Is This Fake Meat Making You Sick? Why Eat It When It’s Not Healthy?

The number of people getting sick from eating fake meat, Quorn, seems to be increasing daily.  To date, more than 2,000 people reacted to Quorn with symptoms like nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.

fake meat
Is This Fake Meat Making You Sick? Why Eat It When It’s Not Healthy?

Some consumers even suffered blood vessels in their eyes bursting due to intense vomiting after eating Quorn.

So what is Quorn?

Quorn products are meat substitutes for food products like chicken nuggets, ground beef, sausages, ham, and steak strips.  They are made to look tasty so vegetarians can enjoy their favorite meat-based meals in a meat-free fashion. It was created in England by Rank Hovis McDougall and Imperial Chemical Industries. They launched Quorn as a joint venture.

What are the ingredients in Quorn that is making people sick?

The main ingredient is a fungus called ‘Fusarium venenatum’.  The word ‘Venenatum’ is Latin for poisonous, venomous, filled with poison.

This fungus was discovered in a sample of North Yorkshire soil in the Sixties.  It is a member of the fungus family distantly related to mushrooms. First, it is harvested, and then it is fermented in a similar way to beer.  After being fermented it creates thin layers of meat-like texture and appearance which is perfect for a meat substitute.

See how Quorn is made:  Quorn Manufacture Video

Quorn Foods claims its product is safe and points out that food like nuts cause much more severe allergic reactions. The company argues Quorn products have “always been made from a natural, GMO-free protein ingredient.”

Is the Quorn really safe to eat?

British manufacturers of Quorn first labelled the main ingredient as from the “mushroom origin”, but in 2002 the Food Standards Agency made them change the labels because this was inaccurate. Since then the label says: “It is a mycoprotein, which is a nutritious member of the fungi family.”

This fungus has never been used in human food before, but this wasn’t enough of a red flag for the FDA. When the company sent in their results from studies, one study’s results were that almost five percent of people tested got sick after eating Quorn.

The Time has come for the FDA to Protect Consumers from getting sick from Quorn

Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson August 18, 2014:  ” We’ve collected more than 2,000 adverse reaction reports from consumers who have eaten Quorn. The FDA should have pulled this dangerous product off shelves a decade ago.” As early as August 12, 2002 CSPI Calls for Recall of “Quorn” Meat Substitute

There are many Medical studies with the results that Quorn’s fungal ingredient is an allergen, but it is still allowed for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency.

At the very least, consumers should not be misled by labeling.  The average consumer doesn’t know what a ‘mycoprotein’  is,  and may not eat that product if they did!

Many of the original motivations for creating this food were:

  • To find a more humane food.
  • Fears of a world protein shortage in the 1960s.

Vegetables have lots of protein. These are the caloric ratios of common vegetables (from

Imitation foods can also interfere with the body’s highly sensitive feedback mechanism for proper digestion and satiation. That is one of the reasons most artificial sugars and fats aimed at weight loss are not effective.

Every single one of my delicious Meatless Monday Recipes is made with real food.  You can also learn how to plan and cook real vegetarian meals at Online Healthy Diets.

A Few High-Protein Vegan Foods

Tempeh is a nutritious superfood full of health benefits including good protein and vitamin B12.  For vegans, it can be challenging to get enough B12. Beans and lentils are full of good nutrition and have many health benefits but they do not have the essential vitamin B12.  Tempeh has the same protein quality as meat and helps reduce cancer, is a powerful probiotic, helps with weight loss, and more. Many have not heard of tempeh and have no idea what this food is.

Tofu adds a vegan protein which is good for us. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds. It is a good source of protein, is gluten-free, contains no cholesterol and is low in calories.  You can get tofu in most health food stores; it is also Bean Curd and can be bought in Chinese markets.  Make sure it is organic and not GMO.

The lentil was selected by Health Magazine as one of the top 5 healthiest foods on the planet! They are good in so many ways:  your body, your blood, your pocketbook, your taste buds, and even the environment.  Beans are generally considered a low-cost, healthy alternative to most other protein sources like meat, dairy, and grains.

Delicious chickpeas are known as garbanzo beans are a superfood full of health benefits and are a culinary healthy treat! Hummus made from them is delicious. Have you ever eaten falafel? Did you know that their main ingredient is chickpeas? Add chickpeas to your salads, soups, and stews adding high nutritional value to your meals and a very good protein too. Learn more: Chickpeas are Full of Amazing Health Benefits

main image from Michael, via Flickr. Quorn fillet pictured.

Copyright © Diana Herrington You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page or the direct link to the post.
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4 thoughts on “Is This Fake Meat Making You Sick? Why Eat It When It’s Not Healthy?”

  1. All fake meat/phoney baloney is harmful.Most are made from isolated soy protein and casein, neither of which is digestible by humans. They are also a great source of MSG as well.

    1. I agree with you Tricia about never wanting to eat isolated anything, casein and MSG.
      There are one or two products out there that are made with good ingredients and none of the above but wish they would not call them one of the meat names.

  2. Mar-yannu Hathory

    Of course the healthiest way to eat is to use single ingredients to prepare a meal, i.e. carrots, quinoa, garlic, etc. For me, I need to have some convenience foods. When Quorn first appeared in my healthfood stores, I called the company and got an explanation of “mycoprotein.” What a concept! I took personal responsibility and personally researched before I bought and ate. I am not allergic to Quorn, nor am I allergic to TAPIOCA made from the poisonous Manioc root. Perhaps instead of pulling Quorn products off the shelves, when far more than 2,000 of us successfully and gratefully use them, we could propose taking Personal Responsibility for ourselves in all ways, instead of putting a company out of business over allergic reactions. Afterall, we still grown Peanuts and sell Soy Products, right?

  3. as usual, you’re the awesome – est

    thank you so much for this informative post.

    many people are allergic to mushrooms — so that’s one major reason that this information needs to get out to the public.

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