email correspondance with my friend Ivan about Quorn

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Ivan (jeez, update your blog, yo!): “I can’t get enough quorn chik’n.  We eat at least one meal per week now with their stuff.  Is micoprotein ok?  Is it some miracle food?  It’s delicious (at least in chik’n form)!”

Me: “OK, WHAT IS QUORN CHIK’N? I know what quorn is, but I am sure eating a lot of anything called chik’n is not ideal. I’m sure it’s super processed. Just the name is scary!!
But I also doubt it’s going to kill you….”

Ivan: “stuff like this. it’s DELICIOUS!!”

Me: “Hrumph.

1) “Garlic & Herb Chik’n Cutlet – NEW CRISPIER”
NEW CRISPIER?
DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?
Do they mean:
New! Crispier!
or
Now crispier?

Either would have worked. New crispier is just strange. Maybe it’s a Britishism.

anyway.

2)

Mycoprotein (31%), rehydrated egg white, onion, wheat flour, textured wheat protein (wheat protein, wheat starch), whey protein concentrate, canola oil. Contains 2% or less of salt, potato maltodextrin, garlic powder, dextrose, autolyzed yeast extract, tapioca starch, mustard flour, yeast, sugar, parsley, pectin, natural flavors from non-meat sources, pepper extract, ascorbic acid, citric acid, calcium lactate, onion powder, gum arabic, black and white pepper, paprika extract

What is Mycoprotein?

“Mycoprotein is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “the albuminoid which is the principal constituent of the protoplasm of the cell.” “Myco-” is from the Greek word for “fungus”.
Marlow Foods Ltd. says its Quorn brand of meat-free foods and Mycoscent brand of low-sodium flavorings are made from mycoprotein, though its usage differs from the dictionary definition. Proteins, including albumin, contain no dietary fiber, but their website claims mycoprotein to be a good source of it.”

Rehydrated egg white sounds like liquid baby puke, but that’s just me.

Textured wheat protein involves about 1,000 refinings to get to where it is—it’s a super processed, a completely dead food.

Whey protein concentrate: super processed

Canola oil: almost definitely GMO
And everything else is pretty much crap.
Do you want my honest opinion?
Never eat this stuff again!!
It is not food. It’s a foodlike substance which has tricked your tongue into tasting like food, but it is, in fact, literal crap. It’s processed to such a degree that it’s literally dead. I won’t say it’s worse than eating a McDonalds hamburger, but it’s definitely worse than eating a hamburger made from quote unquote happy cows raised by a small local farmer who ensured that they had good lives before they were unnecessarily killed. From a planetary perspective, you’re better off eating that hamburger, especially since it wouldn’t be packaged and shipped all around the universe. (From an ethical perspective, obviously not.)

Also, interesting stuff here.

Ah, quorn. Such a cute name, too bad it SUCKS SO HORRIBLY BAD.

Can I put this entire dialogue on my blog?”

Ivan: “Haha my hopes and dreams are crushed!!  Yes you can blog it, just try not to make me look too uncivilized ;(

Well that sucks.  thank you for looking into it…i guess it seemed too good to be true:
all i want is tasty and healthy meat substitute that won’t take a large amount of time to prepare!”

Winky unhappy face? Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Poor Ivan, I feel bad to have crushed your favorite meal. At least you had the new crispy while it lasted. You’ve known me for 13 years, you should have known that I was bound to crush any happy little thing you brought to me.

Now it’s my turn for a winky unhappy face.

9 Responses to “email correspondance with my friend Ivan about Quorn”

  1. orlande

    a couple of years ago when quorn started increasing in popularity around these parts, i googled it and found that TONS of people were having pretty severe allergic reactions to it. apparently it can nearly kill you if you’re sensitive to penicillin or many types of mold. from what i understood, mycoprotein is less “fungus (mushroomy)” and more “mold.”

    yuck!

    Reply
  2. Liz

    Sigh… So, without TVP, how do you make a veggie burger? It seems so helpful in small quantities.

