Fake Meat

This Thanksgiving, families across the country will oven-roast Tofurkys, Field Roasts, and other fake meats in addition to — or instead of — genuine turkeys.

That's according to MarketWatch, which reports that there will be more plant-based meat substitutes at holiday feasts this holiday season than any previous year. It cites a Nielsen report that found that meat substitute sales grew 6.1 percent this year, to $555 million — yet another sign that Americans' diets are shifting toward meat alternatives.

Pro-Earth Protein

A Fortune profile of Tofurky's growing meatless empire breaks down the factors that are driving buyers towards meatless goods. There are ethical concerns about the treatment of animals, naturally, but the profile also identified concerns about health and the impact of farming on the environment as factors that are pushing American shoppers toward plant-based meat substitutes.

"That’s not a fad," Walmart's Chase Worthen, who helps the company decide what vegetarian goods to stock in its stores, told the business magazine. "It’s a trend that’s here to stay."

Future Outlook

In addition to these clever simulacrums made out of soy and other plant-based proteins, there's a specter on the horizon that could further upend Americans' relationship with protein: meat substitutes that are grown from animal cells in a lab.

MarketWatch pointed to a report by food consultancy Baum and Whiteman that predicted lab-grown meats, like those made by Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies, will be a key food trend in 2019.

If that report is right, Thanksgiving might never be the same again.

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