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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Cookie Monster

Mike Landers churns out tasty vegan sweets
by Dana Henry

Mike Landers, founder of North Port Fishington Cookie Factory, is part of a generation of vegan bakers rewriting your grandma’s recipes. Those who’ve tasted the chewy oatmeal-cashew-cranberry cookie, the gooey chocolate peanut butter-frosted brownie or the ever-fluffy cinnamon roll have been known to exclaim, “I can’t believe this is vegan.”

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Food: Green Cuisine

Greenwood Kitchen makes tasty snacks that everyone can enjoy  

For eight years, Jaynel Hollis struggled with abdominal pains, nausea, headaches and fatigue. There was no explanation, until she discovered she was gluten-intolerant. She set out on a mission to provide others who suffer from food allergies with gluten-free and vegan food made with local, organic ingredients, establishing Greenwood Kitchen and Bakeshop. 

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Eat Local: Vrapple

Eight years ago, Sara Cain attempted to turn Philadelphia’s infamous mystery meat concoction into a treat that herbivores could enjoy. A good friend of hers, who had grown up on scrapple, lamented the loss of the local delight since becoming a vegetarian.
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Eat Local: New Horizons

Upscale vegan eats warm your stomach and conscience
by Will Dean


With the rush towards eating locally, it’s surprisingly easy to forget about the original “ethical” eating choice that for hundreds of years has attracted people like Ben Franklin, Charlotte Bronte, Albert Einstein and, of course, me. While Kate Jacoby, co-owner and pastry chef of upscale vegan eatery Horizons, gave up meat out of concern for animals, there are plenty of environmental reasons as well.
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