(Bihar Times)Thousands of years ago, Chinese Buddhist monks started experimenting to create food that tasted like meat but was not. Then the Rajput women of Rajasthan started doing the same to keep their husbands satisfied and yet vegetarian. The Beatle Paul McCartney’s wife became vegetarian and realized that she could not convert the world by simply talking or even setting an example. She had to give an alternative.
Meat is a drug. To wean people off it, they had to have something that was chewy and tasted like it. The taste was the easy part – after all, all the taste of meat comes from the spices and oils it is cooked in. The chewy part needed a similar sort of plant or grain. She came up with a range of dishes, mock meats that tasted like steak, sausages, chicken, beef … everything that you could want. It started off a trend and many other mock meat factories came up all over UK and Europe. Today the sales run into billions – and the main buyers are not vegetarian but meat eaters.
Mock meats have finally come to India. My sister serves it to meat eaters at parties. Not one person has been able to tell the difference and when they turn to her and ask her, why, as a vegetarian she is serving meat, she gleefully tells them it is mock meat.
I recently met Marianne Thieme, a lovely young lady who is the Member of Parliament in Holland of the Party for Animals. Her husband has a factory which makes mock meats. He has several times secretly entered his products into competitions for best meat dishes – from hamburgers to steaks. In every competition he has been placed in the first three – even though his product has nothing to do with meat!
Mock meats are healthy and protein based. They contain very little cholesterol and fat. But new vegetarians miss the chewiness of meat the most. So that is what mock meats strive to get. The neutral taste of the ingredients makes it easier for cooks to give it the taste of real meat. Vegetarian meats are based on centuries-old recipes for seitan, rice, mushrooms, legumes, tempeh, soya, or pressed-tofu, defatted peanut flour, with flavouring added to make the finished product taste like chicken, beef, lamb, ham, sausage, seafood, etc. Wheat gluten or Seitan is the most cost effective and most simple raw material for producing vegetarian sausages, burgers, nuggets, schnitzel as well as minced meat. The simple production method gives rise to a consistency which is remarkably similar to the stringy fibres that make up the consistency of meat. Tofu is made by adding a coagulant to soya milk and compressing the resulting protein solids until the required consistency is achieved. Tofu is easily digested and contains all essential amino acids. It is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Soya meat is extremely rich in protein- over 50%. Tempeh is made by the controlled fermentation of cooked soya beans with a Rhizopus mould to become a compact cake which has many B vitamins, high protein content. Quorn is an innovation from the English company Marlow Foods. It is made from a fermented fungus which is processed and textured to produce a food which can be easily mistaken for meat. Quorn products include steaks, burgers, chicken breasts as well as sliced meats. The seeds of sweet lupines is used by companies, like Meatless, for vegetarian meat. Remis Algen uses algae and, Fresh’shrooms used mushrooms. Pro Viand uses rice protein or pea protein. Beyond Meat, a company based in California, has developed a process for soy and pea. The resulting product bears a close resemblance to chicken meat and people like Bill Gates have invested in it.
What is wrong is that mock meat is not available. Because it is not easily available, it is difficult to spread awareness about the product. Abroad, you can buy mock meat in all food stores. Not so in India. We are the last country in the world to have introduced them – probably because there is so much variety in our vegetables and cereals. But I think the time has come for this form of meat to be everywhere, because vegetarians in India are turning meat eaters alarmingly fast. The amount of meat eaten yearly by the world has jumped by 10% since 2008 and international agencies are saying that this is due to India’s sudden passion for flesh.
Vegetarianism brings a lot of magic with it. Because till recently most of India was vegetarian, there is a huge flow of magic – gurus, gods, miracles – whatever the source, the point is that India seemed closer to the heavens than other countries. But, as people start eating meat we will become as ordinary as any other country. Perhaps we could get our newly misguided non vegetarians to switch to mock meat. Many of them are doing it because they think it is fashionable. It is even more fashionable to eat mock meat because you get the best of both worlds without causing any pain and partaking in any cruelty. After all, food that doesn’t take an arm and a leg is good for you.
There are several retailers of mock meats. One is Big 5 Health Food which distributes Fry’s mock meats. They are doing very well. Godrej Nature’s Basket, that stocks ready-to-make mock meat products, says that mock meats are more popular with meat eaters. Yasmin and Harish Jadwani of Ahimsa Foods set up a mock meat plant in Delhi in 2009. Chicken sausages, ham and salami are the best sellers.
Bill Gates has published a new feature on The Gates Notes, his blog. It's about alternatives to animal meat that could meet humanity's growing demand for meat over the next decades without all of the environmental and ethical problems caused by our current factory farming system. As veganism grows in popularity and even non-vegans are trending towards a more ethical and compassionate lifestyle, vegan meats have been rapidly growing in popularity. Consumer market research group Mintel conducted a study on the use of meat alternatives in the U.S. in 2013. Supermarket sales of meat alternatives reached $553 million in 2012, representing 8% growth from 2010. The survey showed that the sale benefited from consumer interest in health and wellness and food safety issues related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in addition to food scares that call into question the quality of meat products. While only 7% of consumers identify as vegetarian, some 36% of consumers surveyed are using the products in place of real meat, and 16% indicate using the products alongside meat offerings – which means, in simple terms, that they like the taste.
The etymology of the word "meat" actually shows us that it is rooted from the Old English term, "mete," which literally meant "item of food." Let us go back to its original meaning and eat real food instead of dead animals’ corpses. It's the single-most important thing one person can do to protect the environment. And now non vegetarians cannot even use the excuse of taste since they have identical moral alternatives.
To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Is China going to eat up the whole world?
Ways to become thinner or fatter
Animal Studies Paint Misleading Picture
Are you alone?
