We eat a lot of meat in this city. But before the explosion of beef and the proliferation of poultry, pork has traditionally been the most popular choice in Asia. From Cantonese char siu to Taiwanese lu rou fan to Filipino lechon, pork is one of the most versatile meats around and the star ingredient in so many famed regional dishes. In fact, it may surprise you to know that pork is the most consumed meat in the world.
But here’s the problem: the porcine livestock industry is wrecking the planet. The heavy impact on the environment from meat production is a significant driver of global warming, requiring more land and water while producing more greenhouse gases and climate-warming emissions than the entire transportation industry. Not only are these industries damaging to the environment, they may not be able to continue to ensure the future security of humanity’s food supply. Enter the gamechangers. The future of food depends on innovative foodtech startups like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and JUST. Together, this trio has taken on the chicken industry, the beef industry and the egg industry. So what about pork? China alone produces and consumes almost 500 million swine a year that accounts for half of all the pigs in the world. As a result, an estimated 1.29 billion metric tonnes of waste is produced each year by the Chinese pork industry.
Hong Kong social enterprise, Green Monday, unveiled this afternoon at its third annual Future of GREENovation Forum a plant-based pork alternative set on changing the world. Made by Right Treat, a new company helmed by global environmental advocator, Green Monday & Green Common founder David Yeung, the Omnipork is an all-purpose pork with high nutritional profile that resembles conventional ground pork. “There should be no trade off between food taste satisfaction and personal well-being,” said Yeung. “Consumption and enjoyment of this generation should not become a liability and suffering for future generations and other beings.” Working with a team of established food scientists from Canada and a number of Asian chefs and consumers to understand the usage and application of pork, the proprietary blend of pea protein, non-GMO soy, shiitake mushroom and rice makes cooking with Omnipork flexible and resourceful – it can be steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, stuffed, crumbled or turned into meatballs. The results are tender, juicy dishes that has a higher fiber, calcium and iron count and lower saturated fat and calories than real pork. Free of cholesterol, antibiotics, hormones or GMO, Omnipork is buddhist-friendly and cruelty-free.
Partnering with Chef Li Yuet Faat, Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Ming Court and Chef Jayson Tang, Executive Chinese Chef of Man Ho to launch a series of gastronomically-forward Cantonese dishes with this revolutionary vegan pork, the Omnipork menus will grace these respective establishments by June this year. Expect to see a variety of traditional Chinese pork dishes reinterpreted, such as Braised Omnipork Stuffed with King Oyster Mushroom, Steamed Omnipork in winter melon and mushrooms, including the first ever vegan Xiao Long Bao (which will be available at Ming Court). Hong Kong’s first plant-based concept grocery store and cafe chain, Green Common, will also be launching their flagship Kind Kitchen soon and the menu will feature an Omnipork Tan Tan Noodle dish and Pan-fried Stuffed Omnipork Lotus Patty.
Slated for launch towards the end of the year, an Omnipork retail pack will makes its way to Green Common shop shelves for purchase by consumers to cook with at home. With Hong Kongers making more informed choices about the foods they eat, many are turning to alternative meats to provide the feel of real meat sans any guilt over animal slaughter and the harm it causes to the environment, not to mention their health (bye bye hormones! see ya antibiotics!). Rethinking food to treat us all right, Right Treat found the perfect way to honor Earth Day (April 22) with the launch of Omnipork. In the ambitious words of Right Treat founder David Yeung: “We are not trying to imitiate pork meat, we are trying to surpass pork meat.”
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All images courtesy of Green Monday & Green Queen.