August 19, 2020
I realize I am far from cutting edge when it comes to what is cool (or should I say “tight” or “sick”?) in this day. When I went to the grocery this week, I came across an entire cold case that was filled with vegetarian substitutes for other forms of food. Most of this was made from cauliflower processed to take the form of other food. Of course, they had several kinds of veggie burgers or garden burgers, but they also had veggie cheese, veggie swirl pasta, veggie chicken, and veggie bacon. I must admit, the one that really took me back was the veggie hash browns and veggie tots. Funny, I always thought potatoes were a vegetable.
Plant based brands have come a long way since Tofurky launched 25 years ago. The challenge they face is twofold. First, as at my grocery they are relegated to their own case and separated from mainstream food. That means unless you are looking for plant-based substitutes, you will glance and move on. Second is the confusion about vegan/vegetarian/lacto-vegiterian/ovo-vegitarian/ovo-lacto-vegitarian/pesce-vegitarian, and so on (btw: it means milk, eggs, and fish). Everyone seems to have their own spin on what to call these substitutes and how to brand them for the public.
Melissa and I have tried several different plant-based substitutes now that we try to eat better. We have purchased riced cauliflower (rice substitute), broccoli swirls (pasta substitute), and a few others I cannot remember. I guess that is the problem I have with most of these substitutes, they are forgettable (sorry if they are your forte). It is not that I do not like the substitute, but it is quite a different texture and taste, no matter what it says on the box. I will also say this. The veggie case was the only well stocked case in the store.
THOUGHTS: When I was in High School my mom thought I was eating too much salt and asked me on several occasions not to use so much. Although I tried to cut down, it seemed never enough. Without saying anything to me, she mixed a salt substitute half and half with the salt, hoping to cut down my intake secretly. The very first meal together I salted my food and took a bite. I immediately looked up and asked, “What is wrong with the salt.” Changing diets is like changing habits. You need to be aware of what you are doing and why. Unless we make a conscious effort to change and commit to working toward change daily, it will not happen. Now is the time to commit. Change is coming and it starts with you.