Food & Drink Oct 9, 2008 at 4:00 am

A Truth-Seeking Vegetarian Dares to Look His Field Roast in the Eye


The Field Roast chorizo is very, very good. I got the Trader Joe's equivalent with high hopes and was sad. Crumbly and about twice as spicy, it didn't come close to the Field Roast stuff.

"Oriental" flavor Top Ramen is vegetarian?
Right on re: taking back "meat" without actually imitating meat.
Nadison Market has a soy-rizo which I find better than Trader Joe's version, (we had the animal-product version mixed with scrambled egg, which I grew up with in my Latino household) even though textured soy protein is not the best thing in the world to eat. Apparently only soy products processed in the manner of Tofu have protein that the body can easily digest.

I used to enjoy Field Roast and Tofurky products in great amounts as well, as someone trying to be vegetarian and lower her cholesterol, besides enjoying easy meals--but after several months of this I had chronic joint and muscle pain and stomach upset--which only went away when I cut wheat out of my diet. Unfortunately, these products seem to be loaded with wheat gluten, I imagine to boost the protein, (most of the Field Roast products have them at the top of the ingredients list) and may have triggered an intolerance or allergy. I haven't been tested yet. All I know is that now that I am back on animal products and away from wheat in all its incarnations, I feel much better than I have in a long time, (sorry, pigs and chickens, I TRIED) but have to read labels even more carefully.

My suggestion may be to not overdo the gluten and textured soy products and eat foods closer to their natural state, (lentils, quinoa, etc.) labor intensive as those can be. I do miss the field roast, though and hope they may have a gluten-free version someday in the future.
I agree, used to love the stuff, but gluten and wheat has destroyed my tummy and have to avoid it. I wish there was a gluten free field roast - I do miss my vegan sandwiches. I have only found a few vegan fake meat products that don't use gluten.
I understand the kickback of eating too much gluten, but unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid in mass-market veggie meat products. It’s the glue that binds the other ingredients together.

I enjoy Field Roast faux sausage in moderation; much better than soy isolate veggie dawgs, which have the appeal of play dough. Without obsessing about which is worse, gluten, soy isolate or flesh, I'm glad they're not trying to mimic meat, but wheat gluten (seitan) isn’t something most people can eat every day without feeling ill after a while.

If they take it a step further and start fermenting, they'll have the best of both worlds, a vegan solid that's easily assimilated by humans, while remaining the opposite of Prison Loaf.
Wonderful, I can even get Field Roast in small town Palin hating Alaska now! Congrats to David and crew on the new facility.

AkAmber (former field roast employee)
Fake meat is retarded, and vegetarianism is nothing but a trend.
Schmader is absolutely correct. The old Field Roast BBQ sandwich was the best. I stopped going to the Elysian when it went away.

Field Roast fans should definitely check out Georgetown Liquor Company. They totally use it to perfection.
Accommodationist vegetarians like David Schmader are the Vichy French of the animal holocaust. Field Roast might not be made with any animal products, and it might not attempt to imitate te flavor or texture of meat, but morally, what difference does that make?
Animal holocaust?!?!? Are you fucking serious? They are not people! They are animals! They do not have the same rights as PEOPLE! Get that through your preachy thick head!
Oh, animals are TASTY? Why didn't you say so. If they're tasty, then by all means, you're perfectly justified in torturing and killing as many as you like. As long as they're tasty you shouldn't spend five minutes thinking about the pain they experience or their emotions. As long as they're tasty, then it doesn't matter if they have any individual identity.

That's a good fucking argument. It's fucking brilliant. Why, I bet if any of these vegeterrorists had ever TASTED meat, they'd realize that it's good! And if it's good, then how can it be wrong?

At least meat eaters tell you where they stand. With the Nazis. It's these Field Roast traitors that disgust me far more than meat eaters, to tell you the truth.
Elenchos, at first I thought you were kidding, but now I'm not sure. What's the moral downside of eating Field Roast?
I eat so much steak. Cows are fucking dumb. Who gives a shit? I'd rather sound like an asshole than a jackass, which is what vegetarians are.
I didn't think anyone else new about the oriental-flavored Top Ramen.

