This meat substitute is all-natural and GMO-free – and it might be making people sick

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

quornThe Center for Science in the Public Interest is calling on the FDA to pull the meat substitute Quorn from the marketplace. CSPI has assembled a list of more than 2,000 incidents in which people observed adverse affects — including things like nausea, cramps, diarrhea, violent vomiting, and death — shortly after eating Quorn.

Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but there’s also one report of Quorn sensitivity in the peer-reviewed literature, and there clinicians verified, with a skin prick test, that the victim did have an allergic reaction to the protein.

The Washington Post also did a piece on Quorn, making the larger case that the government should do more to regulate new food products.

Quorn is made from the fungus Fusarium venenatum. CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson notes that “‘Venenatum,’ inauspiciously, is Latin for poisonous.”

In a statement, Quorn Foods said that its product was safe and pointed out that other foods – like nuts – cause much more severe allergic reactions. Quorn says its foods have “always been made from a natural, GMO-free protein ingredient.”

The fact is and remains, however, that the fungus from which it is made is regarded as as toxic even though it has a high amount of protein. And while the Wikipedia entry praises it to high heaven almost the question must remain as to why, if we truly want to move over to a plant based diet as vegetarians and vegans, we insist that we have some stuff – made in a plant and not coming from a plant – that resembles meat. It would appear that we simply, at least those that crave it, have not gotten over the meat eating thing.

As someone has coined the phrase “If it comes from a plant eat it, if it is made in a plant don't” and this adage should also be applied here. It is fake meat and remains fake meat and if you, as said, want to be vegetarian or even vegan then get over the fact that neither eat meat.

I am vegetarian, but I took the step neither for health nor ethical reasons, but for reasons of not wanting to knowingly or unknowingly eat horse, and thus I don't eat meat, real or fake. If you want sausages, bacon, or roast chicken, turkey or whatever, then you are not true to what you claim to be believing in, as most claim to have become vegetarians or vegans because of their concern for the animals and thus wanting to shun meat. That, at least, is my take on it.

In addition to that all the fake meat that I have had the misfortune to try as a writer – yes, one does at times get such privileges as a journalist, even as a free journalist – has been a bit akin to eating flavored leather and is definitely not up my alley.

© 2014