WHAT DO YOU THINK? Are you ready for plant-based burgers, sausages and steaks? Are meatless alternatives truly better for the planet than traditional beef, pork and poultry culinary entrees?

Two companies, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, produce meat patties that mimic ground beef and pork by extracting proteins from soy, coconut and yellow peas, and combine them with starches, oils and juices to produce patties that sizzle, brown and bleed.

The companies said they are better than beef and pork for human health and the environment by reducing the environmental impact from livestock, the grain they consume and their waste.

Their products contain less cholesterol and saturated fats than other meats; but they contain almost as many calories and substantially more sodium than beef and pork, and they are highly processed, according to nutritionists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Supporters think they have a future because of health and environmental benefits. Eating animal-based meats are linked to increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Can meatless patties pass taste tests?

Plant-based patties tend to contain five times more sodium than beef and pork. On the other hand, meat alternatives contain no cholesterol. The trick will be to convince meat-eaters to try them. What will vegans and vegetarians do?

The innovative company Gardein offers fishless fish including a golden fishless fillet. The company makes a wide variety of meatless meals and snacks.

Tempeh is an option to get the texture of meat. It’s soy-based created by fermenting the curds of whole soy beans. It’s high in protein, fiber and vitamins. It contains live, active cultures. Yum.

It may come down to the trade-offs. Parents might serve their children meatless products at an early age. Young people will grow up not knowing what it is like eating real beef and pork products. Would it be any different than milkless dairy products?

In many cases, consumers have embraced processed products that are made from artificial ingredients and don’t think anything about it. The future promises big changes for many traditionalists. Cars won’t require drivers and our meals won’t include animal-based meats.

If this trend catches on, what will happen to the industries that produce beef, pork, poultry such as chicken and turkey, and fish in the product chain?

*  *  *

LEGENDARY COLLEGE FOOTBALL coach Bear Bryant made this very clear. “I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.”

The men and women who coach high school, college and professional sports are teachers and motivators. They know what it takes to be winners on the field and in life. 

Ed Johnston, who turned 80 years old about a month ago, shared the following football quotes with me several years ago. Enjoy.

Ohio State’s Woody Hayes said “There’s nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.”

John Heisman warned his players “Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football.”

“The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it,” said former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz.

When Bob Devaney, coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, was asked what his goal was, he said “I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough games to warrant an investigation.”

“If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education,” said Murray Warmath of Minnesota.

In explaining to reporters why his team lost the game, University of Southern California’s John McKay said “We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it on offense by not blocking.”

Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer explained why Tennessee Volunteers fans wear orange. “It’s so they can dress for the football game Saturday, go hunting Sunday and pick up trash Monday.”

What do you say to a Florida State University football player dressed in a three-piece suit? “Will the defendant please rise?”

If three Rutgers University football players are in the same car, who is driving? The police officer.

How can you tell if a Clemson University football player has a girlfriend? There’s tobacco juice on both sides of the pickup truck dashboard.

How do you get a former University of Michigan football player off your porch? Pay him for the pizza.

Former Oklahoma State University player Walt Garrison asked University of Texas coach Darrell Royal “Why didn’t you recruit me?”

“Well, Walt, we took a look at you and you weren’t any good,” said Royal.