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Thread: Vegetarian Fake Meats

  1. Top | #41
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The backlash against Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers going mainstream - Vox
    The backlash to plant-based meat, when you look at it closely, is a backlash against our food system in general — mistakenly directed at one of the more promising efforts to make it a little bit better.

    There have been many critiques leveled at plant-based foods. They all boil down to four broad criticisms: 1) they are highly processed; 2) they contain GMOs; 3) they’re not that healthy — or even hazardous to your health; and 4) they’re aesthetically objectionable as “fake” food.
    The article then addressed these criticisms. What counts as processing? Some kinds of processing are very good. To date, GMO's have not been dangerous.
    Importantly, the environmental benefits of the Beyond and Impossible Burgers have held up under the flurry of new scrutiny. Plant-based meats really do emit much less CO2 and other greenhouse gases than meat does, use less water, and use less land. The fact is that lots of people want, well, a burger. So why not offer them a burger that’s good for the environment, good for animals, and positioned to address huge problems with our food system?
    Then the curious objection that fake meat is fake.
    Another component of the backlash isn’t about health at all. Instead, it’s about a vague sense that there’s something noble about eating dead animals that’s simply absent when eating plant-based, factory-assembled inventions.

    In a Heated piece, Danielle LaPrise tells the story of how her community came together to slaughter a pig: “With every animal dispatched, every crop harvested,” she writes, “I realized that our time on earth is temporary, and everything on it is a gift. I could plant seeds or raise animals from birth, care for them, feed them, and then later I would depend on them to nourish and sustain me.” Of meatless meat, she writes, “these foods will never succeed in mimicking the humbling intimacy from meals where the animal’s death is deeply felt.”
    Except that most people don't get very close to the animals that are killed for their meat - food animals are mostly factory farmed.

    “I can’t help but notice,” Trembath wrote in an analysis of the plant-based meat backlash, “that when fake meat was the purview of food utopians and visionary chefs, thought leaders were enthusiastically in favor of it. But as soon as fake meat hit the plastic trays at Burger King, they were fretting about how over-processed it was.”

    ...
    Food historian Rachel Laudan argues, “It is easy for ultra-processed to mean ‘industrially processed,’ ‘low class,’ or ‘not to my taste.’ Soft drinks are ultra-processed, wine not. Snack cakes are ultra-processed, home made cakes not.” And the Impossible Burger, for a time, was not considered ultra-processed, enjoying, we could say, the “wine exception.”
    So it's objecting to fake meats when they become non-gourmand food.

  2. Top | #42
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    The backlash against Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers going mainstream - Vox

    The article then addressed these criticisms. What counts as processing? Some kinds of processing are very good. To date, GMO's have not been dangerous.

    Then the curious objection that fake meat is fake.
    Another component of the backlash isn’t about health at all. Instead, it’s about a vague sense that there’s something noble about eating dead animals that’s simply absent when eating plant-based, factory-assembled inventions.

    In a Heated piece, Danielle LaPrise tells the story of how her community came together to slaughter a pig: “With every animal dispatched, every crop harvested,” she writes, “I realized that our time on earth is temporary, and everything on it is a gift. I could plant seeds or raise animals from birth, care for them, feed them, and then later I would depend on them to nourish and sustain me.” Of meatless meat, she writes, “these foods will never succeed in mimicking the humbling intimacy from meals where the animal’s death is deeply felt.”
    Except that most people don't get very close to the animals that are killed for their meat - food animals are mostly factory farmed.

    “I can’t help but notice,” Trembath wrote in an analysis of the plant-based meat backlash, “that when fake meat was the purview of food utopians and visionary chefs, thought leaders were enthusiastically in favor of it. But as soon as fake meat hit the plastic trays at Burger King, they were fretting about how over-processed it was.”

    ...
    Food historian Rachel Laudan argues, “It is easy for ultra-processed to mean ‘industrially processed,’ ‘low class,’ or ‘not to my taste.’ Soft drinks are ultra-processed, wine not. Snack cakes are ultra-processed, home made cakes not.” And the Impossible Burger, for a time, was not considered ultra-processed, enjoying, we could say, the “wine exception.”
    So it's objecting to fake meats when they become non-gourmand food.
    Wait, so farming animals is "intimate" but farming plants is not?

