Sunday, November 18, 2007


Remember when Devin claimed to have cheated, but was actually lying? Well, his story about mycoprotein was so intriguing to me that I had to go check it out. While I was at the grocery store I stopped by the frozen vegetarian section and looked for some fake meat made out of fungus. Sure enough, there was the little Quorn section, down on the bottom. I grabbed some of the nuggets on Devin’s recommendation and also a box of breasts. Mmmm…fungus breasts. I have to say Devin was right, that stuff is amazing. Such convincing faux chicken I have never eaten before. I cooked it in some Italian dressing and put it on a salad of ‘baby greens’, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, croutons, shaved parmesan, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Tabitha could it eat it too because there is no soy in it! She made a barbecue cheddar fungus sandwich. I tried a bite, and it was quite good as well.

This is only the most recent of my meat substitute experiences, which are rapidly accumulating to an impressive family of vegetarian meals. I met my aunt and cousin in Lansing the other night where I was treated to a delightful Italian dinner. I ordered the eggplant parmesan. I have previously been afraid of eggplant because it so big and dark and purple. It looks like the grumpy bouncer at the vegetable club, but also probably bitter and toxic. Turns out it is none of those things. At least when it is sliced thin and fried in breading and cheese. I thought I was eating regular chicken parmesan. Amazing. Then last night I was going to the ballet with four girls (I am a pimp) and we got some dinner at a bar. My fellow vegetarian Grace was with and we were a little nervous that they would not have anything for us. What we ended up doing was getting the chicken portabella sandwich without the chicken. That was even better than when I ate portabella’s plain.

Between eggplant, faux chicken and portabellas I feel well equipped to eat vegetarian. I have realized that even when I can eat meat again, I will probably be a little less excited about it. I will be relieved to be able to accept meat samples in stores and not pass by delicious burger and steak opportunities, but I will probably look for the alternatives in restaurants before relying on the typical meat option, and I will buy less meat for my home. Tabitha told me at lunch today that the Quorn breasts revive her hope in vegetarianism as somebody who is allergic to soy. So it seems this vegetarian thing is finally working out. I am glad to see such profound results before the time is up. Four weeks has been enough time to force me into a new paradigm. Success.

This morning at church, before I realized one could purchase breasts formed from fungus, we encountered quite the humorous and timely Bible passage. The sermon was on value systems and how they often get confused. How trouble arises when we confuse our personal preferences or cultural constructs for absolute truths, especially when dealing with other people. The passage we focused on was from Romans 14. The funny part was Romans 14:2 “One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” Weak faith? Thanks a lot Paul, way to judge me right off the bat. I guess I can never be a vegetarian again.

Posted by Alex B at 3:31PM 6 comments….Just kidding, this is not the end of the entry. Although, note the number 6 there, I would like to see that for real someday.

Seriously though, Paul was not judging vegetarians. The passage ends like this:

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit […] Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.”

There is a lot of back-story to these things since they were written to some people who were clearly having big debates about food, but I think you pull out the relevant themes without all the background info. So what started out as funny ended up being rather profound and surprisingly relevant to what we have discussed here in our blog over the last few weeks. Not only themes of be accepting of other diets and personal food morals, but also the idea that what you eat has bigger ramifications. You can “destroy the work of God” not only by bickering and hating people who eat meat or don’t eat meat, but also by eating so thoughtlessly that you participate in the destruction of creation. What you eat is your choice, but an important one.

So enjoy what you eat today, whether it be real breasts or fungus sculpted into breasts, and Devin and I will not be judging you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alex! Aunt Linda here. I don't know what to say, as John and I are contemplating going make it sound so................?

We may have to go back and read this blog word for word, day by day...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

my breasts are also made of fungus.