I tried to get my family to eat a vegan diet for a week.  It didn't go well

I tried to get my family to eat a vegan diet for a week. It didn’t go well

Seven days with veggies and fake meat on the menu. How difficult would that be for a carnivorous family of four?

My wife spoiled her face. My daughter took the smallest microbead, and made the same face as her mother and spit it out. My son refused to touch it. I chewed slowly, mouth open, trying not to break any fillings, aghast at the culinary horror I was trying to feed my family, regretting every decision that had brought me here.

A can of fake bacon broke out half an hour ago and promised a lot. “Extra crunchy and smoky,” she declared. “Taste this guilt-free pleasure.” I said it and added it to my toast and boiled egg dishes. Wavy with pink and white stripes, it was clearly fake but appropriately mimicking the layers of bacon from salted, dried pork belly.

Fried with fake bacon. (Photo: Chris Schulz)

But there was no taste of this bacon tofu. I’ll refrain from naming the brand, because I’m sure they did their best, but the experience was akin to chewing dried salty cardboard. My daughter has the right idea. It barely touched mine, and scraped the rest into the compost bin.

It wasn’t the best start to my week-long vegan project. In the name of investigative journalism, I enlisted in my carnivorous family to eat nothing but vegetables and fake meat for seven days. Right now, vegan diets are being promoted everywhere — supermarket shelves are chock-full of produce, some restaurants serve nothing but vegan creations, and Instagram is full of sustainably glowing meat-like meals.

unlike beyonce diet maple syrup, or the The terrifying keto fadThe plant-based trend is easy to follow. This is because the category is huge. Most supermarkets have at least three sections dedicated to vegan products, offering everything from ready meals to fake meats and vegan desserts, including ice cream and cheesecake.

vegetarian
On the countdown, the vegan fake meat sits between the steak and chicken. (Photo: Chris Schulz)

We wanted to see if we could replicate a week’s worth of family meals using only plant-based alternatives. On a recent visit to Countdown Mt Eden, I found a rack full of fake meat sandwiched between refrigerated steaks and chicken breasts. I put my Sunfed Shredded Beef, Impossible Ground Beef Chunks, and Chicken Chunks in my trolley.

In the frozen section, which is full of ready-made meals, I added a box of the Let’s Eat Burger. At the bottom of the cheese aisle, I found sausages and sausage bags containing tofu and hot dogs. I assumed my kids were crazy sausage lovers, so they’d be sorted.

At home, I wrote a typical weekly menu for our family of four, installed it in the kitchen, told everyone what we were doing, and prepared to experience the vegan glow.

TComplaints started almost immediately. The taste of vegan bacon had only left our tongues when my wife spit out chorizo ​​sausage, which I also fried and combined with her hard-boiled eggs for Sunday brunch. “Bait,” she winced, scraping the remains from her tongue. “It’s like…hot plastic.”

On Sundays, my grandmother would spend all day cooking grilled meals filled with bacon-wrapped sausages, giant crispy chicken, and greasy potatoes. It’s not a good day to start a vegan diet. But I am stubborn, and I am immeasurably happy to see my children so anxious about perceived difficulties as a change in their regular diet. So I faked.

vegetarian
One week vegetarian menu. (Photo: Chris Schulz)

That night, I ate Meatballs. Using the recently launched ground beef from Impossible, and following up on her controversial burger patties, I made them exactly the way I normally would with breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, and Parmesan. While they were looking the part, they fell apart just by spooning over the buttered pasta, making them more of a lumpy beef.

“Softier,” said my son, who would eat anything containing pasta. He’s not wrong, and the upside to using fake beef is that you’ll never be left with a lump of boiling in your mouth. Although a package of 340 grams of impossible ground beef costs approximately $14, and 500 grams of ground beef is approximately $8, it is a financially tough sell.

TThroughout the week, I continued eating non-meat meals that seemed to be made with real meat. The Veggie Delight hot dog was so good, mainly because they were drenched in caramelized onions and mustard and the last remaining bottle of the now discontinued Simon Gaulte tomato sauce. But they lacked the crisp pop and proper frankfurter squeak.

