Carne Asada, Taste, and Coming Together to Evolve the Global Food System (blog post for Meati Foods)

With the release of meati™ Carne Asada Steak, people eager to evolve our food system get another delicious animal-free option without having to compromise on flavor, texture, convenience, or anything else (source).

Do you want your carne asada chopped or sliced?

As the chef says in the middle of this episode of a cooking show on PBS, the question commonly pops up when people are digging into the beloved Mexican dish. But when it comes to animal-free variations, none of them have been able to offer a ready-seasoned whole cut that allows real slicing or chopping to even be considered.

Until now.

If you’re looking for a way to satisfy every facet of your carne asada cravings without the animals and without compromising on nutrition, then meati™ whole cuts made from MushroomRoot™ are for you.

Meati Carne Asada is the result of years of collective hard work by our food pioneers. They explored more spices than you can imagine, nudged our MushroomRoot this way and that to ensure its signature texture and juiciness, and taste tested again and again with discerning diners.

At every step of the adventure, we were driven by our mission to dramatically increase the accessibility of food that’s good for people and the planet. As we’ve written before, there are many dimensions to achieving that goal. Affordability is one — an outcome that often comes down to starting with the right efficiently scalable ingredient (ahem, like our MushroomRoot) and ramping up production volumes. Being within easy reach is another — people need to be able to get the food at neighborhood grocery stores, local restaurants, online shops, and other spots that fit into their daily routines.

Convenience plays a huge role, too. We’ve all struggled with finding the time and energy to make a perfectly flavorful and healthy dinner at the end of a long day, whether we’re pressured parents, busy professionals, or anyone else. A deliciously pre-seasoned whole-cut food that can be cooked in minutes on the grill or in the oven goes a long way toward resolving the conflict between the minutes in your day and the desire to relish a meal without compromising your health.

There’s another aspect of accessibility that can end up making or breaking every effort to improve the global food system: love.

If people don’t love your product, it will go nowhere, no matter how good it is for the world. When it comes to food, that comes down to the constellation of sensory experiences often tucked inside the single rubric of taste: flavor, texture, and scent (okay, and temperature, too).

With roots in one of the United States’ most beloved cuisines, meati Carne Asada Steak is poised to become a go-to, super-convenient option for millions of hungry people eager to evolve our food system without compromising on flavor, texture, and everything else that makes or breaks a food’s claim to people’s “love it” lists. Every bit of every whole cut is seasoned just right. It’s got cumin. It’s got paprika. Hints of lime. Hints of cilantro. All of the good stuff guaranteed to make mouths water.

Of all the different seasoning profiles we could have committed to creating next, there was another reason carne asada proved fortuitously appealing. It has to do with the meaning of the word outside of its literal translation to “grilled meat.”

As many of you undoubtedly know, carne asada refers not just to a dish, but to a gathering of close friends and family; just as you go to a barbecue in the United States to eat some barbecue, so might you go to a carne asada in northern Mexico to eat some carne asada. That spirit and then some is reflected in one chef’s comments about the dish in this documentary: “An asada taco tastes like heaven. It tastes like home, like family, like friends, like partying. An asada taco is … It is everything, man.”

With its roots in Mexican culture and dual-natured meaning — a definition that embodies the important role food plays in bringing people together — carne asada felt like a perfect fit for the way we think about solving the global challenges facing us all.

While we believe we will play a big role in reducing the food system’s impact on the environment, erasing nutritional deficiencies, ending global hunger, and improving food accessibility, we know we can’t be the only one at the table. Silver bullets are for werewolves; we have real monsters to fight today. We need people and companies from all over the globe with all kinds of different backgrounds and experiences to come together. There is room and need for every solution that truly moves all of us toward a better world — a world where people everywhere can keep on enjoying delicious, nutritious, sustainable, and affordable meals with their loved ones at carne asadas, barbecues, and every other name we give to those moments when we come together to celebrate our love of food and each other.

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