How China Could Change the World by Taking Meat Off the Menu

It’s lunchtime in Shanghai’s leafy former French Concession, and every table is crammed at David Yeung’s new café and grocery, Green Common. Office workers and shoppers huddled against the January chill are wolfing down plates of katsu curry, noodles and spicy dumplings.

For Yeung, the popularity of his first outlet on the Chinese mainland is a source of considerable pride, given that its doors opened barely two weeks earlier. But he’s more pleased by its other distinction: no animal products grace the menu at all. Instead, plant-based alternative proteins, sourced from China, Korea and the U.S., are used in these traditionally meat-based dishes. “The idea is to showcase some of the best products from around the world so that people can enjoy a mind-blowing vegan meal,” says Yeung, who is also the founder of the Hong Kong plant-based protein firm OmniFoods.

The buzz around Green Common is another sign that China is on the cusp of a plant-based-protein revolution that has investors as well as diners licking their lips. China came by its love of meat only recently; in the 1960s, the average Chinese person consumed less than 5 kg of meat annually. But as in comes soared following Deng Xiaoping’s market-driven “reform and opening” of the late 1970s, consumption rose to 20 kg per capita by the late 1980s and has now reached 63 kg. Today, China consumes 28% of the world’s meat, including half of all pork.

But as in rapidly modernizing societies everywhere, today’s Chinese are embracing healthier lifestyles….. Read the full article here