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Commercial mock meats (veg extract protein based)

Discussion in 'Food' started by Nekodaiden, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    Protein based Commercial mock meats (heavy on the extracted protein from plants such as soy or brown rice, often containing oils and very little to no whole food)

    Do you eat them? Do you find they help you stay Vegan?

    Most importantly, do they satisfy?

    My take…



    Before I went vegan, I did occasionally buy some of the veg alternatives to meat, although mostly they were obvious veg alternatives, like real brown rice, beans, potatoes and other plant food mixtures shaped in the form of patties or hot dogs. I bought them on occasion and ate them and enjoyed them. This, before going vegan.



    After going vegan, I tried some of the others. Those that were made up of isolated proteins (like rice protein extract, soy protein isolate etc), oils and maybe a few veggies and spices and other things. Some of them were very tasty. I had some mock chicken nuggets that tasted so similar to chicken nuggets that by taste alone – I really couldn’t tell the difference.



    But in satisfaction, I did notice a difference. Ate a whole box of mock chicken nuggets and boy did they not satisfy. I needed more. Of something. And not of them, because they were $6 a box.



    Just recently, about half the Vegan section that used to contain such products was replaced by burgers, real chicken and other flesh foods. The other half, containing organic Tofu (real soybean, not extract), Tempeh, and other foods containing whole or mostly whole foods remain.



    I’m not surprised, and I’m sort of glad the fungus food and extract based products are (mostly) gone. People eat that stuff thinking they are eating Vegan for a meal...then they realize they cannot make them a large part of their diet because they don’t satisfy. Nearly all of them emphasize PROTEIN, which, when you’re a meat eater getting it from animals and have those bacteria in the gut munching on that animal protein, does satisfy to a degree because of the propionate they release (fiber munching bacteria release more). But Vegans know (or should know) our gut bacteria requires fiber from whole food, not animal protein, and not isolated protein from plants.



    So I am happy they are gone. I know of at least one individual who ate them a lot when she first tried going Vegan...and then that stopped rather abruptly. Now she eats pescatarian. I doubt her dissatisfaction is unique, and my guess is that many others came to a similar conclusion and the products just failed to sell enough to be profitable for the supermarket.

    Again, I'm not unhappy they are gone. People can easily get the wrong idea, and connect their short vegan experience to being hungry, primarily because they never gave their body a chance to convert to fiber rich plant foods that Nature has provided.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  2. Forest Nymph
    Mummified

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Yes, before I was vegan I first fell in love with vegan chkn ranch twister wraps from Native Foods. I thought they tasted better than wraps made with actual chickens, I remember having the thought "this is what I wanted chicken to taste like" or something really odd like that. I have two roommates, one is vegan and the other is not. Interestingly, the one who is not also says she likes vegan chkn tenders better than chicken flesh "tender" or "nugget" products. Let's hope this is a good sign.

    I have my favorites. A couple of years ago I used to eat a lot of Gardein fishless fingers (with homemade tarter sauce made from Vegenaise, lemon juice, pickles and black pepper) and seven grain tenders (with Daiya Blue Cheez dressing and Chipotle Tabasco) . I also habitually ate Tofurky sandwiches with Vegenaise and Sriracha. My roommate at the time made it easy. She was a successful, middle-aged vegetarian with a teenaged son, who bought Gardein by the trunk-load at the local Costco or Target, so I always had access to it.

    I think the ones I would like to always have access to, though, are Tofurky holiday roasts (both the original tofurky and the glazed-ham style) on special occasions, as well as the occasional veggie burger or veggie dog at a restaurant.

    When I lived in L.A. and had money to spend, I used to frequent vegan restaurants that based a bunch of their dishes on hip vegan products, but now I live in a much smaller town in a farming community, and the local vegetarian restaurant makes their own veggie burgers on-site, and the sandwiches are based in whole foods like tempeh, seitan, and tofu.

    Also, I find that it's cheaper as a student to eat beans, lentils, and tofu a lot. I also eat a ton of peanut butter based dishes, noodles, stir-fried vegetables and nuts instead. It's also cheaper to make seitan from scratch or buy a package of tempeh than to splurge on Gardein or Beyond Burgers.

    I think the times where I've had to eat tons of beans and didn't even have tofu really changed my attitude about things. Certainly living off of TVP and quinoa for about a week was both a humbling and disgusting experience. And about two months from now I'll go on a four-day wilderness trip where I'm not really allowed to bring fancy packaged foods because it's more sensible to bring bulk-type ingredients, like oatmeal, lentils, peanut butter, rice, and powdered hummus.

    I'm really happy to have tofu now, I really love tofu and don't take tofu or soy milk for granted anymore. Luckily these staples can be found nearly anywhere from the Midwest to Asia, but not having them as much made "vegan products" seem a lot more like a luxury than a necessity.

    Bottom line: I don't think any vegan should ever live off of "vegan products" or "vegan meats" but I'm not opposed to them in any way, we are all human, and eating is an emotional and cultural experience, not just a nutritious one, and people like to have foods that comfort them or remind them of home, and vegans are allowed to be humans.
     
  3. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    Thanks for your response. At the very least they fill some nostalgic need while you recognize they may not be the best health options. So your choice to eat them is an informed one.

    One of the big reasons I'm not a fan is that many people will try them without being informed, thinking they are regular fare for vegans and trying to get both satisfaction (in taste, in satiety) and nutrition from them. I believe this is what happened with the female I mentioned. She started her Vegan journey with these products, made them a large part of her diet, and now she's not even Vegan.

