Quorn Launches Vegan Breaded And Battered ‘Fish’ Fillets in U.K.

Maria Chiorando wrote . . . . . . . . .

Meat-free giant Quorn is launching two vegan fish products in a bid to meet the growing demand for plant-based options.

Quorn’s Fishless Fillets will be available in two varieties – Breaded and Battered – from March. They will retail in a two-pack RRP £2.99.

They will join the company’s current vegan line-up, which makes up 12 percent of Quorn’s range, and features sausages, spicy ‘chicken’ burgers, and deli slices among other products.

Vegan products

“For the first time ever, more than half of all UK consumers are reducing their meat consumption and 57 percent of people believe that reducing meat benefits the environment,” Alex Glen, Quorn Marketing Director, said.

“There’s never been a better opportunity for convenience retailers to embrace meat-free products and promote their benefits.”

Quorn expansion

Quorn has been expanding both its vegan and vegetarian ranges in recent times, trying to tap into the growing flexitarian market. Last year it announced it has opened the ‘world’s biggest and most advanced’ meat alternative factory in the UK.

“We are investing in these uncertain times because we see long-term growth in the sector, particularly in the US, Australia and Asia,” said Quorn Foods Chief Executive Kevin Brennan.

“We are the world leader in meat alternatives and have seen our business grow by 16 percent in the last year. We see decades of growth ahead of us as consumers respond to growing environmental concerns around meat production. Our business is growing very rapidly, we’ve opened the biggest, fastest and most advanced production facility in the world.”

Source: Plant Based News

Chinese Mustard Greens with Fusilli

Ingredients

3-1/2 cups dried fusilli (small twists)
dash of olive oil
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ribbons
8 scallions, stalks removed and leaves shredded
5-6 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and add the fusilli with a dash of olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Drain thoroughly, and set aside.
  2. To cut the carrots into wafer-thin ribbons, peel away the outside skin using a vegetable peeler, then continue peeling the carrot.
  3. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large skillet, and add the garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the carrot ribbons. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the shredded scallions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame seeds, and the fusilli. Cook for a further 2 minutes, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Healthy Vegetarian Cooking

In Pictures: Plant-based Curry Dishes of Coco Curry House in Japan

Mushroom Curry

Assorted Vegetables Curry

Spinach Curry

Tomato and Asparagus Curry

Eggplant Curry

Natto Curry

Three-flavour Mixed Vegetables Curry

Vegan Seafood

Katrina Fox wrote . . . . . . . . .

Plant-based seafood offers lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs, as well as contributing to ocean conservation.NEW WAVE FOODS

Plastic straws are the enemy du jour at the moment. This heartbreaking video of a sea turtle with a straw stuck up his or her nostril has resulted in multi-national corporations pledging to ban single-use plastic straws.

This is a laudable cause, but on its own, it’s like sticking a band aid over a bullet wound instead of performing surgery to remove the offending object to ensure it does no more damage. Our oceans are, indeed, under threat, but not just from microplastics.

Overfishing has become catastrophic. A report by Nature Communications in 2016 found that far more fish have been caught globally between 1950 and 2010 than was admitted, leading to a sharp decline in the number of fish in the sea. Industrial fisheries using large commercial machinery to trawl the ocean bed result in millions of other sea animals, including whales, dolphins and turtles, getting trapped and killed in nets – known as ‘bycatch’. Aquaculture – essentially the factory farming of fish – poses a host of health and environmental hazards.

Meanwhile, slave labor, which is particularly rife in the shrimp industry, poses ethical problems, as does the issue of animal cruelty, something often overlooked when it comes to sea creatures. Scientific evidence has found that fish are sentient and feel both physical and emotional pain, as do crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans.

Fortunately there are a group of entrepreneurs stepping up to provide a practical, sustainable and cruelty-free solution to these problems: Plant-based alternatives to popular seafood products.

California-based Sophie’s Kitchen led the field when it launched in 2011 with a range of plant-based canned tuna, frozen crab cakes, fish fillets and shrimp, along with frozen and refrigerated smoked salmon. The products are free from soy and gluten, are non-GMO and kosher. Key ingredients are konjac (also known as elephant yam), which is popular in Japanese cuisine, and yellow pea.

Founder Eugene Wang had been making vegetarian products for more than 25 years, but decided to specialize in vegan seafood when his young daughter (who the company is named after) developed a serious allergy to shellfish.

Being an SME with no outside investment, Sophie’s Kitchen was unable to keep up with the demand for its frozen products in US stores, so decided to focus on its Vegan Toona canned fish alternatives that come in Sea Salt and Black Pepper varieties. Currently available nationwide in Whole Foods, Sprouts and a plethora of independent stores, and stocked next to real tuna, sales of these products increased by 72% between the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. “Some stores cross-merchandise the cans in the vegan, plant-based, refrigerated section next to vegan mayonnaise too,” says Wang. “It gives the consumer the idea that these Toonas can be used just like real tuna.”