    Is it just all the screaming at the end that makes it feel so emotionally heartwarming? I've slaughtered animals, and I do not recall any "humbling sense of intimacy" involved in the process.

  3. Top | #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    My Hgb is low again. Maybe I need to eat more meat. Seriously. Some of us don't absorb iron well from non heme sources of food. We are all different when it comes to what works.
    southernhybrid, the Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods could be suitable for you. It uses a heme-containing protein much like what meat has. It's leghemoglobin made by genetically engineered yeast, using genes from legumes. Those plants express those genes in their root nodules, making leghemoglobin there. This protein is much like hemoglobin (in vertebrate blood) and myoglobin (in muscles).

    I checked on Where to Buy Impossible and it's apparently available in all 50 US states and DC, but not in any other nation, not even in Canada.
    I had my first Beyond Meat burger last week. It did taste like meat, but had a lot more calories and was far more expensive than the old veggie burgers that I've been eating for years. In fact, it was more expensive than making burgers from lean ground sirloin. Once again, something supposedly. healthy is too expensive for those with limited incomes. And, it really didn't agree with my GI tract. Just sayin'. So, I doubt I will ever eat one again, but I will continue to eat my favorite veggie burgers.

    As long as high quality meat is available, and I can afford it, I will beef once a week, as well as organically raised pork and chicken and farm raised salmon. I prefer fish and vegan food. I'm just not the cook anymore. What is wrong with encouraging people to cut back on their meat consumption instead of going totally vegan? I have no problem with vegans, but I don't think we need to be absolutist about our diets.

    I do wish that those who eat huge quantities of meat would consider cutting back. I have a friend who rarely eats vegetables or anything healthy. She's lower middle class and has four children who still live at home, so she buys cheap, fatty cuts of meat. She's very over weight but has told me she'd prefer to die in her 40s than to change her eating habits. I've given up trying to help her. The young women I used to work with were the same way. Their diets consisted of friend foods, sugary beverages and processed carbs. It's hard to get Americans to even consider changing their dietary habits.

  4. Top | #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    I do wish that those who eat huge quantities of meat would consider cutting back. I have a friend who rarely eats vegetables or anything healthy. She's lower middle class and has four children who still live at home, so she buys cheap, fatty cuts of meat. She's very over weight but has told me she'd prefer to die in her 40s than to change her eating habits. I've given up trying to help her. The young women I used to work with were the same way. Their diets consisted of fried foods, sugary beverages and processed carbs. It's hard to get Americans to even consider changing their dietary habits.
    It will have to become like smoking, get expensive. And I mean not only to buy meat but to correct the health problems. Americans only seem to notice when it hits them in the pocketbook.

  5. Top | #45
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    Impossible Whopper - Well... I'd say it was almost impossible to taste the burger itself. With 400 or so calories of mayo on it, they could have put styrofoam with the tomato and lettuce and the experience would have been similar. Yes, there is a slight sensation of a smokey taste, but overall, I could hardly even tell there was a patty between the buns to start with, it being so thin and overpowered by the mayo. The texture was meatish, but really, I didn't feel like I was having a burger.

    The Beyond Meat burger I had included condiments and cheese at home. That worked out, the closest to meat that I've had. Surely not a 1 to 1 replacement, but very good.

  6. Top | #46
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    How Do the New Plant-Based Burgers Stack Up? We Taste-Tested Them - The New York Times
    In just two years, food technology has moved consumers from browsing for wan “veggie patties” in the frozen aisle to selecting fresh “plant-based burgers” sold next to the ground beef.

    Behind the scenes at the supermarket, giant battles are being waged: Meat producers are suing to have the words “meat” and “burger” restricted to their own products. Makers of meat alternatives like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are vying to capture the global fast-food market, as big players like Tyson and Perdue join the fray. Environmental and food scientists are insisting that we eat more plants and less processed food. Many vegetarians and vegans say the goal is to break the habit of eating meat, not feed it with surrogates.

