Thursday, August 19, 2010

The great Quorn experiment

Posted by lea at 11:36 AM
So lately, the treatment of animals prior to their death in order to nourish our bodies, has been weighing on my mind. I read a book that described the treatment of chickens on a UK battery farm and it was very disturbing. I haven't (and don't plan to) read Jonathan Safran Foer's apparently very excellent book Eating Animals because I know it will haunt me and quite frankly, affect my meat-loving self.

My position is that I would be happy to pay more to know that the animals whose flesh I'm eating had been treated well before their death. It's the least we could do, right? (The most we could do is to NOT EAT THEM but I'm not a freaky vegetable-lover thank you). To this end, I've weighed in on the comments sections of articles discussing this issue and also tried to reduce the meat intake in our house as a small protest against the mean meat factories (goodbye Steak Sundays).

... then along came QUORN, a British meat substitute that was apparently created by scientists in response to potential future food shortage. It's high in protein, consists mainly of fermented fungus and is much lower in fat than actual meat. I was excited to hear about it and finally tracked down Quorn mince at our local supermarket on the weekend.

At $6 for 300g, it's almost double the average price of mince, but it could simply be that it's much lighter than real mince, because quantity-wise, 300g seemed much like the mince meat equivalent of 500g or possibly even a little more.

Hubster had flatly refused to eat it previously, but since he was out at the pub last night for after-work drinks, I thought I had a pretty good chance of sneaking it past him. First, he'd be hungry from the delayed dinner, and secondly he'd probably be slightly fuddled by alcohol.

When he walked in the door, there I was like a good wife stirring a pot on the stove top.
What evil lurks beneath that smile?

Him: Hey, that smells great!

Me: Yep, it's spag bol.

Him: (suspicious face) That's not....

Me: Don't worry, it's just mince (technically not a lie, since it's called 'Quorn mince'), I found it in the freezer (which is where I put it after shopping... ha ha).

Him: Okay cool.

Skip to after dinner...

Me: (Looking at his empty bowl which has practically been licked clean) So tell me honestly... did you even notice the difference?

Him: What? (looks in his bowl, looks at me slightly aghast) You lied to me!

Me: I didn't lie! It is called mince and it was in the freezer. But could you tell?

Him: (after an ardent meat-eater's hesitant pause) No, it was actually really nice...



Caesar on August 19, 2010 at 12:14 PM said...

Cool. Will have to tell my bro about this one, since his gf is a strict vegetarian.

Personally, I've also tried reducing our meat intake for similar reasons. Mainly it's so that we aren't constantly buying meat in bulk and freezing it. Defrosting is a pain because it forces me to have to plan meals in advance, but also for the health and environmental reasons that I wrote about earlier:

Anonymous said...

Hahaha... awesome! I should play that trick on Ken! My vegetarian friends were so excited when quorn hit our shores recently.

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