What do you eat when you eat fish
How ANIMALS manage their time—A STUDY
Next time you look into your beloved’s soul, look for the parasites at the gateway...
Medicinal Use of Cow Urine
Influence of Animals on human beings
Cruel Ways of Eating Animals & Birds by Humans II
Cruel Ways of Eating Animals & Birds by Humans I
Are you a Good Samaritan?
How to Check Adulteration in Milk
Stable Environment for healthy fish needed
Fish Lovers- Beware
Role of Bacteria in shaping behavior of genes
A Suitable Cow
Some Tips On Nursing Puppies
Ban Battery cage for chicken
Varieties of Chicken we eat
Slaughter houses and increased crime rates
Breeds of dog in India
Cruelty to animals on the occasion of festivals
Real foods spoil very quickly, fast foods not
The Myth of Swine & Avian Flu in India
Fish eating causes health hazard
Animal sacrifice in Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand
Difference between Veg and Non-veg
Virgin Mary among Lizards
Nature-the most inspiring model for our Ecosystems
Role of denial in eating of Meat
The Technology of Synthetic Milk
Honeybee-the insect for human food chain
Why do dogs bark
Characteristics of varieties of caterpillars
Emotional Complexity of Animals
Meat eating causes diseases
Rat in Hindu mythology
Which animal you are
Man’s alter ego-an Animal
Career in management of welfare of Animals
Profession of Pet grooming
What you Eat When you Eat Processed Meat
How to train a dog to make it useful
The Purpose of Minor Beings in Our Ecosystem
Cruelty to Bears in Pakistan
How Onion Drives Away Viruses
How to save an animal from burn injury
Production of Honey is cruelty to Bee
Meat eating causes Global warming
Hazards of fish factories
Growth of a bird till it flies
Creatures of the world live and help live
Killing a snake brings bad luck
Effects of the startle Reflex on Animals
Awaken Your Soul by Loving Animals
Feeling of grief in Animals
Altruism in Animals
Music Soothes Animals
How Animals recognize their Kins
Animals teach their offspring like human moms
Cruelty to Animals in Slaughter houses
What is the secret to a perfect life and happiness?
How is Ghee being adulterated ?
Difference between a man & an animal
Homosexuality Is Not Against Nature In Animal Kingdom
Programmes for improving Animal Welfare
Promiscuity in mating behaviour of Birds
Uses for slaughtered Animals accelerate killing of Animals
Slingshots & Catapults Destroy Wild Life
Human Intelligibility of Animals
Animal grooming of offspring is worth emulating
Illegal Trade of Killing Cattle
Eating Cattle Meat Causes E Coli Infection
Some tips on making Puppies’ life comfortable
Some tips on keeping kittens clean
Snake skin trade dangerous for eco system
Dog shows are not for dog lovers but for moneymakers and charlatans
Political agenda for Animal welfare needed
How foolish it is to kill Sea creatures for Ornaments
Infectious diseases from Animals to Humans
How pitiable is Rabbit farming?
Remedies for Animal ailments
Infected Pig Meat Risks Your Life
Animals spread dangerous Ebola virus to humans
Animals Have More Sense
Municipal Policy on hazards of pet shops
Mutualism makes Species of the nature flourish
Adoption Fair for Puppies
How Animals behave in packs
Why People prefer dogs and cats to human beings
Positive effects of spaying and neutering on pets
Mammals & Birds cry like human beings
Biomemetics Provides solution to human problems
Chinese food products- the greatest killer
Pets make better partners than humans
How harmful is the Packaged Meat
Stop Slaughter of Cows for Bone Trade
How cruel it is to dump pet animals ? view comments...
Don’t hurt animals on festive occasions
Let the earth beings survive
Glues are made of animal remains
Meat increases risk of cancer
Birds provide springboard to song composers
Is it not an act of Cannibalism?
How many animals do you have to eat before you become man ?
To eat or not to eat Meat
Insulin from Animals
Is It Healthy Decision to Promote Rat Eating in Bihar
Use of Animal bones in Porcelain
Infection of Tick disease in Dogs and its cure
Vegetarian diet is the best diet for human beings
Non-Veg Diet causes Dementia
Excuses for being non-vegetarians
Body odour of Non-vegetarians
MEAT threatens Planet’s Survival
Am I smarter than you ? Yes, if you are a meat eater.
Need to orient educational system to deal with animals
How to Avoid Cruelty to Gold Fish?
How To Make Everyday An Animal day
Are Eggs Vegetarian?
Are You One of these People ?
Use of Animal Fats in Cosmetics Industries
Killing of endangered Species for Perfume Industries
Missionary Campaign to Control Cruelty to Animals- needed
Drink Milk, Get Sick
Parents Create Monsters
The Business of Murder:Factory Farming and the Meat Industry in India
Effect of landscaping of birds on environment
Dangers of killing deep Sea-Sharks for Cosmetic Products
Use of dog in diagnosis of diseases
Sacred Nature of Neelkanth
Cruelty to Polo Ponies comments...
Self-Regulation of Population by Animals
Dangers of Animal meat eating
Arsenic poison in chicken feed
Cruelty to Animals by Govt. Vets
Worship of God with Blood and Suffering of Animals and Birds
Consequences of Chloramphenicol in Shrimp Industry
Hazards of Trade in Peacocks’ Feather
Supreme Court Ban on cruelty to Animals
Are you a Bad Pet Owner?
The Goat That Laughed and Wept
Animal Owners’ personality traits resemble their Pets’
Human Propensities of Goat
sacrifice at the altar of religion
as foster parent
feed from rendering plant
Intelligence of Birds
Human Propensities of Cow