Fake beef - why the hate?

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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:34 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Does every participant here buy small-farm, naturally raised, locavore meat? Forswears supermarket meat entirely?


I won't eat meat if it isn't local from a farm that I know how how they raise and slaughter their animals, or from a store like Natural Grocers that verifies they sell only humanely raised meat like Niman Ranch, etc. If I am in a restaurant that doesn't have local/humane options, I will eat vegetarian. I vowed five years ago to not eat factory farmed/industrially raised meat, and it has been hard at times, as I had to stop going to a lot of places with dishes I used to love. That's a trade off I feel ok with if it means a better life and more humane death for animals raised for food that I choose to eat.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Thomas » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
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:


I generally avoid most processed foods. I don't need added salt, monosodium glutamate, glucose or maltodextrine in my body, and I certainly don't know the make up of the mysterious "added flavoring."

P.S. I don't eat red meat, not even local stuff. My meat intake consists of organically-produced chicken and seafood, which as far as I know if not farmed is also organic.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:08 pm

What does bother me is that supermarkets put the fake stuff right next to the real stuff; e.g. sausages. There have been times when my favorite patties are out and reached the next brand over. One time the checkout person asked me if I really wanted the meatless sausage. Have not managed to get home with any!
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:30 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:Veg Indian food gets boring to a carnivore..


Given our American love of diversity, I suppose any one style of food would get boring if eaten every day. But the same goes for meat dishes.

I acknowledge that using meat - by definition - gives you a wider array of choices. But that is mainly relevant for the main course protein. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe that you can't find exciting meatless dishes. Especially living where you do, with such diverse high-quality fruits and vegetables. But as you said, everyone has his/her own taste.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:31 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!


That's certainly the vibe I get from this forum, although I'm sure nothing is 100%. We cook chicken for our son and are pretty strict about what we will buy. Same thing for fish/seafood.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:02 pm

I certainly haven't seen anyone react with hate towards fake meat. Bemusement maybe.
I eat real meat (with attention paid to sourcing) but have no problems accomodating vegetarian guests (if one guest as dinner party just make sure there are plentiful sides, if more than one we just typically do a vegetarian meal. It's really not hard to come up with exciting vegetarian dishes. I'd probably have trouble with pure vegan. Unless we know someone is a "loose" vegetarian, we'll make our mushroom risotto with good homemade vegetable stock, because we're not jerks like this guy:
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food ... ounts.html

My only issues with vegetarians are the extreme proselytizers, and those who want to tell me that tempeh "is just like meat." I had one guy who used to try to tell me a grilled portobello was just like a burger. :lol:
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Thomas » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:13 pm

Dale Williams wrote:I certainly haven't seen anyone react with hate towards fake meat. Bemusement maybe.
I eat real meat (with attention paid to sourcing) but have no problems accomodating vegetarian guests (if one guest as dinner party just make sure there are plentiful sides, if more than one we just typically do a vegetarian meal. It's really not hard to come up with exciting vegetarian dishes. I'd probably have trouble with pure vegan. Unless we know someone is a "loose" vegetarian, we'll make our mushroom risotto with good homemade vegetable stock, because we're not jerks like this guy:
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food ... ounts.html

My only issues with vegetarians are the extreme proselytizers, and those who want to tell me that tempeh "is just like meat." I had one guy who used to try to tell me a grilled portobello was just like a burger. :lol:


Not trying to tell you anything, but a grilled portobello is, to me, a fine taste and texture replacement for meat, certainly closer than tofu, which has to be processed to get there. One adjective I give to many mushrooms is, "meaty."

I've sworn off red meat for health reasons and find that after three years without, I don't miss it. I admit that I do miss smoked meats, which I love and also have had to swear off.

A few years back, Stuart Yaniger and Cynthia visited my wife and me at our place in the Finger Lakes--Cynthia has family around these parts. I served a vegetarian lunch from mostly our own produce--it was harvest time. One of the items I served was from a brussels sprout and potato pancake recipe that Stuart had posted online. I find it easy and also rewarding to accommodate vegetarian menus.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:35 pm

Thomas wrote:
Not trying to tell you anything, but a grilled portobello is, to me, a fine taste and texture replacement for meat, certainly closer than tofu, which has to be processed to get there. One adjective I give to many mushrooms is, "meaty."


