Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tastes Like Chicken

Fake meat's been in development for a long time, and faux animal products have been popping up in supermarkets for years. (Quorn, anyone?) These laboratory-concocted Frankenfoods are beloved by many vegetarians and vegans -- the ones that don't mind ingesting massive doses of highly-processed soy, wheat, and corn -- but up 'til now, meat-eaters have turned up their noses. Yuck, they say. Tofurky tastes nothing like turkey.

But hold onto your hats: Fake meat may have just turned a corner.

Yesterday, Slate published Farhad Manjoo's review of "Beyond Meat" -- a soy product that's been engineered to mimic chicken meat. And his verdict? It looks and tastes JUST LIKE CHICKEN. In fact, Manjoo says, "I thought they resembled chicken breasts that have been prepared sous vide -- the process of cooking food at low temperatures for a long time, yielding extremely tender results." The only difference is that Beyond Chicken "breaks apart in your mouth more easily than real chicken, so you won’t get strips of it stuck in your teeth."

Well, there are other differences, too. For one, it's not actually meat.

But if the makers of "Beyond Meat" are right, this stuff's eventually going to be everywhere. As "Beyond Meat" founder Ethan Brown told Manjoo:
“Once, we had the horse-drawn carriage, and then we had the horse-less carriage, and then we had the automobile,” he says. “I’m firmly convinced we’re going to go from beef and chicken products that are animal in origin to those that are made with plants -- and at some point in the future you’ll walk down the aisle of the supermarket and ask for beef and chicken, and like the automobile has no relationship to the horse, what you get will have nothing to do with animals.”
Riiiight. Instead of beef or chicken, we really ought to get chemically-processed soy products instead.

On the bright side, at least this chicken substitute isn't made of human excrement.