet makes him lighter and faster.  He first tried it in May 2020 while he was quarantined with his family, and they all decided to do a one-month plant-based challenge.  During that month, Fields noticed how his body felt better, and so at the end of the month, he continued with the diet, while the rest of his family went back to eating meat and dairy products.

Fields was drafted as the Bears’ number one choice in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, after playing college football at Ohio State university. He continued with the Bears into the 2022 season.  Of his vegan diet, he says:

“It’s changed the way I feel and the way I perform dramatically. I just feel so much lighter and faster. Football as a sport is so hard on your body so I just want to do anything I can to have the longest career possible.”

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The latest product – 3-D printed plant-based salmon

Printing 3D salmon

Revo Foods has created a 3D-printed salmon made from plants that is expected to reach the US market in 2023. The company, an Austrian plant-based food tech startup, currently sells packets of smoked “salmon” made from pea protein, algae extract and plant oils to mimic the taste and texture of real fish without the environmental impact. This new creation enables them to offer salmon fillets that can be cooked and served just like the fish version.

The new product is made with pea protein but is also also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, to ensure it’s nutritionally comparable with regular salmon, but without any cholesterol or toxins. The newly developed 3D printing production process will help improve the texture, so consumers are able to cook the whole-cut, plant-based salmon in various ways without compromising texture or flavor. The company’s website said this new process produces up to 86% less emissions than conventional salmon and uses 95% less freshwater. Of course, it also saves a lot of salmon lives.

Revo Foods Products

The company’s goal is to produce vegan seafood to lessen human impact on the oceans and avoid consumption of seafood containing toxins and heavy metals, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). They are expanding their product line to include salmon and tuna spreads and salmon and tuna sashimi in the future.  We look forward to giving all their products a try.

Chris Paul, 12 year NBA all-star, credits plant-based diet

Chris Paul 2022

NBA veteran, Chris Paul, made his 12th appearance on the NBA All-Star team in February, and credits his plant-based diet with helping him gain energy and reduce muscle aches both on and off the court.  The 37-year-old Phoenix Suns point guard decided to give a plant-based diet a try in 2019, and after experiencing many health and fitness benefits, he chose to stick with it.

“When I first went plant-based, it was for performance purposes but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt—it was for life,” Paul said in an interview with GQ. “Years ago, I probably wouldn’t have even gone outside to run around with my kids and all the other activities because my body would be aching. Now, with the constant lifting and making sure that my body is always ready, it’s been a good lifestyle change for me.” 

Before he went vegan, Chris enjoyed foods including fried chicken and burgers, but his commitment to a plant-based diet has led him to try a lot of new foods.  He finds vegan versions of his favorite foods, such as chocolate chip cookies and pancakes, and uses substitute products such as JUST Egg and Beyond Meat sausage as staples in his breakfasts.  For lunch, he typically eats a salad or a veggie bowl, along with a protein smoothie, while his dinners are prepared by a professional chef using plenty of beans, grains and vegetables.

Chris has managed to convince his father to give the diet a try too, and Charles Paul noticed health benefits such as lower cholesterol since he replaced chicken eggs with JUST Egg.  In October, Chris will lead the Phoenix Suns in his 18th season of professional basketball – a feat that only a few have achieved.  We think his diet has something to do with that!

Going to a meat-eaters barbecue?

As July 4th approaches, many people think about hosting a barbecue at their home or in a local park.  This cultural phenomenon is well-established as a meat-eaters paradise, but meat-eating hosts often struggle with what to provide for the plant-based eaters they may wish to invite.  In fact, there are so many possible veg-friendly options these days that choosing what to buy can be daunting, as they just don’t know which to offer to their plant-based friends.  A veg option that one person loves may not work for others.

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Biggest beef co. launches plant-based bacon

Progress! The largest beef company in the world, JBS Foods, is launching plant-based bacon through its Colorado-based Planterra Foods brand. Even the meat industry realizes that plant-based foods are the future. The vegan bacon selection will roll out under the company’s Ozo brand. Soon, American customers will have access to juicy, crispy plant-based bacon with the True Bite Plant-Based Bacon, featuring Cracked Black Pepper, Spicy Jalapeno, and Applewood Smoke flavors.

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Med students push for default veg option

Stanford Medical Students

Some vegetarian medical students at Stanford Medical School were frustrated recently, when they attended their White Coat ceremony where they are given a white coat and a stethoscope, to find that all the vegetarian options were already taken.  This is evidently a frequent occurrence.  Throughout their first year of medical school, they found that food options for vegetarians were in short supply at lunchtime and dinner seminars, orientations, club meetings etc.  The impact on them is that they feel their cultural and moral values are not recognized and they are not able to reduce their impact on the environment.

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College meals are going plant-based

Sodexo Food Service

Sodexo, a giant food service company, is increasing its plant-based offerings at hundreds of college campus cafeterias over the next few years, with the goal of reducing their carbon footprint by 34%.  They are aiming for 42% of the menus to be plant-based at hundreds of colleges and universities by 2025.

The push to move toward more plant-based menus is being driven by an initiative between Sodexo and its longtime partner Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has been helping Sodexo to update their menus and animal welfare policies over the past 15 years. 

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