We all crave a naughty trip to the kebab shop from time to time. It feels incredibly indulgent – döner strips glistening and stacked up, ladened with chilli sauce, salad and creamy tzatziki. But when you pop down to your local takeaway, do you really know what you’re eating?
Is it lamb? Is it chicken? Is it a mix of many different meats? Sometimes you won’t get a clear answer when you order a traditional döner kebab.
That’s just one of the reasons we’ve worked hard to replicate the experience of eating a meat döner with our plant based version at What The Pitta, without having to sacrifice the taste of the kebab. So why should you choose our plant based kebab over its meat counterpart? Let us tell you!
Meat döners are very high in fat and europeans currently eat 42% more saturated fat than is recommended. The Guardian tested a variety of takeaways for nutritional values and fat content, and although many of the meals contained an entire day’s worth of fat, the döner was by far the worst offender.
“One of the kebabs tested contained 140g of fat, twice the maximum daily allowance for women. Another contained 111g. Nutritionists said eating two a week could cause a heart attack within 10 years.” (The Guardian)
Protein has become big business in the food industry and we’ve seen many protein focused products launching over the last few years (including protein ketchup!). But in Europe today, we eat more protein than we need. Although protein is essential for our body to function, grow and repair, the amount of protein that we need to consume is actually much lower than we think.
BBC states that “adults who aren’t especially active are advised to eat roughly 0.75g (0.03oz) of protein per day for each kilogram they weigh. On average, this is 55g (1.9oz) for men and 45g (1.6oz) for women – or two palm-sized portions of meat, fish, tofu, nuts or pulses.”
Our vegan kebab ‘meat’ is made with soy protein, which means no saturated fat and no cholesterol. Soy protein also provides some nutritional benefits that meat doesn’t offer such as vitamin C, isoflavones, and dietary fiber. Our vegan döner contains 800 kCal, less than half of a normal kebab. Our vegan doner packs a whopping 37g protein and contains up to six times less fat at just 18g.
It’s widely reported that eating less animal products has a positive impact on the environment. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do to make a difference in the fight against the climate emergency. But is eating meat really that bad? Would one kebab make that much of a difference?
According to Wired, “beef and lamb have by far the biggest environmental footprint of any of the major animal products. Next worst is pork, which produces 36g of CO2e per gram of protein – just 16 per cent as much as beef. Then we’ve got dairy, at 35g of CO2e, poultry at 32g and eggs at 24g. If you add up all of these, that means that the average British diet produces around 21.2kg CO2e every week in animal products alone, excluding fish. Over a year that adds up to about 1.1tonnes of CO2e – a little more than one return London-New York flight or around 2,600 miles driven in an average petrol car.”
The production of animal based foods uses approximately eight times more water per calorie compared to plant based alternatives, and we know that 30% of biodiversity land loss can be linked to livestock production.
Even though our kebabs are vegan, the make-up is exactly the same as what you would get in a traditional kebab shop. The difference is that we use plant based ‘meat’, which is marinated in 26 different spices! We’ve worked hard to make sure our döner ‘meat’ is as close to the meat version as possible, and many of our customers have even mistaken it for real meat.
All of our ingredients are homemade – from our breads to our sauces, which is what sets us apart from your local kebab shop.
When you eat a What The Pitta kebab, you will feel like you’re doing a good thing. You are choosing a healthier option, reducing your meat consumption AND it tastes just as good (if not better than a traditional döner). As a customer, you will feel so much better about that choice. All of the treat, none of the guilt!
When it comes to a plant based kebab vs meat bebab – we think the answer is clear.