We all want to make the world a better place. Whether you’ve realized it yet or not, there are very simple and very effective ways we can have a positive impact on the environment around us and the wider planet on which we live. One of the best and most scientifically proven ways we can help the Earth, and each other, is to eat less meat. But, if you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to meaty textures and dishes, you may want to embrace the best plant-based meats, also known as vegan meat.
It’s easy to say a plant-based diet will improve the world, but what are the specific benefits of creating a population that eats less meat? And how should we go about convincing others to give up their hamburgers and steaks? There are five main benefits to plant-based meats which are undeniable. They are:
- Personal Health – It’s always important to put number one first. Removing meat from your meals and embracing a plant-based diet can improve health. It may also help prevent or manage food allergies. Plant-based meats are lower in calories, saturated fats and rarely contain cholesterol. The same most definitely cannot be said for animal meats.
- Global Warming – Without a doubt, adopting a plant-based diet and eating meat alternatives is one of the most influential ways you can adapt your own lifestyle to positively impact the trends of climate change. We won’t get into the science of it here, but a quick watch of Cowspiracy on Netflix will fill you in.
- Natural Resources – While plant-based meats are made from natural products, they’re made from natural products which can be produced in a sustainable way. The same cannot be said for meat, which puts huge constraints on the natural world and requires a damaging amount of un-natural resources to keep up with the world’s current demand.
- Animal Welfare – Do you know where your meat or leather clothing comes from? Think about it; how much do you really take an interest in the journey of your pork chop or chicken nuggets from birth to plate? To say some of the conditions in which animals are kept, to later be sold as meat, are horrifying would be an understatement. The best and most effective way to improve animal welfare is to stop eating meat. The lower the demand, the better off our animal friends will be.
- Cost-Effective – You may be able to find animal meats on the store shelf with a cheaper price tag than plant-based alternatives. However, these will undoubtedly be highly processed and low quality. To match the taste, texture and overall better quality of plant-based meats, you’ll be looking at animal meat with a higher price tag. To do right by your health, the planet and your pocket, plant-based meats are the way forward.
So you want to consider a plant-based diet, or perhaps you’re already championing one. But which are the best plant-based meat brands, why, and where can you buy them? We’ve given you next to no excuse to not give plant-based meat a try by compiling the below list of America’s nine best non-meat meats and their best products. All of these vegan meats are available to order online, straight to your door and into the fridge.
1. Beyond Meat
True to their name and ethos, Beyond Meat pushes the boundaries of plant-based meat. They offer a huge range of non-GMO products focused on positively impacting health, negating climate change and lightening the load we humans put on animals and natural resources. By utilizing their team of experts to create new combinations of ingredients, Beyond Meat delivers mouthwatering tasty protein without any cholesterol, antibiotics or animals in the mix.
Beyond Meat Beyond Beef
The versatility, honest ingredients and generous sizing of the Beyond Meat Beyond Beef make it a tasty plant-based meat for all. This one-pound package of pea, rice and mung bean protein is the right size for serving a group of four. As it’s suitable for freezing, you can split it down into four smaller portions ready for future use one by one. Beyond Beef is a healthy alternative to traditional ground beef, as it contains 35% less saturated fat. However, if it’s the look of meat that usually wakes your taste buds, no worries, this beef alternative will still marble and tenderize when cooked.
Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble
Being able to get your hands on one of the best brands in the plant-based meat world at such a bargain price seems a little too go to be true. Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles are completely meat-free but packed with protein. Unlike Beyond Beef which is meant primarily for burgers, you can cook with these crumbles as you would ground beef, so they’re a great addition to a vegan Mexican night for burritos, chilis and tacos. Arriba!
2. MorningStar Farms
Although they began with vegetarian plant-based meat, MorningStar Farms is now fully committed to being vegan. They have recently removed eggs from their products. They take inspiration from a variety of global cuisines to deliver their ‘incogmeato’ plant-based alternative range. From Italian sausages to German bratwursts, you’ll be wondering how your hot dog can be so deliciously meaty without any actual animal products.
MorningStar Farms Vegan Burgers
A quarter pounder is the best barbecue-sized burger option for all, and having burger patties made of all meat-free ingredients makes them even better. MorningStar Farm Vegan Burgers are made from non-GMO soy and do not contain any artificial colors. They’re an appetizing way to top up your daily dose of protein since each serving contains 30% of the recommended amount. Once cooked to your preference, sandwich your burger between buns and indulge in plant-based meaty goodness as you wonder whether it’s possible you’re not actually eating beef.
Neat plant-based meats are produced by Atlantic Natural Food Inc. who are committed to pioneering sustainable, nutritious foods and beverages with a convenience-focused edge. You’ll notice Neat meat alternatives are made in the USA and come in easy-to-open and recyclable packaging. Among their more meaty products, they also have an egg substitute that can be used in place of real eggs in all your favorite recipes.
Neat Southwest Mix
BEST GROUND BEEF ALTERNATIVE
Give your classic ground beef casserole a meat-free twist with Neat’s Southwest Mix. Each pouch is suitable for serving up to four people and requires half a cup of water to be added when cooking. This vegan meat is also ideal for making veggie burger patties or non-meat-balls. Additionally, this ground beef alternative is soy-free and gluten-free, unlike the beef-less beef produced by many competing brands.
