It’s estimated that 87% of Americans eat meat.
Most of us have no clue about where our meat comes from. It’s cut up, wrapped in plastic, and neatly displayed in refrigerated cases in grocery stores.
When you ask people why they eat meat, some will tell you they enjoy the taste. A recent study funded by the Humane Research Council found that 66% of Americans believe that using animals for food is necessary for human survival. Some will discuss the nutritional value. But the truth is that most of us have never asked ourselves why we eat meat; we just assumed that was the way it’s supposed to be. The consumption of meat has traditionally been seen as a sign of wealth and affluence. That’s why, as more of the world’s people acquire wealth, more meat is consumed.
In some countries the tide is changing as people see that the more affluent are actually eating LESS meat, and not just because of their concern for animals. Former US President Bill Clinton has embraced a vegan diet as one that will lead him to lead a longer, healthier life. Others choose meat-free lifestyles out of concern for our planet, as methane from cows has a significant impact on our environment.
To go without meat is much easier said than done. There are still many restaurants that don’t carry meat-free meals, but that tide is changing too. Burger King has the Morning Star Farms veggie burger. Chains such as Panera Bread, McAlister’s Deli and Atlanta Bread Company offer meat-free sandwiches, soups, and salads. It still requires effort to go vegan in restaurants, however.
Companies are also getting on board and offering products that are meat-free while giving the consumer the “mouth feel” of meat. While you can always choose to make your own, some of you may be like me and not have the desire to cook from scratch after a stressful day at work.
For us, there are two products I’d like to showcase.
Tofurkey is a vegan meat substitute that you can purchase as a “roast,” but I like the deli slices.
Why do I choose deli slices? I like the taste, I don’t have to deal with co-workers asking prying questions about my dietary choices, and they also are a good source of protein. One serving is 5 slices, and in those 5 slices are 13 grams of protein. Compare that to peanut butter, that has 8 grams of protein in a 2 tablespoon serving.
And while I love peanut butter, I don’t want to eat it every day.
When I want a burger, there’s another product I love. Gardein has a line of vegan meat substitutes that are tasty, have mouth feel, and are a good source of protein.
Unlike the old standard Boca and Morningstar Farms patties, these are not small spongy patties that have the same color of meat but have no mouth feel.
Recently I came across these in the frozen food aisle.
Look at that- 11 grams of protein per slider. And honestly, how many of you eat just one slider?
Gardein has many other meal choices that I can find even in the deep South, where not eating meat is akin to not loving Jesus.
Your turn. What protein options do you choose for meat-free meals?
And while we’re talking about eating meat, I want to share with you this really cool poem I ran across yesterday called When Chickens Cry. Check it out!