In Brief

Bleeding vegan burgers go on sale in UK

The rise of non-meat continues as Tesco sells Beyond Meat burger

Tesco will this month become the first UK supermarket to sell the Beyond Burger, a vegan meat-free patty that bleeds beetroot juice when you bite into it, as the rise of meat alternatives continues.

The burger, made by US brand Beyond Meat, caused great excitement when it arrived in the UK last month, going on sale at the small burger chain Honest Burgers. The company’s restaurant in Kings Cross, London, trialled the burger – and it quickly sold out.

The vegan patty is made of pea protein, coconut oil and potato starch – and a similar ingredient list underlies a British-made vegan burger which went on sale in restaurants in Oxford and London last month, the B12 burger from Moving Mountains.

Both are highly processed, technically difficult products to make – and both come with a sense of mission, their manufacturers believing that meat alternatives are more ethical and more environmentally friendly than traditional hamburgers. 

The next generation of beef replacements may be even more convincing. Earlier this year, Wired reported on the progress of “lab-grown meat”, in which cells taken originally from an animal can be cultured in a lab.

One US firm, Just, has already created a foie gras substitute using these techniques – although Wired says its reporter was not allowed to sample the product as it “wasn’t ready for public consumption”.

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