Erin Does Life.

Adventures in movement
Inspired by BenDoesLife. Early thirties, working to get to an average BMI, vegan. Adult-onset runner; completed three marathons with Team In Training and now I can't stop running. Go figure. Let's go do stuff!





What do all the paleo peeps think about this Beyond Meat stuff?


Beyond Meat is… Twitter!

Beyond Meat, a startup that makes vegan meat analogues, is making products that purportedly taste and feel like real meat (we haven’t yet confirmed this ourselves), have a better nutrition profile (no cholesterol, no saturated fat, but lots of protein), and will eventually be at a lower price point than the industrially-farmed stuff. The company has some surprising backers, especially the Obvious Corporation—a company founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and former Twitter VP of Product Jason Goldman—and venture capitalist powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Why is Beyond Meat garnering so much interest?

Biz Stone Explains Why Twitter’s Co-Founders Are Betting Big On A Vegan Meat Startup

Here’s what the Beyond Meat website says is in this product:

Say hello to Beyond Meat™ Veggie Chicken Strips. These delicious plant-based strips have all of the convenience, taste, and tenderness you expect from real chicken—without the bad stuff (no saturated or trans fat, no cholesterol, no gluten, no antibiotics, no GMOs…and no meat). It’s a humane protein upgrade that will fool your taste buds while helping your health and the environment.

Water, Soy Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Isolate, Amaranth, Chicken Flavor (Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavoring), Soy Fiber, Carrot Fiber, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Dipotassium Phosphate, Titanium Dioxide, White Vinegar

So, they claim it has no GMOs. But it has canola oil, which by its nature is a GMO. In its unmodified state it is toxic. So every time we eat canola oil, it’s a GMO. And then there’s the maltodextrin — typically made from corn. Almost always a GMO nowadays, and also it’s becoming increasingly hard to even find non-GMO corn due to the scary miracle of cross-pollination. (Just another reason why I find it quite easy to shun corn. I don’t appreciate being the subject of a vast, uncontrolled science experiment on the part of Monsanto Corp.) And by the way, maltodextrin is a form of sugar. Why would a protein food even need to have sugar added? How is that supposed to be good for us, exactly? And titanium dioxide may turn out to be a carcinogen. But the jury’s still out on that one. And of course, the protein powders are heavily processed, and now even processed yet another step into this… stuff. Then there’s the yeast extract. I’m pretty sure that is the stuff they put in the foil packet of Ramen Noodles, actually. I’m sure that’s super-good for you.

So, in brief, my opinion is that this product should not be considered real food. It’s merely a food-like substance. I would not eat it no matter how hungry I was. 

Also, in my opinion, it’s odd or maybe even emotionally painful to want to eat meat-like things if you are a vegan. I mean, I don’t try to disguise my meatloaf and pretend it’s Tofurkey, do I? No, I eat the meat and I am proud of myself. When I was keeping kosher, I didn’t search out fake bacon or fake shrimp. Whatever you choose to be, you ought to put your whole self in and let go of the rest. Don’t be pining after meat if you think it’s immoral and unhealthy! Let it go! You are a vegan, so eat vegan stuff like kale and coconut and whatnot. (I eat those things myself and I know darn well they are delicious.) Eat vegan stuff that is real food. Please don’t waste your money or your health on this pseudo-food garbage. It’d be a shame if you went to all the trouble of becoming a vegan only to develop atherosclerosis and diabetes from eating fake chicken.

My $.02: 

1) Beyond Meat is probably not considered paleo because it is made with soy protein - from soy BEANS (legumes) - one doesn’t even need to go into the GMO-ness of canola oil. Whether or not you buy the paleo premise that “cavemen” didn’t have access to beans, one of the major protein sources for populations around the world (think lentils and chickpeas in Indian cuisine, pinto and black beans in Latin American cuisine, or of course edamame and tofu in Asian cuisine) is another story altogether.

2) Regarding the “inconsistency” of vegans eating fake meat products - I think this debate is probably about as old as veganism itself. To me, it all boils down to why one goes vegan (and there are lots of reasons - health, environmental impact of raising meat, animal rights, taste - and not every vegan subscribes to every reason.)

If you go vegan because you don’t like the texture of meat, then it would indeed be odd to consume meat substitutes. If, however, one decides to go vegan because of any one of the myriad of other reasons people decide to do so, then fake meat products can (and do) offer serve philosophically consistent purposes, and here are at least three: 1) they’re easier to substitute into recipes and incorporate into the diet, especially for people transitioning to veganism (especially for people who are not drawn to the ethical arguments for going vegan but whose doctor has told them to adopt a vegan diet (like steak-and-potatoes  guys in the upper Midwest who are rediscovering vegetables, let alone abandoning meat)), 2) the good-tasting meat substitutes are a nice option to serve to omniverous family/friends who are skeptical of whole vegan foods like tofu and tempeh, and 2) even though there’s a TON of variety in vegan foods, it’s nice to have one more option.

As an example - I went vegan not because I didn’t like the taste of meat but because of the ethical reasons, myself. However, I think it’s the blood taste of meat that I find completely unappetizing and objectionable now. I do like the texture of many meat substitutes (like any other food product, there are good meat substitutes and horrible ones.)

The take-away here is EAT REAL FOOD!!! This doesn’t just go for vegans and vegetarians who highly processed meat substitutes and other foods, but this ALSO go for meat-eaters as well! Thanks, Bliss!

- Derek

+1. I do think that processed veg options are largely better than most mass-produced, factory-farmed meat products out there, and I think it’s good to have options for a variety of situations, but all the same fake meats are a processed food product and like any other processed product should be used in moderation.

  1. johnlscott reblogged this from spiritguide
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    +1. I do think that processed veg options are largely better than most mass-produced, factory-farmed meat products out...
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    solve world hunger, maybe?
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    The take-away here is EAT REAL FOOD!!! This doesn’t just go for vegans and vegetarians who highly processed meat...
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    Here’s what the Beyond Meat website says is in this product: Say hello to Beyond Meat™ Veggie Chicken Strips. These...
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