Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Two product reviews - 1 Vegan Sausages

They looked better on the packet - I forgot to photograph mine, but they looked exactly like this

-Photo courtesy of Bing,

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It’s the spring equinox here today, but I don’t think the weather gods have been told. It’s freezing, we are getting snow to 600m and when I stood at the bus stop you could see your breath and the wind was so brisk it made my eyes tear up. I know I also promised you some good news. It’s not that there isn’t any  – there is so much of it that I am having trouble assembling into some sort of coherent whole, so while I’m doing that I thought I would share two of my pet peeves of the moment. I won’t mention brand names, partly because it’s more about the principles than a specific product, partly because I don’t want to be sued and lastly because someone might actually like them.

Vegan Sausages

My son very kindly brought these home. They said all the right things – Meat and Dairy Free, High in Protein, High in Zinc, Iron and Vitamin B 12, Australian made and mostly from Australian ingredients. It’s the sort of thing your Mum might buy if you said you were bringing a vegetarian friend home for dinner, or the bloke whose been told by his doctor that he can’t eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every morning if he doesn’t want to have a heart attack.

They looked good. However, they contain no less than 29 ingredients, not counting water and the possibility of peanut traces and they also had the texture and taste of pulped cardboard. Neither the girlfriend nor eggs -and -bacon man would be impressed. They would certainly not convince anyone to go vegetarian, even though they might be better for your health or the planet.

You could say I prefer whole food  – animal or vegetable, to this type of health food. I’d prefer to have a can of beans or a handful of almonds to an amorphous mass pretending to be sausages. This is even more true since I saw a doco on Food Fraud. If I really crave meat, then I’ll go out and buy a bit of the real thing without all the additives. These remind me too much of “Soylent Green.” I imagine that these sausages could work well as space food – they’d be easy to put into a tube, but otherwise I don't want something synthesised in a lab. There's more to food than a collection of nutrients.

To be fair, real sausages are also called ‘mystery bags’ in some quarters here for the same reason. Indeed, a butcher of my acquaintance was fined once for having too much meat in his sausages, but a small piece of steak or the occasional free range chicken leg will do nicely. If the animal welfare or the environmental aspects (land clearing, emissions) concern you, a serve of Tempeh will give you slightly more protein and around a third of the recommended daily allowance of B12 according to the FDA, without resorting to supplements and additives.Tempeh is a traditional Javanese food made from fermented soybeans and is now widely available in supermarkets.

You’ll notice it also naturally contains a large number of amino acids and minerals such as Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus and Selenium which are not listed on the Sausage Packet. Should convenience be the main attraction, then Tempeh is just as quick to cook. It is also comparatively cheap. Read more about nutritional information on Tempeh*here.

 Comparison of Vegan Sausages vs Tempeh

 

Per 100g

Vegan Sausages

Tempeh*

Kilojoules

874Kj

800Kj

Protein

19g

20g

Saturated fats

10.4g

2.5g

Sugars

1.4g

0

Sodium

480mg

9mg

Vit B12

2.00g (100% RDI)

0.08g (33% RDI)

Iron

3.3 (30% RDI)

2.7g (15% RDI)

Zinc

4.4g (30% RDI)

1.14g (10% RDI)

Calcium

 

     111 (9% RDI)

 

 

Tempeh has a slightly nutty flavour, more dietary fibre and an interesting texture because it contains whole soy beans. Nor does it need thickeners, flavour- enhancers or stabilisers

 -photo also from Bing

 

New frontiers in nutrition or the foodie version of Greenwash?

 

Labels scream at me from the supermarket shelves “Earth Friendly,” Vegan Friendly,” “No Artificial Colours,” “Good for the Planet.” While I applaud the concept, I get the feeling that big business has simply discovered new ways to exploit the desire for better health and environmental outcomes and is charging premium prices for products which aren’t necessarily better for you or the environment.

Bon Appetit!


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