    Reply
  3. orlande

    um, i’m ridic. apologies for my redundancy from your “interesting stuff here” link.

    liz – oats and bragg’s/soy sauce + smashed beans gives an effect similar to tvp, although i’m sure lagusta has a better suggestion (being professionally trained and all).

    Reply
  4. lagusta

    OK, veggie burger! Liz, are you looking for quorn to be the meaty part of the burger, or the binder? Probably the meaty part, but I don’t know exactly the texture of quorn, so maybe it’s a bit of a binder too? I would use ground up seitan or, as Orlande (aka Andee!) says, mashed up beans, specifically lentils. Or ground up tempeh! Or even tofu, maybe deep fried and ground tofu? OK, that’s a bit of work.

    My favorite kind of veggie burger is a finely ground protein (seitan, etc) plus a very mushy grain (overcooked rice, quinoa is good, etc.) plus a TON of flavorings. Not to push a book I worked on, but the Best of Bloodroot cookbook, volume 2, which you can get at bloodroot.com and for which I don’t get any money, has a really great veggie burger recipe. It’s the one they make at Bloodroot restaurant, and it’s super nice, and I believe it’s gluten and wheat-free. Hmm, maybe just wheat-free.

    Okara is another great burger-maker—okara is the curds to tofu’s whey (it might be the other way around), and if you make your own tofu or soymilk you probably are looking for uses for it. You can sometimes find it in health food stores, or you can get it from your local tofu maker, if you are lucky enough to have such a thing (Bloodroot gets theirs from The Bridge, if you’re in CT you can too!).

    And about TVP (which is probably the most lifeless food in the entire health food store), I feel like ground seitan is the exact same texture (maybe just a tad more flavorful and not as spongy and tasteless), don’t you?

    Reply
  5. Debra

    Hi Lagusta & fellow blog readers,

    Thought that you may be interested in the correspondance I received from Marlow Foods (the producers of Quorn) about their use of animal-derived products.

    Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding Quorn products.

    We are sorry to hear that you were upset to learn that eggs are used in the manufacture of our products.

    The ingredients used in the Quorn range of products are vegetable in origin, but all contain a small amount of egg white which is added as a binding agent to produce the firm, meat-like texture that our customers enjoy. In addition, most Quorn products contain whey protein derived from milk.

    Over the years, we have expended considerable effort working to find suitable alternative binders to replace the egg which would give the same eating quality and make our products acceptable to vegans. Unfortunately we have never been able to replicate the textures & flavours, (which market research data indicate are the optimum), of our current products with the commercially available, vegan approved, food ingredients.

    We value and respect the views of all vegetarians and vegans and would hope to meet their criteria at some time in the future. We will continue to search for acceptable alternatives to eggs and fully assess new ingredients as they come onto the market place, but at present we can unfortunately give no indication of when and indeed if this will ever be achieved.

    Yours sincerely

    Tracey Cope
    Consumer Care Advisor
    Marlow Foods

    Reply
  6. ivan

    i tried the quorn meatballs and they were delicious. still love me?

    ps i actually did update my blog, today. not sure if i’ll get back to regularly doing it though. what i really need to do is start shooting regularly again…this miserable winter has kept me inside too much. i bought this great new camera late last year and have barely used it. i do want to take a trip to new paltz and some point when you’re both around and take some pics.

    Reply
  7. lagusta

    Hey! So, Ivan, that link goes to your photos, not to your blog for some reason. But I found your new post (woo!) and tried to add a comment, but it wouldn’t let me for some reason. So here’s my comment: awesome! I really really enjoy wirelessly sending music from my mac to the Airport Express to the living room speakers from my office on the other side of the house, but the iphone app makes it even extra awesomer. I’ve got to get that one.

    I spent 40 minutes today in bed looking at lolcats and loldogz through the miracle of the I Can Has Cheezburger iphone app. (Since I’m already dorking out in this comment, why not go all the way, right?)

    Reply

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