Quorn goes vegan (What the hell is mycoprotein?)

by JL Fields on March 16, 2012

Ten years ago, in my early vegetarian days and when I traveled the globe for work, I ate Quorn products when in the U.K.  I loved them.  Years later I saw the products in the frozen foods aisle in U.S. markets but the products use egg whites and therefore are not vegan.

A few months ago the folks at Quorn USA asked me to review their newest product – they developed a vegan burger! They sent me a package (of 4) and in return asked for a review in which I share my honest opinion.

Though the package encourages baking, I opted for frying them in 1 teaspoon of avocado oil. It smelled like bacon in the house.  Seriously, my husband was in the basement doing laundry and the scent brought him up to the kitchen.

This little burger “fried” up in six minutes.  Since Quorn is born in the UK I thought it appropriate to serve the burgers up on toasted English muffins (okay, it was the only bread product I had on hand), with lettuce, onion, tomato and Vegenaise.

I posted the picture of my burger to Facebook and a friend sent me this link:  Vegan Bloggers Reviewing Quorn.  You’re going to need to read the link to understand my following comments. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

…To be honest, I didn’t know if my friend was scolding me or educating me when he sent me the link.  I’ll go with educating me as he is the one who kept questioning my Facebook status updates using Earth Balance because, as I learned from him, Earth Balance uses palm oil and the palm oil business is killing orangutans.

Okay, back to Mark Sutton’s scolding of irresponsible vegans who review products.  His concern is that vegans review products without reading labels. Um, yeah, you’re right.  I got a big box of So Delicious goodies a few weeks ago and I didn’t read the label.

But, I’m glad my friend sent me the link to Mark’s vegan blogger review critique because I learned about Mycoprotein, which is the main ingredient in Quorn burgers.

From Quorn’s own site:

*Note that the referral to egg product above is the added egg white in most Quorn products, but not the new vegan burger.

From non-Quorn sites you can read about mycoprotein on  Wired Magazine:   A Mushrooming Quorn Controversy and on Livestrong: What Are the Benefits of Mycoprotein?

Mark Sutton asked

Did any of the vegan bloggers giving Quorn a “positive” review mention these things?  Unfortunately, no. Not even as an “FYI” or advisory.

Yes, thanks to my friend Evan, I did.

And I still thought the burger was awesome.  And my omnivore husband ate a Quorn burger Wednesday night, instead of eating an animal.

But, listen, I’m not one of those awesome vegans. I’m the one who eats oil, salt, sugar, an occasional vegan marshmallow sandwich, and, yes, I dip into some vegan junk food every now and then.

Readers, I know many of you have enjoyed the Quorn vegan burger. Did you know you were eating mycoprotein? Did you care? 

For those of you who have not eaten one, does mycoprotein scare you off?

 

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  • Healthfulsolutions2000

    Sounds WAY too processed for me!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       I do believe this is the epitome of processed! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Sonny_Chia Sonny ☯

    I’m more impressed that your husband does the laundry. LOL But I don’t eat a lot of mock meat and when I do if it says it’s vegan I’ll try it. Mycroprotein doesn’t scare me off.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Me too, Sonny! I’m grateful that he does the laundry :)

  • Sprint2theTable

    Whoa… I had no idea!  It may not totally scare me off, but I do try to make an effort to eat homemade good more often so I can be sure of the ingredients.  Thank you for sharing this – I love learning more about where my food really comes from. 

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       I agree, I tend to eat fairly wholesome and view items such as these an exception versus the rule.

  • http://thatwasvegan.wordpress.com/ Barb@ThatWasVegan?

    I’ve never eaten anything by Quorn (I don’t think?), and this is my first time learning about mycoprotein.

    I sometimes use EB, although I try to limit the use because of the palm oil/orangutan issue. I’ve used Smart Balance sometimes (they have a few vegan spreads) but they also have palm oil. I’ve read that Fleischmann’s unsalted spread is has no animal products (although it’s not certified vegan), but I don’t know for sure.

