GOOD TO KNOW

about meat alternatives

Are meat alternatives a fully-fledged alternative to meat?


Many people don't know that many plant-based proteins out there are as nutritious as meat.
A good information source is the World Economic Forum's white paper on alternative proteins. They have listed the health effects of consuming different alternative proteins. Click here to download the PDF




Will I get enough nutrients when eating meat alternatives?


Many plant-based options provide just as much diversity and proteins as meat with the same vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, if not more. Another misconception about a meat-free diet is that it would restrict you in doing sports and building muscle. In fact, many top athletes and bodybuilders who are vegan disprove this. Some may worry about not getting enough protein, vitamins, calcium, and other nutrients when skipping meat. Already, many meat alternatives provide sufficient nutrients similar to meat. In combination with a diet consisting of wholesome foods, you can get all the nutrients your body needs.




A meal with a meat alternative is less tasty


It really depends on the recipe of the entire meal. This is why GastroNoMeat offers a wide range of delicious meal components, that can rival with their meat version. By combining the top-quality ingredients and adopting the right cooking technique, meals with meat alternatives have proven to be appreciated by vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and even meat-lovers. During the 2020 Grüne Woche in Berlin, 1300 people tasted our meal components. We received approximately 1000 feedbacks. Click here to read the results.




Is a vegetarian or vegan diet not boring and difficult to uphold?


For many years many people thought that a vegetarian or vegan diet meant bland and boring meals. By harmoniously combining the right ingredients with meat alternatives, you can obtain a gratifying organoleptic experience where you will not miss the meat. Variety is the key to fight boring meals. GastroNoMeat® comes with a diverse offer of versatile meal components which in combination with pasta, rice, pastry, potato etc. can turn every meal into a delight.




Are meat lovers not hard to convince to swap to eat meat alternatives?


The fact that more and more people become flexitarians proves the opposite. The time that a meatless meal was just a boring salad is over. Many people today discover a variety of meat alternatives that are getting better and better by the day. Today, if you choose a plant-based diet and still have your favourite pizza or pasta with ragout — without meat.




Is meat not necessary for a healthy diet?


There is still an obstinate perception that meat is necessary for a healthy diet. Well, this is a myth. Compared to past decades, we are vastly over-consuming meat — not just meat but all proteins. The World Cancer Research Fund even states that there is strong evidence that the consumption of different kinds of red and processed meat increases the risk of cancer. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/meat-fish-dairy. On the other hand, research over many years has linked plant-based diets to lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.




Are meat alternatives are not in per se more sustainable than real meat?


Not always. It all depends on the cultivation and production of the raw materials for meat-substitute. Five elements are crucial to evaluate the sustainability of meat-alternatives:

  • land usage,
  • water usage,
  • use of chemicals (including fertilisers),
  • transportation
  • genetic modification of the crop (GMO).
By the way, this is true for all ingredients used for meat-alternatives. In conclusion, it is necessary to look into how a company sources its raw materials for meat-alternatives. A tip: visit the website of a company using meat-alternatives and look for information that proves the sustainability of its products.




Are meat alternatives are not less sustainable than real meat?


Except for raw material cultivated on cut-down forest land and GMO crops, the ingredients for meat alternatives are more sustainable than meat. Not all soy comes from deforested farmland. When we look at land and water usage, it is less than cattle farming. Generalising meat alternatives is the same as generalising meat. Not all meat is the same. Some are more unsustainable than others.




Isn't true that meat alternatives have an off-taste?


This could have been true in the past and still for some, but not all meat alternatives have an off-taste. In some cases, the off-taste is noticeable when used pure, like a sausage or burger. When used as part of a meal-component with other ingredients, the off-taste is almost non-existent. There is something more to worry about, and that is the attempt to mask the off-taste with different flavours or to imitate the taste of meat of close as possible. Often this is done with synthetic flavours which is not what you want in your diet.




Are meat alternatives not overly processed and thus unnatural?


This statement could be true for some meat alternatives, but certainly for all. Let's start by de-demonising the term processing. Cooking and baking is a process. If you go to a top restaurant, you will find processed delicious food. There is hardly any food on the planet that is not processed, except raw meat, vegetables and fruit. Hamburgers, sausages, nuggets, paté, etc., are all processed.
The question is not whether food is processed but how it is processed. As a rule of thumb, we can say that the more food is refined, the less it will benefit your body.
In the case of raw materials for meat alternatives, proteins are extracted for further processing. This can happen in physical or chemical hydrolysis. Either way, the real question is, how much micronutrients and fibres are still present in meat-alternatives.
Soon meat alternatives will be less processed and will not require protein isolation.




Can meat alternatives be prepared the same way as real meat?


Not entirely. Meat is a raw product, meat alternatives are not. In a way, meat alternatives are pre-cooked. During the phase of producing meat alternatives (extrusion), the ingredient is heated. Meat contains 60 to 70 per cent water — meat-alternatives, far less. They have the tendency to dry up once heated. If you want to enjoy meat alternatives at a culinary level, you need to change many things. This is why GastroNoMeat® offers meal components that provide maximum taste after simple heating.




Is cheese is not per se vegetarian?


This is not true. Most cheeses are produced with animal-based rennet. This rennet is extracted from the stomach of an unweaned calf. Vegetarian cheese is produced with plant-based or microbial rennet. To complement our Italian ragouts, Innogusto promotes Italian hard cheese produced with microbial rennet.




Are meat alternatives not challenging to prepare and rather dry?


True, most are. This is why we created GastroNoMeat®. We want to offer meal components that have an optimal texture and flavour and are easy to prepare. GastroNoMeat® meal components with meat alternatives are never dry or dull.




Are high-quality meat alternatives not very expensive?


Yes, they are. Often the process required to produce high-quality meat alternatives is complex, small-scale and elaborate. At Innogusto, we choose to put premium products on the market that are comparable in pricing as the standard meat versions. GastroNoMeat® is not an elite brand but a brand for everyone.




Meat alternatives do not resemble meat, Do they?


When the taste and structure of meat alternatives are identical to meat, you should have reasons to worry. Porc doesn't taste or feel like fish. Chicken doesn't taste or feel like beef. In terms of structure, we can come close to the muscular structure of meat. This can vary from firm to tender. In terms of taste, we believe that meat alternative sshould have their proper umami taste. In our opinion, meat alternatives should offer a valid option to alternate with meat and to be integrated into dishes where originally meat was used, without compromising on taste.





about Innogusto

Does Innogusto produce meat alternatives?


No, at least not for now. Innogusto produces meal components where meat alternatives are just one ingredient. Our meal components contain vegetables, herbs, spices and other natural ingredients.




Does Innogusto only sell Italian ragouts?


No we do not. We started with Italian ragout because it is a very popular cuisine with a high market share all over the world. Innogusto will offer iconic gastronomic meal components from different countries with respect for the gastronomic heritage of that country.




Can a GastroNoMeat® ragout only be served with pasta?


Depending on the taste and consistency of each ragout, you can serve our GastroNoMeat® ragouts with potato puree, rice, pastry, polenta and more. GastroNoMeat® ragouts are diverse in use and will always make a great meal.