Taco Bell was always good for vegetarians—now it’s adding plant-based meat

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Taco Bell’s bean burritos have appealed to vegetarians and vegans for decades, but the chain now is seeing the value in adding plant-based meat to its menu. Long before the Impossible Whopper at Burger King and Beyond Meat chicken at KFC , Taco Bell filled a fast-food gap for vegetarians and vegans with its easy ability to swap beans for beef and its “fresco” style modification, which subs pico de gallo for dairy toppings such as sour cream and cheese. The company even once said it wouldn’t pursue adding plant-based options from Impossible or Beyond, despite growing interest from other fast-food eateries in those menu additions, instead focusing on its own vegetarian offerings that have been available for decades. Read Full Story

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This company is introducing plant-based protein to a meat-loving nation

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After the U.S., Brazil is the number-two country for meat consumption, but many people are increasingly concerned about health and sustainability. Fazenda Futuro—a winner of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards—is addressing that demand. When it comes to plant-based meats, Fazenda Futuro may not be a household name in the U.S. like Impossible or Beyond Meats, but in its native Brazil, it now holds a large chunk of the plant-based market share, producing 130 to 150 tons of that imitation meat every month. “For us, it’s like our obligation, because Brazil has the second-largest meat consumption in the world,” says Marcos Leta, the founder of Fazenda Futuro, which translates to “Future Farm,” and which is the winner of the Latin America regional category in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards. Read Full Story

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These plant-based steaks come out of a 3D printer

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Plant-based burgers are one thing, but a fake steak that can convince meat eaters is a much harder accomplishment. Redefine Meat thinks it’s figured it out. Inside a lab in Rehovot, Israel, a 3D printer the size of an industrial refrigerator is busy printing plant-based steaks. Redefine Meat , the startup that developed the technology, sees it as the next step for the world of alternative protein: If companies like Impossible Foods have created plant-based burgers that are meaty enough to tempt omnivores, now the industry wants options for realistic whole cuts of faux meat. Read Full Story

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Beyond Meat will sell plant-based meatballs, and we’re here for it

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I cannot wait to define my masculinity through a saucy pile of plant flesh. There is no greater celebration of gluttony than the meatball sub. You start off with a baguette—a snack unto itself—which is sliced and and grilled up with butter and garlic. Then you pile in half a pound or more of meatballs, topped with a generous amount of butter-simmered marinara (basil, peppers, and cheese are optional but recommended). The creation is a drippy, chewy mess that’s structurally unsound by design, disintegrating by the moment, and bound to collapse at any second from the weight of its own ambition. Read Full Story

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Beyond Meat is benefiting from the real meat shortage

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But the closure of retail partners like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts presets challenges ahead. As meat shortages continue around the country due to COVID-19 lockdowns shutting down production, at least one company is benefiting: Beyond Meat. The plant-based meat startup’s stock has surged 162% since mid-March, reports CNBC , due partly to meat-production plant shutdowns. Read Full Story

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Alternative meat and dairy companies are raking in investment dollars

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While total VC funding is down because of the pandemic, money is pouring into plant-based and alternative meat and dairy startups. Last week, the Swedish oat milk brand Oatly announced that it had raised $200 million from investors like Blackstone Group and Oprah Winfrey. The prior week, Perfect Day, a company that makes lab-grown ingredients for dairy-free products, including a very realistic version of ice cream , raised $160 million . Earlier in the year, Impossible Foods raised half a billion dollars. A long list of other companies have also raised money during the pandemic, from MycoTechnology, a company that uses a mushroom platform to ferment protein, to Blue Nalu, which is making seafood in bioreactors. Read Full Story

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How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

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Posted by MiriamEllis “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers This quote is one I find myself turning to frequently these days as a local SEO. It calls to mind my irreplaceable neighborhood grocer. On my last essential run to their store, they not only shared a stashed 4-pack of bath tissue with me, but also stocked their market with local distillery-produced hand sanitizer which I was warned will reek of bourbon, but will get the job done. When times are hard, finding helpers comes as such …

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