Friday, September 19, 2014

Why You Should Avoid Eating This Meat Substitute

Why You Should Avoid Eating This Meat Substitute 

I recently wrote about the FDA’s failures to thoroughly explore the safety of our food, and about the myriad of chemicals that are allowed for human consumption without examining their effects on human health. More and more people opt for not eating meat and meat products. Instead of replacing meat with a high-protein vegetarian diet, they start using meat substitutes, which are usually filled with disputed ingredients. Also, meat substitutes fall in the processed food category, so are in general bad for your health. One example of a meat substitute you should avoid is Quorn. 

This is a fungus-based ferment, which sounds pretty healthy at first. However, eating Quorn has led to a number of upsetting health consequences in some people, and has raised questions about its safety.

Quorn has been on the market since 1985. It was developed in the United Kingdom, in one of its largest chemical companies called Imperial Chemical Industries. This information alone sets off alarm bells. The fungus that is used is known in Latin as Fusarium venenatum. Venenatum translates as ‘filled with poison’ or ‘venomous’. Indeed, since its launch, many consumers had reported adverse effects, especially those with food and/or mold allergies.

The fungus is grown in large fermentation vats and fed sugar and other nutrients. When the water is removed, what’s left is a paste-like biomass, which is processed into different products.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has so far collected over 2,000 reports of Quorn’s ill-effects. The most common complaints include nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and anaphylactic reactions. Two deaths might have resulted from eating Quorn, but this has not been verified. The manufacturer’s own study showed that 10% of people who ate Quorn, developed stomachache and nausea. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology reported on a case of sensitivity to Quorn mycoprotein in a mold allergic patient, but noted that only one in 140,000 consumers report adverse reactions after eating Quorn.

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