What's the Deal: Plant-Based Diet

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

Shopping for food these days just isn’t what it once was. These days, what you see might not be exactly what you expect.

"Plant-based foods continue to dominate the food world and right now the tech industry has a seat at the table," says Brett Peterson, Whole Foods Team Leader.

Innovation has made it possible for plant proteins to look like meats, "Beyond meat is a very popular one right now. It's a burger that literally bleeds and tastes and looks like a real burger."

The product “bleeds” beet juice, and it’s just on in a fast-growing market, "Different things like bacons and meats and sausages that all look and taste like meats and are high in protein."

Made from things like seitan, a wheat product with the look and texture of meat when cooked, tofu, tempeh or legumes, it’s a new world of “meat” products.

"We have a mock tuna, a sushi grade tuna made from tomatoes," says Brett.

Jackfruit is a trendy meat substitute right now and Whole Foods makes a Jackfruit Taco in store right now. Craig Fieser, "It's really different than what I thought. It's really fruity. It is fruity with what they have it paired with. Really fruity, really fresh. I could see eating this."

Leach Craig Fieser, "It definitely looks like meat. If I saw this I would think it looks like a shredded meat."

So why make it look like meat? "Its opening it up to a wider demographic and people are understanding the benefits of a plant-based diets and more high in proteins and alternatives that way," said Brett.

In short, an effort to win over consumers that seems to be working.

"I would not be able to tell the difference. Really? It tastes like chicken. That is surprising," says Joel Collier.

We gave Joel a “No Evil Foods” barbeque chicken sandwich…and it was a success, "Even though I live in Asheville, I'm a big meat eater and so I would be very skeptical about that. Very mustardy, but definitely I could not tell that it was not chicken."

Brett, "I think they could be fooled and won't be scared from the vegan terms and plant-based terms."

Want to try an all local, plant-based option? Check out No Evil Foods in Asheville!

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