South Korean Beef Alternative to Launch in U.S. Market

Catherine Lamb wrote . . . . . . . . .

Zikooin, a South Korean food manufacturing company, today announced it would bring its plant-based Unlimeat to the U.S. market this year. Unlimeat is made from grains, oats and nuts and is meant to look and taste like thinly-sliced cuts of beef. It’s currently sold exclusively in South Korea.

According to a press release, Zikooin uses ingredients that would typically be thrown away due to cosmetic imperfections. Those ingredients are combined through Zikooin’s patented “protein compression” technology, which apparently gives the finished product a very meat-like texture. The company has stated that this manufacturing process is already approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Obviously I haven’t tasted Unlimeat yet, but I do think there’s a significant market opportunity in the U.S. for plant-based meats that aren’t burgers, sausages, deli meats or chicken nuggets. Americans demand diverse cuisines and ingredients — and that expands to meat alternatives, as well. Impossible is already rising to meet that demand for the new with its latest product: plant-based ground pork. But when it comes to meatless whole cuts of beef, there are very few options out there.

Zikooin is smart to bring its plant-based beef filets to the U.S. market before it becomes crowded with competitors making a similar product. As of now there are very few alt-steak offerings already available, mostly because of the textural challenge of making whole-muscle “meat” from plants. Some are developing more sophisticated 3D-printed or cell-based versions, which truly emulate the texture of beef, but it’ll be quite a few years before you can pick up those options in a grocery store.

Zikooin’s choice to use upcycled ingredients is also an interesting one. Not only is it a smart environmental and economical choice to make use of often-wasted foods, but it can also help sell to more sustainability-minded consumers — just ask Misfit Foods, Imperfect Foods (formerly Imperfect Produce) and Full Harvest. To tap into growing demand for sustainable ingredients, Zikooin would be smart to emphasize the whole “ugly produce” angle on its packaging when it does hit store shelves.

We’ll soon find out. Over email Keum Chae, CEO of Unlimeat, said that the product is already sold in SUPER FRESH MART in NYC and will be featured for a limited time in several San Francisco restaurants. In April, the company will begin selling Unlimeat online and later this year they plan to selling Unlimeat BBQ and Dumpling products at Costco and Whole Foods. The plant-based beef will sell for around $9 per pound, which is on par with a package of Beyond Meat sausages.

Unlimeat isn’t only expanding into the U.S., however. Chae said that the product will soon launch in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and China.

Source: The Spoon

Andalusian-style Spinach & Chickpeas


2 cans chickpeas
40 ml olive oil (for cooking)
6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1600 g spinach
3 Tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
2 Tbsp freshly ground dry-roasted cumin seeds
4 thick slices of day-old bread
extra-virgin olive oil and crusty bread to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the bread, and cook until golden. Transfer the bread and garlic to paper towels.
  3. Once cooled, tear the bread into small pieces and remove the skins from the garlic. Pound the bread with a pestle and mortar (or, just a rolling pin in a bowl if easier!), until the breadcrumbs are large but uneven.
  4. Add about 50 grams of the chickpeas and around 60 ml of the leftover liquid from the tin. Pound again until it’s the consistency of mashed potato.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the remaining chickpeas and chopped garlic, stirring until lightly golden, then add in the spinach and stir until wilted.
  6. Turn up the heat and add 400 ml of water. Stir occasionally and crush a few of the chickpeas into the spinach until fully heated through.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly until thick and creamy, then stir in a splash of sherry vinegar to cut through the creaminess.
  8. Drizzle with oil and serve with bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

12 Million Brits Will be Meat-Free By 2021

According to research from shopping comparison website, 12 million UK consumers (23% of the population) say that they will be vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian by 2021. There are already 6.7 million following a completely meat-free diet, and with an additional 5.3 million over the next 12 months would mean a growth of 79%.

The UK has a population of 66.4 million. Over a million more people intend to become vegan over the next 12 months, this trend follows on from a successful year for the dietary lifestyle. Finder’s research estimates that since the start of 2019, the number of vegans in the UK increased by 419,000 (62%). This trend is set to keep growing and in fact the number of vegans is expected to double by the end of 2021.

