Mood Booster: From Plant-Based Döner Kebabs to Halting Deforestation

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

Image credit: Unilever

The Vegetarian Butcher partners with German food producer to create plant-based döner kebab skewers

Plant-based meat brand The Vegetarian Butcher has teamed up with German döner kebab producer Düzgün Food Group to create a plant-based kebab skewer for food service. The new meat-free kebab can be cooked and grilled vertically on a large skewer – just like its animal-based counterpart – offering the authentic taste and experience of the traditional kebab.

Over half of Germany’s street food outlets are döner kebab shops, selling more than 2.4 billion euros worth of sandwiches annually, with a recent YouGov poll indicating that döner kebabs have overtaken currywurst as Germany’s most popular street food. By offering a plant-based alternative to this hugely popular meal, the Vegetarian Butcher is taking meatless kebabs into the mainstream.

Image credit: Netflix

Netflix documentary highlights the longevity benefits of a plant-rich diet

A new four-part documentary on the streaming service Netflix shines a spotlight on the positive health benefits of eating a diet rich in plants and whole foods. Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones documents the regions around the world that have the highest number of adults living to the age of 100 or over.

In these regions, which are known as ‘blue zones’, people eat a plant-rich diet packed with beans, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, with meat, fish, and dairy eaten sparingly, if at all. In Okinawa, Japan, for example, soya – particularly in the form of fermented tofu – is a dietary staple, along with an especially nutritious purple sweet potato. In Sardinia, Italy, many centenarians enjoy minestrone soup, packed with beans, pasta and vegetables, and accompanied by sourdough bread.

Image credit: Adobe Stock / Looker_Studio

US biotech brand creates plant-based casein that ‘fully replicates’ the flavour and texture of dairy protein

It’s well known that cheese is a key sticking point for people trying to make the shift to plant-based eating. While dairy-free cheeses are far more accessible than they used to be, for the most part, they aren’t quite there yet in terms of taste, quality, and similarity to their conventional counterparts. However, it seems that the challenge of creating an authentic cheese experience is about to get much easier. US-based biotech Pureture has successfully recreated the milk protein casein, using yeast and plant-based materials that are free of genetically modified organisms. Pureture aims to provide the alternative-dairy industry with a game-changing ingredient while supporting people with dietary sensitivities and allergies.

“With this new innovation, we’re thrilled to introduce a product that ensures the joy of dairy flavour and texture remains while delivering a cleaner label and contributing to a more sustainable future,” commented CEO Rudy Yoo.

Trees in a forest
Image credit: Adobe Stock / zozzzzo

New study shows that replacing half of animal-based foods with alternatives could almost halt deforestation

A new study published in Nature Communications has found that if we replaced half of the animal-based food consumed worldwide with plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, net forest loss could be “almost fully halted”. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land use could decline by 31% by 2050 and water use could decrease by 10%. In this scenario, around 653 million hectares of agricultural land could be spared and restored to forest and grasslands, thus doubling the climate benefits. In many wealthy countries, this would simply mean eating the amount of meat recommended by national dietary guidelines.

However, actually achieving such a reduction in the consumption of animal-based products would require planet-wide policy changes along with other interventions, including serving plant-based products in schools and canteens, and taxing high-emission foods such as meat and dairy.

Which was your favourite mood-boosting news story? Head to the ‘Mood Booster’ post on our Instagram and have your say!

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