    • JLoS

      Fleischmann’s IS 100% vegan. We are vegans, + my daughter has life threatening alllergy to dairy & eggs (makes her a perfect tester). Because of her allergies and sensitivity to processed food I woudn’t even dream to give her that Quorn burger. I don’t think the ingr. are ok and I have a feeling that it does egg whites too

      • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

        Thank you Barb and and JLoS for the Fleischmann’s info – I will look into it!

  • VeganVersion

    Oh where to start… the occasional prepared convenience food does not scare me in the least. Like you I try to find a balance- mostly good, whole foods with some indulgences. There is nothing wrong with that!  And, I think that so many vegans have become so extremist- where the goal is perfection, which is not possible, in my opinion. For me, anyway, the goal is to do the best I can and not misstep knowingly or intentionally, and certainly not to judge.  Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Lee, I think you and I share a similar philosophy. I’m not opposed to meat analogues because they help so many people transition to a vegan diet. And many “perfect vegans”  swear by nutritional yeast — which is cultured, harvested and packaged, too.

  • http://www.veganinarkansas.blogspot.com/ Sheridan

    I ate alot of Quorn products when I was vegetarian and I have not tried their new vegan burger since going vegan. My Dad was actually the first to question the “mycoprotein” ingredient. He wanted to know what it was, so I looked it up. I honestly didn’t care all that much that it was essentially a fungus made in vats until I had a friend get terribly sick to his stomach after eating a Quorn chik’n cutlet. He was sick and vomiting all day and after doing a little research online, he found that lots of people have had bad allergic reactions to the mycoprotein. I guess I’ve just kinda stayed away from it since then.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Makes sense, Sheridan.  Had I known about the vomiting potential, I may have avoided it. Turns out, I had no bad reaction at all.

      • PEACH

        u know after reading some of the comments here the old adage shines through (U CAN’T FIX STUPID)

    • Katherine Marie

      I’m currently having a pretty bad reaction to the stuff. It has now happened twice since eating the product. I’ve been eating all sorts of new and different foods for experimentation and I didn’t see the connection till now. If you’re trying it for the first time, eat a very small amount to see if you react to it!

  • http://twitter.com/keephealthstyle Laura Agar Wilson

    I’m pretty familiar with Quorn being from the UK and although I don’t eat it right now (of course as most products are not vegan) I give it to my husband all the time! I feel like I’m in a catch 22, my husband is a total carnivore but he will eat this. Do I feed him animals which may be the ‘cleaner’ choice (depending on your stand point of course) or Quorn, which although is processed is not an animal and is much cheaper and more convenient to cook with than quality meat? Its a tough one. I tend to eat processed foods on occasion, and I would be happy to indulge in this from time to time I guess its all about balance. But for my husband I’m never sure if I’m doing the right thing because he eats it so regularly. At least no animals are suffering though. 

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       I’m with you on this Laura.  A Quorn burger won’t be part of my standard diet, but they are good and and I will certainly enjoy them on occasion. And I’m delighted that my husband liked it.

  • http://www.cadryskitchen.com/ Cadry

    Like you, I had Quorn many years ago when I was vegetarian and traveling through Europe.  I tried it at a restaurant in Zurich, and I really enjoyed it.  However, now that I’ve heard more about the process of making it, especially reading John Robbins’ post, I would be hesitant to eat the vegan version.  The idea of having a reaction to it that involves hours of vomiting sounds too risky for me.  

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Yep, and with so many diet sensitivies out there, I can see why some want to be more cautious.

  • http://www.tiedyefiles.com/ Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    I don’t know that this would necessarily scare me off, but I really don’t buy processed foods anyway so I don’t have to worry! Some Daiya so the boyfriend and I can have calzones is about as far as I go.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Exactly.

  • Gvn Red

    i think palm oil is a legitimate concern, which you’ll find in the ingredient list. The only problem with the processing is possible carbon footprint, but I don’t believe processed food is inherently demonic, like so many seem to think.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      I’m stunned at how often palm oil is found in vegan foods.  That is one to which I need to pay better attention.

