As a lot of you probably know, I went vegan a couple years ago after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. (If you haven't seen it yet, go check it out now!! I guarantee it'll blow your mind- and animals, the environment, and your body will thank you!). And I'm not the only one- from Bill Clinton to Mike Tyson (plus Jessica Chastain, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire and so many more), seems like everyone's going vegan these days!
One thing that sucks about going plant-based, though (or at least telling people you have), is that dreaded question:
"So if you don't eat meat, where do you get your protein?"
Well, first of all, it's incredibly easy to get enough protein on a plant-based diet- from a whole range of delicious veggies, grains, nuts, legumes.. you name it! If you're thinking of trying it out, learn more about how easy it is to meet protein needs here. The guys over at Forks Over Knives also have some awesome recipes on their website, too, if you're looking to get inspired!
Still, even with all the yummy veggies you can eat, I know how tough it is to give up meat, especially when you're starting out. Sometimes we need a little extra help to make the transition. (Though I've been told I'm a great motivator.. Check out my homie Kevin Smith's SModcast from a couple weeks back- when those cereal-flavored milk boxes at Bristol Farms gets too tempting, just think to yourself "What Would Dushku Do?" and imagine my wicked threatening death glare over your shoulder..)
So maybe you're thinking about switching to a plant-based diet (for any reason- to improve your health and stave off preventable degenerative diseases, for ethical concerns, or to reduce your carbon footprint and help combat climate change), but you just can't give up your meat and eggs cold-turkey. Well, food scientists are coming up with some awesome new alternatives to help you out.
Reinventing Meat: for everyone, not just vegans!
What if there was a way to eat fake, plant-based animal products that tasted just like the real thing? I know what you're thinking: 'meat substitutes' and 'alternatives' have been around forever... and they suck. But there are a few new companies that are revolutionizing the art (and science) of faking it.
Hampton Creek Foods is creating a plant-based egg that is all-natural, cholesterol-free and cheaper than real eggs. (They're also gluten- and soy-free, and they have no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.)
But unlike most other substitutes out there—their egg substitute will also deliver the same experience in cooking as well as eating. Because when you're cooking, eggs are about so much more than protein or taste- they're the glue that literally holds together so many recipes. The researchers at Hampton Creek are using some serious science to create products that can be used in desserts ("Beyond Eggs for Cookies") and sauces ("Just Mayo")- some of the things that are toughest to fill your cravings for when you go vegan.
Like Hampton Creek Foods, Beyond Meat makes a fake product that tastes just like the real deal, but is healthier and cheaper- as well as non-GMO, kosher and gluten-free! They've got a couple different flavors of Chicken-Free Chicken Strips (Lightly Seasoned, Grilled and Southwest) that can be used in all your favorite recipes.
Beyond Meat's Chicken-Free Chicken is already being sold in Whole Foods stores around the country- see if your local store sells them!
I'm not the only one who's noticed.. Bill Gates just put up a great feature on his blog about how these companies are the Future of Food, so be sure to check that out if you want to learn more!
What do you guys think? Is this the "Future of Food"? Where do YOU get your protein?
Whether you're vegan or not, head out to your local Whole Foods, try them out, and let me know what you think!