The Student News Site of Saratoga High School

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Meat from plants: a revolutionary invention

Anamika Anand
A plant-based burger.

In the six years I’ve lived in the U.S., I have never tasted a beef burger. Until last year, every family barbecue yielded the same black bean veggie burger on my plate, which I slowly learned to accept. 

After all, what I lost in taste, I gained in moral standing; growing regular meat is harmful to the environment because of its heavy reliance on energy as well as pollution of water, land and air. Specifically, 65% of nitrous oxide and 37% of methane result from livestock farming.

With this in mind, I resigned myself to a vegetarian lifestyle — honestly not a bad choice, when you consider that the process of livestock farming is incredibly inhumane. Each year, millions of animals are taken from their mothers, crowded in cages and slaughtered. The root of the problem is that most meat-eaters don’t witness the horrors firsthand.

Many meat-eaters are also unaware of the health risk that comes with eating meat. A study by Oxford University with 1.4 million participants found that for every 50g per day higher intake of processed red meat, the risk of coronary heart disease increases by 18%. 

Another Oxford study showed that every 70g per day higher intake of red meat is associated with a 15% higher risk of ischaemic heart disease and a 30% higher risk of diabetes. Cutting down your meat consumption can lower the risk of getting these diseases, especially as you get older. 

However, ditching meat completely is likely not an option for most meat-eaters, because while my problem is that I can’t eat meat at all, their problem is that they can’t stop eating it. In fact,  89% of Americans are avid meat consumers, and 59% of Americans think that eating meat is part of the American way of life, according to Ipsos.

Lucky for both parties, there’s a middle ground: plant-based meat! For vegetarians like me, plant-based meat opens a door to a variety of delicious flavors and dishes that were not an option before. When I first tasted the Beyond Burger last year, my life changed. 

Plant-based meat is an ideal option for people on the opposite side as well, those who already love eating meat but want to help save the planet. In fact, according to Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, 93% of people buying the Beyond burger are not vegan or vegetarian. 

Most plant-based meat, such as Beyond Meat, is made of healthy ingredients such as peas, potatoes and beets that, when combined, taste like meat. Plant-based meats have no cholesterol and much less sodium, so it’s a much healthier option that still tastes good. 

I highly encourage you to take a chance and try plant-based meat, whether it’s a burger, chicken nuggets, pork or meatballs. You may end up liking it, and you’d be doing both you and the planet a huge favor.

Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Your donation will support the student journalists of Saratoga High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon