Carnivores crave bacon. Witness Epic Meal Time’s obsession with bacon – which even extends to their creation of a 216,960 calorie Christmas tree decorated in – you guessed it, bacon. As much as I love plant-based protein, I have to admit that bacon is the hardest thing to replicate. I keep praying that someone will make a really good meatless bacon. . . but so far, my prayers have gone unanswered. The day after Thanksgiving, I asked my meat sated hubbie and son to taste test the two most easily found meatless bacon strips:
Although Smart Bacon is vegan, it has little resemblance to real bacon and would never fool either of my carnivores. It has a texture a bit like shoe leather and a taste that is more reminiscent of pepperoni than Bacon. The best thing going for it is that its label says that “We do not use soybeans that were produced using biotechnology” – which begs the question on the source of the product’s other ingredients. Since this was only a two-horse race, the Morningstar Farms product was our clear winner. At least it looks a bit more like bacon, crisps nicely, and has a smoky smell and taste. It has generally been my go-to bacon substitute for at least 20 years (in fact, I usually call it “fakin’ bacon.” Unfortunately, I don’t love the long list of ingredients (some of which sound more like chemicals than food) or the fact that Kellogg Company (the parent company of Morningstar Farms) labels won’t disclose whether their ingredients are genetically modified (GMO) or non-GMO. In 2012, Kellogg Company lobbied hard to help defeat Prop 37 in California, which would have required the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food. Consequently, I need to assume that all of the ingredients in its products are GMO, which means that I need to start boycotting Morningstar Farms. Fortunately, only a couple of recipes in Fool a Carnivore use Morningstar Farms products – so I’m on the hunt for viable replacements and will publish my revised recipes soon. A viable contender may be Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan a vegan product that is clearly labeled No GMOs. We’ve tried it on a couple of dishes and it shows a tremendous amount of promise. Stay tuned!