Guilty food secret

When I said I hate tomatoes – and mentioned tomato-substitute, Nomato – I got a comment that made me feel like a ketchup bottle getting a shake.

My commentator, Neil Basil (I keep wanting to call him Captain Vegan, but in a nice way) asked: “Why cook a pretend tomato for someone who doesn’t like tomatoes?”

He’s right. In addition, what place does pretend food have when real food is at stake?

I myself am rather snobby about food technology concoctions such as vegetarian mince and – dare I say it? – vegan cheese.

But stop. Before I cast out someone else’s mote, I should pull out mine own beam.

It’s time to confess: I am addicted to a factory-made milk substitute, soya milk. I prefer it to milk which I find too animal-y in a cup of tea.

I feel I cannot justify my love of organic soya (and oat and nut) milks because they are highly processed and come in Tetrapak cartons that are hard to recycle – although not impossible.

One day when I am living in my dream eco-cottage I will make my own soya milk.

One response to “Guilty food secret

  1. Yes – Captain Vegan; need someone to design the outfit.
    But I would attempt a pretend tomato for someone who loved the flavour of tomatoes (or the texture – harder) but was intollerant or allergic. One of the deals I am aiming at is to attempt to give those those who cannot eat certain things the flavours they crave. So, to cook without salt, and give the salt taste; to provide bread that tastes like bread, but is gluten free.
    And of course I am comfortable with vegan minces and cheeses. They are, in general (if not always) far less processed than their meat and dairy counterparts. The fact is that the incredible flavours you get from these astounding cheeses, bacons and so on are due to chronic processing of the meat and the milk (and, sorry, the “ORGANIC” label only applies to the basic ingredients; there’s a fair bit more goes on ‘tween cup and lip).
    Yes, have a go at Vegan Cheese substitute for it’s flavour. It’s hard to impersonate, and that is what it is obliged to do. Do not attack it for being a processed food; dairy cheeses are far more processed, have far more, and wierder, additives than anyone trying to make a meal out of Soya Beans would even look at.
    Ask the butcher or the dairy maid; “Well how did you make this?”. They haven’t got a clue – because they didn’t.
    And, in fact, the soya milk is no more processed than the dairy milk (unless you milked the cow yourself). It is better to take the bean and make the milk from it yourself, than to shove the bean down a cows throat and make sure it gives birth to a calf so it will give milk. Better because its simpler; better because you don’t have to then kill the calf. Better because you don’t pump hormones into the soya bean to make it grow faster.
    Get it right, this dairy and meat trade is not “natural”; it has just produced flavours that most of us are addicted to. And, in fact the soya milks, tofu’s and curds go back way beyond the inventions of our modern cheeses, or sausages.


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