Alternative meat products
Research report
27 April 2018

Meat alternatives

Eating less meat is better for your health and the environment. We looked at 14 products to find out what was in them and how well the claims stacked up.

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Dayna J.
21 Jul 2018

My partner is into her vegetarian type intake. And we both found these disgusting. the ingredients are a joke. We need to reduce carb and sugar intake full stop meat is a completely viable and sustaining food. I would like to see consumer expose the reality of low fat diets. The world is getting fatter with more medical issues. The anti meat and fat experiment has gone on way to long.

Previous member
09 Jun 2018
Meat Alternatives

I don' understand why meat eaters alone were used for this trial. I believe the products would appeal more to vegetarians/vegans so obviously meat eaters aren't going to be impressed. As a vegetarian I tried the chicken product (even though it was very expensive!) and found it awful, mainly because of the flavouring which was not nice at all. If something isn't going to taste nice I don't see the point - likewise I don't see the point of trying to make something 'like meat'.

Previous member
20 May 2018
Meat Alternatives

I found your article on Meat alternatives very well set out with regard to price & dietary attributes. However for the New Zealand consumer of ruminant protein worried by their environmental foot print it was highly misleading.
The international studies of beef’s environmental foot print almost exclusively deal with feed lot beef. This is understandable since grass-fed beef only makes up a tiny proportion of the traded beef in the world. However, domestic beef in NZ is almost exclusively grass feed .
As you point out meat alternatives are produced from Soy and other food crops. While eating food crops ourselves is way more efficient than feeding them to ruminants, then eating the ruminant; replacing grass-fed meat with meat alternatives is untenable because this “meat” is primarily produced from soy. Soya beans have to be grown on cultivatable land and the world is short of land able to be cultivated sustainably.
Most of New Zealand’s mutton and beef is produced on land too steep to cultivate. If the meat produced on the 5.6 million ha. of NZ hill country were replaced with meat alternatives, the world would need to find approximately 500,000ha more of cultivatable land. The main source of new arable land is in Argentina and Brazil.
While replacing feed-lot beef with meat alternatives makes sound environmental sense; replacing grass-fed meat would have the un-intended consequence of destroying yet more of the world’s rainforests or using fragile soils not suitable for cropping. No-one should condone such an action, especially NZ consumers who have the privilege of eating grass fed beef with a healthy omega 3/omega 6 balance. Beef that is reared without the welfare issues of forcing a ruminant to eat grain, when it’s metabolism has developed to eat pasture [ the livers of animals that spend too long on a feed lot collapse]

Helen B.
19 May 2018
More than happy to eat these alternatives

I live in the South Island and the range of eat alternatives available is extremely limited. I am interested in trying new products as they become available in the mainstream supermarkets. Price is not an issue - I would rather pay more for plant based food than be directly responsible for the death of hundreds of animals each year. At the moment, I believe people who eat a plant based diet fare better with the cheese, yoghurt and aioli alternatives than they do with the meat alternatives.

05 May 2018

Having a vegetarian in the family his thoughts are why would you eat a meat alternative (made to look like meat) when it’s meat your not eating!

Murray C.
05 May 2018
Price is still an issue

I was going to try these substitutes last year, but when I found them in the supermarket they were up around $40-$45 per kg. Normally I find meat that is around $10-$20 per kg. That's a significant difference and for me will be a dissuading factor for some time to come.
A substitute has to be cheaper or at least similarly priced to be competitive. If I can still get the real McCoy at a cheaper price there doesn't seem to be any good reason to change.
Reasons to change:
a) The planet - if this is a problem then the price of real meat needs to rise in order to make the substitute a contender.
b) Vegetarians - eat vegetables, there's plenty of them.
PS I'm a convenient vegetarian, I generally like to have vegetarian meals at home, however I'm happy to have meat when eating / celebrating with friends and family - as a treat if you like.

Nyla S.
05 May 2018
Meat v Imitations

ex farmers ... as eaters of copious meats of all ranges ... there is nothing wrong with our health, Dad lived to be 92, eat everything we get advised not to by 'experts' ... we now eat alot less meat because now we buy it, and being retired we dont need as much food anyway, but we still buy quality meat, as you get what you pay for