Beef is an almost indispensable presence in European and US culinary cultures. But now, "artificial meat", made from plant-based protein,
has started to spread in the US as a substitute for beef. The two main objectives behind the effort to reduce the production and consumption of beef are to protect the environment and to improve human health.
According to an acquaintance who lives in New York, there is a growing perception that "eating meat isn't cool". In school meal catering, Monday is "meatless Monday". My acquaintance says “New Yorkers are sensitive to environmental concerns and health conscious, so ‘I like meat' is not something you say out loud to those around you”.
The share price of Beyond Meat, the US meat substitute manufacturer, has risen about sixfold from the IPO price between May and October this year. Since its foundation, the company has received investment from American trend leaders, like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. In the last few months, Beyond Meat has signed product supply agreements with McDonalds and a number of other major fast food chains, as its steady advance continues. In an interview with CNN, the company’s CEO, Ethan Brown, said "We have to solve this protein issue if we're going to have a sustainable planet, if we’re going to have a healthy population".
Impossible Foods is another US company at the forefront of the plant-based-meat revolution. Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods said in an interview of CNN “Our mission is very simple. It’s to completely replace animals as a food technology by 2035 globally. People are not wedded to the idea that meat has to come from animals. They're very wedded to the idea that they got to have meat.”
Flashes of the phenomenon of "The Growing Beef with Beef" have started to appear in Japan too. The Japanese Cabinet Secretariat canteen started "Meat Free Monday" two years ago. By now, it has meatless Mondays and Fridays, and a vegan menu, offered twice a week, is a popular option. The canteen at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office started offering a vegan menu in October last year.
In this edition, we pick up on the Japanese companies and players who are tackling food trends centered on key words such as "plantbased diet" and "whole food". We have also heard of the establishment of a caucus of the Diet to promote systems related to vegetarianism and veganism. This trend has been getting increasingly noteworthy.