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New Food Technologies

Plant-Based Alternatives

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You’ve now learned that plant-based alternatives have some health benefits over the typical animal-based Western Diet. But what about the environment? It’s important to  understand that in order to meet the demand for the animal food products made necessary by a Western Diet, we created a modern animal agriculture system that takes a substantial toll on the environment. Watch The Science Behind Plant-Based Proteins video from the Gates Foundation to learn more:

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There are many companies producing plant-based alternatives, like Beyond Meat, producing a range of products like sausages, burger patties and ground beef. Watch Beyond Meat’s Plant-Based Burgers to learn more about how some plant-based products are made:

Another company, Impossible Foods, claims they have taken plant-based alternatives to another level by using a special ingredient to achieve the same “meaty” flavor and aroma of a conventional burger. Watch Impossible Foods’ Heme - The Magic Ingredient in the Impossible™ Burger to learn more about their technique and ingredients.

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1. After watching the videos linked above, record answers for the following:

a. In your opinion, why are plant-based foods becoming more popular?

b. What are some of the benefits of plant-based foods - from both an environmental and a health perspective?

c. Have you personally tried any plant-based foods? Share your thoughts and reactions.

d. Write down two questions you have about new plant-based food technologies. Research your answers.

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your answers!


Choose one of the following companies, research their product offerings, and then compose a letter to them suggesting a new plant-based product they should create. Include your rationale for why it would be popular with students. Also suggest the components of the product (taste, texture, price, etc.) that would be especially important to “get right” - and why.


Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your work!

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Additional resources for further research:

Impossible Foods: