“Vegan” vs. “Plant-based”

It might be time to differentiate between vegan foods that are made with real food ingredients and those that are made to be as realistic to meat as possible, typically using powders.

Perhaps “Vegan” for the former and “Plant-based” for the latter. Especially when restaurants may not be segregating their prep and cooking surfaces and tools. Such a nomenclature differentiation might be natural anyway, as Big Food embraces it globally they tend to avoid the “V” word.

Not all vegans want a food that tastes like meat or is cooked next to meat on the grill. And while achieving organoleptic parity with meat has been the holy grail for food scientists for over 100 years, not all of us want GMO plant-based “blood” oozing out of it.

My favorite burger was Amy’s Kitchen’s California Burger, not at all meat-like but more like old school (1970s) veggie burgers. Those often contained brown rice, black beans, veggies, tofu, miso, millet, bulgur, or chickpeas. Tempeh burgers too are not meaty, just hearty and filling.

The Vegan market is a small fraction of the Plant-based market, but we’ve always been a minority anyway.

(Sharon’s Finest Better Burger, 1993. It and our Better Than Meat were among the first to contain pea protein. Developed for us by Robert Davis. This was our version of a burger made with powders, while Hempeh Burger was our real food burger and even sported an FDA-legal health claim “reduces risk of heart disease.”)

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