Choosing Meat Alternatives That Are Healthy and Sustainable
Why Are Plant-Based Meat Alternatives Becoming More Popular?
Environmental Effects of the Meat Industry
Health Issues Tied to Red Meat and Highly Processed Meat
Meat Production and the Rise of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Understanding the Health and Environmental Effects of Plant-Based Meat Substitutes
Glossary: Animal Protein Alternatives
Soy Protein Isolate
- Soy is high in protein; however, the isolating process strips away many of its nutrients.
- Soy-based ingredients should be organic or non-GMO to avoid higher concentrations of pesticides as a result of the condensing and extraction process.
- Soy farming has caused deforestation in places like Brazil, according to the World Wildlife Fund. It’s important to know where soy is sourced from when purchasing food products.
Isolated Pea Protein
- While there are higher protein levels in isolated pea protein, it is lacking the nutritional benefits of the fiber and starches present in whole peas.
- Pea crops have lower greenhouse gas emissions and require less land and water usage. They also have the capacity to increase soil fertility though “fixing” nitrogen gas in the atmosphere to bioavailable forms that can be used with plants.
- Water and energy inputs associated with pea protein are higher than that of whole dried peas or pea flour as a result of the process of extracting the protein from the whole peas.
- Mycoprotein is typically is used in foods that are high in sodium and additives such as dyes, gums and preservatives.
- Because this food product is derived from fungi, some people with sensitivities to mold or other fungi may experience adverse effects, such as allergic reactions and gastrointestinal issues.
- Data is limited on a full life-cycle analysis of mycoprotein production.
- Higher intake of heme iron has been associated with increased body iron stores and elevated risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet officially approved its safety for consumption. However, this does not mean the FDA considers these products to be unsafe, meaning they can still be sold for human consumption.