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Salman Khan, the famous Indian film actor, producer and television personality, has encouraged people to switch to plant-based meat alternatives. Speaking on the popular Indian reality television series Bigg Boss, Khan told the estimated 15 million viewers who tuned into the grand finale of the show that ethical and sustainable “plant-based meat is the best form of protein” and that it doesn’t mean any compromise on taste or experience.
On the grand finale of Bigg Boss, which is now on Season 14, celebrity host Salman Khan promoted plant-based proteins, describing meatless analogues as the “best form of protein and is identical to meats like chicken and mutton, and has that non-vegetarian taste” that consumers crave. Khan, who is one of the most successful megastars in Bollywood with a fan following in the hundreds of millions, reaches around 15 million viewers in India who tune into the show’s finale each year, with the show’s total viewership quoted to be 800 million.
Commenting on the enormous influence that Khan has in India and the potential to encourage the masses to switch to more sustainable and ethical alternative proteins, Shardul Dabir, innovation specialist at nonprofit Good Food Institute India (GFI India), wrote in a social media post which features a video clip of the live show: “If this wasn’t already great to educate millions of Indians about the smart protein [and] alternative protein sector, then note that he did this at the grand finale of one the most popular Indian TV show #biggboss, Colors TV! [sic]”
Plant-based meat is the best form of protein and is identical to meats like chicken and mutton, and has that non-vegetarian taste.Salman Khan
Getting more people to choose alternatives to animal-derived products is crucial if we are to feed a future planet of 10 billion people healthily and sustainably as climate change continues to bring more challenges to food production. India, poised to become the world’s most populous country, will be critical to the shift to alternative proteins and its food supply is already under strain from climate impacts such as droughts and unexpected weather patterns.
Read: These 19 alt protein startups are revolutionising India’s food ecosystem
Khan isn’t the only celebrity to begin using their platform for good, and is joined by fellow Bollywood superstar couple Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh who have together co-founded homegrown plant-based meat startup Imagine Meats. Riteish Deshmukh himself also featured on the grand finale of Bigg Boss 14.
If this wasn’t already great to educate millions of Indians about the smart protein [and] alternative protein sector, then note that he did this at the grand finale of one the most popular Indian TV show.Shardul Dabir, Innovation Specialist, GFI India
In a recent summit hosted by GFI India, Riteish Deshmukh revealed more details about their vegan venture, saying that the ultimate vision for Imagine Meats is to “get the right kind of taste for people because the one thing that you cannot compromise on your product is taste.”
“We’re trying to make a mix of ready-to-eat meals. We want to be region specific, because the kind of Imagine Meats products available in Maharashtra would be probably different from Delhi, in North India to Bengal or South India,” he continued, revealing tikka and kheema as likely products on their line-up.
Genelia Deshmukh added that the brand is targeting the “guilty non-vegetarian eaters” in India and providing them with convenient options that they can “take it home, eat it without any guilt.”
Lead image courtesy of Salman Khan Fanatics via Instagram.