Health

Meat substitutes are going mainstream

Updated 5:30 AM ET, Mon January 20, 2020
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Solein is a protein-rich powder made by a microbe. The makers say it's 100 times more climate friendly than meat. Mikael Kuitunen/solar foods
You can already buy proteins made from microbes. Quorn is a meat alternative derived from a fungus. Quorn says its "mycoprotein uses 90% less land and water than producing some animal protein sources." Shutterstock
In Quorn, the fungus is mixed with an egg- or potato-based binder to produce meat alternatives including fake mince, sausages and chicken nuggets. courtesy quorn
Marmite -- a savory spread popular in the UK -- is another food made from microbes -- in this case, concentrated yeast extract, which is a by-product of beer brewing. AFP/Getty Images
Meat-free proteins are becoming increasingly popular. Impossible Foods has produced a burger containing a genetically modified version of heme -- an iron-containing molecule from soy plants, which gives it a meaty flavor. Stephen Lam for CNN
The company debuted its Impossible Pork product in January 2020. This pork substitute is also made with soy protein. Impossible
KFC has launched a vegan burger in the UK and Ireland. It is made from Quorn served with vegan mayonnaise. KFC
Tyson, one of the world's biggest meat producers, has launched a line of chicken-free (but not egg free) chicken nugget alternatives, as well as burger patties made with a combination of beef and plants. tyson
Tyson's chicken nuggets are sold under the brand Raised & Rooted. They are made from pea protein, egg white and flaxseed and bamboo fiber.
Beyond Meat makes plant-based meat alternatives. Its burgers have been trialled by McDonald's, and Dunkin' Donuts sells a breakfast sandwich featuring Beyond Meat's meatless sausage. Beyond Meat
British bakery chain Greggs introduced a vegan sausage roll in 2019. The filling is made from Quorn. Barclays predicts the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion in sales over the next decade, capturing about 10% of the global meat industry. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The world's largest food company, Nestlé, is adding vegan sausages to its lineup of imitation meat products. Products will include soy-based bratwurst and chorizo-style sausages, as well as pea protein-based sausages that come in habanero cheddar, Asian ginger scallion and chicken apple flavors. Nestlé
Memphis Meats is among the companies producing meat by growing stem cells in a lab. Innovators including Bill Gates and Richard Branson are investing $17 million in Memphis Meats. Tyson Foods and Cargill have also invested in the company. Memphis Meats
Other meat alternatives are not so new. Tofu as been eaten for thousands of years and is made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed and boiled. Tofu is around 6-8 percent protein. Shutterstock
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian product made from fermented soy. Shutterstock
Seitan is a meat alternative that originated in Asia, made from gluten, or wheat protein. Shutterstock