Mood Booster: From Plant-Based Ham to Halal Cultured Meat

Do you need a pick-me-up to kick-start your weekend? Here are four positive plant-based news stories that are sure to boost your mood!

Image credit: La Vie

Plant-based brand La Vie announces €1M crowdfunding campaign and launches vegan ham

French plant-based bacon brand La Vie has announced a new crowdfunding campaign and product launch after huge success in Europe, having sold 2.5 million products in the past 18 months. The campaign will take place on Crowdcube from September 7 to 28, with the goal of raising €1 million and uniting a global community of change-makers.

Nicolas Schweitzer, CEO and co-founder of La Vie, commented, “Responding to the high investor and customer demand, we’re opening up our capital for a limited time. With the plan to hit €12 million annualized run rate by the end of the year, it underscores the promising future of the industry. Our unique blend of technology and brand identity sets us apart, challenging industry norms. This strategic step aims to unite a global community of change-makers who resonate with our vision.”

La Vie has recently launched a new product in France – plant-based ham. Made with just seven ingredients, the ham is produced without texturing agents and has the juiciness and texture of conventional ham.

Image credit: Adobe Stock / aamulya

French retailer Carrefour launches coalition to develop plant-based food in France after proposed ban on the labeling of meat alternatives

In response to the French government recently proposing a law that would ban meat-related terms like ‘steak’, ‘ham’ and ‘beef’ from appearing on plant-based alternatives made and sold in France, Carrefour CEO Alexandre Bompard has launched a coalition to boost France’s plant-based food industry, increase production, and make vegan food more accessible and available.

The collective goal of the coalition, which comprises Unilever, Danone, Bel, Savencia, Andros, Bonduelle, and Nutrition & Santé, along with Carrefour, is to reach €3B in turnover by 2026.

“Plant-based alternatives are an answer for our customers: they are both good for health, good for the planet and good for their budget,” Bompard commented. The initiative demonstrates the ability of major manufacturers and distributors to join forces and take collective responsibility for the production of sustainable products at reasonable prices.

Image credit: Adobe Stock / oneinchpunch

Eating a plant-based diet could help you live a longer, healthier life, according to new research from Harvard University finds

Eating a plant-based diet could help you live a longer, healthier life, according to scientists at Harvard University. Researchers followed the diets of 100,000 people from 1986 to 2018 and found that those who ate more plant-based foods – such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – were less likely to die in that time frame, compared to people who ate meals that were heavy on meat and dairy.

The research team recently presented its findings at Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, and have developed a new Planetary Health Diet Index (PHDI) that shows the effects of food on human health and the environment.

The index takes into account the risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, along with environmental impacts such as land use, water use, and planet-warming pollution – the higher the score, the better the diet.

The researchers found that those with higher PHDI scores had a 15% lower risk of death from cancer or heart disease, a 20% lower risk of death from neurodegenerative diseases, and a 50% lower risk of death from respiratory diseases.

This is consistent with previous findings that plant-based diets are healthier and less damaging to the environment. Indeed, according to Harvard Medical School, research over many years has linked plant-based diets to lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, as well as some cancers, and heart disease.

Image credit: Eat Just, Inc.

Islamic scholars declare that cultivated meat can be halal

A group of leading Islamic scholars has declared that cultivated meat can be halal, provided that it meets specific production criteria. The announcement comes from Good Meat, a subsidiary of Eat Just, Inc., which introduced cultivated meat to US consumers after receiving full USDA approval only a few months ago. In 2020, Good Meat became the world’s first cultivated meat producer to get regulatory approval in 2020 – from the Israeli food authorities for its cultivated chicken product – and the brand says it will work along these guidelines to make its cell-based chicken halal-certified.

With more than a billion people around the world adhering to halal food standards, this is a significant step for the global acceptance of cultivated meat.

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