Could McDonald’s Replace Beef Burgers With Seitan? Would Anyone Notice?

Big MacNick Aster writes on triplepundit:

I sometimes like to write harebrained posts postulating some kind of zany idea. So here’s today’s:

I ate at an airport McDonald’s the other day for the first time in ages. It was at once delicious and disturbing. I looked at the beef. Was it really beef? I mean, seriously, it was definitely some kind of beef-flavored-matter, and the advertisement did say 100% beef. But as I walked off with that greasy post-McDonald’s flavor (that lasts for hours) in the mouth, I got to thinking: that patty was almost no different than the wheat or soy-based stuff used to make vegan food (seitan and so on).

I walked away 100% convinced that McDonald’s could replace all its beef with beef-flavored seitan and NO ONE would notice the difference. McDonald’s would save a fortune, health would be improved, and the carbon and resource footprint of McDonald’s would be massively slashed.

Does anyone think I’m right?

It’s not that I’m against eating meat in moderation. But everyone knows that eating lots of meat, especially the highly processed, ultra cheap, ground beef McDonald’s uses, is not healthy. Not only that, but it’s phenomenally costly to the environment at large. Read some Michael Pollen if you need to catch up.

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  • Virgendelavacas

    I would be 100% for this.

    Too bad it's never going to happen…

  • doreene

    well, aside from the fact that you, oh very wise one, should know enough to know that: so called moderation is causing animals to suffer beyond imagination ,and the planet suffers beyond repair as a result of meat eating. so how it all tastes; well, it is getting to be insignificant. that said, i do not think most would noitce the difference! add white processed bread, and whatever else that is not even close to food, it all tastes the same. just ask the friends of my vegan children .they unknowingly devour the soy chick nuggets smothered in sauce… they know not the good deed that they are performing. hopefully, you may know, and soon! best, doreene

  • mika

    yum yum little carb-board burgers!

  • http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/ Rob

    No, I'd notice. There's a significant difference [to me] as far as mouth feel and taste between artificial meats and ground beef. As for the push to vegetarianism, I did it for a few years, then moved away from it living in Japan. Having recently read Lierre Keith's “The Vegetarian Myth” I'd recommend it to anyone looking to obtain optimal health and environmental eating guidelines.

  • 5by5

    People would notice even if they couldn't taste the difference (which, sorry, you can).

    They would notice because as all the extra soy was fed to kids, you'd also see a corresponding exponential increase in severe peanut allergies. Studies have shown that the two tend to go hand-in-hand, especially if mothers of young children feed their kids soy milk instead of regular (preferably untainted by rGBH hormone) cow milk. The early exposed and the greater the quantity of soy consumed, the greater the likelihood of a peanut allergy. They have yet to determine why, but perhaps it acts as a trigger to a specific gene.

    • emperorreagan

      While he briefly mentions soy, he more specifically talks about seitan, which is not soy based. And people with gluten sensitivity can't eat at McDonald's anyway, so it wouldn't be an issue.

      Also, fast food is loaded with soy products – oil, flour, soy used as filler, etc. One more soy product wouldn't make a ton of difference.

      That said, meat substitutes work best where they aren't the centerpiece of a dish. People would notice the difference in a hamburger patty. If it's an element of a dish, you can get away with fooling people sometimes.

  • radiac

    Downright un-American. Great idea.

  • michepoo

    I'm getting excited thinking about it. That sounds yummy. It should at least be an option.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Since I don’t even want to smell that slop, let alone eat it, I guess I wouldn’t notice.

  • ebwolf

    Since I don't even want to smell that slop, let alone eat it, I guess I wouldn't notice.

  • The Dark Prince Seitan

    This is downright moronic. 95% of those flavors you are tasting are strictly because it contains animal fat. I am married to a vegetarian, we eat (and I cook) all kinds of variations of seitan. There is no comparison between the two other than texture.

  • The Dark Prince Seitan

    This is downright moronic. 95% of those flavors you are tasting are strictly because it contains animal fat. I am married to a vegetarian, we eat (and I cook) all kinds of variations of seitan. There is no comparison between the two other than texture.

  • Taceytra

    why does every time a fast food health issue come up they pick on mcd’s?? Like for real, there r more places that dont even offer healthy choices, mc’ds does!! Parfait, apples, salads…come on ppl when r we gunna take responsibility for what we allow in our mouths and our childrens mouths to eat??

  • Taceytra

    why does every time a fast food health issue come up they pick on mcd’s?? Like for real, there r more places that dont even offer healthy choices, mc’ds does!! Parfait, apples, salads…come on ppl when r we gunna take responsibility for what we allow in our mouths and our childrens mouths to eat??

  • anonymus

    I’d support the idea, but the competition would beat them out.

  • anonymus

    I’d support the idea, but the competition would beat them out.

  • Vi0let_femme

    when I eat fast food, the next day my body feels like garbage.   do whatever you want with the patties, i’ll have fresh fruit or veg

  • Vi0let_femme

    when I eat fast food, the next day my body feels like garbage.   do whatever you want with the patties, i’ll have fresh fruit or veg

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