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Plant-Based Meals Gain Popularity In Restaurants And Frozen Food

By Aimee Lutkin

A new article from the Consumer Reports October 2017 issue is highlighting how people's love of "bowls" has hugely modified what consistently goes into those bowls. For example, you've got your “power bowls,” your “grain bowls,” and even your “Buddha bowls.” Everyone from Sweetgreen to Chipotle has an option for piling your food into a well-balanced meal, and it has changed people's expectations for what a plate looks like. It's rounder, but more importantly, has consistently better nutrition. 

It's actually been a practice for a long time that has ebbed and flowed, beginning with the macrobiotic bowls that came into popularity in the 1960s, and which usually featured grains, vegetables, and some sort of protein. But we've come to an interesting realization: The more people focus on the health aspect of what's inside their bowls, the more likely it is that they'll leave the meat protein behind.

"four ways to celebrate the long weekend? see above for option a, b, c and d 👆" – team sweetgreen

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“Meat is increasingly becoming a side dish or a condiment in meals,” dietitian Amy Keating explained to Consumer Reports, “rather than the main event." What does this mean? Keating thinks that the sorts of things that go in bowls, like kale, quinoa, seeds, and other nutrient dense fillers, appeal to the virtuous feeling of taking care of yourself. In short, it means that people want more of the vegetation and less of the gristle. “Their ingredients tend to be what people think of as ‘power’ or ‘super’ foods, those they should be getting more of in their diet,” she added.