Columns, Opinion

Baran Breakdown: Plant-based tastes good

It is a common misconception that plant-based diets consist solely of salads, lacking any flavor or flare. However, our ever-evolving world is brimming with innovation related to all things plant-based — and the results promise both nutritious and delicious food.

 Plant-based diets (such as vegetarianism or veganism) though still in the minority, have garnered increasing popularity in recent years. It’s probably because these diets do not include meat, which — in the ways in which it is produced now — leads to massive carbon emissions that are polluting the planet. 

Helping the earth might be reason enough for making the dietary switch, but there are also the hefty health benefits to consider. Plant-based diets, when followed the proper way, consist of nutritious foods such as beans, lentils, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are chock-full of essential vitamins and nutrients that fuel our bodies and help us to feel the best both mentally and physically.  

While there are many opinions about whether or not meat is bad for you, a Harvard Medical School study holds the stance that it is damaging for your health. According to the study, “every extra daily serving of unprocessed meat (steak, hamburger, pork, etc.) increased the risk of dying prematurely by 13%.” Of course, there are studies that contradict and confirm almost anything these days, but this study was conducted at a top university and by seasoned professionals. 

Why don’t more people go plant-based, then? Well, some people simply do not think that their diets will allow their taste buds any enjoyment. They are under the illusion that diets prohibiting meat will only make for bland meals, deficient in the taste aspect. 

But the fact of the matter is this could not be further from the truth. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are big businesses that have come into the food industry and completely changed the game. The CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, and the CEO of Impossible Foods, Patrick Brown, both bore ingenious ideas to create foods that have the taste aspect down to every detail and contain no meat. 

All their food is plant-based and tastes top-notch.

These companies have climbed the ladder of commerce and they’ve done it with passion and pursuit. They have helped to deconstruct the longtime myth that plant-based meals lack in taste. They have expanded their reach to fast food chains like Burger King, Subway and KFC, in an effort to cater to more and more people. Burger King has the Impossible Whopper, Subway, the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub and KFC has Beyond Fried Chicken. These products all are bursting with flavor and flare — and they don’t contain an ounce of meat in them. 

Eating is supposed to be enjoyable. And following this logic, it is perfectly understandable for people to be concerned about making the switch to a plant-based diet. Why should someone have to sacrifice taste for nutrition? They should not. And the good news is that they don’t have to. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are just two companies that have already facilitated global discussion and change in all things plant-based. Based on their success, there will be more to follow in their footsteps. 

 If you want to be environmentally-conscious, health-conscious and ethical, plant-based is positively the way to go. It is time to embrace the now and future of plant-based food and we can do so without foregoing flavor of meat. 


  1. Jack and Terry Lyons

    Terrific that you have two kids that are writing like that. Good work.

  2. Love these articles-very thoughtful