Thursday, September 11, 2008

Getting All Co-op-y

So...I read this book about eating and nutrition that I'd heard about on Ellen (no joke). It's called Skinny Bitch (I hate the title) and it's supposed to be about eating healthy. And it was really kind of stupid; the authors are obnoxious as all hell and totally going for some kind of "in-your-face" attitude. Bored.  But it did talk about eating vegan and organic, which is something I think about very little.

I stopped eating dairy earlier this year because I thought maybe my constant headaches were a result, for some reason. It was one of those brilliant self-diagnosing moments of genius. But soon after, somebody who gave me a massage told me I probably get headaches because I "hold my shoulders like a fucking vice." This was later confirmed by a real massage therapist who said my upper back was full of "road bumps," which is what was probably causing my headaches. Anyhow, I got to eat dairy again. I like dairy a lot. It pretty much rules. When I was avoiding the dairy, I had all these great ideas for non-dairy recipes that always turned out only alright. I'm not the greatest cook in the world, so trying to substitute ingredients and make shit up was not my finest moment. So basically, I don't love the idea of being vegan, what with all the dairy love, but sometimes I think about it...

In the book, the authors talk a lot about why you shouldn't eat animal products. Those horror stories always affect me for a few days, but then I'll inevitably need some sort of grilled sammie with meat in it, or a giant sausage pizza or something. It doesn't last long. In my heart, I really don't think that not eating animal products is something I'll ever do completely, but today, I had the motivation to at least look into it. There's a billion meat/dairy substitutes out there. No, they definitely do not "taste the same" as the real thing, but it's an honest effort that I can appreciate. The best part, however, is the names of these products. For example...

Not Dogs - fake hot dogs
Tuno - fake tuna
Bologno - fake bologna
Tofurky - fake turkey
Gimme Lean! - a fake ground beef product, I think named to sound like "Jimmy Dean"
Meatless Meatballs - no explanation necessary
Steak Style Strips - um...yeah.
Fakin' Bacon - fake bacon

And I know these aren't fake meats, but:
Tofutti - ice cream-like stuff
Fig Newmans - organic fig newtons. hilarious!

Maybe that's why I'll never take being vegan seriously. Because of Not Dogs. I mean, come on!


Reem Tara said...

I just remembered a conversation with Schabow and my sister at my birthday party that went like this...

Schabow: you should drum for the Shabelles
Me: Only if instead of drumsticks I can use hot dogs
Sara: No! You should use Not Dogs
Schabow and Me: done and done

The Pirate Queen said...

Those meat substitutes have vastly improved in 10 years. I remember someone trying to feed me fakin' bacon and it was literally a wafer of salt with a white line painted on it to look like bacon fat. Come on!

But, this is actually a plug for amazing fake meat. The Chicago Diner (on Halsted, I think) has ridiculously good fake reubens and gyros and I think I could eat every meal for the rest of my life there and not get bored. Check it out.

Reem Tara said...

Oh yeah, I've heard about that place from some damn hippie vegans I know.

Fake meat does kind of rule. It's just those names...Tuno? Really?

Sara Ashes said...

I eat two packs of Tofurkey each week. I love it SO much. Even the package makes me happy!

Tara said...

This from the person that ordered some fucking vegetarian meatloaf from Monty's TWICE when dining with me.

There is also the vegan mayo called Veganaise, which a friend told me is so good she eats it with a spoon. The name grosses me out for some reason.

Also don't read dumb books called Skinny Bitch. If you want to read a really good book about healthy eating that isn't all in your face and bullshit and trying to push a message and get you to shun meat you should read the book - The Real Food Revival. It's really really good and it's a super fast read and it's perfect for people who want to be more conscious of what they eat and how to eat it and where the food actually comes from/is made of- but not get all nuts. Seriously, it changed the way I eat, go grocery shopping, cook etc. Read it!

Reem Tara said...

Don't you worry, I only read it so I could have something to publicly hate, I think. I'm also reading that one "In Defense of Food" I think it's called.

You reminded me about Nayonaise! It's mayonaise, only there's no (NAY) eggs up in there! Genius...

Also I ordered a sheldon with you, which is basically a tomato and tofu sandwich. You promptly made fun of me.

Tara said...

A sheldon! The Rueben's cousin, oh madison. In Defense Of Food is good too! I got half way through it and something happened, I started reading something else, I should go back and finish it. It's good, Michael Pollen in real life is a little annoying though, one time he was on Martha Stewart trying to say how easy it was to cook the way he does and he made Salmon wrapped in fig leaves with crispy kale on the side. I was annoyed.

Valerie said...

oh, there are more. for example:
stripples (fake bacon)
stakelets (fake steak)
fri-pats (wtf??)
riblets (like ribbit? i love it.)
tender bits (oh my)
soyrizo (fake chorizo, obvs)

and my personal favorite:
WHAM! (guess)

for the record, i have eaten all of these products, except for, oddly enough, wham.

and then there are all kinds of funny names for recipes, such as:
snobby joes
fauxstess cupcakes
fronch toast

ok, those are actually the only ones i can think of right now, but there are more! srsly.

what's sad for me, as a vegan, is that almost all of those hilariously named products at the top of the list are not vegan, so i can no longer enjoy my stakelets with a side of tender bits. sad.

fakin' bacon FUCKING RULES. btw. but only the real fakin' bacon. it's tempeh and it's sooo awesome. not like that fake cardboard fake bacon.

ok, i'm sure i've told you far more than you've ever wanted to know about fake meat. just keep in mind, if you have any further questions, i can be reached at my home, eating tofurky straight from the package.

Reem Tara said...

VALERIE!!! This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. Oh my god, thank you.

jx said...

i'm a fake-meat fan of morningstar grillers (they're greasy veggie burgers), not-corndogs, fake fish patties (woodmans has them) and chicken nuggets (any brand). have you had the seitan hash at lazy janes? i've never cooked with seitan but it's awesome! it makes me want to put my lab coat and goggles on and get busy with the seitan in my own kitchen. regular veggie hot dogs are gross. but who is really even a fan of meat hot dogs? and if you try to roast them over a campfire, it gets all blistery and synthetic-like. veggie brats are much better. oh, and that fake meatloaf from monty's is from the moosewood cookbook, per the monty's menu, and it's a big greasy pile of carrots, walnuts and butter. too greasy for me.