  • http://www.betterwithveggies.com Heather Blackmon

    If it’s a mud fungus, does that mean it has a higher B12 content? :) Seriously, while I think it’s great when people completely avoid all processed food and look for how every ingredient might impact everything else, I just can’t go there. I want to make the right big picture choices and not get bogged down in the minute details, which can take the fun out of food (and living). This sounds like a yummy product to me – but then again, I made donuts with Earth Balance and Bac’Uns (vegan) this morning. :)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       I’m still LOL at the B-12 comment.  :)  May I have a donut, please?

      • christina

        hi jl- i had to comment on the earth balance stuff. i use it all the time and when i heard the same things as you about them containing GMO’s and displacing orangutans and all the other evil things attributed to them, i called the company…they told me they work very hard to be non-GMO; their organic products are well tested and certified and their product contain about .5% palm oil that is sustainably sourced…they sent me copies of all their certifications voluntarily to prove their points to me…so i feel better knowing all this when i use their products. i just wanted to let you and your readers know this…

        • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

          That’s great, @3969716f4b77f4bf24f3e7c97ced0ad5:disqus! I asked them for info a year or so ago and they couldn’t provide it so it sounds like they are making efforts, which is great.

  • Jill in Chicago

    Hi JL, this is my first time commenting….I tried Quorn years ago (before I knew what I do now about whole foods, plant-based diet,) and I couldn’t stomach it (literally, it made me ‘lose my meal’ to put it delicately.) NOW, after reading the Soul veggie link and the “Separating Fact from Fiction” chart it all makes sense!

    Thanks for posting that chart and all of the information.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Hi Jill! Thank you for saying hello!  

  • http://theunintentionalvegan.com/ Ashley F.

    When I first became vegetarian I ate Quorn products because it was the easy way to substitute meat for someone like myself who had a small soy allergy (which I no longer have, thankfully). However, once I realized I didn’t have to have meat or anything really resembling meat I was completely turned off by the amount of processing involved in making their products and the number of words in the ingredients list I couldn’t even begin to pronounce.

    That being said, I think you hit it on the head when you said, ‘and my omnivore husband ate a Quorn burger on Wednesday night, instead of eating an animal’. The point is that Quorn is a great way to transition into vegetarianism and veganism, even if it’s not really something you’d want to eat often or even long-term.

    A great post with insight into both sides of the story – thank you for presenting all of the info so honestly!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Ashley, same here.  Meat analogues were a part of my transition. I’m just as happy (happier!) eating a big bowl of beans, greens and grains these days!

  • Liz

    I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, and the description of mycoprotein is kind of a turn-off for me.  BUT, if it’s between Quorn and animal…  Bring on the Quorn please!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      YES!

  • http://twitter.com/diplocockeyed diplocockeyed

    Reports of “some” people vomiting after eating the product aren’t very helpful. What percentage of people have this reaction, and how do we know there is a causal relationship? People vomit all the time, and it’s always after they ate *something*. The last time I vomited, it was after I ate some hummus. Does that mean hummus is bad for all of us? Of course not. I would need more information about this point before I could evaluate if there was a risk to eating Quorn.

    And no, the fact that it is a single-celled member of the fungi kingdom does not scare me off. I inoculate soymilk with bacteria, ferment it for half a day, and then eat that (soy yogurt!), so why would “mold” put me off?

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       That’s a really good question!  I wonder if it’s a common allergy (to that particular fungus)?

      I was actually thinking about that last night. I ferment foods in my own home, I just don’t have a vat ;)

  • http://twitter.com/ThisGirlisVeg Danielle Legg

    I ate meat for over 20 years, meat with feces and blood in it. I’m vegan now, and proud, and mycoprotein doesn’t worry me at all. It’s not like I’ll eat this stuff every single day. Just like I don’t eat cookies and cotton candy every day. This review is great :D Thanks!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       LOVE this perspective! Thank you for sharing it!

