Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, Inc. has launched the Plant-Based Diet Initiative Fund at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The five-year initiative will provide peer-reviewed, clinically significant studies on the plant-based diet effects on human health, and will include research on the consumption of vegan meat. The scientific and academic research will also study the correlation between human and environmental health. The generated data will be employed in Beyond Meat’s research and development.
Stanford scientists and doctors will lead the research program and gather research from several interdisciplinary fields with the aim of advancing a more nutritious and environmentally sustainable food system. The Plant-Based Diet Initiative Fund will sustain a variety of programs including:
- Exploring how plant-based meat and diets can have a positive health impact, including on the reduction of risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Unearthing new plant proteins and ingredients to help inform game-changing product development
- Producing an overarching repository of globally accessible resources and data on the health impacts of plant-based proteins
Beyond Meat’s vegan meat products have already been used in clinical studies.
In the Stanford School of Medicine’s SWAP-MEAT study researchers evaluated the impact of replacing animal-based meat with Beyond Meat’s plant-based meats over an 8- week period on cholesterol levels (including LDL), heart disease risk factors including TMAO levels, and body weight, and found improvement in key health metrics when participants replaced animal-based meat with Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat. The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2020.
In a 2018 study on sustainability, the University of Michigan showed that producing the original Beyond Burger had 99% less impact on water scarcity, 93% less impact on land use, required 46% less energy and generated 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions when compared to producing a ¼ lb. standard 80/20 beef burger.
Since launching on the market, Beyond Meat Inc. has pledged to use only simple, plant-based ingredients without GMOs or bioengineered ingredients in its products.