The Advantages of Meat Substitutes

Many carnivores assume that vegetarians eat meat substitutes because they can’t (or won’t) eat meat and are looking for a protein substitute. In that line of thinking, tofu, seitan, quinoa, chickpeas, mushrooms, and other meat substitutes are necessary, but obviously not as desirable as real meat.


Jerry’s Kitchen, catering to Malvern, Doylestown, and other local communities, proves that both carnivores and vegetarians can enjoy delicious food. In fact, with the growing popularity of meatless substitutes, vegetarians increasingly have both taste and conscience advantages.

We all know that there are good reasons for actively choosing meat substitutes, not least of which is that they may be better for the environment. Evidence shows that raising cattle and poultry make a significant contribution to our carbon footprint. Reducing this footprint has been one of the major goals of meat substitute pioneers.

Of course, another valid reason for choosing meat substitutes over meat is the health risk of processed meat. Broadly speaking, meat-based diets, consumed in excess, can contribute to various health issues, such as metabolic disorder, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even cancer.

Promoters of plant-based protein sources suggest that the risks of pathogens and other health risks are much lower by consuming meat substitutes, rather than actual meat. Of course, those substitutes may also come with their own risks, for instance, if they use ingredients or additives that are unsafe (such as smoke flavoring). However, in general, the health benefits of meatless diets are compelling, which may be the chief reasons why Americans are eating less meat and looking to meat substitutes.

But perhaps an even better reason to consider trying meatless substitutes is that the quality of product has significantly improved—and continues to improve. This improvement is driven by all the factors listed above: concern for the environment, avoiding the health risks of meat, and embracing the health benefits of non-meat diets. At the end of the day, though, we want our food to be tasty and satisfying. It’s much easier to embrace an ideal in the abstract than to have to eat a less than tasty reality day after day.

There is no question that meatless substitutes are on the rise because, increasingly, they taste as good, if not better than meat. Companies like Beyond Meat, Gardein, Tofurky, Fieldroast, MorningStar, Boca Burger, Lightlife, and Simply Balanced, to name just a few of leaders in the meatless-substitute product industry, are proving that you can live a delicious life without meat.

It doesn’t hurt to try. Pick one or two products up and see what you think.

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