Meat Substitutes – Where Do They Come From: Did you know that many everyday products contain ingredients that are derive from the same sources as macroprotein meat substitutes? You are likely to find soya and soya oils, for instance, in a large range of products, as you are with gluten, another meat substitute. Why then do so many people still balk at the idea of cooking or ordering a Quorn steak or a soya burger? There is presently a very wide selection of meat substitute products, making it really simple to cater for vegetarians and vegans.

The quality, content and nutritional benefits of some of the steak, beefburger, chicken breast, sausage and pork substitutes suggest that the entire population might benefit from giving them a try.

As these products have become more popular and the number of non-meat eaters has grown.

so the price has fallen, resulting in a corresponding further exponential increase in their popularity. But where do these products actually originate?

Meat Free Dishes

The soybean, or soya bean, has been around for a great deal of time and forms the source of a multitude of meat free dishes.
Products in the form of tofu, whose derivation is soya milk, and tempeh.

which is derive from fermente soya, both come from the simple soybean.

The soybean is part of the legume genus. This type of plant also includes the peanut, the lentil, the pea and the bean. Soya is protein rich and is thought by many in the field of nutrition to be a “Complete Protein” source. A Complete Protein contains all of the amino acids that are require by human body.

The vast majority of people are very tolerant of tofu, with only approximately 0.5% of the population having an allergy or an intolerance to it.

This, in addition to its other qualities.

also explains its popularity when compared to the two other principal meat substitute sources.


Quorn has been the subject of considerable debate over the years, particularly since its introduction to the USA in 2002. This is primarily because Quorn is derive from a fungus, known as Fusarium Venenatum. The biggest market for Quorn is Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, where it is by far the biggest source of meat free protein. Nothwithstanding this popularity in the European marketplace, it does not sell in the same amounts in North America.

This is attributable, at least in part.

to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the USA.

which concluded that Quorn may be potentially harmful to anyone with an allergy to fungi. It would therefore be prudent for anyone with this type of allergy to look at one of the alternative meat substitutes.

Wheat Gluten

Our final product, whose origin is China, is gluten. This meat substitute is particularly popular in the Far East. The process of manufacturing gluten is by the removal of the starch from the dough that is made from wheat flour.
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Gluten is most commonly sold in the form of seitan, which can have more of an appearance of genuine meat than the other substitutes. Although high in protein, gluten can also contain higher amounts of sodium that its peers. The factor that contributes most to its relative lack of popularity is that it is derive from wheat. Considerably more people are susceptible to wheat allergies than to soya or fungus allergies and some gluten-allergic reactions can carry catastrophic consequences.


If you are a meat eater, you are unlikely to stick to one meat source.

whether you are eating at home or dining out. Subject to the issue of allergies and intolerances.

there does not seem to be any valid reason why non-meat eaters should stick to one meat free source.

Each has an attraction of its own – and not just to vegetarians and vegans.

Even if you are a meat eater, try one of the alternatives for your Sunday roast.

a barbecue or even your Christmas lunch.

You may even prefer it to the real thing – if you can tell the difference!