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com/ Rachel@MyNaturallyFrugalFamily

    I guess this is more of reason to just stick to fresh veggies :)  Thank you for such an eye opening post I need it as I am trying to convert myself to vegan.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Rachel, good luck with the transition to vegan – let me know if I can help!

  • Sagefemme50

    Re Quorn and Earth balance-how pure and perfect is enough!?I  don’t see why being the “perfect” vegan includes abstaining from all processed foods.oils,sugar etc.IMHO,this kind of attitude leads to a level of self absorption that is more about perfecting the self than concern for the suffering of animals.Kind of neurotic.
    I haven’t had Quorn,and probably won’t -esp after reading the ingredient list! But,it’s really not that much of an issue for me.I do eat those fake chicken things-they’re good!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Hi Sage! Thank you for your comment.  I think you’re kind of making my point.  I don’t mind a great-tasting burger that was fermented from fungus.  Palm oil, however, is, in my opinion, NOT vegan because orangutans are being killed to get to the source.  So I don’t file that under “perfect vegan” I file it under VEGAN. 

      Having said that, I still have Earth Balance in my refrigerator (though I haven’t purchased any since learning about palm oil) and I did consume the Quorn burger without reading the label — the mycoprotein would not have alarmed me but the palm oil would have.

  • http://twitter.com/elisehippie Elise

    i saw this product at expo west but didnt try it because i looked at the ingreds list first…im not saying im an “awesome vegan” by any means, i just know my body’s (many) sensitivities…so i have to be a label reader.  having no clue what mycoprotein was i chose to skip it.  kyle tried it (and liked it) though.  he said it tasted falafel-y with a hush puppy/hash brown consistency.  

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Elise, because I read your blog and know your dietary issues I totally understand why you would avoid it!

  • http://bittsblog.blogspot.com bitt

    I have been scared of them for years, I remember when they first came out they had bad press so I stayed away. Couldn’t have them anyway due to wheat though. I just think their marketing could use some some work too, I mean Quorn? What a weird name! Glad they are finally making a vegan one, I am sure some vegans have accidentally picked them up if it was in a grey area like that. 

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      I’m LOL Bitt!  Not sure about the name, either!

  • http://northwestherbivore.com/ Northwest Herbivore

    Interesting. I always thought the name Quorn was a nod to huitlacoche, which I assumed was somehow processed into the prime ingredient of Quorn products. I see now that the two appear to be totally unrelated. Good info to think about on all of this. I’m not sure whether I’d be up for trying these burgers or not. The prospect of being a rare person who has a particularly nasty allergic reaction to that product is a little off-putting, and I’d definitely want to know more about my odds on that score.

    That said, I’m not scared off by the very notion of “processed foods”–and agree with you and many commenters here that strict abstinence from anything but “whole foods” (and I dare anyone to clearly define that term) is not a sustainable way for many people to live. The only real benefit I can see to that level of purism is that for some people, seeking as much consistency as possible with their values system is an important part of feeling right with the world. I know it was much easier for me psychologically to “go vegan” all at once versus gradually reducing the amount of eggs and dairy I consumed (I was already vegetarian); for some people, the opposite is true.

    I think the two pitfalls that can easily befall “purists” are believing that perfection is possible, in diets or anything else, and believing that everyone should do what works for them (enter the self-righteous vegan that everyone seems to have met, and many get permanently turned off from veg*nism because of that person’s bad energy and bad manners). Fortunately, those are not nearly as common as legend would have it, and the more positive, non-judgmental types there are out there, the more the negative people get diluted and brushed off.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Nodding my head to pretty much everything you wrote!

  • Elisa Camahort Page

    I’m a little confused. So they’re not saying this isn’t vegan, they’re just saying it’s processed? Well, no duh. It’s a vegan burger. I eat fake animal products sometimes, so obviously processed food is fine with me. 

    I also eat nutritional yeast regularly, and soy yogurt, so the mycoprotein description doesn’t seem much different.

