If you don't recognize that quote, you should rent House Party. I'm not sure when I picked up Conan O'Brien's way of calling the group Kid and 'N'Play, but find it very hard to stop. . .
And I realize Robin Harris ain't exactly an uncommon name, but I was surprised the first few Google results didn't refer to the late comedian.
What was I talking about? Oh, right, Fusarium venenatum.
You might know it by it's trade name, Quorn.
A health advocacy group accused the government Monday of allowing fake meat made from fungus to be sold even though it makes some people sick and demanded the product, known as Quorn, be recalled.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it had received reports from 33 people who had suffered vomiting, diarrhea and other ailments after eating Quorn. A North Carolina man broke out in hives and had trouble breathing, the group said.
Quorn is the trade name for mycoprotein, which is used as a substitute for ground beef and chicken, and in lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo.
"Quorn mycoprotein has been proven to cause severe digestive reactions," Michael Jacobson, CSPI's executive director, said in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. "Those reactions have led to fainting and dehydration, which could be life-threatening."
Or not. That's from the San Francisco Chronicle version of an AP story. Wired and CNN have the same story, so no new details there.
Which is odd, as this isn't exactly new news.
May 21, 2002 -- Vegparadise News Bureau
Quorn, a Laboratory Mold Creation, Invades the U.S.
Is it a mushroom, a fungus, or just plain mold? Is it a food or yet another laboratory creation disguised as food?
After gracing dinner tables in Europe for the last 17 years, Quorn has reached the United States and is now available in frozen food sections at markets across the country.
What is Quorn? According to the manufacturer, Marlow Foods of the United Kingdom, "Quorn foods are made with mycoprotein, from the fungi family - and a relative of mushrooms, truffles, and morel, that offers a strong nutritional profile and an authentic meat-like texture." Marlow Foods is a division of AstraZeneca, a giant pharmaceutical company.
That description differs radically from the view of Michael F. Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the May 2002 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
"It's actually a fungus that's grown in huge fermentation vats. Mycoprotein is as close to mushrooms as human beings are to jellyfish," says Jacobson. He continues by asking, "Do we want to eat foods made of traditional farm-grown ingredients or mold grown in vats?"
And, way at the bottom,
Because all Quorn products contain egg whites and some contain dairy, none of them are vegan.
Figure some of the nasty reactions are from people who weren't aware that the fungus (Don't. I know you want to say it, but don't.) they were eating also had egg and dairy -- know I wouldn't even think to ask that -- but I'm really talking out of my ass here, and should stop.
There's also us lactose intolerant ty-- no. Don't know what I'm talking about, will rely on the quotes.
There's actually a site dedicated to complaints about Quorn, called Quorn Complaints.com of all things. Their take:
Marlow Foods (a division of the giant pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca) claims that its Quorn product is some natural, mushroom-like food. Quorn's packaging states that the so-called "mycoprotein" in Quorn "made from natural ingredients," "mushroom in origin," and "made from a small, unassuming member of the mushroom family."
Bah! It is made from a fungus found in a British dirt sample, and grown in huge fermentation vats. The fungus that makes up Quorn, Fusarium venenatum, has nothing to do with mushrooms. It is about as closely related to mushrooms as an octopus is related to humans.
If it was in a British dirt sample, maybe that would explain why people over there don't react as badly; they're accustomed to the stuff in the environ-- no, that doesn't make sense. . .
The site is run by CSPI. Yes, the same people in the AP story. There's a few press releases, but the most recent one is from May.
So why did this go out on the wires today?
Somebody at AP knew someone who got sick, maybe?
And speaking of meat substitutes. . .
If you ever find yourself in Dinkytown (U of M campustown, basically), hungry, with only $4.27 to your name, head to Camdi Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant. I recommend the mixed vegetables with mock duck, but there's a long list of choices, and they're all good.
And the Afghan restaurant is gone, replaced with a steak house or some shit. Not that the food was great, but it was still way better than your average fast food.
And some idiot decided that what downtown Minneapolis needed was a Hard Rock Cafe. Built right across the street from First Av.
There are too many levels of wrongness here to begin listing them.