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Jordan: The rise of plant-based food

Jordan: The rise of plant-based food

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With the “year of COVID” barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary resolutions: reduce personal weight, reduce time on social media and reduce consumption of animal foods.

Yes, that. Nearly 40% of Americans are already eating more plant-based foods. Hundreds of schools, colleges and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, Chipotle, Denny's, Dunkin’, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle offer plant-based options.

Dozens of start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are producing plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams. Every ice cream manufacturer boasts nut-based flavors. Even meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Perdue, Hormel and Canada's Maple Leaf Foods have rolled out their own plant-based meat products.

The reasons for the skyrocketing popularity of plant-based meat and milk products are compelling: they are more convenient, healthier, more eco-friendly and more compassionate than their animal-based counterparts.

The resolution to explore plant-based foods requires no sweat or deprivation — just some fun visits to our favorite supermarket and food websites.

Ryan Jordan, Racine

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