Gobble Up Some Tofurky
Turkey has always been a Thanksgiving staple, but now there's a new bird in town. Tofurky, the soybean alternative to turkey meat, has been on the market for over three decades and continues to rise in sales as demands for plant-based products increase.
Seth Tibbott, who founded The Tofurky Company in 1980, says Tofurky provides an efficient alternative to real meat, while also sparing the lives of peaceful animals. According to Turtle Island Foods, Inc., the average store bought turkey is 7.95 pounds. Meanwhile, it only takes .47 pounds of grain to create a pound of Tofurky, and zero turkey lives are cut short. The production ratio is "good for the environment," said Tibbott.
Fortunately for consumers, tofu has come a long way from its original taste, with manufacturers on the "cutting edge" of flavor and format, said Tibbott. Transforming soybeans into a meat-like texture, however, is still a difficult challenge.
According to Tibbott, 17% of the U.S. population qualifies as "flexitarians," or those who eat half or more of their meals without meat, while roughly 7% percent of the population is composed of vegetarians and vegans. The demand for real-tasting plant-based products, however, isn't limited to America. The Oregon based company has already exported faux birds to countries like Germany, Brazil and Iceland, said Tibbott, helping to sell 340,596 Tofurky Roasts in 2013 alone.
While this number may seem small compared to the 45 million turkeys sold in the U.S. during the holidays alone, it's a big leap from the 500 Tofurkys sold in the company's first year of commercial production in 1995. The Tofurky Company website claims 564,765 turkeys have been "pardoned" along the way, thanks to consumers choosing tofu.
Hear an interview with Turtle Island Foods founder Seth Tibbott here: