Kirk’s 31-Day “Go Veggies!” Challenge, Day 4: No Fake Meat!

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Do I miss meat? Not at all. When you initially transition into plant-based eating, most people consume all the fake meat products on the market. My favorite years ago was grilled seitan with barbeque sauce. I’d go to vegan restaurants and order it all the time.

Tofu scrambled eggs and tempeh bacon was another favorite. I was amazed at how much fun I could have by throwing a few veggie burgers on the grill and drowning them with ketchup and mustard.

Then something hit me. The reason meat tastes so good to most people is because of how it’s cooked and seasoned, but much of the same cooking and seasoning could be applied to veggies. And, as my journey into veganism progressed, I had no desire to be reminded of meat products.

The thought of a juicy steak or a grilled hot dog didn’t excite me any longer, so why would I need a fake product? Finally, one of the biggest game changers for me was the research I did for my book, The 1st Aisle: How to Eat for Maximum Health. I discovered how many chemical additives were in fake meat products to enhance taste, texture, aroma, coloring and shelf-life, most of which you cannot buy from a grocery store.

Are fake meat products good or bad for your health? I can’t say with certainty, but my best guess is that they will not help your situation, so consume them sparingly. If you make your own bean burger at home, I don’t see a problem with it.

A grilled tempeh sandwich doesn’t sound bad to me either, since tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s been around for hundreds of years. Other than those two exceptions, I try to avoid all fake meat products because I don’t know how the chemical additives will affect me in the long run. Something tells me it won’t be too pretty! 

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