Oh, I love all mushrooms, and think that meaty is a good term. I was just objecting to the characterization of a portobello as "just like" a burger.
If we have friends over and 1 is a vegetarian, and we're grilling, I'll almost always do a few portobellos on grill- the rest of us might have a pork chop and a half a portobello, the vegetarian gets couple portobellos. And I tend to like to use portobellos as a base for grilled napoleans.

I find it easy and also rewarding to accommodate vegetarian menus.


Indeed. Not hard at all. Of course, if the reason we decided to have a dinner party is because we felt like making choucroute or cassoulet, we don't invite the vegetarians. But if it's a dinner for friends we want to be with, accomodating dietary choices is simply part of the process. I don't feel compelled to make everything work for everyone, however. I remember a dinner party (apparently during the netscape gap between old WLDG and new WLDG) where we realized besides our omnivoric selves we had: 1 other omnivore, 1 gluten free (I know it's trendy, but this guy has worst psoriasis, and it seems to help), 2 pesce-vegetarians, 2 vegetarians. Everyone got plenty of eat, but we didn't feel compelled to make everything for everyone, at least with canapes - half on cucumber, half on toast, mix of potted shrimp, hummus, tapenade. So 6 different combos, everyone could eat at least 3. Everyone could eat both sitdown courses - spinach/tofu/ginger napoleans, mushroom risotto (veggie stock). Cheese course we put out rice crackers as well as bread. It's not like anyone noticed there was no meat.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:43 am

Lou Kessler wrote:Veg Indian food gets boring to a carnivore.


You are eating the wrong Indian food then. Indian cuisine is all about the sauce and heat and texture. Substitute paneer (cheese) for meat, and you won't miss out on anything. I find the best curries are vegetarian, as they don't rely on a strong meat flavor to hide behind. I think I could easily be a vegetarian if I lived in India and could eat their cuisine every day.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Lou Kessler » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:21 am

Rahsaan wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:Veg Indian food gets boring to a carnivore..


Given our American love of diversity, I suppose any one style of food would get boring if eaten every day. But the same goes for meat dishes.

I acknowledge that using meat - by definition - gives you a wider array of choices. But that is mainly relevant for the main course protein. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe that you can't find exciting meatless dishes. Especially living where you do, with such diverse high-quality fruits and vegetables. But as you said, everyone has his/her own taste.

Rahsaan, The average dinner in our home starts with a large bowl of a mixed salad then a main of fish, chicken, duck from Ranch 99, or various pastas. We eat red meat on the average of every 7 to 10 days. Spring through early fall dessert consists of berries or types of melons. Different fruits the rest of the year. Like I said my wife is a registered dietitian and is a a great believer in moderation in all things called food.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:29 pm

I'm guessing a lot of people on this site already listen to The Splendid Table that is broadcast on NPR, but in case you don't, here is a link to this week's episode where they do a segment on fake meat:

http://www.splendidtable.org/story/a-question-for-vegetarians-why-do-you-want-to-eat-something-that-reminds-you-of-meat
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Bill Spohn » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:38 pm

I don't care what people eat as long as they don't tell me I 'should' eat what they eat.

Ditto what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, and to whom (or what). Don't know, don't care.

I can see that there would be some people that might want to stick their noses in where they don't belong and tell people what they should eat, or do or consort with, they are always around, but I don't get upset about that sort of person, I just generally ignore them. Unless they try to tell me what I should do in which case I request their immediate absence.
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Re: Fake beef - why the hate?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:38 pm

Something that leaped to my mind, but nobody here brought up: A reason why you may get an angry reaction from someone is because they may have an experience (likely, as a child) of having 'fake meat' served to them without their knowledge. I cannot speak to the current generation of products but I can say that the ones made 10, 20, 30 years ago were distinctly un-meat-like. :shock:

My own reaction is mostly one of amusement. I fail to see why it is worthwhile to shape plant protein to resemble animal protein. But, then again, I don't understand diet soda, either (...artificial sweeteners make it easy for you to maintain a preference for sweet drinks, just what you're trying to avoid, no?).

I happily eat non-meat dishes. For goodness sake, that includes pizza! I happily go to the local vegan restaurant with my occasional vegan visitors. I eat mostly organic chicken and fresh fish but I do like red meat (maybe 1/week or so?).
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