Bollywood couple Genelia and Riteish Deshmukh, founders of plant-based meat company Imagine Meats, spoke about the importance of a plant-based diet, veganism and the growth of meat alternatives at the recently-concluded India Today Conclave 2021.
During the session titled ‘Gut Reaction: Why I changed my protein. And got a miracle body’, Riteish told how he found it difficult to control his craving for meat after he turned vegetarian five years ago. However, he tried plant-based meat in America and liked it.
He also spoke about facing pushbacks while convincing people about following a plant-based diet. “I have grown up drinking milk and having eggs every day. Till you don’t experience (the switch to plant-based), it is difficult. When I saw The Game Changers, we understood that we are on the right path. It’s (then) easy to convince people,” Riteish said.
Adding to this, Genelia said, “It’s been proven time and again that meat isn’t great for your health and environment. My kids are vegan. They run 15-16 kms at a stretch. When I look at them and at everyone else, we see the change. When you see things changing for the better, you want to share it with everybody.”
“While I was vegetarian, I did not think about the whole animal welfare concept. The younger generations are conscious eaters,” she said.
Meat alternatives are the future
The celebrity duo also spoke about their new venture. Genelia said, “It’s all from plants. So, there are various proteins. It’s science with plants that give you the taste of meat. Everyone likes their meat but it’s not like you want to harm the environment. It’s just that taste and texture of meat. If you are getting the exact same thing with your plants, you don’t have any reason to complain.”
“Our motive is to provide options. Food-tech today is just on another level and it will keep growing. It’s just an emerging market and we are in a phase where we can change our planet one bite at a time,” Genelia opined.
Replying to a question on whether the pandemic has increased interest around plant-based diet, Riteish said, “Yes it has, considering the kind of numbers that we see with regards to plant-based companies. We might be floating around convincing people, but the change is coming and it is going to hit India really soon.”
Imagine Meats launch in New Delhi
Recently, the couple launched their plant-based meat brand at the Nature’s Basket store in DLF Avenue Saket, New Delhi. Also present at the event was Nature’s Basket CEO, Devendra Chawla.