Faux meat for real

The other day, as I was searching for the crossword puzzle in the Sunday newspaper, I came across an interesting article about Missouri and Nebraska regulating the term “meat” on product labels of food that tries to pass for a meat substitute. Stuff like veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other meat-like crud generated from a Petri dish. Um, excuse me a sec. I just threw up a little in my mouth. I need to cleanse my palate with some 90 proof mouth wash.

Nebraska is trying to pass a bill that defines meat as “any edible portion of any livestock or poultry”. Hold on there, pardner! Are y’all cornhuskers saying if you can eat some body part from a farm animal, it’s gonna be called “meat”?  Hey, I don’t know what all they eat up in Nebraska, but down here in Texas, we have a different definition of meat. We don’t consider pig’s feet or tripe as meat, although both would fit the criteria up in Omaha. What about calf fries? They are edible, and they do come from livestock, but I wouldn’t consider mountain oysters as meat.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I totally support what those two states are doing, and I wish Texas would follow suit. But perhaps take it one step further, like banning tofu, veggie burgers and other plant-based meat impersonators in all meat markets in Texas, except for a few strategically placed stores in Austin, Dallas and Houston for those vegan immigrants from California and New England.

My reason for the ban is to protect red-blooded, hard-working carnivorous Americans like me from eating some alien life form in a dish of pasta. These faux meat products are on grocery stores’ shelves for those women who read way too many recipes in their Good Housekeeping magazines. Oh, yeah, I’ve been tricked by my lovely wife on more than one occasion, but I don’t verbally complain.

Most of y’all have heard of tofu, the worst thing created in a laboratory since nerve gas. Like Play-Doh, tofu can be molded into any shape to look like real meat. Toss in some spices and pour tomato sauce over it, and shazam! You’re eating some plant-based product that a starving billy goat won’t even touch.

There’s some stuff called “Tempeh” that is real popular among vegans and such folks. According to my dictionary, it’s “an Asian food prepared by fermenting soybeans with a rhizopus”. I don’t know what sounds worse. That it is fermented or it has pus mixed in it. I pray I’ll never have that passing through my gullet.

There’s another product that’s made from processed wheat gluten that is supposed to taste like beef, pork or chicken, depending on what spices are used. It’s called “Seitan”, which I believe is the French spelling for Satan. No thank you, ma’am. I don’t need Satan entering my body.

There’s also some fuss about labeling milk-like products made from soy, coconuts, almonds and other plant sources. Being lactose intolerant, I am a fan of these products. How else can I enjoy my Cap’n Crunch? The dairy industry wants “milk” taken off the label of these products, citing milk can only come from mammals. I reckon they have a point since I have never seen teats on walnuts. So what can we call the imitation milk? Soy Solution? Coconut Cream? Almond Squeezins? 

Now, if the government decides to regulate what is printed on the label of fake meat products, y’all go right ahead. And while you’re at it, add a label to those packages of fermented legumes and satanic grains that reads “Serving this product to hot-blooded, meat-loving Texas men could result in marital problems.”

Clint Younts is definitely a carnivore, though his lovely cattle wish that he would switch to vegetarianism. Not a chance.


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