Fake meat from Missouri

Mar 23, 2012

While only 2 or 3 percent of people in the U.S. are vegetarians, more than 40 percent of Americans age 18-29 choose to eat meatless once a week, according to market research firm Innova Insights.

The reasons eaters have for skipping meat are personal and varied: animal rights, health, taste, it could be anything — even price. The cost of beef continues to go way up, with no signs of slowing.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a sort of second-generation fake chicken product. It’s not just beans shaped like a burger, it’s so close to the look, feel and taste of real chicken that it might fool even the proudest backyard grill chef. But will consumers flock to fake chicken?

Jessica Naudziunas reports for Harvest Public Media, an agriculture-reporting project involving six NPR member stations in the Midwest. For more stories about farm and food, check out harvestpublicmedia.org.