However, it seems not many were able to stick to a meat-free over the past year. Of the 5.2 million that hoped to completely cut out meat by the end of 2019, only 5% (236,000) have done so. One explanation for this could be a rise in the awareness of flexitarianism.

Millennials are the most meat-free generation at the moment – 15% of this generation said that they currently go without meat by following a pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan diet. By 2021 gen Z could overtake millennials, with 35% of gen Z aiming to be meat-free compared to 32% of millennials.

Georgia-Rose Johnson, shopping and travel specialist at said: “In 2019 climate change received a lot more media exposure than it’s ever had before and highlighted that meat-free diets can help to improve current climate issues. With this in mind it’s great to see that such a large amount of people are aiming to be meat-free by the end of this year. Especially the number of those who are aiming to be vegan, with our research showing veganism grew by 62% in the UK over the last year.”

Source: Vegconomist

Why Doctors Recommend Fruits and Veggies to Prevent Chronic Disease

Every day for breakfast, Adrienne Dove, 43, has a bowl of kiwis, watermelon, strawberries, or oranges. This is a far cry from her breakfast three months ago, which included six or seven pieces of bacon, three eggs, and a cup of grits. It’s a menu, she says, that left her tired all the time, made it hard to budge the number on the scale lower than 310, and kept her blood pressure elevated. Those old eating habits, which contributed to her obesity and high blood pressure, put her at risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

To help Dove modify her diet, her doctor began prescribing $40 worth of fruits and vegetables every week. Dove’s doctor participates in the DC Greens Produce Rx Program, an initiative started earlier this year in a low-income area of southeast Washington, DC. In Dove’s case, the prescription has been life-altering. “I feel more energetic, and my digestion has improved,” she says. Even better, she’s lost 50 pounds and her blood pressure has gone from a high of 190/100 to 118/70—changes that reduce her risk for stroke and diabetes. She’s also taking a lower dose of blood pressure medication.

Dove’s improved health should be no surprise. “We know that a healthy diet is one of the most important ways to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer,” says Hilary Seligman, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and founder of a similar program in that city called Vouchers 4 Veggies Eat SF. “Vouchers for fruits and vegetables help level the playing field, ensuring that people have access to healthy foods regardless of income,” Dr. Seligman says. The free program—which delivers produce to locations convenient to where eligible patients shop—works, says executive director Cissie Bonini, MPA, because “folks listen to their doctors when it comes to food.”

For her patients with high blood pressure, Kimberly Gannon, MD, PhD, stroke director with Christiana Care Neurology Specialists, recommends the Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, both of which include lots of produce. Diets that are good for the heart are also good for the brain. A 2018 study in Neurology found that eating one serving of leafy green vegetables every day was linked to a slower decline in brain function. An earlier study, also in Neurology, that followed 17,000 people from 2003 to 2007 found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely reduced their risk of memory problems by 19 percent. Since some patients don’t have access to healthy food, programs like DC Greens may help them eat right, says Dr. Gannon.

In Dove’s neighborhood, which has one of the highest levels of obesity and diabetes in the city, DC Greens is available for adult patients diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, or prediabetes, and includes free weekly coupons for produce at Giant Food, a local grocery store that partners with the program. “Participants are identified by their physicians, and the prescription is sent over to the Giant Food pharmacy,” says Jillian Griffith, MPH, RD, who provides nutrition counseling as part of Giant Food’s health and wellness program. “Participants must go back to their doctor every three months to renew the prescription, so there is a continuation of care.”

Programs like DC Greens and Vouchers 4 Veggies have popped up in other areas of the country. For example, Produce Rx has a produce stand at Wilmington Hospital in Wilmington, DE, and in areas around the city where fruits and vegetables are not readily available. Most of the participants are low-income single mothers and people with diabetes or high blood pressure, says Erin Booker, corporate director of behavioral health at ChristianaCare.

In Forest Grove, OR, Adelante Mujeres aims to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s among low-income Latina immigrant women and children, especially those at risk for diet-related diseases. The program provides vouchers for produce and cooking workshops.

