Faux, sure?

To eat faux meat or not to eat faux meat—apparently that is the question among some vegetarians. On the one hand faux meat—usually soy or wheat-based—can provide a satisfying, nutritious main course centerpiece. On the other hand, why the hell would a vegetarian want to eat anything that looks—or tastes—like animal flesh? Consider these talking points:

Hell no, no faux <ul>

<li>* Relying on meat or cheese substitutions for menu items shows laziness and a lack of creativity.

<li>* Geographically, Sacramento is fortunate to be in a diverse agricultural hot spot, so creativity with local produce makes more sense is and more interesting.

<li>* Faux products are usually more processed, and as a result, sometimes less healthy.

<li>* Some people give up animal-ingredient foods because they simply don’t like them; therefore, they may not want facsimiles in their mouth.

<li>* Processed soybeans are frequent meat or cheese subs, but there’s myriad other kinds of beans. Beans are a versatile superfood packed with protein, iron, folate and many other vitamins, plus they’re low in fat. And don’t play the “They give me gas” card: They don’t if they’re prepared right.

<li>* Many fauxs are soy-based, but some studies suggest too much soy in a diet may reduce fertility in women and disrupt hormonal development in children.

<li>* What are you, nuts? Let’s have nuts instead.

</ul> Pro faux <ul><li>

* Faux meats are a fun novelty—little fake soy chicken “wings”? Cool! Faux barbecue ribs? Totally!

<li>* Faux meats can provide a gateway to wean omnivores into a veg lifestyle. Chow down on this tempeh steak patty, and you won’t miss the real thing. Promise.

<li>* Not all faux meats are overly processed and most are healthier alternative to the real things. That’s a plus, even if you’re not vegetarian but want to eat better. In particular, brands such as Morningstar Farms and Quorn—a fungus-based mycoprotein—offer delicious, healthful alternatives to the likes of chicken nuggets and corn dogs.

<li>* Faux meats provide an appetite-satisfying density to stir-fries and salads.

<li>* Frozen faux meats, available at most major grocery stores, make for a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive meal.

<li>* Faux meats don’t really taste like meat. Promise.