When a trend lasts for years – with no sign of going anywhere – maybe it’s not a trend anymore. This certainly seems the case for plant-based diets, with ever-increasing numbers of restaurants, grocery stores and businesses now catering to those veering away from animal-based protein.
The American diet has long designated meat – whether beef, poultry, pork or otherwise – as a major player on a well-balanced plate. But time and science have steadily chipped away at this supposed nutrition icon, with the venerated World Health Organization (WHO) declaring in 2015 that processed meat causes cancer.
A juicy hamburger . . . lip-smacking barbecued ribs . . . saucy chicken cutlets . . . savory pork chops. Sound tasty? But meats like these are off-limits for a growing number of people – purely by choice. Interest in plant-based diets, which center on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans, has virtually exploded in recent years.