After teasing a plant-based protein endeavor and telling Compassion Over Killing that it was “looking at plant protein as the future of protein,” Tyson Foods’ new Raised & Rooted brand falls short of the mark. The new brand, which Tyson is calling “plant-based” is, well, not plant-based at all.
The brand’s debut products include nuggets that, while meatless, contain egg whites. Made of pea protein isolate, egg whites, flaxseed and bamboo fiber, the nuggets may provide another chicken-less vegetarian option, but fall into a sea of other meat alternatives failing to capture the growing vegan market while utilizing cruelly produced animal products.
The brand’s other item is even more baffling: a non-vegetarian burger containing a blend of 90% lean Angus beef and pea protein isolate.
After divesting from plant-based Beyond Meat and promising exciting plant-based news to COK at April’s food innovation forum, it looks like this new Raised & Rooted line is not going to live up to the hype–nor the standards that consumers are increasingly raising for their food choices.
Though Tyson said these “innovations” make it the largest meat producer to enter the alternative protein space, we can’t help but wonder if a vegetarian item and animal meat burger really count. The company’s use of egg whites in this new product contributes to massive suffering on factory farms, where gentle hens are confined to tiny wire cages unable to stretch their wings or walk.
Hens and cows deserve better, and even with this attempt to join the alternative protein space, Tyson is falling behind.
Meanwhile, the poultry company continues to treat birds with egregious cruelty by breeding them for painful rapid growth. It’s clear that Tyson is beginning to take notice of the growing demand for ethical options, but refuses to sever ties with the barbaric meat industry.
Sign the petition today telling Tyson to flock away from cruelty and stop crippling birds with rapid growth.
Photo: Tyson Foods