I don’t have any particular fondness for what I consider to be fake meat and, new to me, fake seafood. But I was sent this video of Mark Bittman interviewing Ethan Brown about his vegan chicken that made me see things a little differently. I never really considered that a really good fake meat/seafood product could potentially have an impact on the number of chickens or other animals killed each year. Some people enjoy the texture and “chew” as Mark Bittman calls it, of meat. If there was a meat product that was virtually indistinguishable from the real thing when prepared in a dish, would people care that it was not the real thing? Would they buy it instead of chicken or shrimp or whatever it was? I think that for some people, eating meat/seafood/poultry is psychological and tied up in memories and culture. And even if they could be fooled by fake chicken in a dish, when they were in the grocery store shopping, would they seek out the replacement, or continue to buy the real thing? Who knows…
Here is a link to Mark Bittman’s Article in the New York Times featuring the video on Ethan Brown’s Vegan Chicken: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/finally-fake-chicken-worth-eating.html
And while we are at it, here is a link to the most realistic looking fake shrimp I have ever seen: http://sophieskitchen.net/html/products/prawans.html.
If fake meat products keep getting better: better texture, taste and look, will more people be willing to give up the real thing?