    Finally: I’m sorry, but I do not buy there is a general “this makes you sick to your stomach” risk with mycoprotein. And I just think it’s kind of ridiculous to say there is without, as one of your very wise commenters below asks for: Data.

    But then, you know me, I’m not one of those awesome vegans either. :)

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Such great points — it wasn’t until I posted this that I learned about nutritional yeast — I’ve just been eating it! (and will continue to do so).

  • Audrey Snyder

    It’s not an animal, so it sounds great to me! I’m like you, I like my oil and sugar and vegan junk food. :) Thanks for the review, I’m your newest follower!
    Audrey at vegincowcountry.wordpress.com

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

       Nice to meet you, Audrey!

  • Sara

    Why does it say on the back of quorn products in the UK – quorn is high in fibre and protein which may cause intolerances in some people?  so are lentils but they dont come with a warning.  Seems weird to me.

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  • Diana

    Great review, JL.  I have to confess that even before I knew about the mycoprotein I was afraid of Quorn.  My mother bought me some once and I refused to eat it since I thought it was made of fungus (I’m still getting over a severe mushroom phobia).  Hearing about the fungus growing as an organism in huge vats makes it even more nightmarish to me :-)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.doph Jack Doph

    I am a meat eater, i love scrapple and sausage, but if i want to live past 40 i have to replace my burgers and the majority of my breakfast sandwiches with vegetarian burgers. being a guy i don’t just want some soy burger, i don’t like the prostate risk, so i looked at the quorn soy free burger, and it tastes great, but this mycoprotein is a concern, if it’s just fungal proteins processed in to some meat like consistency then i’m fine, but what are the impacts to my health if i eat these on a regular basis? sure, it has a lot less fat, but it’s like replacing my sugar with aspartame, i won’t get diabetes maybe, but God knows what other side effects i will have.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Hi Jack – thanks for the comment. You raise great questions. I still don’t feel like I have a complete grasp on mycoprotein and I have learned that some people have allergic reactions to it. For now I guess I just consider it an “in moderation” food. I do like the taste but, so far, I’ve only had one every few months.

  • Leah

    WARNING! DO NOT EAT QUORN!!!

    I would really like to share my story and the negative impact that Quorn has had on my life.

    I began eating Quorn in 2005 as a teenager. I maintained a vegan diet with the exception of Quorn products. I began to notice a red patch of skin on my chin – my mom assumed it was acne because I was around that age. However, it did not respond to any acne treatments and by 2012 my entire face was bright red – like a bad sunburn, dry, flaky, and very sore. I had other symptoms that became debilitating: fatigue, back pain, joint pain, painful twisting sensations in my legs, allergy fog, etc. I was sick often and would very easily get infections. I had inflamed tonsils for 5 years! I went to my doctor repeatedly through the years but we couldn’t find a solution. Eventually I had to leave school because I was so sick. I had to give up sports and even something simple like a day trip was incredibly difficult.

    This past summer I randomly lost my appetite for Quorn. I went Quorn free for 3 weeks and my skin started to clear up, I felt better, even my eyesight was sharper! I ate a Quorn chicken cutlet at a barbecue and the next day my face had reverted back to its usual redness and I felt pretty sick! I returned to my doctor and she confirmed that Quorn had been the culprit to all of these symptoms. I am now detoxing from Quorn and slowly improving everyday.

    Quorn’s packaging is so misleading. “Myco” is latin for MOLD! Mycoprotein is made from Fusarium Venenatum – Venenatum is latin for VENOMOUS! To make matters worse their story about discovering Quorn in the British countryside may be true but Mycoprotein was actually developed by a pharmaceutical company and then sold under the Quorn brand name. If I had know these things I never would have tried Quorn!
    My problems started so small and very slowly increased in severity over 7 years. If you look up “Quorn Problems” you will find many instances of people becoming violently ill after consuming Quorn – some even going into anaphylactic shock. I am so worried that there are people out there suffering from Quorn who have no idea.
    Of course it is up to you to decide if you want to eat Quorn. I strongly advise against it. Make sure if any of you do eat it and start noticing unexplainable symptoms that you consider Quorn to be the source before it gets as bad as it did for me!