Wang, who is currently working on product development with two universities in Asia, is keen to position Sophie’s Kitchen as a clean-label brand. “Unlike some meat alternatives, we only use real food ingredients,” he says. “Nothing is lab-grown because we believe that nature provides all the components for great food. The most influential thing about the clean-label movement is the fact that it forced us, as manufacturers, to take a more responsible and transparent approach to the ingredients we use. As retailers and consumers are educated, we move toward positive change. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Sophie’s Kitchen’s vegan canned tuna is stocked predominantly in the fish aisles, next to regular canned fish.SOPHIE’S KITCHEN

Over the past three years, buoyed by the surge in demand for plant-based products, several new players have entered the vegan seafood scene – and investors are queuing up to fund them.

Ocean Hugger Foods in New York has made a splash in the restaurant and food service sector with its raw tuna, Ahimi, which CEO David Benzaquen says is the world’s first plant-based alternative to raw tuna, for use in dishes such as sushi, ceviche, poke, tartare and crudo.

Created by certified master chef James Corwell and launched onto the market in November 2017, Ahimi is currently sold in approximately 50 Whole Foods stores across the US, in college and corporate cafeterias run by institutional food service providers Aramark and Bon Appetit Management Company, including the offices of Twitter, and in independent restaurants in the US and Canada.

According to Benzaquen, the first poke restaurant to carry the product – Westcoast Poke in Vancouver, Canada – sold over 300 pounds of Ahimi in just one location in the eatery’s first month of carrying it. And just a couple of months ago, Nishimoto Trading Company, a publicly-traded Japanese company, and one of Ocean Hugger’s primary investors and distributors, announced that it plans to roll out Ahimi globally.

Ahimi is sold as a food service ingredient, not as a packaged food product for consumers to take home and cook with. Even in retail establishments like Whole Foods, it’s sold at the sushi bar in the rolls, not on the shelf. “We decided to sell it this way because most consumers don’t make raw fish dishes at home,” explains Benzaquen. “Instead, most people buy these dishes ready-made in restaurants. By selling it to chefs to make at their restaurants we’re bypassing having to teach consumers to make raw fish dishes and then to also make them plant-based.”

Designed to be an alternative to ahi tuna, with a savory, meaty taste, Ahimi is made with five simple ingredients, the key one being tomato. The texture and flavor of the tomato are transformed through a special technique and the product has been hailed in several quarters for its realistic taste to actual tuna.

Ocean Hugger Foods’ Ahimi is the first plant-based alternative to raw tuna, used in restaurants and the food service sector.OCEAN HUGGER FOODS

In addition to vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians, Ahimi is aimed at those with seafood allergies or people who choose not to eat raw fish for safety reasons, such as pregnant women, the elderly and infirm, and those who are immuno-compromised. “It’s also great for anyone looking for clean, plant-based products or avoiding tuna and other endangered species for sustainability reasons,” says Benzaquen, who himself switched to plant-based eating after witnessing the suffering of fish first-hand. “I’m thrilled at the success we’re seeing with the adoption of plant-based beef, poultry and dairy, but there’s been too little focus on the need to stop the crisis in our oceans. Over 90% of species live in the oceans and over 90% of carbon is stored in the oceans. Destroying our aquatic ecosystems is catastrophic. With an estimated 50 billion aquatic animals killed for food in the US every year, which is five times as much as all land animals combined, I want to be a part of saving those species, as well as saving our own species.”

With a Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dominique Barnes has also experienced first-hand the devastating impacts of commercial seafood production on the oceans. Determined to come up with a solution, she teamed up with biomedical engineering graduate Michelle Wolf to launch New Wave Foods, which has been developing plant-based shrimp alternatives, in both a raw and crispy breaded format, since 2015.

The female-led company, which is based in San Francisco, is taking a similar approach to Ocean Hugger in focusing initially on placing its algae-based products with food service providers and restaurants. Chefs at Google’s cafeteria have already placed an order and the products are the first plant- and algae-based items to be served at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s café as part of its Seafood Watch sustainability initiative. “Two thirds of seafood is consumed outside the home, so it made sense to go where the fish are,” says Barnes. “Our goal is impact, and food service is positioned to be the place where we can have the biggest impact. Whenever the general word ‘shrimp’ comes up in any context, that’s the conversation we’re trying to be a part of.”

After going through the IndieBio startup accelerator, New Wave received $250,000 from VC firm SOSV. This was followed by undisclosed seed funding from VC firms New Crop Capital and Efficient Capacity. Plant-based VC firm Blue Horizon is also an investor.

New Wave Foods’ vegan shrimp is the first plant-based and algae-based product to be on the menu at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s café in California.NEW WAVE FOODS

While it’s about to roll out its products in some eateries in New York, the company is taking a slower approach to growth, rather than rushing to market. “We often hear the phrase ‘fail fast’ in Silicon Valley, which makes a lot of sense if you’re rolling out a new website or app,” says Barnes. “Feedback and updates can be made in minutes, but with food, that iterative process takes more time, and there’s more risk. Pioneering a path to creating our shrimp at scale has been a main focus recently. With tangible goods, particularly in the space we’re in, there’s just much more to innovate along the way. We’re approaching the market strategically and will grow sustainably, so our products can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Finally, New York-based Good Catch Foods is gearing up to launch its range of vegan tuna, crab cakes, fish sliders and fish burgers later this year and into 2019.

