Starbucks Locations in Canada are Launching Vegan Yogurt Parfaits and Plant-based Bagel

Grace Mahas wrote . . . . . . . . .

In an effort to cater to vegan consumers, Starbucks Canada has announced it will expand its product line to include vegan yogurt parfait and plant-based everything bagels. The news was shared via a Twitter post from a Starbucks employee who stated that the QSR is removing the cheese from its everything bagel and introducing a dairy-free blueberry yogurt parfait.

This is not the first shift Starbucks has made to appeal to vegans. Back in October, the brand debuted the ‘Witch’s Brew Crème Frappuccino’ that could be modified to be vegan upon request. Additionally, the Starbucks Canada also released a vegan macadamia cookie in 2018 made from oatmeal, coconut, almonds, and macadamia nuts.

As more consumers seek cruelty-free food options, many QSR, including Starbucks Canada, have shifted their products to meet customer demands for plant-based foods.

Source: Trend Hunter

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Plant-based ‘Meat’ Mooncakes Debut in China

Mooncakes stuffed with artificial meat will hit the market in China for the first time in September, Chongqing Morning Post reported.

The product was developed by a lab team from the Beijing Technology and Business University and vegan meat brand Starfield.

The first batch will be put on sale in Starfield outlets in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province.

There are two kinds of artificial meat: One is vegan meat made mainly from bean protein, the other is real meat grown from animal stem cells.

The artificial meat stuffed in these mooncakes is plant-based, which has low environmental costs and can reduce wasting animal husbandry resources. It is also suitable for people with high blood sugar, high blood pressure or high blood fats to eat, according to the researchers.

The artificial meat aims to imitate real animal meat in five aspects: color, smell, taste, texture and sound, said Li Jian, who leads the university lab team. Many people don’t understand the sound component, Li said. “When we stir-fry sliced meat or deep-fry fish, the meat will produce an appetizing crackling sound. This sound is what we want to achieve with our artificial meat, together with the other aspects,” he explained.

In an online vote launched by Weibo Technology, 34.4 percent of respondents said they would like to try an artificial meat mooncake, while over 63.3 percent said they would not want to try it or would take a wait-and-see approach.

The technology of making artificial meat is more mature overseas. In China, it has yet to make much headway and is just a concept for vegetarian food, according to food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng.

Besides quality, price is also an important factor relating to the success of artificial meat in the market. The cost of producing artificial meat is not cheap at present and is even more expensive than that of ordinary meat products, said Zhu. The cost will fall as artificial meat becomes more popular, though that will take some time, he added.

Source: China Daily

UN Report Suggests Humans Should Adopt Plant-based Diets to Fight Climate Change

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a major report to inform upcoming climate negotiations as the world faces a global climate crisis.

The report, which was compiled by over 100 experts from across the globe, suggests that drastic changes to human diets are necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of global warming and includes a policy recommendation to reduce meat consumption.

The UN report suggests that cutting food waste and eating less meat is an effective method to reduce climate change that it predicts will save millions of square miles of land from being degraded by farming. Currently, a quarter of the world’s ice-free land has been damaged by human activity, with soil eroding from agricultural fields up to 100 times faster than it forms.

Dietary choices

Panmao Zhai, one of the authors of the report, commented: “There is real potential here through more sustainable land use, reducing over-consumption and waste of food, eliminating the clearing and burning of forests, preventing over-harvesting of fuelwood, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (to help) address land-related climate change issues.”

“Some dietary choices require more land and water, and cause more emissions of heat-trapping gases than others,” added Debra Roberts, another of the report’s authors.

“Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems, present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change,” Roberts continued.

Beneficial

“We don’t want to tell people what to eat,” says ecologist Hans-Otto Pörtner who co-chairs the IPCC’s working group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. “But it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.”

“We’re not telling people to stop eating meat. In some places people have no other choice. But it’s obvious that in the West we’re eating far too much,” added Prof Pete Smith, an environmental scientist from Aberdeen University, UK.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

Giving Up Meat Could Help Your Health and the Planet’s

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

If Americans traded in their hamburgers for tofu, buckwheat and asparagus, it could make a big difference in the health of the planet — without shortchanging anyone on nutrients.

That’s the conclusion of a new study in which researchers estimated the benefits — to humans and the environment — of diets centered on “nutritionally sound” meat alternatives.

Many studies have pointed to ways in which vegetarian diets are kinder to the planet: Less land used for raising and feeding livestock; less pollution; less energy use; and fewer “greenhouse gas” emissions that contribute to global warming.

But meat is an important nutrient source for a huge portion of the population. So it’s important to show that plant foods adequately replace those needs while benefiting the environment, according to Gidon Eshel, the lead researcher.

