You don’t need to be a vegetarian to understand that there is something that is fundamentally flawed with the current state of the meat industry in this country. Think of it like the real-world of The Matrix, but with animals instead of humans. It is no wonder some individuals feel the need to turn vegetarian, as it appears that there is no other choice, but to eat the garbage meat that is sold in most grocery stores.
This is where meat substitutes, or “faux meat” comes in. It is my understanding that some vegetarians use these meat products as a way to either wean themselves off of their dependency of real meat, or as a way to satisfy their natural craving for animal flesh by eating something they consider to be more healthy.
The issue that arises from this is the misconception that faux meats are healthier than animal flesh. Here is a snap shot of two vegetarian products from a leading food manufacturer, touted as “healthy & all natural”:
The first thing I notice when looking at these ingredient lists is the amount of corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, maltodextrin, and food coloring that in each list. I would like an explanation as to how these ingredients are superior to meat in regards to gut and heart health, especially to an individual is gluten intolerant.
Soy makes a big appearance on these lists, no doubt to its protein content. LBEB readers are too smart to fall for this claim, as we know the multitude of reasons that soy should be avoided, including the fact that over 90% of commercially raised soy is genetically modified and treated with gasoline byproducts.
One of the next big ingredients on the list is the variety of corn and its derivatives. Corn is becoming increasingly infamous for the harm it causes the flora and fauna of the planet, as well as the amount of gasoline used to grow a pound of corn: over a 2:1 ratio. The fact that no species is able to properly digest modern corn is something to consider as well. It’s important to note though, that most meat processed in the U.S. is fed a corn diet. Both corn and soybeans leave a fairly substantial carbon footprint as well, making their claims of superiority for the health of the planet in a questionable state.
You want food coloring? Vegetarian products have all you need! Most modern food coloring products are highly synthesized and processed with cancer-causing chemicals. No longer are food dyes made with natural colors found in nature, instead we are left with a toxic dye grown in a lab, added to faux meat to make an otherwise white blob of ingredients look palatable.
Another alternative to these faux meats would be (to me) the most obvious solution: getting your animal products from a grass-fed/pasture raised farm. Unless you are a vegan for moral reasons, in which case it is not even worth my time to argue with you. I won’t go the route of saying “You tell me not to eat meat, but you are eating a plant, which is also alive!” because that is a logical fallacy, and we don’t like those, do we?
If this was a perfect world, pasture raised meat would be affordable for everyone, but that simply isn’t the case. On the same token, however, some individuals complain that they have no money, when in fact they choose to spend their money on things like alcohol and eating out at restaurants. If you really wanted to eat healthy, you set grass-fed meat higher on your list of priorities. A whole or half cow that lived its entire life on a grassy farm can be purchased for as little as $5 a pound for ALL CUTS. That is cheaper than a crappy cut of corn fed steak from the grocery store. All it requires is a large freezer, a few hundred dollars, and a desire to choose a healthier source of protein.
A source of protein is not something to be emulated lightly, and if you don’t understand the source of your protein, you leave yourself in an ignorant position. Whether it is conventionally raised animals, or “beef crumbles” in the frozen aisle, understand that you literally are what you eat.