I guess the secret's out. =P
When you start insulting and calling vegetarians "jackasses" and start saying meat-eaters "stand with the Nazis", then it just makes each party look bad. It's perfectly fine to have an opinion, but insults don't open anyone's eyes or change anyone's mind- they only offend people.

All people should have a choice whether or not they eat meat. Each person should respect another's decision. If you want a steak, eat one. But don't rub it in a vegetarians face. If you want a Veggie dog, then eat one. But don't go picketing and throwing blood on the nearest meat-eaters door.

The point: Everyone is different and insults aren't going to change that. Opinions are great- but have a little dignity and discuss them intelligently.
I love the apple sage sausage so much that I brought 6 packs with me to Florida for my pre-wedding cookout.

Oh, and fuck you "fake meat is retarded" person, you are a moron. Whatever anyone eats is their own business.
I was trying to raise the question that David chose not to explore in the article -- isn't fake meat the same as fake child porn? And doesn't fake child porn normalize the unspeakable?

I don't know why I'm not allowed to compare someone who isn't sufficiently militant in their opposition to meat with the Vichy French. Why can't I compare animal slaughter to the Holocaust? If I can't be insulting and outrageous on the Internet, then where can I be insulting and outrageous?

And maybe I'm not trying to change minds. Would you try to change Hitler's mind?
Okay, but the thing is, Elenchos, that Field Roast DOESN'T seek to impersonate meat. I said so explicitly in the article.
well, that shut elenchos up! thanks, david!
In my very first comment I acknowledged that Field Roast doesn't try to imitate meat. Well, not a specific kind of meat -- just a generic meat abstraction, I guess. Oh, and then there's the name, "meat." Does the word mean nothing?
21 you not drink soy "milk" either, then, elanchos?

i may be morally against killing animals in order to eat them/clothe myself, but there are some things humans crave, and meat/meatlike substances are one of those things. to compare the fact that centuries of evolution make us want meat because it used to be a requirement for survival (and now is completely unnecessary, thus affording us the luxury of being vegetarian/vegan) to the non-evolutionarily-backed desire for kiddie porn is rather ridiculous. sorry. field roast allows vegetarians to approximate childhood memories and tactile experiences they can't get elsewhere. unfortunately, the closest my budget gets me to fake meat is lentils, but i'm okay with that ;-)
First, you mangled the spelling of my name, which is small of you. At least if I don't like you I just come out and call you a Nazi.

Second, no, I don't drink soy "milk."

Third. What the fuck is "non-evolutionarily-backed desire for kiddie porn"? I would love to hear your vulgar interpretation of evolutionary theory, and how it supports whatever it is you're saying. Because calling the comparison between fake meat and fake kiddie porn "ridiculous" does not constitute an argument.
Thanks for the fun article, David. Makes me want to go for a tour of the Field Roast facility.

On the oriental flavor Top Ramen issue, until recently (within the last year) it listed beef broth as an ingredient, but that has now mysteriously disappeared from the list on the package.
Nothing fills me with Seattle pride more than Field Roast. Great article!
im better than vegans, i dont eat anything that cast a shadow!
I've always been curious as to what vegetarians think about all of the critters that are killed by combines and other farm equipment every year. I grew up on a farm and yes, lots and lots of critters perish in the field. Granted, they are living out their lives as naturally as can be, as opposed to those poor creatures on factory farms. Still, thoughts?
Field Roast is really good. I like the Sage Lentil! Heck Yes! Vegheads are taking back "Meat", a term that hopefully will only hold meaning in the most peaceful of terms! Cheers!
It's true that if we kill some animals accidentally, then we are justified in killing even more intentionally. And let's not count the animals killed by the farm equipment used to grow all the corn that cattle eat (with massive help from antibiotics). Let's only count animals killed growing food crops, and that will prove that vegetarians are, like, totally huge hypocrites and stuff.
Pro-meat arguments based on habit, health, or survival at best establish the self evident fact that the human race is, and has long been meat eating. The real problem with these arguments is that they are often born of a gridlocked antagonism between meat eaters and vegetarians, who each feel the need to defend their positions. The problem is they miss the moral side by a long shot. Eating meat is natural and we have been doing it for a long long time. Animals and plants die that's a law of nature. The point is that we today systematically treat our animals the millions. We hide this from ourselves. There is no arguing that death sucks, whether a cow has lived in a field and been able to rear its own baby or whether a cow has been locked up it's entire life and been fed unnatural hormones and antibiotics. Death sucks, it's about the life that's lead up to that bolt gun discharging into a cows head.
Calling it "meat" sorta makes me want to eat a hamburger.

