I was given a hard time this week about being a greenie but not a vegetarian. It is a good point that if you are going to advocate for cruelty-free, well-produced food as well as saving the environment, then eating meat isn't the greatest thing to do. But I do, once a week, and I make sure it is the best meat I can get - organic, grain-free etc. I don't eat chicken though, so that must be worth a few points.
There is a very good reason I'm not a vegetarian, and that is because the few times I have attempted to be one I have found myself desperately buying meat substitutes to satisfy my cravings. In the 70s it was odd nut meats, then all manner of soy-based sausages in the 80s and tofu from then on. None of them cut the mustard.
And then I saw these pies. Maybe I had finally found a decent meat substitute that I could enjoy.
Quorn 2 Mince & Potato Pies - $8.99
Wheat flour (calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin)
This is the main ingredient in the pastry, which is very nice. It looks as though the producers have added calcium, iron, niacin and thiamin for added nutrition.
Quorn mince (18 per cent) [mycoprotein (16 per cent), rehydrated free range egg white, firming agent (calcium chloride), acidity regulator (calcium acetate), barley malt extract, caramelised sugar.]
Back in the 60s when everyone believed rapid growth in the world population would lead to global food shortages and widespread famine, industrialist Lord Rank decided the world needed a new protein made from a starch using fermentation. The result in 1967, after testing 3000 different organisms taken from soil samples around the world, was Fusarium graminearum which was later renamed mycoprotein, the main ingredient of Quorn products. It is made from a continuous fermentation process (like brewing beer) using a nutritious member of the fungi/mould family, similar to that found in blue cheese. Some individuals may not tolerate this and experience an adverse reaction. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest has urged people to avoid Quorn. It claims that some studies have found the fungus is an allergen and it has heard from more than 2000 consumers in Europe, the United States, and Australia/New Zealand who suffered reactions to Quorn.
It's a completely meat-free form of high quality protein and is also a good source of dietary fibre. It is low in fat and saturates and contains no cholesterol or trans fats at all.
And now, in 2015 with climate change threatening the availability of land for rearing livestock and the growing awareness of the environmental impact of meat production, mycoprotein is ready to take on the challenge of providing the world with protein, according to its website www.mycoprotein.org.
In this pie filling the mycoprotein has been blended with free-range egg whites as a binder and other ingredients for flavour.
When I tasted the filling, if you hadn't told me it wasn't meat I would have thought it was.
You will also get a good amount of protein at 12.2g per 200g pie as well as 9.2g of fibre.
Vegetables (14 per cent) [potato (6 per cent), onion, swede, carrot]
You can clearly see these vegetables diced in the filling.
Not sure what vegetable oil is used here.
This is cornflour.
This is also known as rapeseed oil.
Nice to see this product using free-range eggs.
This will be for flavour, similar to Marmite or Vegemite.
This is mono and diglycerides of fatty acids which are usually produced from hydrogenated soya bean oil, but this product says clearly on its packaging that there is no soy in here. So it has possibly been produced from an alternative source.
This is a form of sugar, taken from wheat.
Another form of sugar. You will get 2.4g of sugar per 200g pie.
Raising agent (503)
This is ammonium carbonate.
They smelled great straight out the oven and four of us gathered around eagerly. When told, rather mischievously by our daughter, that Quorn was a meat substitute made from corn, that was enough for my husband to head off. The rest of us really enjoyed our "mince" pies. We all agreed that with a dash of tomato sauce none of us would have picked the lack of meat.
This is a great, if a little expensive, substitute for vegetarians or those wanting to reduce the environmental strain required to produce meat.
According to www.meatfreemonday.org.nz choosing not to eat meat one day a week can save 15 animal lives a year.