Hemp chicken, from Plan*t, looks a lot like Sunfed—a playful green tinge, tough, and chewy, although very plump. It was cooked in a good red curry, but it disappeared in the sauce and was indistinguishable from soft eggplant or kumara. The burgers made with Let’s Eat patties were tasteless, rescued by our homemade burger sauce. When I offered to turn leftover hot dogs and chorizo ​​into some kind of grilled dish, my wife grumbled, “Please don’t.”

After all the promotion and hoopla, it was a disappointing comeback. The only meal that really worked was the last one: a Malay beef curry made with Sunfed “bulk-free” shredded beef. Slow-cooked with cream of coconut, potatoes, cardamom, star anise and cayenne pepper, the meat breaks up in the first hour, turning the dish into a more stew. But it was delicious, and had a lot of flavour, with a morsel of meat.

None of our children will touch it. They said it was too hot. They ate leftover meatballs. second.

Impossible meatballs
Meatballs and pasta made with ground beef are impossible. (Photo: Chris Schulze)

The most obvious aspect of our experience was how hungry we were constantly. In desperate need of nourishment about an hour after each meal, we’d cook up pancakes, smoothies, and crumbs to help fill hungry bellies. Six nights later, my wife begged to go back to the meat. I agreed and pulled the chicken breast tray out of the freezer.

The next day, three packets of Vince—an award-winning, locally made, dried veggie chopper—arrived by mail. I forgot I ordered it and pushed them to the back of the pantry to avoid further complaints. A week later, they’re still sitting there.



TThere is no denying that we should all be eating less meat. Too much of it is bad for you, and it can be horrific for our planet. As climate change concerns about meat production grow, things like meatless Mondays are becoming permanent trends.

Vegetarians and vegans are on the increase; As well as restaurants dedicated to this direction. In Auckland, there are dozens of options, from a fine dining experience at Forest to Gorilla Kitchen and Revive Café. You can’t help but think that something like Monty’s Good Burger, a celebrity favorite and alternative to the giant American fast food In-N-Out Burger, would work well here too.

The trend has been going on for a long time and there has already been a backlash. In The Great Plant-Based Con, author Jayne Buxton argues that the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, and the effects on climate, have been greatly exaggerated, a marketing ploy designed to help sell more products.

Judging by the amount of product being added to supermarket shelves, the adverse reaction has not yet had any effect. New World has installed fridges full of vegan options and it seems to be flying off the shelves. last year, Things said the category was up 20%.. ““Customer demand for more plant-based options and flexibility is huge and a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing,” says Foodstuffs spokesperson Emma Wooster.

new world
New world vegetable cooler section. (Photo: Chris Schulze)

After our week-long experiment was deemed mostly a failure, I headed to my local supermarket. At the front entrance, a bowl of Plantery’s vegetarian lasagna was handed over to try. They taste really good, just like the real thing, but I declined any offers to put cans of them in my basket and went straight to the butcher to pick up real steaks, sausages and chicken breasts as per my family’s requests.

The gentleman in Planetary Square who served me the lasagna, and then failed to get me to buy one, looked miserable when I walked past him with my arm of meat on.

aOn a recent Friday night I returned to a quiet house after a few drinks with friends. I was starving and searched for a frozen hamburger bun and leftovers from my family’s vegan experience: one last piece to eat a burger, a slice of awful bacon and some leftover chorizo ​​sausage.

I fried everything with an egg, smacked it with burger sauce and sat in front of the TV. On the Netflix series, Chef’s Table: Pizza, Italian dough maker Gabriele Bonci spreads homemade tomato sauce on giant bases using his fingers and creates masterpieces with any organic, artisanal, and free-grown ingredients.

Chef's table
Gabriele Bonci pizza is sold by weight. (Photo: Netflix)

I slowly chewed up a tasteless veggie burger as I brutally watched him cut huge chunks of giant roast pork, then pat them on top of his pizza base with cheese and herbs. It seemed unbelievableInfinitely better than the pile of burgers I’ve been eating. Customers who buy Bonci’s pizza by the slice and then climb themselves out of Rome’s tourist trap enjoy it, no doubt it tastes better too.

But I was drunk and didn’t care.

#family #eat #vegan #diet #week #didnt

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