One of the fastest growing areas in the food and beverage industry is meat originating from something other than animals. Beyond Meat is a leading producer of plant-based meat alternatives. Like other companies in this space, Beyond Meat touts the health and environmental benefits of its products in its advertising. Perhaps not surprisingly, animal-based meat companies have repeatedly expressed skepticism over the validity of these claims. Now add a group of consumers and one of Beyond Meat's competitors to the list of skeptics. 

Beyond Meat's protein content claims are being challenged in two lawsuits filed on May 31 (by a group of consumers) and June 1 (by its competitor) alleging that Beyond Meat miscalculates and overstates the protein content and quality of its products by as much 30%. These lawsuits strike at the very heart of the controversy over plant-based alternatives to traditional meat products. Are they as healthy as they say they are?

Like many food and beverage attorneys, I will be keeping a close eye on this litigation. Its outcome could have dramatic impacts on the future of meat in all of its present and future forms.