SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Plant-based foods have become the latest food trend in America with product sales growing by 24%, according to a 2018 Nielsen study. Fast-food franchises around the country have taken on the alternative option by transforming their original recipes with plant-based meat. The trend is even hitting local restaurants such as the new deli shop on Westcott Street, Cure Delicatessen & Provisions.
The deli-style restaurant recently opened in the place that formerly housed Picasso’s Pastries & Cafe. It combines three businesses in one: a deli, retail market, and a place for to-go meals. Its menu has several options to satisfy customers’ tastes, including vegan and plant-based options.
“We just want to promote alternatives, if somebody wants a healthier option, we have that for them,” said Tere Martini, co-owner of Cure.
Cure Delicatessen & Provisions focuses on using locally-sourced products such as cured meats, cheeses, and beer from the Central New York area. One of its popular menu items is pastrami, which also comes plant-based. A plant-based diet consists mostly or entirely of foods made from plants, including vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and fruits, with little to no animal products.
According to The Plant Based Foods Association, about 30% of Americans identify as “flexitarian,” meaning they try to eat less meat, dairy, pork, chicken, etc. The association also said many people adopt a plant-based diet because they like the taste, find it better for their health or they know it’s less harmful for the environment.
Several health benefits include reducing inflammation in your body, supporting your immune system, and lowering your risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, according to the M.D. Cancer Center in Texas.
A 2018 Acosta study said the meatless food trend has become popular among millennials. About 80% of millennials already eat plant-based foods. Dr. Rick Welsh, a local nutrition and food studies expert, said he believeed the younger generation were aware of the health and environmental effects.
“They have been raised in an environment where meat and the way we produce meat has been critiqued over and over,” Welsh said.