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Mumsnet users share their thoughts on meat free options

573 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 14/01/2019 12:04


Whether you’re thinking of reducing your meat consumption for environmental or health reasons, or if you or a member of your family is vegetarian or vegan, the use of meat free options is on the rise. With this in mind, The Meatless Farm would like to hear your thoughts on reducing meat intake and meat-free options.

Here’s what The Meatless Farm has to say: “With an estimated 22m flexitarians in the UK seeking to reduce their meat consumption, there is an increased appetite for healthy, protein-rich alternatives. After years of research, the team behind Meatless Farm have created a range of products that not only deliver on nutrition, they also taste delicious.”

Are you considering reducing your family’s meat intake? What do you think about meat-free products? Perhaps you’re already including meat free products in your family meals? What influences your choice when it comes to meat free options?

All who post on the thread below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


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Mumsnet users share their thoughts on meat free options
Mumsnet users share their thoughts on meat free options
OP posts:
lisapop · 14/01/2019 14:48

Both my teenage daughters are vegetarian and I've found that most Quorn products disagree with my eldest daughter's digestion, so I find it really difficult to find a good mince meat alternative, As a family we eat meat free at least 3 days a week ( obviously the girls eat meat free every day) I'd really like a meat free alterative we could all enjoy as I find myself cooking different meals for everyone for the majority of the week.

BristolMum96 · 14/01/2019 15:05

Vegetarian here, non V husband and toddler but they both eat meat free subs. Pretty much anything edible but most not nice. I prefer to go without rather than eat a sub.

Sandsnake · 14/01/2019 15:15

I like the idea of being flexible and reducing meat / animal products as opposed to eliminating them. I am fully bought into the idea of why we need to consume fewer animal products but doubt I will ever go vegetarian or vegan. I think that the ‘all or nothing’ message given by some regarding animal products isn’t actually that helpful in reducing the consumption of animal products in omnivores. Therefore, think that aiming your marketing at omnivores looking to cut down without judgement is probably a good way to go. However, you may see a backlash from this from the more ‘hardcore’ veggies / vegans, I suppose.

Personally I would love to find a good meat substitute. I really like cooking with veg but often need quick protein to go into something that I’m cooking after work when I don’t have much time (or inclination!) for cooking. Alas, I am allergic to Quorn and definitely can’t eat that. I often use prawns as a substitute for meat as they are quick, healthy and can be easily stored in the freezer (although obviously they’re not vegetarian!).

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 14/01/2019 15:35

Not a vegetarian household but I have been at various points in my life. I think when DS (big meat eater) goes off to university I'm going to try to follow a less meat-heavy diet with DH and DC2. DC2 is heading that way anyway.

Whatsnewwithyou · 14/01/2019 15:41

DH and I are both newly vegan - we decided to try Veganuary and see how it's been so easy and feels right for both of us so we're going to stick with it long term. We like some meat-free products as they're quick and convenient to prepare instead of cooking everything from scratch (I don't always feel like facing a bag of flour and some dried lentils for example when I get home from work). But health concerns are really important and I want to make sure the food I eat isn't overly processed, has sufficient fibre, and can be served with lots of veg.

NanFlanders · 14/01/2019 15:43

I'm a meat-eater - actually quite a lot of red meat, especially mince-based meals, bacon sarnies etc. My 12 year old dd though has persuaded us all (dh, myself, dd and 10 year old ds) to try Veganuary. I did a lot of research before agreeing and there really aren't any good arguments against vegetarianism and veganism. I'm finding it a lot easier than I imagined and have discovered some great new recipes. I'll definitely be reducing meat intake after January. I'll keep some milk in the fridge for tea (really missing that, though coconut milk with coffee is fine) and eat meat when visiting people etc., but would like have a 95% plant-based diet.

QueenOfPharts · 14/01/2019 23:26

Are you considering reducing your family’s meat intake?
Yes I am trying not to buy as much. It is expensive and it sometimes gets wasted.

What do you think about meat-free products?
I like them tried, meat free jerky today. The thing I find weird is meat free emulating meat
Perhaps you’re already including meat free products in your family meals?
No not yet but would like to try my kids on tofu or quorn.
What influences your choice when it comes to meat free options? taste as well as ease of getting-I live on a rural part of the country and am limited by what is available in my local shop.

HannahLI · 15/01/2019 11:35

I am not really sure about meat free products to be honest - it kind of seems weird to me to stop eating meat and then by a product that has a similar feel and texture to meat to replace it with. I think my kids would also find it weird. I think when I look for alternative products I look for things that are obviously different by look so that they are easily distinguishable as I like to be honest with my kids about what we are eating.

JC4PMPLZ · 15/01/2019 11:41

Are you considering reducing your family’s meat intake?
Yes, I have long been - I myself only cook vegetarian, but DP and DS are really keen meat eaters.

What do you think about meat-free products?
Mixed feelings. I think a whole number of fairly shoddy things are being thrown together and are usually overpriced. Some are OK. I prefer felafels and the like, things that are and have always been made of vegetables, or tried and true like Tofu- but will buy Quorn scotch eggs, especially when out and about, and have tried some of the new fake chicken stuff - these substitutes are not really what I want though.

m0jit0 · 15/01/2019 12:15

Would be really interested in some meat free alternatives for our diet. As a family we consume probably way too much meat and would like to introduce some meat free dinners during the week.

asuwere · 15/01/2019 12:22

We do generally have a couple of meat free days each week, not necessarily an ethical choice, just naturally happens in the meal plan.
I don't buy meat substitutes though, personally, I think we either have meat or don't, no need for pretend stuff.

