I've confessed this before. I am a meat eater, yet I really like Quorn. In fact—perhaps ironically, given the health-promoting benefits that this meat substitute claims—I view it as kind of a guilty pleasure: A dip into processed, frozen foods when I get sick of eating grass-fed burgers. (I was a vegetarian for 10 years—so there may also be nostalgia involved.)
I was delighted, then, to hear that Quorn is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, achieving third-party Carbon Trust certification, investing heavily in energy efficiency and, according to this Business Green interview with Quorn CEO Kevin Brennan, increasingly looking at renewable energy to power its operations.
Now I might quibble about the fact that Quorn claims to have the "taste, texture and appearance of meat" (this is only true if you compare it to processed meat items like chicken nuggets), but I am delighted to see a product that already has a 90 percent lower carbon footprint than beef looking seriously to further green its operations.
I know that back-to-the-land sentiments will never fully accept Quorn—indeed my nutritionist (and former vegetarian) wife turned up her nose when I asked her to buy some recently. And there have been reports of complaints about allergic reactions, sometimes severe. But given both the revolting nature of much of the meat we eat, as well as the incredible costs of "true" lab grown meat, I think meat substitutes have an important place in lessening agriculture's impact on the planet.
Kudos to Quorn for working to make things better.