Friday, December 31, 2010

Is 'Fake' Meat Real Food?


Everyone please go check out and contribute to the debate on Kelly's blog about whether "fake" meat products are real food. Kelly's site is a great source for whole food cooking and philosophy. Jump into the debate here.

To get you up on the debate, here is what I commented about the question after comments back and forth between myself and other Kelly the Kitchen Kop readers:



Hello all,
Trouble-stirring vegetarian here. ;) haha. I actually, like you Kelly, am against vegetarians who try to push their agenda on omnivores. People have been eating meat for centuries, back off. I mean, I’m married to one, I like him. I actually had someone comment on my blog that we should bind together as vegetarians to convince meat-eaters to stop destroying the environment by eating meat. I politely informed her that I do not push my beliefs on anyone else and that sustainable agriculture and food is actually the solution to the problem she presented.
But anyway, I looked at that Quorn site, I hadn’t heard that it was super-processed before (though of course, all fake meats are processed to some level). Maybe I’m missing something. What I read is it’s mold from the soil check, (it’s a mushroom, which is fungus, like all other mushrooms it’s a mold from soil originally…that’s real food). So then, what do they do to make it, um, “chickeny”?
Well, they grow the mold, feed it, then heat-treat it. OK, I’m all right with that. Then they bind it with egg goo and meaty-texturize it. Weird, but I’m still OK. The texturizing gives “it some of the grained character of meat, and it is pressed either into a mince resembling ground beef; forms resembling chicken breasts, meatballs, and turkey roasts; or chunks resembling diced chicken breast.”
We probably have different definitions of real food, that’s inevitable. As a vegetarian with an omnivore, meat-loving husband, our definitions of real differ. I just don’t like meat, don’t like the taste or the texture. So part of me rebels even against the fake stuff. But, it’s just different enough that I like it and just similar enough that my husband does, too. If it were up to me, we’d eat tempeh and meat-free all day. He’d choose steak and hot dogs.
So, bottom line, yes, I think, for us, it’s “real food.” It’s low on chemical processing, high on good ingredients (protein for me is super important as a recently pregnant and now nursing mom). But, for you, it may be “fake.” Everyone’s definition likely varies in numerous degrees.

I’m sure we’ll all enjoy the debate. I’m excited to hear what everyone thinks! 

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