Monday , June 14 2021
Home / Miles Kimball / Replacing Meat with Mushrooms—In Whole or in Part

Replacing Meat with Mushrooms—In Whole or in Part

Summary:
In “Evaluating Sweden's Food Guidelines,” I write:I worry about too much meat. But contrary to the conventional view, I seem it as problematic because of its protein, not because of its fat. Certain types of meat are also high on the insulin index. Overall, the story for meat is complex. My advice is to eat meat sparingly, and to lean toward fattier cuts in order to avoid eating too much protein when you do eat meat. (This applies to fish, too.)(My reasons are based on my current understanding of the science, but the phrases “eat meat sparingly” is a quotation from one of the revelations dictated by Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.) One

Topics:
Miles Kimball considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Tyler Cowen writes The Iconoclastic culture that is Dutch?

Tyler Cowen writes Sunday assorted links

Tyler Cowen writes Why was pre-Covid unemployment so low?

Tyler Cowen writes Emergent Ventures winners, 15th cohort

Replacing Meat with Mushrooms—In Whole or in Part

In “Evaluating Sweden's Food Guidelines,” I write:

I worry about too much meat. But contrary to the conventional view, I seem it as problematic because of its protein, not because of its fat. Certain types of meat are also high on the insulin index. Overall, the story for meat is complex. My advice is to eat meat sparingly, and to lean toward fattier cuts in order to avoid eating too much protein when you do eat meat. (This applies to fish, too.)

(My reasons are based on my current understanding of the science, but the phrases “eat meat sparingly” is a quotation from one of the revelations dictated by Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.)

One thing that can help in eating meat sparingly is to substitute mushrooms for meat. This can work well because mushrooms, like meat, have the savory fifth basic taste of umami. (The other four basic tastes are sweet, sour, salty and bitter.) In her March 26, 2021 Wall Street Journal article “What Explains Our Mania for Mushrooms,” Bee Wilson writes:

Mushrooms aren’t just for vegans. They can also be used to help meat lovers moderate their consumption. A research paper from 2014 in The Journal of Food Science found that when half of the meat in a beef taco was replaced with ground mushrooms, the taco was deemed by a tasting panel to taste meatier. I have started secretly adding mushrooms ground in a food processor when I make a ragout for a lasagna for my meat-crazy and mushroom-despising 12-year-old. I can use around a third less ground beef, and he hasn’t noticed the presence of mushrooms yet. His only comment was that it tasted extra good.

However, Bee writes that to get the meaty flavor from mushrooms requires cooking them like meat:

… Harold McGee, author of “Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells,” told me that “among non-meat ingredients they’re uniquely good at generating the same browning-reaction aromas that meats do when heated to the temperatures typical of frying, grilling, roasting and so on. … if you want to accentuate the meatiness of mushrooms, you should go for a high-temperature method. … white mushrooms taste the most umami when they are either seared in a hot pan or roasted in the oven, as with the shiitake bacon.

Don’t eat poisonous mushrooms. But there seems to be a consensus that nonpoisonous mushrooms are a quite healthy type of food. I use raw mushrooms to add variety to the salads I eat almost every day when I am not fasting.

On eating meat, see:

For annotated links to other posts on diet and health, see:

Miles Kimball
Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *