Culinary no-no #656

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

We flat out missed it. Even if we had known we would not have celebrated.

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June 5th was National Veggie Burger Day, created in 2017 to encourage everyone to eat a veggie burger and observe the positive impact plant-based veggie burgers have on us and the planet.

Rave reviews followed the onslaught of the veggie burger, with one website wondering in print if the revelation would eventually be more popular than the traditional beef variety. rated the frozen veggie burgers you’ll find at the grocery and found the best to be the Beyond Burger.

“Whether you’re a proud carnivore, devoted vegetarian,  or newbie vegan on the verge of caving, you’ve gotta throw this bad boy on the grill. The Beyond Burger is beyond juicy, meaty, and an almost-exact replica of a poultry patty. While it looks, cooks, and even bleeds like a beef burger (chalk that illusion up to the beet juice), it also packs in more than double the amount of iron and nearly half the saturated fat than an 80-percent-lean beef burger. Looking to serve up some shock value at your next backyard BBQ? This pick will do the trick.”

But not everyone is rushing to endorse or give it a try.

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Abby Cannon is an attorney turned dietitian who runs Abby’s Food Court, a website that  promotes an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Ask Abby about the Beyond Burger and she’s very straightforward.

“No, I’m not a fan! I think so often people are like ‘oh it’s vegan, it’s plant-based, it’s healthy,’ and that’s not necessarily the case. We really want to be thinking about eating real whole foods. I would always prefer you eat peas as opposed to pea protein isolate—which needs to be significantly processed to get into that form. In promoting plant-based eating, we’re still not doing enough to promote eating real whole foods in their natural form.”

Wait a minute. Healthy? One might assume. No meat after all. However don’t tell that to Diana Rodgers, another dietitian who says her choice would be the real meat burger, every time.

“I’m a huge believer in eating whole, real foods and avoiding ultra-processed foods. Real burgers, they’re considered fresh red meat. There are zero studies showing that red meat causes heart disease or cancer. Some studies show associations between people who eat meat and people who get cancer and heart disease, but the actual cause has not been proved. Think about your typical vegetarian compared to a typical meat eater in America. Typical vegetarians are more likely to do other healthy things like drink and smoke less, work out more, and generally take care of themselves better. When all of these lifestyle factors are accounted for, there’s no proof that eliminating meat is beneficial for your health.”

Consider this. Gallup periodically measures vegetarianism in the U.S. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 5%, only 5% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be vegetarian. Another  Gallup poll from this past January found nearly one in four Americans (23%) report eating less meat in the past year than they had previously.

So, people are eating less meat, but they’re not at all making the leap to going full vegetarian. Can a new product be marketed just for them? Enter the “flexitarian.”

It’s simple. Food companies are now mixing beef with grains and vegetables. Like marketers of the veggie burgers these companies will soon be telling us how juicy, delicious, and healthy these blended burgers (and in some cases, sausages) are on the grill. The additives include sweet potato, broccolini, organic beans, spinach, cauliflower, and of course, mushroom, onions, and peppers.

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Image may contain: food

No thanks.


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ICYMI, Culinary no-no #655

One thought on “Culinary no-no #656

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no #657 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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