So I’ve been concerned about the sustainability of meat as a food product for a while now. Mind you, not so concerned yet that I’m willing to give it up entirely (there will be a full day of mourning when I lay corned beef to rest), but enough to investigate what my un-meat options look like these days. Believe it or not, things aren’t looking half bad.
I decided to start with the Boca burger since they’re carried in just about every major grocery store in a 50 mile radius. Accessibility is a major factor when considering anything touting itself as a meat replacement. Since these are both cheap and easy to find, they should be considered part of anyone’s cruelty-free repertoire. They taste about the same as when my mom was buying them wholesale 15 years ago; clearly not meat and somewhat bland, but something I could see myself eating in a pinch. They also function effectively as an air hockey puck for approximately 30 minutes in a warm room.
Second was the Beyond Burger, a 4 oz patty about which the internet is ABUZZ with praise. These were harder to find overall, with Whole Foods having sold out of them the first time I went. After managing to get my hands on some, I was thoroughly impressed by the whole package. Consistency was roughly equivalent to a ground beef patty and it was thick enough that I could get some char on both sides without overcooking it. The taste isn’t the same as beef, with some strong peppery flavors that give it away, but considering the former wasn’t what I was looking for in the first place, it ended up being a pleasant experience. These are going to be regularly stocked in my freezer.
The only other thing I tried was some dairy-free pepper jack made by Follow Your Heart. This ended up being a complete waste of money; while the consistency matched a normal slice of cheese, there ended up being absolutely no hint of flavor in it whatsoever. If you have a thing for the consistency of cheese but without any hint of that APPALLING pepper jack flavor, this might be for you.
So I guess that’s that. I’m only eating three eggs with my morning scramble now that the other three have been substituted for tofu, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve earned my vegan wings. Did you know it takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single chicken egg? Yeah, get ready for more unsolicited tidbits like that one in the near future.