    “I would still prefer to eat something that’s not lab-grown,” said Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the chef at the vegan restaurant Modern Love in Omaha, where her own burger is the most popular dish on the menu. “But it’s better for people and for the planet to eat one of those burgers instead of meat every day, if that’s what they are going to do anyway.”
    1. Impossible Burger - 4.5
    2. Beyond Burger - 4
    3. Lightlife Burger - 3
    4. Uncut Burger - 3
    5. FieldBurger - 2.5
    6. Sweet Earth Fresh Veggie Burger - 2.5


    The New Makers of Plant-Based Meat? Big Meat Companies - The New York Times - "Tyson, Smithfield, Perdue and Hormel have all rolled out meat alternatives, filling supermarket shelves with an array of plant-based burgers, meatballs and chicken nuggets."
    Veggie burgers have been on store shelves for decades, but companies are only now developing vegetarian products that try to match the experience of eating actual meat, using ingredients such as pea proteins and genetically engineered soy.

    Pat Brown, the chief executive of Impossible Foods, has long described the project of creating faux meat as an environmental imperative. “Every aspect of the animal-based food industry is vastly more environmentally disruptive and resource-inefficient than any plant-based system,” he said. Mr. Brown has even set a deadline: Eliminate animal products from the global food supply by 2035.

  7. Top | #47
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Is the New Meat Any Better Than the Old Meat? - The New York Times
    According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock accounts for 14.5 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity. Cattle (raised for beef and milk) alone produce 65 percent of livestock emissions.

    This happens because carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, is released into the atmosphere when forests are cleared to make room for animal feed production and livestock grazing. Animals also release methane, another powerful greenhouse gas, through burps and flatulence when digesting their food. Animal manure and rice paddies are also huge sources of methane.

    Agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gases varies by country, depending on how animals are bred, herded and fed, but some experts say the overall number is much higher than 14.5 percent. Jeff Anhang, environmental and social specialist with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, estimates that livestock production accounts for at least half of human-caused greenhouse gases.
    This reminds me of a leaked version of AOC's "Green New Deal" resolution. One bit of it expressed concern about "farting cows", though that is absent from the final version: Text - H.Res.109 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress - AOC = Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    When AOC was asked about it, she speculated on feeding cows different sorts of foods, so that their internal fermentation won't release as much methane. Interesting idea, but I suspect that it's impractical.

    Vegetarian fake meats, milks, cheeses, creams, etc. are a better alternative, IMO.
    Paul Shapiro, chief executive of the Better Meat Company, which makes plant-based ingredients for companies to add to their poultry or meat, said it was the success of soy milk that pushed the plant-based meat movement into the mainstream.

    “Plant-based milk has grown from 1 percent of the fluid dairy market to 13 percent in the United States, whether that be soy, almond or coconut,” he said. Plant-based meat, which is about 1 percent of the meat market now, is following the same pattern, he added.

  8. Top | #48
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    It's a rarely mentioned fact that people (particularly rich people) don't really eat many fully grown animals. We prefer to eat babies - particularly lamb, but most beef and pork comes from relatively young animals too.

    Dairy cows live much longer lives than those raised for meat, even when the meat is beef rather than veal.

    Some people find this disturbing; But of course if they weren't raised for meat, milk, or eggs, most domesticated animals wouldn't exist at all.

    If everyone became a vegetarian, livestock species would rapidly become extinct (or at least endangered).

    It seems unlikely that widespread vegetarianism would be only positive for our environment, though it would probably be a net positive. The negative effects are certainly something we should consider, in the unlikely event that such a behavioural shift became plausible.

  9. Top | #49
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    It's a rarely mentioned fact that people (particularly rich people) don't really eat many fully grown animals. We prefer to eat babies - particularly lamb, but most beef and pork comes from relatively young animals too.

    Dairy cows live much longer lives than those raised for meat, even when the meat is beef rather than veal.

    Some people find this disturbing; But of course if they weren't raised for meat, milk, or eggs, most domesticated animals wouldn't exist at all.

    If everyone became a vegetarian, livestock species would rapidly become extinct (or at least endangered).

    It seems unlikely that widespread vegetarianism would be only positive for our environment, though it would probably be a net positive. The negative effects are certainly something we should consider, in the unlikely event that such a behavioural shift became plausible.
    No one sensible believes that Impossible burgers will somehow convert the entire planet to vegetarianism...

  10. Top | #50
    My Brane Hertz spikepipsqueak's Avatar
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    Ran across a program yesterday where someone said out loud something that logic has always suggested to me.

    The claim that meat uses huge resources in production is based on intensive factory farming methods. Livestock that is grass fed in paddocks - not so much.
    My Brane Hertz

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