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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 01:42
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default As carnivores, should we embrace vegan meat?

Don't decry vegan meat just because it comes from a factory

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-...-comes-factory/

Quote:
Ian Marber
Nutritional Therapist

My first experience with fake food was in the mid-1980s, just after I’d moved out of home. For the first time in my life I had to do my own shopping. I remember picking up some crab sticks from the shop shelves and thinking, not unreasonably, that crab sticks would be made from crab meat. I popped them into my basket as a healthy choice. Well done me.

But crab sticks, I later found out, are not made from crabs. They are made from fish that has been minced and then washed to remove any fish odour, then combined with oil, starch or egg white, sometimes MSG, to provide texture and extend shelf life. All edible foodstuffs – but not what I expected when I bought crab sticks. I never ate them again.

I might have been equally disappointed had I chosen chicken nuggets. Some of the lowest quality ones come from chicken that has been spun at great speed to separate the last traces of flesh from the carcass. Other food products are made from extruded meat, otherwise known as mechanically recovered meat (MRM), in which the carcass is minced and pulped to create something that looks like pate, allowing it to be fashioned into shapes. OK, these products are technically derived from chicken, but as with the crab sticks they’re probably not what you had in mind when you picked them up in the supermarket.

The latest ‘fake’ food is also made from edible foodstuffs, but this time fashioned into a burger – and not just any burger either. This burger helps to combat climate change.

So-called ‘vegan meat’ is a breakout trend in the food industry, with the meat-free market now worth £474.5m a year in the UK, according to The Grocer magazine. You’ve probably heard of the plant-based Impossible Burger, which is available in select Burger Kings around the world. The manufacturer, Impossible Foods, has data that suggests people can’t tell the difference between their product and a beef patty.

There’s an obvious environmental effect here, with the products offering to reduce our meat consumption – but is there also a health one? This week, Sheila Dillon voiced concern on Radio 4’s The Food Programme that vegan ‘junk food’ could become a public health issue, with manufacturers using cheap ingredients to sell highly processed foods.

So, should we be just as wary of vegan meat as crab sticks?

The first time I encountered factory-produced fake meat was this time last year, in a restaurant in New York. My lunch date wanted to try the new meat-free burger, just to see what it was like. I didn’t join her for no other reason that the burger contained wheat protein and thus wasn’t suitable for coeliacs like me. When it arrived, we examined it as though it were from another world, expecting it to look strange, but it looked like, well, a burger.

My companion started to eat the specimen. She reported that it was fine, albeit a bit “chewy and bouncy”. And then a drizzle of red juice trickled down her chin – beetroot juice, mimicking the colour of blood. She dropped the burger immediately, saying that was “gross”. She wanted something “natural, not with fake blood in it”.

Herein lies the great irony of vegan meat: it’s not really for vegans at all. As Impossible Foods’ founder Pat Brown has said, “The only consumer we care about is the hardcore meat lover.”

When I ask clients in my nutrition practice if they would eat a plant-based burger, most of the vegans and vegetarians screw up their faces; while the carnivores say they might try one. It’s a tiny sample group, but my working theory is that vegetarians are used to a diet that largely excludes processed food, whereas meat eaters are much more accustomed to it.

Vegan meat is undeniably processed. An Impossible Burger is made mostly from water and wheat protein, along with coconut oil, potato protein, natural flavours, various gums and salt. Nutritionally speaking, however, the landscape is not too shoddy: vegan meat offers the same amount of protein as a good quality beef burger, and while fat levels are comparable (ie high), the fake meats are fortified with nutrients such as iron, B2, B6 and B12.

Add in the environmental aspect – Beyond Meat say that a quarter pound of their product uses “90pc less greenhouse gas emissions and requires 46pc less energy than a quarter pound of U.S. beef” – and you can appreciate the appeal, especially to meat eaters who want to do their bit for the environment.

And really that’s the point. Whilst these fake foods are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, it’s the meat eaters that are the real target market – and for them, vegan meat may well present a slightly healthier alternative to the cheap processed meat that’s available. What’s more, they aren’t going to be put off by a little oozing beetroot juice, factory made or otherwise.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 06:21
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
My companion started to eat the specimen. She reported that it was fine, albeit a bit “chewy and bouncy”. And then a drizzle of red juice trickled down her chin – beetroot juice, mimicking the colour of blood. She dropped the burger immediately, saying that was “gross”. She wanted something “natural, not with fake blood in it”.

Herein lies the great irony of vegan meat: it’s not really for vegans at all. As Impossible Foods’ founder Pat Brown has said, “The only consumer we care about is the hardcore meat lover.”

When I ask clients in my nutrition practice if they would eat a plant-based burger, most of the vegans and vegetarians screw up their faces; while the carnivores say they might try one. It’s a tiny sample group, but my working theory is that vegetarians are used to a diet that largely excludes processed food, whereas meat eaters are much more accustomed to it.


I'm surprised by this, although it may be different in the UK from what it's like in the US. Or perhaps it's just that he was asking people in his nutrition practice - in other words, vegans who are apparently interested in eating in a nutritionally correct way, and less inclined to prefer processed foods. From what I've seen in the US though, most vegans and vegetarians are eating more processed foods than anything else. Sure, they buy big tubs of salad greens and big bags of kale, but they also have soy based burgers, hot dogs, and sausages, non-dairy cheese, tofurkey, quorn "chicken" nuggets, vegan lunch "meats", and all the other fake animal products in their orders.

