Fake beef - why the hate?

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Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:27 pm

I really don't mean to be trolling. :mrgreen: I've posted on this general topic before, and we've had civil conversations. I still get curious, though, why the very idea of faux meat seems to yank the chains of some meat-eaters and some vegetarians, so when we have a really good dish made in a comfort-food style using an ersatz "meat," I can't resist bringing it up again.

Fake beef - why the hate?

It’s a funny thing about plant-based meat analogues, a.k.a. faux meat, or for those who prefer to keep it in English, “fake” meat: it seems to make hard-core vegetarians and hard-core carnivores both almost angry to see people enjoying something like Gardein meat-free Home Style Beefless Tips.

I'm not sure I understand this.

This plant based product offers a surprising beef analog made with wheat gluten, soy and grain flours, and leaves no lingering questions about humaneness, hormones and other additives, saturated fat and all the other health, humaneness and sustainability issues surrounding industrial meat.

I guess serious veggievores consider it a cheat when seekers and inquirers use fake meat to bridge the gap between animal-based and plant-based cuisines. They view it as lazy vegetarianism and figure if they had to go cold pardon-the-expression turkey, so should we. Sort of like reformed-smokers looking Down our noses at those trying E-cigarettes in an effort to give up the addiction.

I am less certain why some meat eaters get so angry about faux meats, but I'm thinking a smoking analogy works here, too. They know they'll never give up meat, in spite of the evidence surrounding its health, humaneness and environmental issues, so they are so not down with anything that makes abandoning cow meat easier for the rest of us.

To them I gently say, "Mind your own bidniss, please."

Mary made us a pot of rich, delicious “beef” stew using Gardein on a cool late-summer evening recently. It was delicious, it came in at 150 calories per generous serving, no animals were harmed in its production, and it went great with red wine. Works for me!
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Redwinger » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:40 pm

Don't bother me a bit what anyone else eats or don't eat.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:43 pm

Redwinger wrote:Don't bother me a bit what anyone else eats or don't eat.

Dare I type "+1"?
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:50 pm

As someone who only eats meat from humanely raised animals that I can verify their origin (ie, local small farms), I understand your reasoning behind this. Generally I only eat meat 3-4 times a week, but I find veggies and other foods satisfy me without having to have a substitute. I have several issues with meat substitutes - the most important being that most contain gluten, which my better half can't eat due to being a celiac. The other problem I have is that those foods are heavily processed, and I try to avoid most processed things. Playing devil's advocate a bit here: what is so wrong with just being creative with veggies and other non-meat items in their natural forms? Why do we have to try to morph them into a meat-like form - they will never be as good as their meat counterparts.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:04 pm

I don't care if someone wants to eat fake meat or no meat.

Please pass the local pork/beef/chicken/bacon my way.

Meatless meals - fine.

Meatless life - no freaking way for me.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:Playing devil's advocate a bit here: what is so wrong with just being creative with veggies and other non-meat items in their natural forms? Why do we have to try to morph them into a meat-like form - they will never be as good as their meat counterparts.

Options, mostly, Joy. That, and occasional comfort-food cravings from those who've decided to avoid meat for humaneness, health or environmental reasons (or a combination), but still enjoy a crunch bacon-like think on a "B"LT or a hearty stew on a chilly night. Lentils one night. Tofu another. And fake chik'n on a third.

Bottom line, though, is that we're all being rational. :mrgreen: What amuses me is that some carnivores (and some vegetarians) really do seem to get angry about the very idea. That's what I don't get, and keep coming back to like a dog gnawing a bone.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:29 pm

So you use an analogy of a carnivore in your pro-fake meat post? :wink:
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:48 pm

Robin, I've never given much thought to the fake meat products except wondering why all the fuss trying to make them look like real meat. If one has given up meat, so be it. I did look up on Food Facts about the beefless tips and here is what they said:
Bad News

Controversial ingredients

This product contains multiple controversial ingredients

Sugars

Contains added sugar(s)
This is stuff I try and avoid, but do I avoid it as much as I think I do...who knows. Being married to a former business owner of a meat cutting shop which serviced restaurants, hunters, local populace, it would be a cold day in summer here to ask him to give up meat. I did not post the good news for beefless tips because you already know what they are.