    • MrsHmmz

      I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience, but it seems that you have an allergic reaction to Quorn, something that only affects a small subsection of the population. Your dire warning is therefore a little misleading – yes, it’s important that people realise it is possible to be allergic to it, but to say “WARNING! DO NOT EAT QUORN!!!” like that is like someone with a peanut allergy trying to warn the entire population off eating peanuts!

      I’m from the UK, where Quorn has been regularly eaten by many people for almost 20 years, and very few cases have been reported of intolerances or allergies. Personally I’ve been eating it for almost all of the time it’s been on the market here and have never experienced symptoms of any kind (and I am generally fairly tuned in to the effects that foods have on me – I have seriously reduced the amount of wheat in my diet since I realised that was causing digestive issues when eaten in quantity), and I know many other people who eat it all the time and I’ve never heard of anyone having problems with it.

      The wheat thing actually has interesting parallels here – I’ve seen people on the internet claiming that wheat is bad for everyone, and that it shouldn’t be a significant part of anyone’s diet, when in fact this seems to be more down to individual differences in tolerance. At a guess, I would expect that people who have a genetic background from a part of the world where wheat was first domesticated will have a better tolerance for it (as with milk, where people from parts of the world where milk has historically been a big feature of the diet are less likely to be lactose intolerant).

      I don’t mean to sound like I’m dismissing your concerns, just like I wouldn’t dismiss the concerns of someone with any other type of allergy or intolerance, but I’m just pointing out that the way you put it makes it sound like Quorn is poisonous to everyone, not just people with a specific allergy!

  • MrsHmmz

    I find the fuss some people make about Quorn a little bizarre, really. It seems mostly based on the fact that some people have a bad reaction to it, the fact that it is “processed” and “grown in a vat”, and the fact that it is made from fungus.

    I can understand some of the concern about overly processed foods, but any vegetarian or vegan who eats commercial animal product substitutes eats foods that are usually pretty far removed from their “natural” form so unless you exclude all foods like this from your diet there is no reason to entirely dismiss Quorn on that basis. Though yeah, there’s definitely something to be said for trying to keep your diet focused on foods in a more “natural” state as far as possible.

    And I suppose if you have heard that it has made some people sick that might put you off too, but then what about all the other foods that make some people ill? People have died after eating peanuts, but I bet most of you don’t let that put you off them! My friend gets very sick if she eats dairy, but I don’t consider that evidence that diary is bad for everyone. Certainly, people should be made aware that it is possible to be allergic to Quorn, and what the common symptoms of this are, but that is no reason for most people to be suspicious of it.

    As for the “grown in a vat” bit, well how do you think yoghurt, miso, beer, or any number of fermented types of foods are made on an industrial scale? To let the fact it is “grown in a vat” put you off is just totally irrational! As is the fact that it’s a fungus; mushrooms are a fungus too, so is the blue bit in blue cheese, and yeast, and koji (the thing used to ferment soya to make shoyu & miso), and many other common things in our diets. So if you’re going to avoid it because it’s a fungus that’s a pretty stupid reason unless you also avoid all of these other foodstuffs (e.g if you are one of the unfortunate people with an allergy to them!).

    It’s right that we question any new food but should stick to well thought out, rational reasons rather than basing them on a kind of “ew” reaction!

  • Ann Shanklin

    I was introduced to Quorn while living in the UK. I was a vegetarian (not vegan) then, and I found that Quorn was a good, tasty protein source that helped me transition away from meat. I never had any negative reactions to it at all. When I returned to the US I went on to eliminate all animal products from my diet. I was pleased to hear that Quorn had developed some vegan options and looked forward to trying them. Sadly, I cannot get them where I live now, so they remain an untried option for me. I look forward to the day that my local Whole Foods expands to include Quorn’s vegan offerings. Yes, it’s processed, and I do try to limit the processed foods in my diet, but as an occasional indulgence I have no problem with mycoprotein.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Hi @google-9aea962618e0062e5f47043a6e8b1dfa:disqus! I think you can ask your WF to order them for you!

