If you're a lifelong vegan/vegetarian or the kind of person who is trying to cut back on their meat or dairy consumption, it's getting easier to track down the perfect meat and dairy alternative.
We asked readers and non-meat eating colleagues to give us their list of their favourite meat and dairy alternatives. While some brands were obvious favourites — meats by Yves Veggie Cuisine, Gardein, Field Roast, Lick's vegetarian burgers and milk by Silk — there was also a mix of smaller companies and locally-made products available in Canadian cities.
Some readers were ready with their favourites, but others were turned off by chemicals and processed ingredients. One report found that some veggie burgers, for example, contained a compound called hexane which is harmful to both humans and the planet, according to Greatist. The site also adds health experts warn against the over-consumption of mock meats with excess sodium, sugar and over-processed ingredients.
So whether you're an omnivore or a veggie, always read the labels first. If you are unsure where to start, PETA offers their list of dairy and fake meat favourites as well. You can always, of course, pick your own healthy ingredients and make your own vegetarian burgers, for example.
Take a look at some of the best meaty and dairy options on our "keep" list and which ones we would skip. Of course, we couldn't cover everything available in the North American market, so leave your favourite or least favourite brand in the comments below and why you love/hate them. We also didn't get any seafood submissions and we would love to add them to the list!