NYS Certified Nutritionist

Buyer Beware

As health conscious consumers discover the many new food products promising to deliver improved health and/or lower weight, they would be wise to bring a healthy dose of skepticism with them as they make purchasing decisions.

I have noticed more vegan options for those trying to avoid eating flesh foods. Among them, in the freezer case of the supermarket, one can find Quorn meat substitutes. Quorn is actually mycoprotein, a processed mold. Some people react to it with vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. In rare cases, it can cause hives an/or trouble breathing.

Thanks to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, US quorn labels now must include the statement, “Mycoprotein is a mold [member of the fungi family]. There have been rare cases of allergic reactions to products that contain mycoprotein.”

With so many safe meat alternatives on the market, shoppers would be wise to look for soy based meat alternatives without isolated soy protein, or soy protein isolate. An even more meat-like option would be seitan products. These are made of wheat gluten, and their sinewy texture closely resembles that of beef or poultry. The only caution about seitan would be for celiacs and those with a known gluten sensitivity. When marinated creatively, seitan can safely offer an international flavor to many dishes.

Armed with reliable information, one can be assured of selecting safe and satisfying meat substitutes. Tofurky for Thanksgiving dinner, anyone?

Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York