Plant burgers could help lead the way to climate salvation

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Two Californian companies, recognised as innovators by the United Nations, want us to replace meat with their plant-based protein food products.

CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - A major study says people should move to plant-based diets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than a half.

But you could still enjoy these burgers - they contain no meat, but look, smell and taste like the real thing.

"Asking people to switch from steak to tofu is not going to be successful, but asking people to switch from a burger to a burger, or steak to steak, and simply the origin is different, but the composition is the same that will be successful," said founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown.

Two Californian companies, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, aim to persuade carnivores to eat plant-based alternatives.

They take the components of meat - protein, fat, water and trace minerals - from other sources.

And use plant proteins to reproduce the taste of a meat burger.

"It's the magic ingredient in meat from animals. It's what makes meat from animals taste unlike anything else. And it's the magic ingredient in our burger for flavour," said Mr Patrick O'Reilly Brown, founder and CEO of Impossible Foods.

The food tech firms want to reduce the environmental impact of global food production.

"The use of animals in the food system is not only one of the largest and the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, it's the biggest user and polluter of water in the world," added Mr Brown.

The food innovations have earned the companies a Champions of the Earth Award from the United Nations.

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