This Q&A section has been created to answer some of the most frequent questions we receive about our company, the plant-based lifestyle and our products. If you have an interesting question for us which is not included below, please get in touch.
How can vegetarian companies, like Planet Plant-Based, help the environment?
The idea behind Planet Plant-Based (and we are sure other vegetarian companies too) is to tempt as many people as possible into eating less meat and more plant-based foods.
This is important for the environment because the meat industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions – much more so than the entire transport sector. Greenhouse gases raise the temperature in the atmosphere and therefore drive climate change. As most people know, this is one of the biggest threats that has ever faced humanity and something we all need to contribute to solving.
Another important connection between eating meat and the environment is that we cut vast areas of forest down to make space for animals reared for meat and to grow their food. According to the WWF, areas the size of about 48 football fields are chopped down every single minute and it is mostly for this purpose. This is a threat because we need trees to fight climate change – trees have the most amazing ability to clean the air. Today, almost a third of the planet’s land mass is used for agriculture and most of it is related to meat production. Less demand for meat means many more trees which means better chances to fight climate change.
Thirdly, the lack of fresh water is a big problem in the world today, and meat production requires extremely large amounts of it. In fact, it takes as much as about 4,000 litres of water to produce just one normal-sized steak.
For reasons including these, almost all environmental scientists around the world today agree that a sustainable diet is a plant-focused one. Eating less meat is one of the most effective individual choices we can make to help fight climate change. Being part of this cause is what motivates us on a daily basis.
Why do you claim the plant-based diet is healthier than other diets?
It conveniently turns out that food which is good for the planet is also good for our health. Study after study from some of the world’s most reputable research institutes prove that more vegetables and less meat and milk is what promotes longevity and vitality. Fruit and vegetables of different kinds, nuts, legumes and herbs – the ingredients that are central to Planet Plant-Based’s products and recipes – all contain many of these important nutrients that help fight disease and support long-term health. Meanwhile animal protein, especially too much red meat and milk, is linked to a number of diseases, including certain cancers.
What does ‘nutrient rich’ mean?
It means that our products and recipes are rich in minerals, vitamins, protein or healthy fats, for example – all of these good things that promote health and longevity. Our products are also free from things that tend to be bad for us, such as white sugar and unnatural additives.
Why are your products gluten-free?
We cook gluten-free food and produce gluten-free products primarily for one reason: our founder has celiac disease, which means she needs to adhere to a strictly gluten-free diet. Ingredients free from gluten are what she is used to cooking with and naturally, therefore, Planet Plant-Based is a gluten-free company. We are so pleased to offer a range of new exciting products for the rapidly growing group of people who do not feel good when eating gluten.
Are your products genetically modified?
No, none of them are! All our products are non-GMO.
Why do you produce three of your products in China?
On our home turf in Germany, we have learned that producing in China can be a concern for some people. It appears to be mostly down to one question: Is China ‘food safe’?
Food safety is our number one priority and we only work with producers who meet our very strict standards. The extremely professional production facility we work with in China produces soybean pasta of unparalleled quality and they have top scores in terms of global food safety standards. Their facilities are organically certified by the same organisation we work with in Germany (Ecocert). We are immensely proud of our products from them – the Edamame Spaghetti, Edamame Fettuccine and Black Bean Spaghetti – and are not surprised they’re our best-sellers!
To minimise transport emissions, we pack the pasta as compactly and lightly as possible into food-safe containers, which we transport to Europe by boat (contrary to what some people believe, we don’t fly them over).
Our founder Ida has spent a lot of time in China (she lived in Hong Kong for four years) and for her it was never an issue to produce in this part of the world.
All our other products are produced in Europe for now, but we are likely to add more regions to this list very soon on our quest to find the very best plant-based food the world has to offer.
Why do you pack in plastic? Doesn’t this contradict your environmental ethos?
This is a big topic for us and is something we discuss almost daily at Planet Plant-Based. The truth is, we would love to not use plastic but sadly we haven’t managed to find a solution which will keep our products safe and guaranteed gluten-free. This is especially important as many of our products carry the German Celiac Association stamp. While there are now some newly developed biodegradable packaging alternatives available, they are either for products that have a much shorter shelf-life than ours (fast food companies really don’t need to use old-fashioned plastic anymore!) or, sadly, their cost would increase the price of our products by so much that nobody would be able to afford them.
For now, we make sure that we never make it difficult to recycle our packaging – glass, plastic and paper are kept separate, for example, so they can easily be placed into their individual recycling containers.
We also promise this: to stay on the hunt for better alternatives, so that we can eventually support the planet not only by promoting the environmentally friendly, plant-focused lifestyle, but also by doing our bit on the plastic front. Things are developing quickly in this space, and we are sure we won’t need to wait too long. If anyone out there knows of alternatives, we would love to hear from you!
Why is there so much foam when boiling your pasta?
You would see the same effect from simply boiling legumes. This is a natural effect of the material our pastas are made from.
How do you use nut butters?
For everything! Eat as they are. Use as a spread on bread. Add to dressings, sauces and baked goods. Or use in your cooking – search the internet for recipes and there will be endless options (or find ours here!).
More than 40% plant protein? How can your pasta be so protein-rich?
It’s thanks to the magical soybean. Our Edamame Spaghetti, Edamame Fettuccine and Black Bean Spaghetti are made from only this very protein-dense bean, which means they contain significantly more protein than any steak!
Can children follow a plant-based diet?
Many children thrive eating vegan or vegetarian foods, and a plant-focused diet is certainly great for anyone. This is especially true since our definition of it is simply to focus on vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and fruits, and not necessarily to exclude animal protein. Just eat it less frequently.
Most doctors will probably tell you that this is a healthy approach, no matter your age: not many of them will tell your child to eat fewer vegetables!
Our best tips to tempt children into eating more vegetables can be found here.
Vegan? Vegetarian? Plant-Based? What is actually the difference?
Someone vegan doesn’t consume any milk, meat, fish or eggs. Someone vegetarian stays away from meat or fish but consumes milk and often also eggs. Someone who follows a plant-based diet is someone who looks to get as many of the calories they consume as possible from vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes, but who still may or may not consume some animal protein on rare occasions.
Are your products and recipes only for vegans or vegetarians?
Absolutely not. In fact, our aim is for all Planet Plant-Based food to appeal just as much to meat eaters. With our recipes and products, the plant-based lifestyle should never ever feel like a sacrifice.
The people we most often have in mind as our customer group are those who steer away from meat at least a few days a week, but not necessarily all the time. This group is now often referred to as ‘flexitarians’: a rapidly growing crowd which hugely helps to protect our planet thanks to being more ‘food choice aware’. We are vegetarians ourselves, but that definitely doesn’t mean that we think it is a must for everyone else. We just wish for more people will steer in the plant-based direction, a little more often.