    Anyway, at least where I do some of my shopping, they are all gone, but the traditional real food vegan options remain (lentil and black bean burgers, tofu, tempeh etc). Like any business, supermarkets must adhere to supply and demand to stay in business, and the fact that these particular animal free products are off the shelves while the traditional ones remain says to me that the demand for them must be low. I know from my own experience that they really didn't satisfy my hunger and I wasn't willing to shell out substantial amounts of money for food that didn't satisfy. To me, that's also part of being reminded of home - eating and not still being hungry afterwards.

    Anyone else?
     
  4. nobody

    nobody Member

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    I eat a vegan cheeseburger with sweet onion, hamburger dill pickles, ketchup and brown mustard almost every single day. The kind of hamburgers I usually get are are my grocery store's brand and they are fully cooked and frozen and the best way to heat them is to microwave or steam them. They are similar to this kind which I just had for the first time today and liked a lot:

    [​IMG]

    I know there are better things I could be eating but there are also worse things that I used to eat, such as canned soup or chili, and these hamburgers are very easy to make because I only have to microwave the burger, slice the onion and warm the bun.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    I don't need mock meats and I don't miss meat. At times I prefer a veggie burger that tastes clearly weird and different to the ones that taste like meat and some even make me suspicious I could be eating meat.

    However I think more of these things are needed to help veganism because more mainstream, it will be an easier sell when there are widely available alternatives at a similar cost and taste.

    We are already getting fairly close to this point, I think.

    And the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger are taking things to the next level, using lab trickery to rebuild a burger from more basic building blocks to try and get the meat taste. After all, cows are just taking plants and turning them into meat. So that is what they are trying to copy. So, this is some kind of second wave vegan burger.

    I tried the Beyond Burger for the first time this month and it was a revelation, it was a vegan burger that tasted very good, and looked and smelled like meat. I was pretty happy to try it because I think this product will help promote veganism. It even tastes like a good quality meat burger. The taste is not that strong, but it's good. Hopefully they can do a version 2 that tastes even better and is even cheaper in the next few years. Yes, it cost US$6 for 2, and they were not especially large. However, people eat too much anyway. In a world where people routinely drop $100 to take their family to a restaurant, and spend $50 a month on their cell phone contract, and another $50 or $100 on cable TV, $1 extra for a burger doesn't seem like a huge commit to me. Although it would be nice to get it down to $0, of course.

    I also tried the Impossible Burger (this is in restaurants, while Beyond Burger is in stores) and that was also good, although I think not as good in taste, nor as alike meat in look or taste or texture, but still somewhat like meat, and quite good, but it was a little bit like one of those burgers you get made from beans.

    I am a bit disappointed to see Beyond Burger promoting themselves as a protein option rather than challenging this misconception that we need to focus on getting protein. I wish people were more aware that many plant foods have 20-30% calories as protein vs say 40% for meat, and that people in rich, developed countries more often get more than enough protein than too little. Different people have different experiences, but personally I think it's the calories that count. I often fill myself up in meals like pasta, veg, and bread that contain no "protein" foods and adding nuts and beans to dishes makes them pretty filling also while ensuring the protein gets to the reccommended level.
     
  6. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    :) I don't crave burgers now. Although I do sometimes crave seafood - butterfish especially. I don't eat any but I'd be interested in a butter alternative (that isn't made of isolated oil) from a natural plant I could add to some of my dishes.

    Agreed with a strong caution: They need to satisfy hunger. Plant burgers from isolated proteins and oils with a little flavoring don't do that for me. No wonder when the patties struggle to get even to 4-5g of fiber per serving. The meal I had this morning was just shy of 30g fiber from whole food and I've been satisfied for hours (and for a lot less cost too).

    I'm beginning to see it as expected. Mock meats made from isolates and oils and low or no fiber don't satisfy, but they taste good so people will buy them for a while. Great from a business perspective - you sell less than whole food that tastes good and people need quite a bit more of it to feel satisfied - which means they need to buy more and eat more. Or, they realize they cannot get satisfaction from these products and return to meat, which is the other side of the business for some of these corporations.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. nobody

    nobody Member

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    They don't help me to stay vegan because I don't have any desire to eat real meat or cheese. I just like mock animal products. I know a lot of people who don't eat real maple syrup, not because they can't afford it but because they prefer the fake kind they were raised on which has like 10 ingredients, all bad, compared to the one ingredient of real maple syrup. It's a little bit like that for me with fake animal products as far as preferring them over the real thing. Also, with fake meat, you can make a lot of food you are familiar with, but it's vegan.

    I've never noticed myself feeling dissatisfied, or that I needed to eat more, if I have had enough food to fill my stomach. But I always have the fake meat with a starchy food like bread so that probably helps.
     
  8. Veganite
    Alienated

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this speaks for a lot of vegans here in Canada too. There seems to be a boom right now in this particular market/industry. There's more products hitting the shelves all the time. Even a huge fast food chain like A&W didn't waste any time on capitalizing with the beyond burger.




    *
     
  9. nobody

    nobody Member

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    A lot of people drink diet soda, which has an artificial sweetener, rather than a 'real' one like HFCS or sugar and people buying it displaces demand for the regular kind of soda. Also, diet or sugar free soda has achieved normalcy in society. It would be good if that kind of thing happened with meatless meat, where non vegans accept it as a normal, viable option, because it would eat into the demand for real animal products.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  10. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    They were filling/satisfying for me, but others may agree with you. Let's see how they do.

    I actually don't care if I am still not fully satisfied after a meal, because then I can easily fill up on dessert/snacks/fruit, and even if I can't I'm still OK with it because at least that helps me not put on weight.

    The other issue is that these types of Beyond Burgers are very processed foods and unclear how healthy they are. Maybe don't eat in huge quantities.
     

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