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Beyond Meat

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Beyond Meat

Postby Tsur » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:49 am

So Beyond Meat, a much hyped chicken substitute for those not in the know, has made it's way to the Madison Whole Foods Deli. I tried it today. They had it prepared in a broccoli stir fry and also in a curry sauce. Both preparations where flavorful enough. But I'm just not so certain about the product itself.

If you google the product, there are reviews that talk about just how unbelievably chicken like it is. The NY Times food writer was fooled into thinking he was eating real chicken.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technolog ... _out_.html

The hype around Beyond Meat is that it's good enough, and cheap enough, that carnivores would consider using it as a staple protein source. In addition to being priced competitively it is supposedly better for you and has a longer shelf life.

I haven't eaten real chicken in a couple decades, but this isn't how I remember the stuff. It seemed more dense than real chicken and not slippery enough. It tasted good. And the texture certainly wasn't off-putting. It just didn't seem very chicken like. I'm curious if anyone else, particularly meat eaters, have tried it and what your impressions were.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Violet_Skye » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:16 am

I'm not convinced that soy is a great thing for people to be eating in quantity, so I will pass on the "chicken", no matter what it tastes like. I might try the "beef" one, since that's made with some kind of pea.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby fennel » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:36 pm

It sounds like yet another processed food. I say eat chicken or don't eat chicken. There's no shortage of good food to eat.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby ouroborus4 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:19 pm

fennel wrote:It sounds like yet another processed food. I say eat chicken or don't eat chicken. There's no shortage of good food to eat.


I agree completely. The trend in trying to find non-meat products that taste, feel, and look exactly like meat is confusing to me. If you want meat, eat meat. If you don't want meat, eat something else. I'll eat tofu occasionally because I like it fried, but beyond that, I stay away from the overly processed meat substitutes. Eat pure food.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Tsur » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:58 am

ouroborus4 wrote:If you want meat, eat meat. If you don't want meat, eat something else.


It's really not the point of the thread, and I hate to derail it, but can you really not see any reason (ethical, environmental, health, economic) that a meat substitute might be a good idea? And, for meat eaters to find it acceptable, it would be better for it to be pretty similar to what they're used to.

So, have any meat eaters actually tried it? Go to Whole Foods, spend a couple of bucks and report back. Like I said, I'd be really curious on your impressions or even revulsion.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby fennel » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:17 am

Eating processed food in place of real food is not a good idea. That's the point you're missing.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby ouroborus4 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:37 am

Tsur wrote:It's really not the point of the thread, and I hate to derail it, but can you really not see any reason (ethical, environmental, health, economic) that a meat substitute might be a good idea? And, for meat eaters to find it acceptable, it would be better for it to be pretty similar to what they're used to.


The point of the thread is what do forons think of Beyond Meat. I think its a dumb idea. I will never put that crap into my body and I will never spend any money on something like this. I think there are several reasons for finding a meat substitute including ethical, environmental, health, and economic. I have gone vegetarian several times in my life, the longest bout was just over a year. Beans and rice makes a wonderful substitute, as do several other choices of food such as nuts and eggs (if you're not vegan). But once you start processing food into something that looks, tastes, and feels like meat, I think you begin to violate the ethical, environmental, health, and economic reasons for avoiding meat in the first place. If you want to be satiated by the flavor of meat, its much healthier, environmentally sound, and economic to eat a piece of meat than it is to eat processed 'beyond meat'. Which is more ethical is still fuzzy for me. I'm not against abstaining from meat. I'm against processing food beyond recognition to make it seem the same as that from which you are abstaining.

This sounds more like a plug for the product or for whole foods than anything. But for those who are into such a thing, indulge at your behest. My opinion of it is that its not worth it.
Last edited by ouroborus4 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby ArturoBandini » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:37 pm

fennel wrote:Eating processed food in place of real food is not a good idea. That's the point you're missing.

Where do you draw the line beyond which something becomes "processed"? I can see processed vs non-processed foods as two endpoints on a continuous spectrum, I suppose. Is yogurt processed? Is the municipal water supply processed? Or is it about the intent of the processing that's the problem? (e.g. pasteurization OK for killing microbes, emulsification not OK for improving appearance of low-quality ingredients)

I am 100% in favor of synthetic meat substitutes. I eagerly await the day when the fake-meat tastes better, is more consistent, and is cheaper than the real thing. Maybe that day has come - I'll try some Beyond Meat sometime soon, I guess, and find out.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Tsur » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:04 pm

Okay. fennel and ouroborus4 are definitely not going to try it. Got it.

ouroborus4 wrote:This sounds more like a plug for the product or for whole foods than anything.


Yes. You caught me. I happen to be a shareholder in both Whole Foods and Beyond Meat. By hawking the two deli items at Whole Foods I stand to make untold millions while also pushing forward my nefarious, vegetarian, processed foods agenda. The link I provided, and all internet references to "Beyond Meat" is astroturf spread by me to further my love of processed foods. And, the NYT food writer is on the gig too.

ouroborus4 wrote:If you want to be satiated by the flavor of meat, its much healthier, environmentally sound, and economic to eat a piece of meat than it is to eat processed 'beyond meat'.


Well since you said so, it must be true. Maybe you could make a case that real meat is healthier based on some incoherent phobia of processed foods. But before you start talking about meat being more economical and environmentally sound than substitutes, I suggest googling a phrase resembling "energy flow/transfer, 10% rule". What your suggesting doesn't have any basis in fact.

