Meat look-alikes from vegetables swallow up Europe

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th February 2014
Meat made entirely from vegetables, developed in The Netherlands

Netherlands-based company The Vegetarian Butcher has successfully expanded into new markets for its “strip steaks” and “smoked bacon” made entirely from vegetables in retail outlets across Europe.

The latest meat substitute products, which are sold throughout the Benelux region, are made from locally-sourced peas, carrots, onions and potatoes. The Company said its products “match meat in taste, mouth feel and nutritional value”.

The Vegetarian Butcher has been producing vegetarian meat substitutes made from soybean and lupin since 2010. The Company is the brainchild of 8th generation cropper Jaap Korteweg, who became a vegetarian during the swine-plague in Holland. He decided to develop meat substitutes, aiming to create products that were indistinguishable from meat.

Within three years, the concept grew from one point of sale in The Hague to more than 1,000 independent food retailers, health food stores and supermarkets, including Jumbo, Coop, Delhaize and EkoPlaza in the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Luxemburg.

The Vegetarian Butcher said its “strip steaks” and “smoked bacon” products “contain no additives, have a protein value equal to chicken, have less than 2 per cent fat, and contain a great deal of vital fibre”.

“With meat made from vegetables, we have made a big step towards feeding the growing world population with the current agricultural land,” said Jaap Korteweg, Founder of The Vegetarian Butcher. “That makes our ecological footprint so small that we expect with today’s farmland we can easily feed a large percentage of the expected world population,” he said.

In August 2013, Australian Food News reported that meat substitutes were also gaining popularity in the US, with 36 per cent of consumers claiming to have used a vegetarian alternative to meat, despite only 7 per cent of consumers claiming to identify as “vegetarian”.