Lee Pitts: Phony Food | TSLN.com

Lee Pitts: Phony Food

Vegetarians are always bragging about how much healthier a meat-free diet is and about famous vegetarians like Cesar Chavez, Twiggy and Michelangelo. They never mention that Hitler was a vegetarian and that people like Beethoven, Helen Keller, John Wayne and Abe Lincoln ate meat. They're always proclaiming that veg-heads are healthier than meat eaters without any hard evidence to prove it. Now comes a study that says that eating a vegetarian diet is not only NOT as healthy for the body, it can more often lead to mental deficiencies as well.

Soy is evidently not the savior after all, according to the University of Graz in Austria where they reviewed health interview surveys in Austria and in Europe. Those surveys showed that vegetarians are unhealthier and more mentally-disabled than meat eaters.

But we already knew that, didn't we? Anyone who enjoys a chunk of tofu more than a ribeye steak or a juicy hamburger is missing a few taste buds, if you ask me. According to the study, vegetarians are more often ill, have a lower quality of life than meat eaters, have more heart attacks and are a greater burden on the health care system. Study coordinator, Nathalie Burkert, told the Austrian Times, "We did find that vegetarians suffer more from certain conditions like asthma, cancer and mental illnesses than people that eat meat."

Because I'm concerned about the well being of my vegetarian friends I came up with an earthshaking concept. Just as vegetarians created knockoff meat products, we should turn the tables (or at least the dinner table) and make fake vegetables out of beef. After all, turnabout is fair play. Instead of chowing down on synthetic turkey called Tofurky, how does fake Tofurky made with real beef sound? We can call it Beefurkey. (Remind me to apply for a patent.) And our hamburger eggplant won't make you gag or queasy to look at either. I wish you could see the counterfeit rutabagas I made from beef in my test kitchen. Believe me, they look a lot more delectable than their attempts at counterfeit bacon made with bean curds. Yuck!

So lighten up veg-heads, instead of dreading another dessert of baked pears with bread pudding just think how good it would taste if the pears were made from hamburger and the bread pudding was covered with beef gravy. Ummmm! Yummy!

Because ground round is malleable I found it very easy to make it into the shape of zucchini, broccoli, beets and artichokes. Only in the middle of my artichokes you'll find a center of pure filet mignon. I make a great slab of imitation tofu too, made from a chunk of Choice top sirloin.

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My revolutionary idea will solve a host of problems. It will allow vegetarian restaurants to liven up their menus and kids will no longer be sent to bed without dessert because they didn't eat their Brussel's sprouts, the number one hated vegetable in the USA. It would do away with all the waste in school cafeterias created by Michele Obama's school lunch program too. Make those lima beans out of beef and kids might actually eat them.

There would be no need for teenage girls to go through their mandatory "vegetarian phase" if we put real beef in their green smoothies and artificial granola bars. Bogus vegetarian pizza made with beef would put a little pizzaz into those poorly attended vegetarian potluck suppers too. And there'd be no more danger from second-hand smoke and greenhouse gases coming from vegetarian's meatless shish-kabob cookouts. Peace would break out between the meat and vegetarian factions at Whole Foods, closet meat-eating-vegetarians will have coming-out parties, vegetarians and meat eaters alike will hold hands, sing Kumbaya, while we barbecue faux veggies and nibble nuts made with real beef ones.

I'll probably get a phony Noble Peace Prize for this like Obama and Al Gore did.