Meat gets a bad environmental wrap and rightly so. But how do the vegan alternatives measure up? We spoke to meat eaters in Hong Kong on their experience and what they thought about MANA! burgers.
It’s no secret that giving up meat is one of the biggest ways to reduce your individual carbon footprint. Have no fear, MANA! burgers are here to make the switch to a plant-based lifestyle even easier. But do they really live up to the hype? Is switching to a veggie burger as easy as everyone says it is? We talked to Alize, a French ex-pat currently living in Hong Kong, to find out.
So, what has your relationship with meat been like so far?
I’ve always eaten a lot of meat. I like it very much, but as I do with wine and spirits I’m careful of the conditions it was produced. As such I quit eating meat when I was living in London as I had an especially negative image of the meat production industry there.
And what’s your relationship with vegetarian and vegan food been like?
As someone who enjoys food, in general, I never personally looked at food in terms of vegetarian, vegan or else. I always ate vegetables and enjoy eating out with vegetarians/vegan people or eat vegetarian/vegan dishes, but I don’t really understand how fierce some vegetarians/vegans can be regarding meat and the people that eat it.
As a meat eater, what does “vegetarian and vegan food” trigger in your head?
It automatically sounds healthier than other restaurants, but also more expensive I guess. It also is a more environment-friendly alternative. But to me, it is exactly the same as reasonably sourcing meats from healthy and happy animals. A vegetarian dish made with pesticide covered vegetables is worse for you than a free range chicken.
How much do you know about the impact of the meat and dairy industry on the planet?
I am well aware of the environmental toll of the meat industry. I guess I know more than average and realize how urgent and challenging it is to find more sustainable ways of feeding the planet.
What do you like about MANA!?
As a F&B professional, I like that MANA! took a stand against all the bad behaviors you can find in F&B (plastic waste for instance) and offers practical solutions to common issues. Less disposable items, reasonably sourced raw materials, organic waste management procedures etc. To me the vegan offering isn’t such a priority, but this is because before the choice of using meats or not in your restaurant, there are hundreds of decisions to take that will eventually positively influence the environment. These can be taken by all F&B businesses, not only the vegetarians/vegans ones, and raising awareness about it is always good!
Can you describe the taste of the new MANA! Burger?
This burger truly was amazing. The classic experience of a burger is already elevated thanks to all the hard work on the well-crafted buns and homemade sauces. You can feel vegetables are tastier, and of course, the patty not only gives the perfect juicy meat-like feeling but also gives out nice flavors of spices and natural proteins.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Overall, surprisingly decadent. The next lunch I had one with my husband (who, like me, is a big meat eater, and maybe less tolerant of the concept of veganism), he loved it and still talks about it when asked about vegan food.
Well, we can see that the MANA! burger has definitely convinced two hardcore meat-eaters that going vegan or vegetarian isn’t that hard after all…so why not give them a try yourself? We don’t know about you, but these pictures have kept us drooling the entire time.
And if you’re just looking for a healthy snack in Hong Kong….here’s an article literally made for you.