Sunday, September 28, 2014

To mock or not to mock

A vegan dish
without mock meat
is appealing for it's natural colours
The Pro’s and Con’s of mock meat 
have been much discussed 
but there is never a satisfactory conclusion.

There are opinions that 
mock meats can be a tool 
to encourage people eat less meat, 
as mock meat could serve as a replacement. 

Also, for veg beginners, 
mock meat can also be a transition phase to 
gradually accustom their taste buds to purely plant based food.

there are also perceptions that 
mock meat is afterall a type of processed food, 
hence it is not good for digestion, 
and may even be infested with additives and flavor enhancers, 
deterring health in long term. 

Also, there are claims that 
mock meat are always given the animal names, 
which do not quite help one nurture compassion.

The arguments above have their own basis. 
It seems truly difficult to conclude 
whether mock meat is an angel or a devil. 

But one thing for sure, 
from the nutrition perspective, 
mock meat has not any point to defend for.

Mock meat manufacturers generally would 
protest in such a way that 
their mock meats are made of 
soy proteins, plant fibres, konjac and mushroom stems, 
hence much healthier and less fattening than 
conventional gluten-based mock meat. 

However, the manufacturing of mock meat 
often deploys techniques like 
dehydration, deep frying, demineralization to preserve the products. 
Otherwise, high concentration of sugar, salt, alkaline and acids 
will be used. 

All these processing leads to mineral and vitamins depletion, 
rendering serious loss of life force in food. 
Ingestion of such products will cause burden to the digestive systems.

some manufacturers who are less health conscious, 
may even add in MSG, colourings and chemicals 
to mock the flavor and aroma of meat and seafood. 
This inevitably causes more health damage.

One of the reasons why mock meat is popular nowadays, 
is due to the fact that 
mock meat can help veg eateries to reduce cost. 

Mock meat could be stored in freezer for more than a year, 
hence the food material wastage is minimized. 

Conversely, because fresh produce generally can only last 3-7 days, 
every week a lot of leftover or unfresh materials 
have to be thrown away, 
in turn elevating the overall cost. 

Wherever vegetarianism is not popular, 
and the demand for vegetarian food is low, 
it is inevitable to see vegetarian eateries 
deploying mock meat to ensure survival.

Some vegetarian eateries perceive that 
mock meat could attract more people consume vegetarian food, 
since most of the public love meat. 

From religious point of view, 
this may attract good merits 
as the vegetarian eateries operators may claim. 

While the intention is good, 
this method of promoting vegetarianism is 
as good as putting public on unhealthy fast food. 
Vegetarian eateries need to understand the implications well. 

In fact, a lot of people avoid vegetarian 
due to the abuse of mock meat. 
From this perspective, 
it turns out that mock meat tarnishes the image of vegetarianism, 
and consequently hinders the outreach of vegetarianism to the public.

To convince a non-veg to consume vegetarian food, 
does not need to depend on 
whether the vegetarian food taste like meat. 

Instead, proper education should be offered to non-veg, 
explaining that compared from meat diet, 
vegetarian diet could cleanse our blood better, 
improve our physical wellbeing, 
bring about brain clarity, 
stable emotion, 
and eventually supporting successful career and holistic lifestyle.

Vegetarian eateries’ dilemma in using mock meat 
is not unresolvable. 

The solution lies in the wisdom of vegetarian community, 
where veg consumers have to continuously provide 
positive feedbacks on natural vegetarian items and 
strictly refuse mock meat 
(for the sake of own’s health and the positive image of veg community). 

When the demand of the veg community changes, 
the supply will also ‘naturally’ change.

The course of eliminating mock meat
is likened to a revolution. 
Sacrifice is inevitable. 

Here, sacrifice means that 
veg eateries may face higher operating cost, reduced profits; 
veg consumers are likely to pay a higher premium for natural foods. 

Both parties, have to sacrifice willfully, 
so as to share the effort of restructuring dietetic health and 
reinstating food ethics of our society.

Veg consumers who are well off may offer more support; 
those who have restricted budget may consider 
eating at home more, to reduce living cost. 

Whereas, those who are unable to pay for natural food, 
should not complain about higher natural food cost, 
but should instead praise the courageous veg eateries for their sacrifices. 
This way, there will be hope for improvement of vegetarian culture in our society!

By good will,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

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