“Here, we rigorously considered the nutritional and environmental aspects,” said Eshel, a research professor of environmental and urban studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Specifically, his team used a computer model to estimate the effects of replacing meat in the typical American diet with any of 500 plant-based “partial” diets — either swapping out just beef, or eliminating all meat.

Each diet contained 35 plant foods, randomly selected from a larger menu of vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and whole grains. In general, a few foods were key — including soy, buckwheat, asparagus, green peppers and squash.

On average, soy and buckwheat together supplied one-third of the diets’ total protein, for example.

The researchers used published studies to estimate what the diets would require in land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water and nitrogen fertilizer — a source of pollution.

Overall, they estimated that if all Americans traded in meat for plant alternatives, it would eliminate the need for pasturelands. And the nation’s diet-related needs for crop land, nitrogen fertilizer and greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by 35% to 50%.

Only water use would rise — by 15%, the researchers said.

In the United States, meat production accounts for only a small portion of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to Eshel’s team. So swapping burgers for soy would trim total emissions by only about 5%.

In contrast, Eshel said, feeding livestock requires a lot of cropland and fertilizer. So plant-based diets could make a big difference in those uses.

And what about the diets’ healthfulness? “The science is unequivocal,” Eshel said. “These meat-replacement diets would actually be far superior to the typical American diet.”

All of the study diets delivered healthy amounts of protein and more than 40 other nutrients — including fiber, “good” fats and a range of vitamins and minerals. The exception was vitamin B12, which is found only in animal products.

But, the study authors said, that’s easy enough to address with supplements.

There’s a bigger question, however: How realistic is it that Americans would move en masse to a meatless diet? It’s a nation that, in 2015, downed 25 billion pounds of beef alone, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“I recognize, very clearly, that it wouldn’t be an easy transition,” Eshel said.

Not only for people, but also for cultural and economic structures, he added. The “labor-intensive” work of vegetable growing, for example, is much different from growing the corn and other commodity crops that now go toward feeding livestock (and people).

Vandana Sheth is a Los Angeles-based dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She said people can find it hard to go to a more plant-based regimen because of cost, meal-preparation time or doubts about their ability to craft tasty dishes.

“It’s absolutely possible to enjoy a healthy plant-based diet and adequately meet all your nutrition needs,” Sheth said. “However, it does require some planning and knowledge about the key components required to make it well balanced.”

A good general meal guide, she noted, is to fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with protein such as beans, lentils or tofu, and a quarter with whole grains.

And while a few foods were prominent in this study, Sheth suggested trying a range of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds — and “getting creative” with herbs and spices to amp up the flavor.

You don’t have to dive into vegetarianism, either. Sheth suggested taking small steps — declaring Meatless Monday, for example.

The study was published online in Scientific Reports.

Source: HealthDay

Eating More Plant-based Foods May be Linked to Better Heart Health

Eating mostly plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“While you don’t have to give up foods derived from animals completely, our study does suggest that eating a larger proportion of plant-based foods and a smaller proportion of animal-based foods may help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other type of cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher, Casey M. Rebholz, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Researchers reviewed a database of food intake information from more than 10,000 middle-aged U.S. adults who were monitored from 1987 through 2016 and did not have cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. They then categorized the participants’ eating patterns by the proportion of plant-based foods they ate versus animal-based foods.

People who ate the most plant-based foods overall had a:

  • 16% lower risk of having a cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and other conditions;
  • 32% lower risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease and
  • 25% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who ate the least amount of plant-based foods.

“Our findings underscore the importance of focusing on your diet. There might be some variability in terms of individual foods, but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk people should eat more vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, legumes and fewer animal-based foods. These findings are pretty consistent with previous findings about other dietary patterns, including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, which emphasize the same food items,” Rebholz said.

This is one of the first studies to examine the proportion of plant-based versus animal-based dietary patterns in the general population, noted Rebholz. Prior studies have shown heart-health benefits from plant-based diets but only in specific populations of people, such as vegetarians or Seventh Day Adventists who eat a mostly vegan diet. Future research on plant-based diets should examine whether the quality of plant foods—healthy versus less healthy—impacts cardiovascular disease and death risks, according to the study, said Rebholz.

“The American Heart Association recommends eating a mostly plant-based diet, provided the foods you choose are rich in nutrition and low in added sugars, sodium (salt), cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. For example, French fries or cauliflower pizza with cheese are plant based but are low in nutritional value and are loaded with sodium (salt). Unprocessed foods, like fresh fruit, vegetables and grains are good choices,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., the chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association.

The study was observational, which means did not prove cause and effect.

Source: American Heart Association