Red Meat

Plant-based ‘meat’ vs grass-fed meat


- A paper was published in Nature Scientific Reports in July 2021. It used an analytical profiling technique (metabolomics) to compare plant-based ‘meat’ and grass-fed meat for thousands of nutrients and outputs of the metabolic process (metabolites).

- The paper was written within the context of the increased interest in, and incidence of, plant-based ‘meat’ alternatives.

- The researchers examined numerous samples of plant-based meat vs grass-fed meat, which started from a similar serving size (113g), fat content (14g), saturated fat content (5-8g) and calories (220-250), but the differences were far greater than these starting similarities. The plant and meat burgers were strikingly different.

- There were many interesting points in the paper:

  • How they make plants more 'meat-like.'
  • The nutrients commonly added to plant-based products.
  • Evidence for fortified nutrients not being the same as natural nutrients.
  • Plant-based products contain phytosterols and saccharides and other substances that may be undesirable.
  • Plant-based burgers are processed and processed food is processed food.
  • There are approximately 26,000 products and by-products of metabolism (metabolites). Fortifying a plant product with a single nutrient found in meat doesn’t start to replicate the synergistic health benefit of the real thing.

- The authors concluded that “a plant burger is not really a beef burger.” No kidding!

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