The future has reached us. Meat substitutes are here, and everything indicates that they are here to stay. They have a share in the market and will already be part of the consumer's protein options.
In the Meat Forum in Girona, Spain, last week, they dedicated a very interesting full-morning session to this topic: plant-based “meats” and cultured meats. A thousand names have emerged for these options, which in my opinion creates confusion: cultured meat, white meat, clean meat and even fake meat! I think it would be good to have a single term.
One thing that caught my attention was that out of the many examples of alternative protein products — both plant-based and cell-cultured — that speakers talked about, two products were always shown: hamburgers and nuggets. I wondered if there was there anything else, and I was not the only one. Someone from the public asked the same thing right before me to the discussion panelists. Even another person asked, "And the sirloin, when?"
There is a compelling reason for this. It is much easier to imitate the texture of ground or minced meat, either chicken or beef, and shape it as a hamburger or nugget. However, I do find a narrowness in the option, from the point of view of alternatives and the cultural aspect.
I am sure that the technology will advance, and we will create artificial beef loins or artificial chicken breasts, whole pieces that can be cooked, in which you will be able to see the “muscle fibers”. But maybe in years to come. The starting pistol has been heard.
What do you think?
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the IRTA of Catalonia and TecnoCarne for this excellent event.