Eating meat is a way of life for a lot of people. Not many people can resist a big, fat, juicy burger or a slab of steak sizzling away, and they might not have to try either, even if they’re looking at cutting back for health reasons.
Researchers are hard at work now creating the perfect meat alternative, making headway in using soy, pea and even algae to take advantage of plant protein.
Turning to plants to address protein requirements was spurred by several reasons. For those interested in improving their health, reducing their consumption of animal protein is a means of cutting risks of obesity and heart disease.
Protein, however, is an important macronutrient, so it can’t be completely taken away from a diet. Thus, the next best thing is to get recommended levels by consuming plant proteins.
For those looking to help the environment, using plant proteins reduces demand for livestock, which reduces stress on water and land resources and lowers levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Not too long ago, only those looking to become bodybuilders were interested in supplemental protein. It’s hard to consume protein in its usual form in higher amounts, so they turned to powders to get their required doses. As more and more people became invested in fitness, however, more and more also started looking for meat alternatives.
Out of all plant proteins, soy is probably the most common source. Soy protein was once only used in shakes or nutrition bars, but it is now also included in a variety of packaged foods.
Not to be outdone is pea. Like soy, pea can be spun into fibers, allowing it to impart a meat-like texture to a product. One advantage it has over soy, though, is that pea causes very few allergies.
However, making plant protein usable requires a lot of processing, so all that work might turn off some people. Algae might help bring back these people into the fold as it calls for less processing but still retains soy and pea’s ability to be mixed in with food and drink without affecting taste and appearance.
Unlike other macronutrients, protein has it easy, with next to no one questioning what it does for the body — and who would? Not only does it help in building lean muscle but it also satiates longer and also aids people in losing weight.
Given the amount of research that has been done, it shouldn’t be too long now before scientists are able to manipulate protein and come up with a proper steak without a shred of meat.
Photo: If you love your meat, there’s nothing lovelier than a proper steak. Researchers are aiming to help those looking for alternatives, however, by making it possible to pass off plant protein as animal meat. (Photo : Dave Winer)
View original article at: Scientists Figure Out How To Make Steaks From Plants