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More On Mycoprotein–The Quorn Conundrum

More On Mycoprotein–The Quorn Conundrum

Post image for More On Mycoprotein–The Quorn Conundrum

by macdaddy on November 9, 2009 · 2 comments

I think it was fairly obvious from Friday’s post that the Quorn family of products is MY family’s choice for meat substitutes.  I love the variety of products and the ease of incorporating them into my menus.  They’re also very easy to prepare and delicious.  Another thing that I like about them is that they’re not Gardenburgers.  I have never eaten a gardenburger that I’ve liked.  You don’t look at a Quorn patty and see things that obviously don’t belong in a burger.  There are no seeds, corn kernels, or black beans:  and they don’t try pretend to be meat.

But, for a number of reasons, not everyone thinks as highly as Quorn as I do.

Not Mushrooms–The packaging of Quorn products leads the consumer to believe that the protein in Quorn is derived from mushrooms.  As mentioned on Friday, Quorn protein is a fungus, but it’s not a mushroom.  The fungus found in Quorn was initially found in a farm field in England, but is currently manufactured in a lab.  The reason it’s got such a meat like texture is because the fungus grows in long filamentous fibers that resemble the structure of animal protein.  Several groups, including my beloved CSPI and Gardenburger (go Figure) are currently petitioning Quorn to change their packaging so that it’s not quite so misleading.  After reading the packaging myself, I don’t find it to be too misleading, and quite honestly I don’t really care.  It tastes good, has a great texture, and contains much less fat and cholesterol than real meat.  Too me, those are good enough reasons to eat it.

Not Enough Research–Another reason why some people aren’t quite sold on Quorn is the perception of inadequate nutritional research.  The FDA’s approval of quorn products for sale in the US was based on the the manufacturer’s research, not on independent research performed and paid for by the FDA.  Since Quorn’s approval for sale in the US, there have been some problems with allergic reactions.  But who knows if there are more allergic reactions to Quorn than there are to other commonly eaten foods like nuts or soy?  According to Quorn, 1 in 146,000 people have had adverse reactions to a Quorn product compared to about 1 in 350 people who have similar reactions to soy based protein products.

If you take a look at the previously cited complaint page @CSPI, most of the complaints are vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.  But they don’t mention the complete circumstances surrounding the use of those products.  Were they cooked by themselves, or were other ingredients that could have caused the complaints used as well.  There are just so many circumstances that can go unaccounted for in a survey such as this, I just don’t find it to be to credible.

My family likes Quorn, none of us have any issues from eating it and we will continue to do so.  The FDA thinks it’s safe, and that’s good enough for me.  I hope that I’ve been able to provide you with enough information to do some research for yourself if you’re at all in doubt as to the safety of Quorn products.

There’s also another website that you might be interested in checking out.  Unfortunately, it’s a biased (pro-Quorn) as the CSPI site is anti-Quorn.  It’s called Mycoprotein.org Check it out if you’re interested.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 moonduster (Becky) November 12, 2009 at 5:25 am

I did not know that quorn was sold in the US too. We live in the UK, and I have a large family (7 kids). We all love Quorn products. My husband and I have lost a lot of weight following the Slimming World program (over 120 pounds lost by me and over 70 pounds lost by him), and a lot of the Slimming World recipes incorporate Quorn products in them.

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2 Honey November 12, 2009 at 9:43 am

The only problem I have with Quorn is that it’s not vegan (there is some egg in there). I’m not vegan, so I still do eat & enjoy it, but I’d feel a lot better about the product if it were vegan.

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