Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

It was only a couple years ago that faux-meat was a niche outsider in the world of food. These days, meat alternatives are going full-blown mainstream after the second fast-food chain in two weeks announced new menu items that are made using plant-based meat. The trend started when Burger King announced a new partnership with Impossible Foods to offer a new meatless burger. Now Mexican fast-food chain Del Taco has quickly followed suit by selling tacos with Beyond Meat. Starting April 25, the new “Beyond Tacos” will be available in all 580 stores. So, why are fast-food chains suddenly opting for meatless products? For their part, the chains are eager to partner with the startups because customers are increasingly seeking out meat alternatives, including for health reasons. Chains know there’s profit to be made here. This is a hugely encouraging shift for those who want to see meat alternatives replace actual meat because of concerns over animal cruelty or climate change. If plant-based meat scales up, it could help save hundreds of thousands of animals from suffering on factory farms, and it could fight global warming by reducing the number of methane-producing cattle. It could also combat other problems like antibiotic resistance.

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