Mock Up

Neat, a natural meat alternative, was created two years ago by Phil and Laura Lapp, who were looking for a healthy, animal-free protein to satisfy their two vegetarian daughters. | Photo courtesy neat

Local companies produce fresh, responsibly made meat substitutes

The average American consumes nearly 200 pounds of meat in a year. While we can’t say for certain that vegetarians put away an equal amount of tofu and seitan, the meat-eschewing set is still eating an impressive amount of animal-free proteins on an annual basis: in 2011, sales of tofu reached $255 million and sales of meat alternatives totaled $622 million, reports the Soyfoods Association of North America.

We frequently tout the importance of locally and responsibly raised meats, but what about mock meat? Are vegetarians and vegans doomed to buying blocks of tofu shipped across the continent? As it turns out, there are a number of companies in the region producing fresh, cruelty-free and responsibly made meat substitutes.

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Locally made meat substitute takes the world by storm

Unhappy with the options for providing wholesome, nutritious meals to her growing vegetarian family, Lancaster resident Laura Lapp decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I was reading the label of a popular meat replacement one day when I realized, ‘This isn’t even real food!’” she says. “It was then that I decided to start experimenting with ingredients in my kitchen.”

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