As for pain and suffering of animals? I'm sure it's painful and they suffer, but I'll be honest and say that I'm too self-centered to care about them. I don't really care much about humans either, as I'm sure many of them don't care about me. I guess if I really felt bad about the suffering of the animals, I'd be vegetarian too, but I just don't. If they were above us on the evolutionary ladder, they'd probably be doing the same stuff and having the same moral dilemmas (or lack of).

Call me heartless or selfish or whatever, doesn't matter, I can live with that. I just like meat too much to care if the cows are suffering.
For centuries cows have been treated "well" by farmers that weren't all about making money off of them. It was a mutual relationship where, farmers who depended on the milk and meat from cows and cows who depended on protection from predators and medical care. I'm not saying that cows should be treated like humans BUT I believe they should be able to live most of there lives OUTSIDE while eating their natural food. It is now a "special circumstance" for a cow to not be fed hormone laced grain while crammed inside OR outside in a mud pit. What does that say about the meat industry? When it's all about making money. And it's noteworthy when our animals are treated naturally. I personally would rather pay a little more for quality meat. This notion that buying cheap meat is good for the consumer is false. We should be eating LESS meat that's of HIGHER quality. We humans might have less health problems if we did.
There are plenty of vegetarians/vegans who choose this life style because it is the only choice that is realistically sustainable. Over population of people and therefore over population of "food animals" is destroying us as a whole. Over consuming fat-ass meat eaters need to look at the big picture and not just what tastes "good". Feed lots are a huge polluter and major contributer to the green house effect.(Methane gas from cattles asses fools!) Vegetarianism is about being a humanist too, not just animal welfare. Stop being a stupid, stubborn idiot and educate yourselves. And stop having so many damn kids!
I know I'm a latecomer to this discussion, but I would like to point out that even though elenchos is being deliberately inflammatory with his/her Nazi comments, the point she/he makes about fake meat being like fake child porn is at least interesting. If we find a particular product distasteful or immoral, is a substitute meant to mimic it perpetrating the desire for the product? Probably to some extent. The argument I would make, however, is that though we find child porn immoral in this country and have made it illegal, the porn industry churns out all that "barely legal" stuff with over-age but young-looking women in school-girl uniforms, etc. Does this create a taste for child pornography? Maybe, but it's not considered immoral on the same level. Maybe that's because adults can't be exploited to the same extent that children can- and I would argue that grains likewise can't be exploited like animals.
Sleestak says: "Call me heartless or selfish or whatever, doesn't matter, I can live with that. I just like meat too much to care if the cows are suffering. "

Really? You're okay with that? I give you credit for admitting your wrong doings, but to be content with them is really sad. It's as if you've just given up.

Also saddening is how an article on food that is a positive, healthy option and which avoids contributing to the suffering of animals will always draw such negativity. Filed Roast, and other makers of meat alternatives, are just trying to make the world a little better. Why do folks have to get so defensive? No one is MAKING you like Field Roast. No one is even making you like PEOPLE who EAT Field Roast.
As someone who has been a vegetarian for thirty eight years, I disagree with the person who said that vegetarianism is a trend. Check with me in a hundred years; you'll see a different world.