  • Cheznous

    What’s wrong with processed? If you boil cabbage, it is processed, add salt and/or bicarb and it’s processed even more. If you bake a potato, it is processed. If you drink a glass of wine, it is processed. So What?

  • http://personsearchbyname.com Gary Carlyle

    Its disgusting stuff. Fake meat for people giving up animal meat. That is all it is. And I would bet it is really GMO.

  • Eating Healthier

    I tried the Quorn chicken nuggets tonight with my two girls (6 & 4). They can’t tell the difference between McDonald’s, store bought chicken nuggets, and Morning Star (or not at least yet). I started looking up info on the mycoprotein for the same reasons as other (What the hell is it?). I didn’t find the taste that appealing. My girls didn’t bat an eye as they dipped them in ketchup. I cut mine up (the breading flaked off as I cut- but the product did resemble chicken). I tossed the chunks* in with some whole grain rice with some hot sauce (hope I or the girls don’t blow* any later tonight after reading how some were affected). They were okay. Thanks for the info!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Thanks for sharing this, @e1b1290736338e2bcfe14ae94a1389ab:disqus! Hope everyone feels great tonight! :)

  • Helen

    DO NOT EAT QUORN! My son almost died from it a year ago. Before that, he never had an allergy to anything and was very healthy. He had 1/2 of a Quorn “chicken patty” one evening which made him violently ill. Then he had a Grand mall seizure so violent that it cracked a vertebrae and caused some brain damage in the memory center of his brain! It is still affecting him one year later! AND, just last month, an 11 year old boy DIED from eating Quorn! This product is labeled as a “mushroom like product”. It is not mushroom at all. They are lying to us and it is killing people! Don’t chance it! I am trying to get the word out.

    • Helen

      Update on my son- He has had 3 more seizures since I wrote the last comment. He cant work full-time because of back pain and memory issues. It was confirmed by a well-known hospital that Quorn was the cause! also, just 3 weeks ago, another child died from consuming Quorn. I am NOT making this up! I am trying to warn people! PLEASE DO NOT eat this product and DO NOT feed it to your children!

  • Miffed

    I cannot understand how a vegan or vegetarian eat something that resembles an animal product. Personally I think it’s double standards.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      How on earth is that a double-standard, @52713bc8d0e43ce6ab71198a8cedecf3:disqus. I’m not vegan because of how food looks. I’m vegan because I don’t want to be a part of violence against animals. So what if the plants I eat resemble something?

  • phaedrus

    I’m an omnivore that sometimes eats meat replacements targeted at vegetarians and usually finds them lacking.

    I knew nothing about mycoprotein until after eating a Quorn product and being surprised enough by how good it was to look into what it was.

    Yeah, I’d prefer less processed, but not enough to take this off the menu. If I really want less processing, I’ll eat meat.

  • Skye

    Thank you for this post! My 6 year old daughter has just decided to become a vegetarian, and because I have 3 kids aged 8 & under, I just can’t make 2 separate kinds of dinners. And add to this, my husband, though a proponent of a healthful diet filled with veggies, is still a total carnivore. So, we’re making this foray into vegetarianism knowing little, and by taking baby steps. We’re not vegan yet – as I said: baby steps. So, naturally, I turn to the frozen section because school & sports nights require quick prep food – and as new (and some unwilling) vegetarians, some things that resemble what are known quantities are good things.

    Now, I had heard about soy actually being dangerous. So, trying to go light on the soy protein isolates, I looked for another option, and I found quorn. I just assumed that it must be a good source of protein – it seemed basically like cheese & yogurt making – or even soy sauce making. Then, today, freezer newly laden with quorn cutlets, crumbles, and nuggets, I stumble across the Quorn controversy! My family actually LOVES the crumbles! I made lasagna with it, and something else, so I’m guessing that everyone can tolerate it. It did shock and worry me, though, because my daughter – the new vegetarian crusader – is highly allergic to tree nuts and peanuts (other good protein sources), and I have a lactose intolerance and a newly developed allergy to cocoa butter/chocolate. So, the food allergies abound in our household.

