2016 Will Be the Year of the Plant Butcher
Janay Laing

These plant-based “meats” are an interesting idea but hardly new. The “meat” made from vital wheat gluten has been made in Japan for centuries, called “Saitan” there. It has been canned and sold as “mock duck” for decades worldwide. I’ve made it myself. It has a sort of meaty texture, but like tofu, only tastes like what you flavor it with. Nutritional yeast gives it a sort of meatlike flavor but it really doesn’t taste or chew like actual meat.

Do the people who sell textured, flavored wheat gluten tell people that their food is MADE of gluten? Do they make it REALLY CLEAR? Because there’s a lot of people who won’t even eat a dish that has been stirred with a spoon that touched gluten because they say it destroys their metabolism. There are books about how horrible gluten is for you, especially gluten from today’s highly hybridized and tinkered-with wheat varieties.

Wheat protein and other plant proteins are NOT nutritionally complete. The only one that comes close is soy protein, but even that has some critical differences that limit bioavailability. Unless you tinker with the recipe and include a lot of different plant proteins in just the right balance, you will suffer malnutrition if you try to live off it exclusively. That’s why people eat meat — it’s a complete protein, with all the necessary amino acids and fatty acids that our bodies need.

Fake meat…not so much.

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