Quote:
Vegan meat is undeniably processed. An Impossible Burger is made mostly from water and wheat protein, along with coconut oil, potato protein, natural flavours, various gums and salt. Nutritionally speaking, however, the landscape is not too shoddy: vegan meat offers the same amount of protein as a good quality beef burger, and while fat levels are comparable (ie high), the fake meats are fortified with nutrients such as iron, B2, B6 and B12.


I found this to be really silly - he has a nutrition practice - he should know that natural meat contains all those nutrients and more, no fortification necessary. Fake meats made from the ingredients listed though - if you don't fortify them with those nutrients, then you won't be getting those nutrients.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 07:56
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Bob-a-rama Bob-a-rama is offline
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If you are a carnivore and eat a veggie-burger you are no longer a carnivore, but an omnivore, so the question IMHO is pointless

Bob
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 07:56
tess9132 tess9132 is offline
 
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I have a few vegetarians in my family. Since I often entertain them around the holidays, I'll buy some veggie burgers and other vegetarian food for them. I always try a bite. True, veggie burgers generally have too many carbs to ever become a mainstay of my diet, but the primary reason I don't eat them is that they taste terrible!
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 08:52
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Simply a transition food in an attempt to give vile carnivores a more ethical and humane "food" source to help in their vegetarian adoption.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 09:18
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Dodger Dodger is offline
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It puzzles me that vegetarians and vegans seem to want their food to taste and feel like meat. I know of no one who is trying to make meats taste and look like vegetables.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 10:17
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teaser teaser is offline
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I doubt the idea that vegans are against the product due to distaste for processed foods. Maybe some--but for an ethical vegan, do they really want to mimic eating flesh? I don't look for products that mimic human flesh, if I thought it was unethical to eat beef or chicken, would I want that either? More a product for people who think it's better for the environment, or for their own health.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 12:32
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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After the author's lunch date tossing the impossible burger because it was "gross" with the fake blood in it, I think this tells us a lot:

Quote:
Herein lies the great irony of vegan meat: it’s not really for vegans at all. As Impossible Foods’ founder Pat Brown has said, “The only consumer we care about is the hardcore meat lover.



There have been soy burgers available for decades. I always thought of them mostly as something for the vegetarian/vegan to eat at a family cookout, so they'd have something other than lettuce and tomato to put in their hamburger bun, and at least it provided a little protein, albeit low quality protein. They didn't care that it tasted icky - they'd been off real meat long enough that they convinced themselves that it was a good substitute for meat.

But now this company is going after the hardcore meat lover. Why? I believe it's because if they can convince hard core meat lovers that their fake meat with the beet juice "blood" dripping from it tastes like real meat, it sends a psychological message that you're eating blood when you eat a real burger, or any other meat - a concept that they hope will be so disgusting to meat lovers that they'll switch to a plant based diet, which for companies like Impossible Foods, means creating more and more highly processed (and profitable) meat substitutes. I doubt PETA will be the least bit upset by one more step towards everyone on the planet eating a plant based diet either.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 12:40
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-a-rama[b
]If you are a carnivore and eat a veggie-burger you are no longer a carnivore, but an omnivore[/b], so the question IMHO is pointless

Bob



Have I missed something?



My understanding is that veggie burgers are made from all vegetable products - no animal products at all. Same as eating the individual components (in this case wheat, potatoes, coconut, beets, and other plant products), even if all of them are highly processed into something that supposedly looks and tastes like meat.



I hope you'll explain how eating that makes them omnivores, because I can't quite figure it out.




ETA: Oh duh, I read it wrong! Never mind!

Last edited by Calianna : Thu, Nov-07-19 at 19:05.
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 15:38
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bevangel bevangel is offline
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Cali - I think what Bob meant is that the term "carnivore" means meat-eater and should not be used for those who eat both meat and veggies. Thus, if a true carnivore eats a veggie-burger, they just became an omnivore.

I think the original author was using the term carnivore to mean anyone who eats ANY meat regardless of whether or not they also eat veggies.

I consider myself a heavily carnivorous omnivore but since I try to avoid heavily processed foods, I WON'T be trying the veggie burgers. Frankly, I'd rather eat the fake crab. At least it started out as fish, not seaweed.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 16:27
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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I don't eat factory food, but I'm fine with others chowing down on them - that leaves more real meat for me!
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  #12   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 16:31
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Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevangel
I WON'T be trying the veggie burgers. Frankly, I'd rather eat the fake crab. At least it started out as fish, not seaweed.


Fake crab, yes, I remember when that first showed up I thought people would never eat that. But yes, at least it is supposed to be fish but who knows about that too..
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  #13   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 19:09
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevangel
Cali - I think what Bob meant is that the term "carnivore" means meat-eater and should not be used for those who eat both meat and veggies. Thus, if a true carnivore eats a veggie-burger, they just became an omnivore.

I think the original author was using the term carnivore to mean anyone who eats ANY meat regardless of whether or not they also eat veggies.

I consider myself a heavily carnivorous omnivore but since I try to avoid heavily processed foods, I WON'T be trying the veggie burgers. Frankly, I'd rather eat the fake crab. At least it started out as fish, not seaweed.

Thank you - I read it wrong! I kept reading it over and over, wondering how in the world eating a veggie burger made a vegan into an omnivore! Guess it was a case of seeing what I was expecting to see, since discussing plant based burgers made me think vegan... I must need more sleep.
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  #14   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 20:43
Zei Zei is offline
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Beware the fake crab...17 grams of carbohydrate per half cup.
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  #15   ^
Old Thu, Nov-07-19, 21:00
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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oh I loved that crab meat!!! had to give it up for obvious reasons, high carb count. but dang it tasted GOOD.
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