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    • So KFC is bringing their vegan fried πŸ“ to 50 outlets in California to see how it does. For the sake of the planet, and being tired of pandemics, I hope it makes inroads.

      Do you think it has a chance of doing like plant milks are to dairy, or solar power to coal? I just watched a taste test with a die-hard chicken eater and it seemed encouraging:

    • As long as it tastes like chicken, people will buy it. It’s really that simple. I hope it works. Plant-based meat could be a huge breakthrough in our diets in the coming years!

    • Probably, there's a big increase in those who are vegetarian or vegan and then people like myself who eat some meat but would love to move to more plant based alternatives when they become affordable. I don't want to give up meat but having it once a week or month is fine with me.

    • Although we should eat a lot more vegetable than meat, if we merely deep fry some vegetables and get people to eat it, I'm not sure that'll be much healthier than deep frying chicken. I think vegetarian alternatives is the biggest future growth area in food consumption. The question isn't if but when. Ten years? Probably huge growth in market share in that time if the scientific research keeps being funded like it is now.

      On a related but separate note I was listening to a podcast the other day and heard some very interesting things. People often say the planet would be better off if we eliminated meat and just used vegetables. But the speaker said that animals and the whole food system should be considered parts of a complex system. For example soy requires more resources than raising a pig. I was astounded when I heard that. Potatoes are among the most nutritionaly good foods that has the greatest productivity per acre. Corn is also quite good. Soy is way down the list and less productive a source for creating protein than raising pigs. So we have to consider the bigger picture. If we get rid of pigs and use soy as a protein alternative, we aren't necessarily going to help the planet. Also some areas of the planet are only good as grazing areas. We graze animals on that but if the animal were removed we couldn't grow potatoes there for example because the land is not suitable for regular agriculture. The animals also produce other things such as manure, leather and glue. The whole system is complex and the solution has to consider how all of the parts fit together.

      Let me be clear, my view is that having the planet's population revert to a mostly vegetarian diet would be better for the planet but simply switching everyone to a 100% vegetarian diet isn't the best option.

    • The cost is definitely important. Sure some people are willing to spend double on their food to have it organic and so on but most people can't even afford traditionally farmed vegetables never mind organic or more expensive vegan alternatives. We need to make these meat alternative cheaper than meat to get those low down on the SES ladder to be able to get off the junk food diet that they can afford.

    • I think if you shop around you can support a vegetarian diet on what you spend on a traditional diet. I'm a vegetarian and use a lot of beans, lentils, etc. A bag of lentils is a couple of dollars. My veggies come from farmers markets where they sell "blemished" veggies and fruit for $5 to $10 a box and is enough for 2 for a week. These farmer's markets are not always conveniently located. This may be the bigger problem....accessibility.

    • Personally, I think synthetic meat is a huge megatrend, whether it be beef, chicken, pork or shrimp. As the middle class grows in previously third-world countries, they naturally will improve their diets with animal protein and it is likely impossible to satisfy that protein demand with traditional livestock means. The beauty of synthetic meat is it is animal protein because it's molecularly identical.

      It's also the case with synthetic meat that one can omit undesirable ingredients, such as allergens from synthetic shrimp meat and lactose from synthetic dairy products.

      Full disclosure: I was an angel investor in Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) and have existing angel investments in New Wave Foods (synthetic shrimp), Ripple Foods (synthetic dairy) and Myco (synthetic protein).

    • Beans can get that cheap but a diet with so many of them is an issue to some people physically. You're also having to change what you eat and while my diet includes a lot of them normally for many it would be a big move. And then at 79 cents/lb for chicken thighs and other cheap cuts of meat out there there's not much motivation to make it. But ground meats are 2.50-4/lb for the cheaper stuff depending if you want pork, turkey, or beef, and that's one clear place for plant based meat to make a big impact.

      With Amazon Fresh meat is way overpriced but the one exception is ground turkey which at 3/lb is about right in terms of price. But they also have flavors like breakfast sausage, italian, or chorizo and all 3 of those should work just as well or better with a plant based option and just with those you have a lot of options in terms of what to cook.

    • The price of meat in the usa is much much cheaper than here in Canada. Meat alternatives may do better in countries like Canada before they really take off in the USA.

    • Do you think it has a chance of doing like plant milks are to dairy, or solar power to coal? I just watched a taste test with a die-hard chicken eater and it seemed encouraging:

      Isn't the best thing about KFC chicken the breading, anyway? At least that's what I love about it. If there's vegan anything in their hot&spicy breading, I'll give it a try! :)

    • Exactly!

      Surely chicken, especially highly processed KFC chicken doesn't actually taste of much anyway, it's all about the seasoning, coating, whatever.

      I'm also constantly amazed, and this is not KFC specific, that we have to make plant based food look or taste like a specific meat product to get most people to embrace them, when they are perfectly valid as their own items without a fake meat name / colour / shape / marketing.

    • I'm also constantly amazed, and this is not KFC specific, that we have to make plant based food look or taste like a specific meat product to get most people to embrace them, when they are perfectly valid as their own items without a fake meat name / colour / shape / marketing.

      I thought the same when I first heard about vegan meat alternatives, way before Beyond Meat and similar even became a thing. "Why would a vegan even want to eat something that's called a 'schnitzel'?", or "If they are interested in something that looks, smells and tastes like a sausage, why not be honest with themselves and just buy the real deal?".

      Now, it seems obvious to me that these types of meat alternatives aren't offered for those considering themselves "vegan", but rather for us conscious meat eaters. I don't mind eating vegetarian or at least a very reduced amount of meat most of the time - but every once in a while, I do crave for a medium-rare steak, or a juicy cheeseburger, or the admittedly unhealthy stuff that KFC et al. have to offer.

      If I can have the tastiness of that without the moral dilemma, all the better - but in the end, a bowl of salad just isn't the same. ;)