Heck, I have an 11 year old granddaughter who announced at the age of 10 that she would not longer eat anything with a face. No one knows where she got the idea and she is not talking. Sure, it is hard feeding her when she comes here, because my first thought is how do I get the protein into her. Since her visits are of short duration, I let her mother worry about it. Her mother will not eat red meat or pork. So if we are having hamburgers on I tell her to bring her Boca Burgers. Otherwise she eats whatever I have to offer for the meal that is not meat.
I have no idea why folks get so upset about something as mundane as this subject. Personally, I would just ignore it. If you and Mary love your choice of food, whose business is it what you eat.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Redwinger » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Robin-
As I mentioned above, i don't care what others eat...period.
Now a question for you: Why do you let the "haters" bug you?
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Jenise » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Robin, first of all, I don't understand the 'anger' reaction you attribute to the typical omnivore. Take it or leave it, but get angry? No comprende. However, when you were a meat eater, did you 'get' eating fake meat? I know we had many conversations about such things as fake hot dogs on this board, and I'll bet I can find evidence that you didn't.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:21 pm

Jenise wrote:Robin, first of all, I don't understand the 'anger' reaction you attribute to the typical omnivore. Take it or leave it, but get angry? No comprende. However, when you were a meat eater, did you 'get' eating fake meat? I know we had many conversations about such things as fake hot dogs on this board, and I'll bet I can find evidence that you didn't.

Probably so, Jenise. Anger, though, I don't think you'll find.

Bottom line, I've run into it in other places ... people who actually get angry and flaming over plant-based food in general and faux meat in particular. Whenever I have something like Mary's "beef" stew now, and think about this, I get curious. So I ask from time to time hoping that someone has a deeply philosophical answer. Haven't found one yet, though. :lol:

Same reply to Winger Bill. I don't believe it "bugs" me, but it does make me curious. I can't figure it out, so I was hoping maybe some other foodies could. Guess not. 8)
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Jenise » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:14 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Probably so, Jenise. Anger, though, I don't think you'll find.


No of course not, no anger. But people who do react that way are most likely reacting from some kind of inner guilt, or a concern that they're looking a bit cavemannish by comparison.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:43 pm

I wonder if the fake meat is a vegans answer to doing things the way one has always done them. We eat burger between a bun, so the fake burger is eaten between the bun. People simply assume that what they’ve done is what they always have to do. With a little exploration and elbow grease, you can discover a more creative and compassionate way to eat. Which you have by going vegan.... Thinking about this a bit, I wonder if the flavors you are after are the seasonings you loved in your hamburger, your beef stew, etc. The people who create these fake meats know this, so they try to come up with the flavors you loved in your real burgers. When I was buying Boca Burgers for my daughter-in-law, I was overwhelmed. Boca with jalapeño, cheese, on and on the choices I was looking at. I think that must be the case with other fake meats, some are flavored with teriyaki, soy, BBQ sauce or whatever.

I still do not get the anger you state that folks have for a vegan eating a piece of stuff shaped like a burger between the buns, pretending to be a real burger. It has always been curious to me too, but I do not feel anger for those who do it. When I was working, there was a local, small cafe here in town run by a lady who was studying for a registered nurse degree. She was a great cook and ran a fine restaurant in her spare time. She had the best fake burgers I have every tasted. I used to go there with some of the cops I worked with. Even the guys loved her burgers. She said the secret was putting them on the grill, and the spices she used. She used fresh garden tomatoes, and good lettuce. When tomatoes were not available, she used other things, equally as good. She sold the restaurant after she got her degree and I still think about those fake burgers. If only I knew her secrets.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Shaji M » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:09 pm

I guess the acerbic comments that may have cropped up once in a while probably stems from some foodies belief that "If you want eat a chicken, then eat a chicken". However, we all should be able to eat whatever the heck they want. I was struck by the analogy to e-cigarettes. Meat to a lot of us, possess comfort value. So, it makes sense to be able to indulge without compromising ethics/health-related/religious/etc. By the way, all those pics of your dinners that you have been posting- I will eat any of them without complain! :)
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Lou Kessler » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:24 pm

