Timeline: A Short and Sweet History of Fake Meat
How we became obsessed with the quest for the perfect faux animal protein.
John Harvey Kellogg, a member of the mostly vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists, creates a peanut-based "meatless meat," Nuttose, which becomes popular at sanitariums. He goes on to popularize cereal as an alternative to egg- and meat-heavy breakfasts.
In his essay "Fifty Years Hence," Winston Churchill writes, "We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium."
British scientists discover Fusarium venenatum, a high-protein fungus.
Oregon restaurateur Paul Wenner shapes leftover vegetables and rice pilaf into patties and sells them as Gardenburgers.
A struggling vegetarian food manufacturer called Turtle Island Foods sells 500 Tofurky Roasts. By 2012, 3 million have been sold.
Boca Burger ratchets up ad spending from $500,000 to $4 million; Worthington Foods (which acquired Loma Linda) pours $5 million to promote its FriPats and Choplets. Gardenburger boosts spending to $18.2 million.
Burger King introduces the BK Veggie Burger. McDonald's, which sold nonmeat burgers in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and India throughout the '90s, launches a US version the following year.
PETA offers a $1 million reward to the first laboratory to create a commercially viable in vitro "chicken" product by 2012.
The New York Times claims the veggie burger has become "a bellwether for the American appetite." Today, a patty of hickory-smoked quinoa and lentils costs $14 at New York City's Blue Smoke restaurant.
PETA extends its lab-grown meat contest deadline to 2014.
Market research firm Mintel reports that although only 7 percent of consumers call themselves vegetarian, 36 percent report using fake meat.
Fast-food chain Chipotle introduces tofu "sofritas."
Dutch scientists make the world's first lab-grown burger from cow muscle cells, fetal calf blood, and antibiotics. In a live-streamed tasting, the patties are pronounced "close to meat" but "not that juicy."