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How Thanksgiving started the meat alternatives boom

Tofurky quietly introduced the world to "meat" for people didn't eat meat. (Credit: megabeth/Flickr)

Wildly popular plant-based, alternative meats like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat can trace their origins to Thanksgiving.

As one of the most meat-centric holidays, Thanksgiving traditionally left vegetarians without a comfortable seat at the holiday table. That is, until the introduction of Tofurky quietly introduced the world to “meat” for people didn’t eat meat.

Here, Jan Dutkiewicz, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University and an expert in the alternative meat industry, explains:

  • How the history of the Impossible Burger and other popular alternative meats can be traced to Thanksgiving;
  • Why despite the current plant-based meat craze, there is not yet a turkey option that’s created as much buzz;
  • How in the future Thanksgivings, with lab-grown meat soon to be available, people might be able to buy turkey created in a petri dish.

Source: Johns Hopkins University