4. Sophie’s Kitchen
Sophie’s Kitchen doesn’t shy away from making a statement with their plant-based seafood, which they claim is ‘tasty AF.’ We’re not sure what you’re thinking, but, of course, they mean ‘as fish.’ Most plant-based meat brands focus on the two or four-legged farm animals. However, Sophie’s Kitchen has opted for sea life and makes shrimp, crab and salmon a possible dish for those who don’t actually want to eat fish.
Sophie’s Kitchen Plant-Based Toona
BEST SEAFOOD ALTERNATIVE
Change your tune when it comes to meat and fish-eating and know you can still have your favorite tuna pasta or salad thanks to Sophie’s Kitchen Plant-Base Toona. Other than the spelling, the only major difference between this tuna and the fish tuna is . . . the fish. Presented in small, stackable tins and wrapped in sea-inspired labels, this tasty toona will make going plant-based an easy feat, even for a pescatarian.
5. Plantu Foods
Opting for the plant-based way of eating doesn’t have to be all about beans and tofu. Plantu Foods makes it possible to enjoy jackfruit as part of your diet without needing to travel to the Caribbean to source it. Jackfruit is most often found in recipes and dishes which requires a texture similar to pulled pork. This meat substitute is a low-calorie, high-fiber meat alternative that Plantu Foods makes easy to incorporate into a huge variety of everyday meals, from tacos to pizza.
Plantu Foods Roasted Jackfruit
BEST JACKFRUIT BASED
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, eating a plant-based diet doesn’t mean missing out on meaty flavors, even BBQ! Plantu Foods Roasted Jackfruit comes marinated in a sweet barbecue sauce and is vacuum packed for delivery to preserve the flavors. Plus, Plantu Foods Jackfruit is sustainably sourced and designed for easy cooking. This roasted jackfruit only takes ten minutes of prep before you can dig in.
6. Outstanding Foods
Chef Dave, the brain behind Beyond Meat, has done it again with Outstanding Foods. Their selection of plant-based nutritious snacks will have you pigging out before you know it. With pork rinds at the heart of what they do, Outstanding Foods has ensured their products are tasty to the point of being addictive, authentic to the point you’ll trust in them and, of course, completely meat-free.
Outstanding Foods Pigless Pork Rinds
Snacking as a vegan shouldn’t be any less enjoyable or less naughty than it is for a meat-eater. With a packet of Outstanding Foods Pigless Pork Rinds in your pocket, you’ll be chomping through the whole bag before you can say oink. Each portion is packed with 25 grams of protein and contains 75% less sodium and 67% less saturated fat than the real, pig type of pork rinds. So, while you won’t want to eat too many, you won’t feel too bad about it either.
Tofurky is so much more than the joke you make at Thanksgiving with all your vegetarian friends. With over 35 products in their portfolio, Tofurky is a major contender in the race to produce the best vegan meat. The brand covers culinary classics from chicken to burgers, sausages to slices, and the all-important roasts, too.
Tofurky: Slow Roasted Chick’n Sesame Garlic
BEST FOR ROAST DINNERS
Just because you’ve gone vegetarian doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your favorite chicken dishes. A juicy chicken dinner can still be on the menu as part of your plant-based diet. Tofurky’s Slow Roasted Chick’n Sesame Garlic doesn’t contain any cholesterol and is both vegan and Kosher. Rather than come as one larger piece of non-meat, these tasty chicken bites are ready to be shared among several plates.
Vejje began its journey as a meat-free brand on a mission to create the best plant-based burger mix. Since mastering the initial product, they have now expanded into Vejje chicken mix and sausage mix options, too. This brand is incredibly proud of the team behind its foods and is happy to shout about its plant-based products, which they consider to be ‘A Cut Above Meat.’
Vejje Meat-Free Mixes – Chicken
BEST CHICKEN ALTERNATIVE
Each order of Vejje Meat-Free Mixes – Chicken includes four individually sealed, eight-ounce bags of plant-based chicken mix. To cook the mix, simply add the recommended volume of water and heat in a skillet. This chicken mix is ideal as a meat replacement in salads, sandwiches and fajitas. Plus, each serving contains 23 grams of protein and absolutely no cholesterol.
9. Wholesome Provisions
Unlikely many of the plant-based brands listed so far, Wholesome Provisions produces a range of products that span further than simple meat alternatives. With pastas, chocolates, flour and cereals in their portfolio, this is an American brand completely committed to healthier, more sustainable eating in all directions.
Wholesome Provisions Textured Vegetable Protein
MADE IN THE USA
Wholesome Provisions Textured Vegetable Protein is just like chicken, but it’s not. This healthy poultry alternative is made in the USA from the best quality yellow soybeans. It comes vacuum packed to ensure a long shelf life, and once opened, this vegan meat only takes around eight minutes to cook. At the point of purchase, you can order in packs of one, two or three to suit your household demand, which we are sure will be high after the first time you taste this meat alternative.