ButterflyOfFreedom · 15/01/2019 12:23

We are reducing the amount of red & processed meat we eat in our house - we used to eat a lot of mince, sausages, bacon etc but we're now cutting down. No one is a fan of meat free alternatives like Quorn though so we wont be substituting with those. Instead we'll just go without and have more chicken, fish, vegetable based meals.

2019Dancerz · 15/01/2019 12:24

We are already vegetarian. We eat quite a lot of substitutes because we like them, and they mean the kids don’t feel they “miss out” on chicken nuggets, burgers etc.

curlywurl · 15/01/2019 13:00

Please can you provide your nutritional information as I can see it on your website. I have tried a lot of replacement products. We try not to eat too much Quorn as our school uses it every day for the vegetarian option. Lots of veggie/vegan sausages etc are disappointing in their level of protein so I look for the ones that are higher. I would be interested to know where pea protein comes in your ingredient list as it's good to see that being used instead of just soy protein. Is your pea protein produced in the UK?

slyoldfoxystoat · 15/01/2019 13:03

I would like a meat replacement that everyone would like. I am vegan, my husband is doing veganuary and have 3 Omnichildren.

twentypencemore · 15/01/2019 13:09

I would like to cut down on meat consumption but would never go full on vegetarian. The meat substitutes I've tried in the past really put me off to be honest but I'm willing to be persuaded.

jacqui5366 · 15/01/2019 13:10

I often substitute meat free mince to make Bolognese, and cottage pie - they can never tell the difference. I am making a conscious effort to make meals from vegetables (cauliflower cheese, and vegetable bakes).

Alltheprettyseahorses · 15/01/2019 13:14

Everyone in my house is veggie. I like to use meat replacements in cooking eg fake chicken and leek pies or veggie sausage bake and that fresh mince seems a good idea as far as I'm concerned. Those recipes on your website look nice, by the way.

PickAChew · 15/01/2019 13:19

I'm a meat eater but do like to stock up on meat free products, usually for quick lunches like a bean burger with salad. I also try to prepare a meat free dinner for dh and me, during the week, though the boys will not be deterred from their usual beige diets. Not such a problem, as that gives me the opportunity to cook up something spicy.

daniel1996 · 15/01/2019 13:21

Are you considering reducing your family’s meat intake?

I have been doing this for several months now, introducing vegetarian lasagne (the colours of the yellow , red and orange peppers, courgette and the tomato sauce makes it not only look - but taste fabulous)

What do you think about meat-free products?

Depending on which brand you buy they can be very good, I have found the vegetarian sausages to be disappointing and quite peppery - if any Mumsnetter can recommend a decent vegetarian sausage I would be greatful

Perhaps you’re already including meat free products in your family meals?

Yes little by little, we love the Quorn lamb steaks, vegetarian mince, but if they want fish fingers or a pork sausage I won't be offended. I am a proud flexitarian, and just love a healthy diet.

voyager50 · 15/01/2019 13:26

I've been a veggie for nearly 30 years - I love trying new veggie options and always check for new ones when I go shopping.

However, price plays a big part in what I actually buy - some veggie things can be more expensive than their meat alternatives. Some things I only get when they are on offer even though I would love to eat them more.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo · 15/01/2019 13:27

I'm a lifelong vegetarian so I don't tend to eat "fake meat" type foods. I have found that they mostly appeal to people who have recently become vegetarian or vegan and miss meat. I've never had the opportunity to miss it.

I eat vegetarian sausages sometimes. But if I eat burgers it will be the vegetable or bean based ones. The Quorn chicken fillets are OK, but I don't think they're anything like real chicken.

I've had a look at the Meatless Farm products and they look very similar to real meat, so I'm not sure I could bring myself to try them! I'm sure they'd be very useful to people who are looking to continue making the same recipes but without meat.

IToldYouIWasFreaky · 15/01/2019 13:29

Pescetarian family here! I was properly vegetarian until about 4 years ago, and was bringing up DS to be vegetarian too but then decided to introduce fish into our diets, for health reasons and also to give us a little bit more variety in our diets, and more choice when eating out.

I cook with meat free products sometimes. Quorn sausages are a staple in the freezer for a quick and easy meal. I do use Quorn mince and pieces too but in general I would prefer to do an entirely vegetable or pulse based meal, so bean chili rather then using Quorn mince etc. This is partly for cost but also because I don't want to use something so highly processed too often. I estimate we use Quorn maybe once or twice a week and that's plenty for me.

I would consider buying the Meatless Farm products if they were priced comparably to Quorn.

kennelmaid · 15/01/2019 13:51

I'm vegan, my DH is mostly vegetarian but does eat fish twice a week. I use Quorn, Linda McCartney, Fry's, Veggie Kitchen and supermarket vegetarian or vegan brands. I wouldn't bother with any meat substitutes if I was just cooking for myself but my DH says it doesn't feel right if the meal contains no "meat". Price and ingredients play the biggest part in deciding what to buy. I find that Veggie Kitchen's prices are cheap and the food is tasty.

MockneyReject · 15/01/2019 14:03

Are you considering reducing your family’s meat intake?
No, as we are already meat free.

What do you think about meat-free products? Perhaps you’re already including meat free products in your family meals?
I've yet to find anything that tastes good, but doesn't wreck my digestion. and I've been vegetarian for 35 years!
My children are not interested in meat substitutes, as they've never eaten meat, so there's nothing to replace.

What influences your choice when it comes to meat free options?
Taste, effect on my gut (the Quorn effect!) and the amount of salt/crap/processing.

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