The Food as Medicine Collaborative in San Francisco maintains food pharmacies in 18 health clinics throughout the city that fill prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables. Established in 2013, the collaborative serves 13,000 low-income patients, primarily African Americans with high blood pressure, says Rita Nguyen, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF and assistant health officer and chronic disease physician specialist with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, which is part of the collaborative.

Preliminary studies on the health outcomes of these produce voucher programs are promising. A small study published in Public Health Nutrition in 2016 found that people using Veggie Rx vouchers in Albany, NY, had a mean drop in body mass index of 1.6 pounds (.74 kilograms) after an average of 18 months. A 2017 report on the Adelante Mujeres project said participants reported learning how to eat healthier, requiring less medication, and needing to see their doctor less often. Since its inception in 2013, the Food as Medicine Collaborative has collected data and run analyses about its services. “We have seen a trend toward decreased blood pressure among our patients,” says Dr. Nguyen.

To help patients learn to cook with fruits and vegetables, many of the programs offer nutrition classes, free consultations with dietitians, and cooking workshops. As part of DC Greens, Jillian Griffith works with community partners to present fitness programming and cooking demonstrations. The Food as Medicine Collaborative features cooking instruction, recipe sharing, and nutritional counseling by registered dietitians, says Dr. Nguyen.

Response to these programs has been overwhelmingly positive, says Cissie Bonini of Vouchers 4 Veggies. “I feel like there is a misconception that people don’t want to eat healthy. But they do, and the free vouchers allow them to do that.” Bonini says her organization’s clients report such health benefits as improved mood and an end to constipation. “Even after our clients no longer receive vouchers, 50 percent of them continue to eat more fruits and vegetables.”

Program costs are subsidized by private, local, or state grants and through research institutions and community-based organizations. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 provides up to $5 million of additional appropriations for these pilot programs for fiscal years 2019-2023.

Adrienne Dove, for one, hopes the funding continues. Ever since her first prescription for produce through DC Greens, she’s been telling many friends and her family, “You should want to live healthy.”

Source: Brain & Life

Can Home-Based Physical Therapy Benefit Older Adults With Dementia?

Dementia is the leading cause of disability for more than 5 million people aged 65 and older in this country. By 2050, that number is predicted to quadruple. Dementia can cause memory, language and decision-making problems, mood changes, increased irritability, depression, and anxiety.

Dementia also can cause poor coordination as well as balance problems and falls. These difficulties can affect quality of life, reduce caregiver well-being, and increase healthcare costs.

Researchers designed a study to learn more about whether physical therapy (PT) rehabilitation services could improve dementia-associated declines. They published their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The researchers noted that we understand that physical activity and exercise programs provided by physical therapists can improve balance and reduce fall risk. However, we don’t know whether providing PT in the home could benefit people with dementia. The researchers wanted to learn whether home health PT could help older adults with dementia improve their ability to perform daily functions. These functions include activities like grooming, dressing, bathing, being able to get to and from the toilet (and being able to clean yourself properly after using the bathroom), getting from bed to a chair, walking, eating, being able to plan and prepare light meals, and being able to use the telephone. The researchers also wanted to learn what amount of home-based PT services resulted in the most improvement with these essential tasks.

The researchers examined information provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the Medicare program (the federal insurance program for older Americans). The people included in the study were older than 65, had been diagnosed with dementia, and received home health services.

Of the people included in the study, 62 percent received at least one home PT visit. Most people received four visits. Patients who received PT had a higher level of disability and were more likely to:

  • Have started home health after hospitalization or rehabilitation care stays
  • Have severe pain that interfered with movement on a daily basis
  • Have a fall riskThey also were less likely to exhibit symptoms of disruptive behavior.

The researchers said that people who received PT were more likely to experience improvement in their daily functioning. They also said that the more PT people received, the more improvement they experienced, up to about 14 visits.

The researchers suggested that these results highlight the importance of receiving an evaluation by a physical therapist if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with dementia.

Source: Health in Aging

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