My nodeshell now!

I assume by 'imitation food' the creator of this nodeshell was referring to food products based on soy or other vegetable protein sources that are designed to look and/or taste like non-vegetable based foods that are part of the traditional American diet.

Well, two damn good reasons I can think of for eating these so called imitation foods are:

  1. They're healthier. Bacon, ground beef, hot dogs, milk, and all the things that soy foods imitate are full of saturated fat, cholesterol, recombinant growth hormones, mad cow prions, and e coli. The imitations have as much or more protein with little or none of these other stomach turning features.
  2. No cruelty to animals and/or slaughterhouse workers was involved in their manufacture.

Now, while non-imitative soy and vegetable based foods are healthy and delicious enough on their own merit, there is an occasional need for imitating meat based foods because so much of America's cultural constants and rituals are tied up with these foods. Things such as pouring milk on your cereal, going to the diner for a burger, Fourth of July barbecues, and sizzling bacon for breakfast are almost mandatory if one wants to be participatory in common cultural norms, hence the need for imitation foods like soy milk, veggie burgers, and soy bacon for those who wish to be participatory but not fat disgusting greasy carnivores.

No, mordel, I'm pretty sure vegetable based meat 'imitators' are what the nodeshell creator had in mind. It was soft linked from the soy node.

I disagree! The previous owner of this nodeshell clearly was questioning the usefulness of all those too-sweet artificial foods, the burger rings, sugar wafers, and pork rinds that can turn an otherwise healthy human being into a pile of high-inertia meat.

While just about everything these days has artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, and (shudder) high-fructose corn syrup, it can also have benefits. If properly executed, an artificial food can be ulta-fortified with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, spices, etc. The excess fat and toxins can be left out, as soy-based protein substitutes were defended by Purvis. Finally, it's a heckuva lot cheaper to mass-produce a batch of chemicals than to raise plants and animals to do the same job. Tends to be less waste, too.

Considering that the majority of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered, with little testing done by the FDA, I put soy food into the artificial foods group. While it may not have always been this way, that's how it is now, and the food industry is not required to inform the consumer that the food they are eating was enhanced so.

I've heard that there's a really good way of getting rid of e coli. Cook your meat.

But back to the subject: Why eat imitation food? Simple. You don't have a choice. If you buy your food from a grocery store, chances are it's not real. It may look and smell and taste like food, but most people don't know any better. Ask your elders, "did food always suck?" and see what they tell you.

Because it's cheap. The lowest quality foods are the ones with the most crap in them, adn the highest prices food are fresher and are crap-free (which has now become a feature). The world may not have thought of pesticides and growth agents as crap before, but since pests still exists, and small apples taste better anyway, I'll refer to them as crap.

Because it's the easiest way to get food to your urban dwelling ass. Do you think that bananas or mangos grow anywhere near NYC? How do apples wind up in Louisiana? By coating them with a veil of the unnatural, you are now allowed to enjoy foods that have nothing to do with your climate. Fresh, imitation food.

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