Good Catch was founded in 2016 by plant-based chefs Derek and Chad Sarno (who were recently hired by UK supermarket giant Tesco to create its range of Wicked Kitchen vegan meals), along with innovator Marci Zaroff, natural products specialist Eric Schnell, and Chief Investment Officer of New Crop Capital, Chris Kerr. Investors include Blue Horizon, and the company netted $5.5 million in April this year in Series A funding from vegan VC firm Stray Dog Capital.

Made from a blend of six legumes, including peas, soy, chickpeas, lentils, fava and navy beans, along with sea algae oil to give a umami flavor, the products are set to launch in online retailers Thrive Market and Fresh Direct later this year, followed by other retailers and restaurants across the US. International expansion is planned for 2019.

Good Catch Foods is gearing up to launch its range of vegan tuna, crab cakes, fish sliders and fish burgers later this year and into 2019.GOOD CATCH FOODS

If the current growth of the plant-based foods and drinks sector is anything to go buy, the future for innovators, as well as our oceans, could well be rosy. Recent data compiled by Nielsen on behalf of the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) shows that plant-based foods’ dollar sales grew by 20% over the past year in the retail sector, for a total of $3.3 billion. With overall food sales growth at only 2%, PBFA says this means plant-based foods’ growth is outpacing all other retail food sales by 10x.

And while still in its infancy, particularly compared with the proliferation of plant-based burgers, sausages and other alternatives to land animal products on the market, the vegan seafood category is ripe for exponential growth and we can expect to see even more players entering the market. Just last month, 23-year-old Kimberlie Le received $100,000 from billionaire investor Peter Thiel’s fellowship program, in addition to a previous $250,000 seed injection from IndieBio, to develop her company Terramino’s vegan salmon burgers. Meanwhile traditional plant-based food brands are starting to add fish alternatives to their range: UK-based V-Bites’ fish steaks were recently added to the menu of nearly 150 outlets of the Greene King Flaming Grill pub chain as part of a vegan fish and chips meal.

Kerr, who serves as Good Catch’s CEO and chairman, is certainly optimistic about the growth of the plant-based seafood industry. “With such a wide variety of seafood we can use myriad plant-based culinary innovation techniques to give us an amazing seafood experience without the collateral damage of our current system,” he says. “We see this as an outsized economic opportunity, with massive potential for global impact. It’s arguably the single best use of our investment dollars and an area in which we’re very excited to be the tip of the proverbial harpoon – one pointing to plants as the best solution. It’s a win for consumers, entrepreneurs, our eco-system – and for the fishes.”

So, plastic straws may be on the way out, but vegan seafood is here to stay.

Source: Forbes

Want to Live Longer? Just Sit a Bit Less Each Day

wrote . . . . . . . . .

Take a stand for a longer life.

Researchers say even a few extra minutes off the sofa each day can add years to your life span.

“If you have a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting, you can lower your risk of early death by moving more often, for as long as you want and as your ability allows — whether that means taking an hour-long high-intensity spin class or choosing lower-intensity activities, like walking,” said study lead author Keith Diaz.

He’s assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University in New York City.

The new study involved nearly 8,000 American adults, aged 45 and older. Each wore physical activity monitors for at least four days as part of research conducted between 2009 and 2013. The investigators then tracked deaths among the participants until 2017.

The results: People who replaced just 30 minutes of sitting per day with low-intensity physical activity lowered their risk of an early death by 17 percent, according to the study published online Jan. 14 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

More intense exercise reaped even bigger rewards, the researchers said. For example, swapping a half-hour per day of sitting for moderate-to-vigorous exercise cut the risk of early death by 35 percent.

And even just a minute or two of added physical activity was beneficial, the findings showed.

“Physical activity of any intensity provides health benefits,” Diaz said in a university news release.

His team pointed to a recent study that found that one in every four U.S. adults sit for eight-plus hours per day.

Two experts in heart health believe that level of inactivity can be a killer.

“Exercise, at any risk level for cardiovascular disease, is shown to improve not only how long one lives, but also lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

And heart specialist Dr. Guy Mintz said there are many ways Americans can change their slothful ways. He directs cardiovascular health at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

The American Heart Association currently recommends “moderate aerobic activity for 150 minutes per week or vigorous aerobic activity for 75 minutes per week,” Mintz said.

“Some American companies, like Google, are taking note of the importance of exercise and the deleterious consequences of a sedentary existence, including increases in obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Mintz added. “Employees are encouraged to get up from their desks and exercise — whether that is in the form of stretching, ping pong, walking, jumping jacks, treadmill or stationary bicycle.”

He believes other companies could follow that example.

“Employers with tight work schedules should carve out mandatory time daily for their staff to exercise and make it fun,” Mintz said. “Both the employer and employee benefit. Companies also win with higher productivity, less sick days, lower health costs and improved morale.”

For his part, Diaz said future research will “look at the risk of specific cardiovascular outcomes, such as heart attack, heart failure and cardiovascular-related deaths, associated with physical activity versus sedentary behavior.”

Source : HealthDay


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