25 Reasons Plant-Based Food Owned 2015: Part 3

18. Best burger of the year – made from plants

2015 was a massive year for the plant-based burger, and New York’s ‘Superiority Burger’ was named best in the world by GQ magazine.

Not hungry yet? Check this out from their 50 best things to eat and drink 2015:

“Maybe the best thing about N.Y.C. chef Brooks Headley’s raved-about Superiority Burger—better even than the nutty patty, the roasted umami-bomb tomato, the fact that no cows were harmed in the creation of this sandwich—is the texture. The bun squishes. The lettuce crunches. The pickles snap. That patty, made from ingredients Headley won’t divulge and miles beyond whatever your vegan friends use to assault your grill during barbecues, has genuine heft. Who knew that in the perfectly proportioned Platonic ideal of a burger, beef isn’t even necessary?”

19. Plant mayo takes on egg mayo and wins

In the Great Mayo Wars of 2015, plant-based mayonnaise has emerged victorious. Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo looks like mayonnaise, tastes like mayonnaise, but doesn’t contain eggs. This new eco-friendlier take on an old favourite has proven a smash-success, not just at specialty stores such as Whole Foods, but also at popular mainstream chains like 7-11 and Walmart.

But not everyone thought this was good news. In an August 2013 leaked email, Joanne Ivy, president of the American Egg Board (AEB), referred to Just Mayo as “a crisis and major threat to the future of the egg product business.” The AEB was concerned enough to deploy several strategies (some of them possibly illegal) in a desperate but ultimately futile attempt to deal with this unprecedented competition, including paying food bloggers, bullying Just Mayo proponents, and buying up Google advertisements to show AEB-sponsored content when people searched for Hampton Creek or its founder Josh Tetrick.

However, we can happily report that after all the dust has settled Just Mayo is still on the shelves and has stood their ground against their competitors. Pass the (egg-free) mayo!

20. Sydney says “G’day” to vegan fish & chips

Three years in the making, ‘Bliss and Chips’ finally opened its doors in November 2015 as Sydney Australia’s first entirely plant-based (and almost completely gluten-free) fish and chip shop.

Owner Lisa Harry not only has 20 years experience in the food industry, but also degrees in food science chemistry and biological science. When the idea for a seafood-free version of an Aussie classic came to her during a 10-day meditation she realised at once that she’d found a definite gap in the market.

Whether it’s battered ‘fish’, ‘calamari’, a ‘chicken’ burger, or the quintessential deep-fried Mars bar (or, in this case, a dairy-free Twilight bar), for Harry, flavour is king and she’s not out to convert the world to a plant-based diet. From the store-front and the decor to the menu, everything about her little shop says traditional fish and chips. So unless they’re paying rather close attention, visitors to Australia’s biggest city might just be taking part in its tastiest and latest fast-food revolution unwittingly!

21. World Health Organisation confirms meat and cancer link

On October 26th, 2015 the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially concluded that processed meats such as bacon, sausages, and hot dogs cause cancer, and that red meats including beef, pork, veal, and lamb are also “probably carcinogenic”.

A group of 22 scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reviewed the evidence, ultimately deciding to elevate processed meats to the same cancer risk category as tobacco smoking and asbestos.

Susan M. Gapstur, PhD, MPH, a cancer epidemiologist and vice president of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society says “people should be moving toward a more plant-based diet and choose fruits, vegetables, and beans as alternatives to meat.”

22. Arnold Schwarzenegger: eat more plants or it’s “hasta la vista” for the planet

You know times are a changin’ when Hollywood’s most famous muscle-bound action hero tells his audience at the UN’s Paris Climate Change Conference that to stop eating meat altogether is a ‘good idea’, or at the very least, they should ‘stop for one or two days a week.’

When asked if one could achieve a similar physique to his without consuming meat, Arnie replied “I have seen many body-builders and (weight) lifters that are vegetarians.” and that “luckily you can get your protein many different ways”

Read more on real-life plant-based Terminators in our Arnie-inspired tribute to plant-based action men! And keep an ear to the ground in 2016 for Louis Psihoyos’ (of Academy-award winning documentary ‘The Cove’ and ‘Racing Extinction’) upcoming doco on plant-based athletes, executive produced by plant-based director and environmental superhero James Cameron.

23. New Zealand stands up for its animals

2015 was a big year for animals in the land of the kiwi.

In May, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill. In addition to placing a ban on animal testing for cosmetic purposes, the Bill provides legal recognition of animals as ‘sentient’ beings. In doing so, it acknowledges that animals experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress.

In November, animal welfare organisations SAFE and Farmwatch released details of an investigation into the New Zealand dairy industry. Their findings of abuse were reported on extensively at home and also internationally including publications in major media outlets such as The Guardian, sparking much debate and review of current practices.

Check out why a dairy-free lifestyle can be great for you and the planet as well as animals here!

24. Beyonce launches plant-based meal delivery service

Superstar celebrities have massive pulling power so when Beyonce recently partnered with her personal trainer, Marco Borges, to launch the 22 Days Nutrition plant-based meal delivery service, she shifted plant-based lifestyles directly into the spotlight of media attention for 2015.

In various interviews Beyonce has had nothing but great things to say about a plant-based lifestyle. While most diets leave you craving food and feeling groggy, she says going plant-based energised her, and made her feel incredible. She also claims that she has much firmer, tighter skin, and that weight came off fast and is staying off.

The 22-Day Revolution program focuses exclusively on plant-based foods: “The program’s philosophy is based on the concept that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit and on the 22nd day you are well on your way to forming new habits,” says personal trainer Marco.

The meal plan is targeted to those who want to lose weight, cook less or simply “experience a whole new way of eating.” Beyonce’s plant-based home delivery service is 100% plant-based, non-GMO, gluten, soy, and dairy-free, and all organic. Those of us outside of the US can’t give up on our cooking just yet, but in the meantime can still check out Marco’s best-selling ‘The 22-Day Revolution’ to get started on the program.

25. The rise and rise of Vegan Gains

Love him or loathe him, vlogger Richard Burgess made his mark on 2015 with his new YouTube channel Vegan Gains. Started in December 2014, Vegan Gains has already hit the top 3 vegan vlogs on YouTube, gaining over 140,000 subscribers and amassing over 34 million views, and shows no signs of slowing up.

They say any publicity is good publicity and Vegan Gains is perhaps case in point. Utilising aggressive satire, calling out health, athlete, and food personalities, or sharing his innermost thoughts and life with his community (including his recent vasectomy), Richard Burgess is a man that wears his heart, rage, and opinions on his sleeve.

Vegan Gains’ most popular series is his ‘Worst of the Fitness Industry’ where he specifically calls out popular health celebrities – mocking, deconstructing, and challenging them with a monologue of  logic, science, skits and profanity. His tactics are questionable but like a car crash, you can’t look away and he claims to have converted many to a plant-based lifestyle.

His ‘no-punches-pulled’ taunts recently resulted in the wildly popular Hodge Twins converting to a plant-based diet in the wake of several heated back and forth video-duels with each other. If you like controversy with an extra helping of controversy and a side order of controversy, then head on over to Vegan Gains to get your daily dose – but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

We hope you enjoyed our 25 best plant-based food stories of 2015, and Happy New Year! If you haven’t checked out part 1, you can find it right here and part 2 right here

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