    So. What’s a mom of a family who HATES potatoes, onions (not me or the hubby), & standard mushrooms to do. The daughter hates beans, too (as in red beans, black bean, garbanzo beans). She’s opened her mind a bit, but still …
    Also, we’re on a budget. Help?

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Hi @disqus_aq8CsisJWN:disqus! I think products like Quorn have their place and it’s up to you to decide. I actually didn’t come out on one side or the other on this – I just shared the controversy. I have consumed Quorn since writing this. I also like the Qrunch line (made with quinoa).

      You might try lentils and quinoa, both of which can be purchased in bulk and cook in very little time. Also, I do not believe that soy is dangerous. I can understand wanting to avoid overly processed foods but tofu, tempeh and edamame are great sources of soy, packed with protein, that your daughter might enjoy.

      Good luck!

  • Dana

    I’m a vegetarian and ate Quorn products regularly for about 5 years. I am now very sick – I have allergies to many foods that I didn’t before (onions, soy, vinegar, fruits, etc.), I’m also very sensitive to some common chemicals and have terrible reactions to them (some shampoos and conditioners, perfumes, environmental pollution, etc.). I have insomnia and I am terribly exhausted almost everyday. My doctor suspects that Quorn is the cause of my symptoms and the decline of my immune system. She says that this is because Quorn’s “mycoprotein” is actually classified as a mold. To explain this further she gave me the example of making cheese (or anything fermented) – you need a started to cause the fermentation – “mycoprotein” is the starter – not an actual food – but you eat the starter. Mold is bad news for anyone. “Mycoprotein” is a made up brand name. Quorn was actually developed by a large pharmaceutical company in the UK.

    I would tell anyone to avoid eating Quorn. It is not worth the risk. If you are eating Quorn and are experiencing odd symptoms please investigate if the cause is Quorn ASAP!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Sorry to hear you’re sick Dana. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  • MissPoTolo

    Unless there’s an extremely large, commercial wild-mushroom supply that I’m completey unaware of, the growing process of mycoprotein isn’t much different from the growing process of more common fungi (mushrooms) easily found at most grocery stores. Think back to high school chemistry people. A fungus is a fungus, and it’s not classified by looks. I’ve read up on quorn products and eaten them (not the vegan burger, as I just learned about it in this article) and they taste great. Minus the big words and science terms, quorn products are great-tasting, minimally-processed foods. I haven’t had quorn products since going completely vegan a few months ago, and I look forward to trying the vegan burger. Great post and review

  • Shanlee

    Not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I’ve loved Quorn products for years especially the Grounds and chkn patties. My family can’t tell the difference between Quorn products and real meat products. I do however have a sister who has suffered from diverticulitis. Had I known how artificially produced the mycoprotein was, I wouldn’t have fed it to her. I was under the assumption that this was just reshaped mushrooms. I personally have never gotten sick from eating it and I’ve probably had one of Quorn’s mycoprotein products 3/7 days a week for the last 5 years or so. I’m fine with my wine being fermented in Vats, but I also know the juice came from a berry grown from a seed…

  • Amgine

    I’m happy to eat quorn, particularly if it goes vegan.

  • proxybait

    I bought the chicken patties on a whim the other day. Personally, I am not vegan or vegitarian but I do happen to enjoy veggie burgers more than the real stuff. So I thought id give it a go. I was super nervous, since im such a huge chicken fan, that itd be something mega gross but was happily surprised by the taste and texture. I immeditaly ran to my boyfriend and told him it was amazing. Then proceeded to look into the ingrediants. Yeah, its pretty processed but really no more than basic foods you buy on a regular basis. But im also not a super picky eater lol. Overall, I give this brand a happy thumbs up.

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