With many on the Vita Daily team vegetarians and vegans for decades, plant-based meat alternatives from companies like Modern Meat are a welcome addition to our kitchens. We chatted with MM's own Tara Haddad about what makes her brand's offerings stand apart from the rest. —Vita Daily
Hi Tara! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, my parents and brother and sister all still reside here with their families and we are all very close. I have been married for 11 years and have three young children: 10-year-old twins and another son who is eight. I started my career with Ernst & Young, in audit, and ended my time there in tax; however, I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit within me. I launched a chain of educational learning centres in 1998 and exited in 2009. I rebranded a new and revised chain of learning centres in 2016 with a future franchising strategy and I am still very much involved with its current success. My passion and desire to contribute to my community is typically what moves me to get involved with projects. I'm currently a mentor in the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Program, where I continue to advocate for women to start their own business and encourage them in their leadership roles.
How did you get into the food (not to mention, the plant-based food) biz?
I got involved due to my own health concerns. I was searching for plant-based protein alternatives for myself and family, and when I did my research on plant-based meat options available on the market I quickly realized that most are not as healthy as they claim to be. They were filled with chemicals, fillers, very high sodium levels and a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. I recognized there was a gap and felt strongly that there was a market for healthy, nutritious and tasty meat alternatives. I worked together with a team of local chefs to develop plant-based products free of soy, gluten, GMOs, fillers, chemicals and preservatives. And with that, Modern Meat was born. Our team worked tirelessly on R&D and over the past year we have created a large array of products to satisfy all food consumers. We choose to create authentic, healthy and tasty products with natural ingredients that you can feel good about eating.
What makes Modern Meat different (in a quickly growing meat-alternatives market)?
In short it is the ingredient profile of our products. Modern Meat was born out of a desire to offer consumers delicious, gourmet products that are nutrient rich, high in protein from plants and made from simple, whole food ingredients. A main focus for us is to ensure that our products are a healthy alternative to traditional meat and we stay true to that commitment. Our goal is to keep real fresh ingredients as the main attraction which is why we do not use soy, gluten, preservatives, chemicals or GMOs in any of our products.
What are the top three things you want people to know about plant-based eating?
That eating plant-based does not mean you have to sacrifice on taste. We have many products in our portfolio that are so unique tasting and flavourful ... and the added bonus is that your body feels good after! That you can get the same, if not more protein, from Modern Meat products as you can from conventional meat. And, that plant-based eating is a sustainable choice. It requires less land, less water and production produces fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than animal agriculture.
Personal question: your favourite Modern Meat dish or meal?!
My favourite Modern Meat dishes are made with the Modern Crumble. The Modern Crumble has such amazing versatility and can be used in a variety of dishes. The Modern Taco, Burrito and Enchilada, Modern Bolognese and Modern Curry are some of my favourite Modern Meat Dishes.