In an op-ed piece entitled “The (Fake) Meat Revolution,” New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof concluded that “fake” meat may be the future of food. Kristof assessed the evolution of alternative meat from veggie burgers that tasted like “a blend of tofu and cardboard” to “first-rate faux chicken strips and beef crumbles,” and highlighted venture capitalist-funded innovators of the alternative meat industry such as Impossible Foods, Hampton Creek, and Beyond Meat. To illustrate how convincing plant-based meats have become, he recounted a Whole Foods Market blunder in which chicken that was replaced with Beyond Meat’s vegan strips went unnoticed for two days. Joseph D. Puglisi, a professor of structural biology at the University of Stanford and advisor to Beyond Meat, told Kristof that the future of meat alternatives is exciting because “we can use a broad range of plant protein sources and create a palette of textures and tastes—for example, jerky, cured meats, sausage, pork.” Kristof concluded that “if the alternatives to meat are tasty, healthier, cheaper, better for the environment, and pose fewer ethical challenges, the result may be a revolution in the human diet,” before adding that “the optimal approach to food, for health and ethical reasons, may be vegetarianism.”
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