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Plant-based is better

With the glow of Christmas barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight, and, this year, reduce animal food consumption.

One third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains Chipotle, Denny’s, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy products. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal pioneers.

According to Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20 percent in the past year, 10 times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50 percent growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15 percent of the milk market.

The plant-based New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation - just some fun exploring your favorite supermarket and food websites.

– Braxton Stuttgard, Boerne