Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Monday, October 23, 2006

Do you really want to live forever?

Not if it means I have to eat Quorn ...
April brings the main course: a medley of asparagus tips, shiitake mushrooms, and the featured ingredient, an unlikely hybrid of life-giving wholesomeness and bio-industrial hubris known as Quorn.

Quorn, at last! For as long as I’ve been following the blogs and mailing lists of the greater Calorie Restriction community, I’ve been reading about this patented wonder morsel, perhaps the ultimate in CR-friendly foods. Grown in fermentation tanks from a cultured strain of the soil mold Fusarium venenatum, Quorn in its virgin state is almost pure protein and very low in calories. Processing adds various essential nutrients, including a generous helping of zinc, which is concentrated in almost no other food but oysters and which the calorie-restricted can never get enough of. The end product tastes and chews remarkably like an unbreaded Chicken McNugget and can substitute for meat with all the versatility of soy (Quorn dogs, Quorn cutlets, and Quorn roasts are just a few of the faux-flesh varieties on offer) yet with fewer saturated fats and none of the alleged dementia-and/or-male-aggression-causing properties.

I'm sorry, but that's not food.

I'm interested in the longevity issues here - as far as I can tell, it's a better way to stay young than plastic surgery - but it also seems like another way to feed those OCD tendencies we all have hovering just below (or above) the surface.

The Fast Supper - NY Magazine
The Calorie Restriction Society

13 Comments:

  • Okay, so I agree with you in principle, but Quorn fake chicken nuggets are GOOD.

    By Blogger winnekat, at 11:28 PM  

  • I concur with Kate! I love Quorn! They used to do a fabulous Quorn Alfredo with Broccoli microwave dinner - very easy and tasty. But the nuggets are great and the Quorn cutlets are really nice too.

    By Blogger Colin, at 11:37 PM  

  • It's a good thing I'm sitting down, because I can't believe that you two, of all people, are defending Quorn! Stunned, simply stunned.

    By Blogger fabulous girl, at 8:56 AM  

  • I know you're supposed to try everything once, but I draw the line at "a cultured strain of the soil mold Fusarium venenatum." I've never been a fan of meat in nugget form or anything involving the word 'cutlet,' so I'm not sure why I'd eat fake meat with either of those properties.

    By Blogger BS, at 4:27 PM  

  • I have Quorn in my freezer right now.

    I'm not sure why a cultured mold is so much worse than, say, yoghurt, which is bacterial cultures, or breads made with yeast, or beer or wine... I mean, yes, it's a food created by humans, but one could argue that most of the vegetables that we eat (unless you buy exclusively organic, and even then there are some questions) are the products of human tinkering.

    By Blogger Colin, at 4:31 PM  

  • Science = yucky. Latin is very, very rarely appetizing is all I'm saying. How about you guys make sure the Fusarium venenatum is edible, I'll make sure the wine is drinkeable. ;)

    By Blogger BS, at 9:37 PM  

  • Ah yes, wine, the product of fermentation of Vitis vinifera with yeast and Lactic acid bacteria... yum! ;)

    By Blogger Colin, at 11:39 PM  

  • Love the way you spell yoghurt!

    Here's the thing. Wine and yoghurt aren't masquerading as meat, or anything else for that matter. It's not so much where it comes from as what it's pretending to be. Why not eat an organic chicken nugget, if that's what you're after?

    By Blogger fabulous girl, at 10:59 AM  

  • Hmm. Interesting argument. To me, I guess, something that's a fake meat product isn't all that weird. I mean, I think a lot of cooking is using a variety of ingredients to alter the way things taste and I think that's kind of similar. And I know you've eaten veggie dogs before - I don't see any difference between Quorn and any other fake meat. For that matter, what about when people make portobello burgers, substituting a portobello mushroom for the beef patty?

    Also, a couple of reasons to eat Quorn nuggets instead of chicken nuggets: Organic chicken nuggets are very hard to find; & Quorn is much healthier. :)

    Personally, I don't plan to convince you to eat Quorn - that's up to you. But I don't see the difference between it and any of the other fake meats. I have no problem with meat substitutes and Quorn is one of the better ones around.

    By Blogger Colin, at 4:21 PM  

  • You're right, there's no difference between Quorn and any kind of fake meat. I guess as a fake nugget, they're just like a fake hot dog, but the preparation in the No-Cal diet wasn't nugget style, it was more like ... chopped liver?

    You'll be shocked to hear that I'm pretty picky about my fake meat.

    By Blogger fabulous girl, at 11:13 PM  

  • I can't believe I am a quorn virgin.


    Wait a second - isn't that just tofu?

    By Blogger camarooned, at 5:25 PM  

  • What is the main ingredient of the soil mold? Is it milk? A liquid?

    By Anonymous Dimitrios Pop Art, at 6:22 PM  

  • All:

    Thou hast no right but to do thy Will.

    fabulous girl asks: "Why not eat an organic chicken nugget, if that's what you're after?"

    Because you're vegetarian ;) , or because it's healthier (much less saturated fat, zero cholesterol, contains fiber), or because you're watching your weight (lower Calorie), or because you're concerned about the planet (much lower carbon impact), or because it's cheaper, or because it's more convenient, or because you're worried about food safety (salmonella etc), or because you want to live forever thru' CR (as in the article), or ...

    Colin said...: "I don't see any difference between Quorn and any other fake meat."

    I do: it tastes better ;)

    camarooned said: "Wait a second - isn't that just tofu?"

    Um, no, it's not ... did you read the original post??

    Love is the law, love under will.

    -Michael

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:01 AM  

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