beetroot burger
Image: © Jennifer via Wikimedia Commons

Vegan burgers soon to be stocked next to ‘real’ meat in supermarkets

Companies want to make it easier for flexitarians to make the switch

One in four people in the UK now identify as 'flexitarians' – we like meat, we eat meat, but we're trying to eat less of it.

The food industry is taking note, investing more and more in plant-based substitutes – and soon, you'll find vegan burgers right next to beef ones in supermarket aisles.

What it means: Despite growing evidence that reducing meat consumption is good for you and good for the planet, it takes a lot to get people to change their eating habits. We're used to eating meat, we know how to cook it, and hey, it's pretty tasty.

Plus, our governments give about $500bn in subsidies – essentially tax breaks for industries they think are important – to meat and dairy, which lowers the price for consumers (campaigners are now saying we should switch out for taxes instead, and give subsidies to more sustainable foods to make those more financially accessible.)

But meat substitutes are getting better and better – so much so that vegan patty producers are putting beetroot in burgers that changes colour and consistency just like medium or rare steaks would.

And more and more of us are identifying as flexitarian, whether it's for environmental or health reasons.

US company Beyond Meat, one of the main vegan substitute producers, wants to stock their products next to 'real' meat in supermarkets, as part of a push to normalise it. The idea is that people who are used to eating meat at the moment, so probably wouldn't go seek out a vegan substitute, are more likely to give it a go if it's right there next to the chicken and beef.

But the US beef industry is seriously anti: they've filed a petition to say non-animal products shouldn't be allowed to be called 'meat' in the first place. France has already banned allowing non-meat products to be labelled sausages, mince, or bacon.

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?