For those who have allergies to wheat, look in to NAET. It's a technique that eliminated my food allergies, especially those to wheat, tomato, and cheese. I eat pizza now.
to "Animals are tasy". Animal holocaust. Yeah, we are fucking serious. I wouldn't eat a damn thing that came out of a hell-on-earth slaughterhouse. Animals have every right to a humane life and death, and they're not getting it with the the demand for sickening fast food that makes people fat and ugly.
I think many people are missing the point that part of the purpose is to reclaim the very word "meat." There are such things as nut meat and coconut meat, neither of which imitate or are in any way similar to animal products. By calling vegetable- and grain-based products "meat" they are not saying, "eat this instead!" Rather, they are saying, "this word has multiple meanings!"

As a meat-eating woman who often spends days and weeks eating vegetarian cuisine, I think there is a balance that can be struck between making responsible choices (i.e. making local, organic, and as often as possible "whole animal" purchases) with meat eating and also enjoying incredibly tasty fruits, vegetables, and grains readily at our disposal.

Meat eaters and vegetarians alike, buy local goods if you really want to reduce the effects of global warming!
Uh, the difference is that there are no dead animals in the food.
Sorry, that comment was supposed to be in response to elenchos': "Field Roast might not be made with any animal products, and it might not attempt to imitate te flavor or texture of meat, but morally, what difference does that make?"

It's just food, and it's food made without animal products, how is that immoral? It's not immoral to eat "fake meat" because if you look at it from a different perspective you could consider "fake meat" as a way to introduce non-vegetarians into vegetarian options in a form that they may try and like because it is meat-like....which I'm pretty sure was a point brought up in the article - that even non-vegetarians would like the food.

There is nothing immoral about it because it doesn't have dead animal in it and THAT is the freaking difference.

And kiddie porn = fake meat? Really?
Del Griffith:

I don't know if I can say I've "given up" since I never really tried to fight my meat-eating impulses in the first place. I think I'm just more cynical and/or realistic in my belief that the world is pretty cruel and heartless and most (all?) people are selfish. That doesn't mean I'm not happy... I usually am. But I just don't try to change what I don't think CAN be changed.

Also, yes, this positive article did bring out some defensiveness... but that's what makes things exciting! If everyone agreed on it all, then there'd be no discussion.
two words - stinky gas
I'm super happy to have something vegan that isn't soy based.

Totally second the spiciness of those chorizo sausages - HOOO boy! But GOOD!

And as far as carnivores not wanting to eat vegan fare: most of the time if I don't tell them it's vegan they'll eat it happily and ask for more. It's only when I give them a heads up they're getting a vegan meal that they baulk. Interesting, no?
Oriental flavor Top Ramen has never listed beef broth in it's contents (in the 26 years I have been a vegetarian).

Vegetarianism, which has been a "trend" for thousands of years, has indeed experienced a recent surge of popularity. This does not mean it will soon decrease again. (The Civil Right's movement, in the 1960s, had a tremendous surge in popularity that seems to have been pretty much permanent). I credit 1)more information about the inhumane tactics of animal husbandry 2)increased availability of items such as "field roast" and "boca burgers," and 3)the involvement of younger people, whose enthusiasm, idealism, and general sexiness encourage everyone to climb on board.

This is good. I never discredit, argue against, or otherwise put down meat eaters, but they constantly do so to me. Why is that? Why the anger? Why do some flesh masticators feel so threatened by vegetarianism? Why do so many people APOLOGIZE for their meat eating when they learn I do not eat it? ("My doctor told me I really need the protein;" "I tried it but I got so weak!" "I totally could be a vegetarian. I don't even really like red meat.")Guilt is the reason. In time, public policy will support the morally upright choice. It will all be balanced in the end.
This stuff is tasty. It's so nice to be able to buy a field roast, slice it up and serve it on toast with a pickle like a "meat"loaf sandwich.

It is so much better than tofurky, which tastes like a terrible, chemical mistake.

Tasty, filling, wonderful vegetarian (and vegan) products. Finally!

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