I swear I didn't start this thread to plug a product or push some agenda. And despite some responses to some very specific notions put forth, I am really not trying to promote any agenda, diet or vegetarianism. If you're opposed to the concept or philosophy of a meat substitute then I ask that you start a rant against it in another thread. It's like I asked, "What do you think of the taste of Big Macs?" and someone responded on how they hate corporate fast food. Just take it elsewhere.

It's probably my fault for not being succinct enough in my first post, but all I really want to know, for those who have tried or are willing to try the product, is: "What did you think of the way it tasted?"
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:08 pm

I'm pretty sure Taco Bell has been passing this stuff off (or something similar) as chicken for years. No kidding.

I don't know who among these "ew ... processed food!" doofuses has actually checked the website, but this is basically tofu with a little sodium and couple of pretty benign, common preservatives. News flash: Tofu is soybeans which have been processed to hell and back.

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww ...

If you honestly think a big ol' hunk of meat is a more healthful option, that's great for you. I have the name of a good cardiologist, when you need it.

Recommence talking out your asses ...
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby ouroborus4 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:33 pm

For those of you considering trying Beyond Meat, take a look at the ingredients for the 'chicken': http://www.beyondmeat.com/products/

Water, Soy Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Isolate, Amaranth, Natural Vegan Chicken Flavor (Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavoring), Soy Fiber, Carrot Fiber, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Dipotassium Phosphate, Titanium Dioxide, White Vinegar


Mostly benign ingredients, though one must wonder why they must isolate the soy proteins, and add soy fiber, and what effect if any that has on digestion and nutrient absorption. Natural flavor is always a fun enigma too.

Dipotassium phosphate is considered likely safe (though not definitely) in small amounts unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is dangerous beyond small amounts and is found in many processed foods: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-971-PHOSPHATE%20SALTS%20%28Dipotassium%20Phosphate%29.aspx?activeIngredientId=971&activeIngredientName=PHOSPHATE%20SALTS%20%28Dipotassium%20Phosphate%29

Titanium Dioxide is a possible carcinogen: http://www.ccohs.ca/headlines/text186.html

Processed foods are not good for you regardless of how they taste or how convenient they are. My 'phobia' is actually very rational. I hope you want to avoid Beyond Meat, and stick to real food, but of course, you will do what you want to.

Arturo, good point. I don't have a good definition for you and there is a fine line.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby ouroborus4 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:45 pm

Uncle_Leaver wrote:. News flash: Tofu is soybeans which have been processed to hell and back.

If you honestly think a big ol' hunk of meat is a more healthful option, that's great for you. I have the name of a good cardiologist, when you need it.


Agreed Tofu is fairly heavily processed, and I rarely eat it, but when I do, the stuff I buy is simply soy, water, and salt, or I make my own. No preservative, natural flavor, or gumming materials, etc.

I do think real meat is healthier than fake meat, especially when you go for quality meats. And I never said anything about a big ol' hunk. I recommend limiting meat intake or even going vegetarian. But to do that and then look for something exactly like meat is ridiculous and unhealthy. Just go for the many other options of delicious real food that is readily available and cheap. I have the name of a good oncologist when you need one after eating this crap and other processed foods.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Tsur » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:59 pm

Holy crap! ouroborus4, could you please stop? I realize I can't stop you from posting in this particular thread, but you do realize you're more than welcome to start another thread.

Call it, "The dangers of processed food!"
or, "Real meat is healthier than fake meat."
or even, "Visit my oncologist."

Please.

There's really no reason for you to derail this thread.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:23 am

ouroborus4 wrote:I do think real meat is healthier than fake meat, especially when you go for quality meats.

This is a ridiculous statement on its face. You need to define your incredibly ambiguous terms. Does "healthier" mean lower in saturated fats? Because if you're obese of have trouble controlling your cholesterol and saturated fats is the big thing you're trying to avoid, a vegetable protein substitute is a damn good choice. Never mind the fact that you're far more likely to be exposed to food-borne pathogens with meat than you are with some soy product.

I recommend limiting meat intake or even going vegetarian.

Yet you show disdain for a product designed to encourage people who aren't so inclined from trying that route?

But to do that and then look for something exactly like meat is ridiculous and unhealthy.

You're ridiculous.

Just go for the many other options of delicious real food that is readily available and cheap.

Oh, so "quality meat" is cheap now? One wonders what kind of hormones and filler you must be digesting.

I have the name of a good oncologist when you need one after eating this crap and other processed foods.

I'm sorry to hear you had a cancer scare. For the record, a diet high in red meat has been linked to an increased risk in colon cancer. Conversely, a diet high in legumes (including tofu and soy protein) is shown to lower risk of cancer and heart disease.
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Re: Beyond Meat

Postby rrnate » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:07 am

Tsur wrote:Holy crap! ouroborus4, could you please stop? I realize I can't stop you from posting in this particular thread, but you do realize you're more than welcome to start another thread.

Call it, "The dangers of processed food!"
or, "Real meat is healthier than fake meat."
or even, "Visit my oncologist."

Please.

There's really no reason for you to derail this thread.


Heh, yeah, pretty much. If that oncologist was like "Tofu gave you cancer", I'd look for a different Onc.

Longtime vegetarian here - I haven't tried this "Beyond Meat" stuff because I've pretty much stopped eating the fake meats. (I think that's pretty common - they're a great stepping stone, but lots of longer-term veg-types that I know eventually move away from 'em.) However, the "so, you're vegetarian, you shouldn't eat fake meat, that is hypocritical" argument is probably one of the stupidest things I've heard, and I hear it about once a year.

I do like the tempeh bacon and field roast fake sausages that are out there (as these are your two meats that are particularly not meat-flavored anyway, they're pretty easy to emulate) but eat them pretty sparingly.
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