More and more people are restricting their meat consumption or dispensing entirely with animal food. But some do not want to miss the taste. Vegetarian meat substitutes have experienced a real boom in recent years. However, the herbal alternatives are not automatically sustainable and unrestricted.
demand for meat substitute products rises
More and more people eat meat. There are enough reasons for a meat-free diet. Various scientific studies have concluded that this can reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. In addition, vegetarians get rare colorectal cancer. Manufacturers of meat substitute products, the trend towards vegetarian nutrition has been a great success. Experts point out, however, that plant alternatives are not automatically recommended in a sustainable manner.
Not automatically sustainable
Just a few years ago, vegetable meat replacements were almost only found in the health food store or health food store. Today, vegetarian schnitzel and sausages are available in almost every well-stocked supermarket.
However, purely herbal meat and sausage alternatives are not automatically sustainable and are highly recommended, just because they do not contain meat, the Federal Association Consumer Initiative reports in a communication. They should therefore only be eaten in moderation.
The basis for meat replacements are soya, wheat, vegetable oils, chicken eggs and milk."In order to produce appealing alternatives to schnitzel, sausages or meat sausage, energy-intensive processing steps and further additives are necessary", says Alexandra Borchard-Becker, nutritionist at the consumer initiative.
Health and ethical benefits
A variety of spices, flavors and additives are frequently used in substitute products to get close to the meat original from the appearance and aroma.
Some raw materials, such as soybeans, sometimes cover long distances. And additives, flavorings and spices are often highly processed and therefore not very climate friendly, reports the consumer initiative.
However, other experts point out that veggie sausages and Co., in comparison to meat, very well protect the climate. Finally, animal husbandry is the main source of climatic emissions in the agricultural sector.
There is no doubt that the vegetarian products have health and ethical advantages."The meat alternatives contain little or no cholesterol and usually less fat than their animal originals. No animals are killed for their production, "says Borchard-Becker.
The substitute products provide variety and facilitate a low-meat or vegetarian way of life. And eating less or no more meat has proven positive effects on health - at least when the diet is balanced.
Product from local ingredients
"You prefer products with wheat, lupines or soybeans from Germany or neighboring countries," advises the nutritionist."Eat the finished meat substitutes only occasionally."
Less processed foods such as tofu, tempeh or self-prepared burgers or buffers are more recommended as meat substitutes because they are produced with less processing steps - from healthy cereals, legumes and vegetables -can be prepared.(ad)