Plant Based Meats- a mini rant

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by bixby, Nov 18, 2021.

  1. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    On the news this week that plant based meats are flatlining with a whopping 1.5% of the meat market, one CEO ticked off 6 reasons why this may be. Yet, they have not even thought about the most important one. Many products do not taste or feel like meat.

    Yes there are some that mimic a variant well like Impossible ground meat and spicy sausage. And there are others that come up short and after a one time taste test will not be bought again. Cat and dog food aromas, bacon that tastes like what a roofing shingle may be like with some salt and artificial smoke, tube meat textures resembling a compressed poorly flavored hot dog bun and the like. And don't even get me started on a effing carrot hot dog or worse ......seitan.

    I have had a bunch of them and only have the above two that will be a repeat purchase and even those not a regular purchase. I am content to eat less meat but not exclude it entirely. I am perfectly fine eating plant based dishes with things like beans that taste nothing like meat but taste great. Perhaps when "fake meat or is it" 2.0 hits with cell grown meat, the results might be better.

    If you do run across an outlier that you think is a winner, post below. Cheers.
     
  2. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    I never understood the appeal of fake meat that is trying to taste like meat. I'm happy eating a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes and leaning into what makes those flavors interesting and unique.
     
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  3. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    We eat mostly chicken and veggies. Pork a couple times a week. Steak and burgers once or twice a week so not much meat consumption to curb in our household. Could go for a nice roast beef sandwich right now though. Haven't really delved into plant based much since we don't consume tons of meat as it is.
     
  4. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I tried an impossible burger last year. I wasn't a fan. The taste wasn't pleasant, let alone close to beef. Sorry, there's no nice way to phrase this, but since we're on a rant, I'll just say that it smelled the same going out as it did going in the night before.
     
  5. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Exactly! I love tofu in a ton of different forms - even crave it over meat on rare occasion, but don't give me a tofu hotdog and tell me it is the same as meat!

    I went to a vegan restaurant in support of a friend and had a bacon cheeseburger. As its claimed target, it was absolutely wretched and was made by someone who clearly had never had a bacon cheeseburger. Independently, I am sure I would have found most of the ingredients fine as standalone food, but it was a crime against humanity to call what they served a bacon cheeseburger. Just make a nice sandwich with what you are ok with and let me enjoy it as it is.
     
  6. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Friend

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    I think here the general that you should appreciate things for what they are and not be angry about what thy are not applies, too. Why should vegetarian or vegan food be like mock meat? As @zerodeefex pointed out there a lot of really nice tasting dishes with no meat, why have food with something pretending to be meat which is just Ersatz?
     
  7. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    not angry, just participant and observer. Mock meat should be like meat when marketed as such, pretty simple.

    I know there is lots of good non meat dishes, that is what I eat more often than meat based, but when I do want a meat like experience without the meat, I expect them to get close. :(
     
  8. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Yeah most fake meat sucks as imitation meat. I’ve been eating veg for over ten years and I like to try all the fake meats to see what’s out there, but none are all that convincing, with a few exceptions. The Beyond Meat bratwursts are pretty good. Gardein brand meatballs are also fairly close if cooked in a nice tomato sauce and served over pasta. There is also an "Ultimate" burger from Gardein that is, IMO, better than the impossible or beyond burgers. It is juicy and tastes better than fast food level. I also like most of the the Morningstar fake chicken patties.

    The thing to note: all of these require proper fixings - bun, lettuce, tomato, condiments - to be good. They will not be satisfying on their own the way a real burger or chix sandwich can be.

    After a lot of trying, Field Roast brand stuff is not good. None of the higher end Tofurkey brand sausages/wursts are that good. Boca burgers are not good.

    Unfortunately, there is no veg version of a kosher beef hot dog, salami, or tuna salad that is acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  9. edd

    edd Facebook Friend

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    fake meat is fine for what it is, and it's much tastier than it was years ago. I imagine the price & lack of real nutritional benefits (the calories & fat on many of these fake meats is not much different than the real deal) are the primary reasons why it's not taking the world by storm.
     
  10. Qildail

    Qildail Almost "Made"

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    Came for the subject; stayed for this line right here...

    Same. There are some things I just can't manage smell or texture (I'm looking at you, cantaloupes), but there are so many interesting things that can be done without meat.

    I wonder if it's some type of weird social acceptance thing... like your friends will oust you from the circle of righteousness for not wanting to have a hamburger.
     
  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Take the morningstar patties off your list. They changed the formulation recently and they're disgusting now.
     
  12. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I agree that is a big factor. I also think they were way too optimistic as businesses riding a new trend tend to be.

    I think Just Eggs are impressive, not the same of course but by far the best imitation egg I've tried to use for scrambled eggs or omelettes. Tofutti cream cheese is my favorite so far. For the meats, I haven't found anything better than the popular ones. If you're in the mood for a fake chicken sandwich, the Boca spicy chicken is decent.


    I think they're trying to appeal to people like me. :D I've been vegan for a LONG time and do it for ethical reasons. Yes, from what I remember real meat, cheese, eggs, etc usually taste better but that doesn't solve my ethical commitment. Being able to eat an approximation of pepperoni pizza, bagel with cream cheese, and a burger has been really nice. Vegan dairy, eggs, and beef have improved considerably in recent years. I also enjoy good vegan dishes without any imitation products but the broader variety is nice.

    I have found impossible beef to be very sensitive to freshness. If it gets even slightly old or they cook it from a frozen patty instead of defrosted first, it tastes like ass. If it's fresh, I think it gets rather close, at least close enough for my memory. You may have had one that wasn't fresh, what you describe is more how I feel about Beyond burgers. Fortunately the Beyond formula is getting better and not as sensitive to freshness.
     
  13. Beefy

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    *shrug* I rather like Beyond Burgers. They smell weird when they are cooking, but I like the taste. They'll never replace a true high-end gourmet burger, but if someone replaced my regular day-to-day beef burgers with them, I probably wouldn't notice or care.
     
  14. jnak00

    jnak00 Friend

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    Someone needs to change his username
     
  15. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    BeyondBeefy?
     
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  16. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Beefy
    Beyond Beefy™
     
  17. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    Indeed, I think it might be real, honest-to-goodness irony.

    I've cut my meat intake, and red meat specifically, quite a lot over the last few years. I don't think these meat substitutes are a panacea yet, but for health and environment reasons we should all be thrilled they are at least getting better. And given the stupidly high prices of beef right now, the substitutes are getting really cost effective.
     
  18. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I've tried a few plant-based burgers both in prepared burgers from restaurants and from fresh or frozen patties and the thing that occurred to me that I was most frustrated with, at least in my experience, cost is not an indicator or quality or flavor.

    I like that when I buy prime beef I know what I'm getting. I'm not asking for any kind of regulation thru USDA or whatever, but so far the question of "what's the best plant-based meat alternative for hamburgers" is still absolute shit show. And relative cost amongst competing similar goods is supposed to be an informational transaction.
     
  19. Armaegis

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    This has been my experience.
     
  20. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    My experiences mirror these observations and I have similar leanings to those of @zerodeefex We are cutting back on meat based meals looking to have more vegetable dominant meals. However Saturday night steak night is still a special occurrence for us. With red wine of course.
     

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