These cheese alternatives aren’t plant-based—they’re microbe-based

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Superbrewed Food’s cheese is fermented in a tank, from the same microbes that already live in your body. A sample of shredded mozzarella from a new company called Superbrewed Food tops a personal pizza, and it’s gooey and stretchy, with a slightly salty tang. The core protein of the cheese isn’t made with dairy, but neither is it plant-based. It’s made, instead, with microbes. Read Full Story

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This vegan cheese tastes like cheese because it’s made with milk proteins (in a lab)

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Remilk uses bacteria to grow casein—one of the key ingredients in cheese—letting it make the real thing without involving any cows. If plant-based milk has become mainstream—the category is now a $2 billion market in the U.S.—the same can’t be said for vegan cheese. While several startups are working on the problem, it’s challenging to replicate the taste and texture of cheese made from cow milk, and plant-based alternatives struggle to avoid a plastic-like texture and bland taste. Read Full Story

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What we know about McDonald’s new “McPlant” plant-based burger

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The fast food giant’s shift toward plant-based meat could have major implications for the growing sector—but it’s not quite clear where this specific plant-based meat is coming from. As one of the world’s largest buyers of beef—the most climate-damaging food on the planet—McDonald’s is working to reduce emissions by supporting regenerative agriculture . But it’s also launching a new “McPlant” plant-based burger, something that could also make a difference if it can scale up. Read Full Story

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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 Chinese fast-food chain is swapping almost all its eggs for plant-based alternatives

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When you order an egg sandwich on a bagel from Chinese chain Dicos, you can’t choose a chicken egg. When fast-food chains add plant-based ingredients to their menus, they’re typically sold as an alternative: Burger King didn’t stop selling Whoppers when it launched the Impossible Whopper. But now if you visit Chinese chain Dicos and order a breakfast sandwich, it automatically comes with a plant-based egg. Read Full Story

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Impossible Foods is branching out from burgers. Next up: Milk

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The maker of one of the most popular new meatless burgers is working on a better option for nondairy milk. There’s already almond, oat, cashew, and soy plant-based milks on the market, but soon, there might also be Impossible Milk. The makers of the meatless burger that “bleeds” are working on a plant-based milk that tastes and acts like it comes from a cow. Read Full Story

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How the Netherlands became a plant-based protein powerhouse

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What can the U.S. learn from how the Dutch are growing their fake meat sector? Though small in land area, the Netherlands is a big player in the global food industry. Though it’s less than half the size of North Carolina, the country is the second-largest agricultural exporter—of things such as potatoes, onions, and vegetable seeds —in the world by dollar value, behind only the U.S. And lately, the Netherlands has been focusing not only on how to feed the world with plants, but how to feed the world with plant-based proteins. Read Full Story

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This new plant-based shrimp expands the fake meat menu

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New Wave Foods thinks its seaweed and plant-protein creation can replace the nearly 5 pounds of shrimp Americans eat annually—and help clean up an industry rife with bad labor practices. After five years and $8 million dollars, sustainable seafood alternative company New Wave Foods is ready to launch its first product: plant-based shrimp. Read Full Story

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