I really don't get mad at what people eat as long as they don't lecture me on what I eat. My wife gave up trying to cook special for the odd person who comes to dinner who is a vegetarian. They can eat what's not meat but she will not try to cook different dishes for the odd person. When you're cooking for six to ten people and one is a vegetarian it's a great deal of trouble and time consuming to please one person. A person may be lactase intolerant and my wife will tell the individual what not eat or a indivual food allergy may be stated for somebody else. She'll stick a piece of salmon under the broiler for the person who doesn't eat meat but a whole main course of value for the vegetarian, forget about it, too much trouble.
PS, years ago she purchased the 'best books' on vegetarian cooking and tried the most "exciting" dishes and came to the conclusion that the food is generally boring. By the way she is considered a gourmet cook by all that know her. When it comes to diet etc she is a RD.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:53 am

Lou Kessler wrote:PS, years ago she purchased the 'best books' on vegetarian cooking and tried the most "exciting" dishes and came to the conclusion that the food is generally boring. By the way she is considered a gourmet cook by all that know her.


Are the vast swaths of Indian food that are vegetarian really boring? Are pizza and pasta and all sorts of other vegetarian Italian dishes really boring? Do you really need meat to make them exciting?

I hear that BL is indeed a gourmet cook, but did Yaniger never cook you a delicious meal in his own style?
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Thomas » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:52 am

Chalk me up as one who cares not what others prefer to eat.

Having said that, I do think that Robin, you have glided over the concern mentioned by Joy and Karen regarding processed foods. Eat what you want to eat, but giving up meat and then taking in processed foods as a replacement could be a dangerous road to travel.

Add me to Rahsaan's thinking. Use fresh vegetarian ingredients and be creative.

I have only one beef (pun, pun) with vegetarians: unless I missed something about what constitutes a vegetable, the ones that eat dairy products should refer to themselves as something other than vegetarians, How about vegedairyans???

Either way, sounds like an Armenian surname...
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:22 am

By the way, all those pics of your dinners that you have been posting- I will eat any of them without complain


As would I, they all look wonderful.....but then, I am not a fussy eater, as long as it is healthy, and lots of flavor. That is one thing I have in common with Bobby Flay, I want big flavors.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:00 pm

Thomas wrote: giving up meat and then taking in processed foods as a replacement could be a dangerous road to travel.

Mmm ... on the one hand we have red meat. On the other hand processed soy isolate or wheat gluten. Ummm. From the standpoint of health, particularly if we're talking about industrial red meat from CAFO feedlots, shot full of hormones and antibiotics, I think I'm comfortable balancing the "dangers" here. :mrgreen:
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:44 pm

Robin Garr wrote: From the standpoint of health, particularly if we're talking about industrial red meat from CAFO feedlots, shot full of hormones and antibiotics...


But no one on this board is talking about that kind of meat?
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:48 pm

Rahsaan wrote:But no one on this board is talking about that kind of meat?

I don't know, Rahsaan. Does every participant here buy small-farm, naturally raised, locavore meat? Forswears supermarket meat entirely? If so, good on ya!
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Rahsaan wrote:But no one on this board is talking about that kind of meat?

I don't know, Rahsaan. Does every participant here buy small-farm, naturally raised, locavore meat? Forswears supermarket meat entirely? If so, good on ya!


90%+ of the way there so far. If I want less than a whole chicken I do not have a local option yet. I do keep looking though.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:04 pm

About 80 % for me....there are several organic cattle ranches here, pork about 70 minutes away, rabbits and goat too (I don't buy those) and I prefer Smart Chicken from the Midwest. they are organic, and grown the right way, and the best I have found, so far.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Lou Kessler » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:32 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:PS, years ago she purchased the 'best books' on vegetarian cooking and tried the most "exciting" dishes and came to the conclusion that the food is generally boring. By the way she is considered a gourmet cook by all that know her.


Are the vast swaths of Indian food that are vegetarian really boring? Are pizza and pasta and all sorts of other vegetarian Italian dishes really boring? Do you really need meat to make them exciting?

I hear that BL is indeed a gourmet cook, but did Yaniger never cook you a delicious meal in his own style?

It was for Yaniger that she purchased the vegetarian cook books and she worked diligently with them. All vegetarian meals she insists are too restrictive with ingredients to make really creative food in her opinion. Her dinners for a group consist 5 or 6 apps, first course, main, dessert. No meat products at all maybe Thomas Keller might manage that but she would have to taste it to believe it. Veg Indian food gets boring to a carnivore. Use of chicken, fish, gives her enough leeway to cook well. To each is own.
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