Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Recently, everyone seems to be shocked that processed food is….well…. processed.
There was uproar when a video of crab sticks being made went viral recently, and we can kinda understand why that wasn’t to everyone’s liking (watch it here).
But the latest outrage seems to be about how vegan sausages are made, following a clip on Channel 4’s Supermarkets Unwrapped: The Vegan Aisle.
In particular, it’s the process of ‘gelation’ that has really put people off, after a tour of Heck Foods factory in Yorkshire.
This is basically creating the ‘skin’ on the sausage, and is done using a ‘seaweed gel’.
The factory’s innovation manager Callum Smith explained: “We use a textured vegetable protein and then we’ve developed some flavours to make it taste like a pork sausage.
“We pump the meat-free sausage mix and a gel into this little head at the same time. This is alginate gel and it’s made from a seaweed.”
There’s then a demo of how the gel reacts when mixed with calcium chloride, to become the sausage shell we know it as.
“In no time at all that’s really stiffened up,” said Bake Off alum John Whaite, who was presenting the show alongside Helen Lawal, Kate Quilton and Briony May Williams.
Once the skin of the sausages has miraculously formed, they’re able to be cut into individual portions.
Reacting to the scene, some people were fascinated, whilst others had some thoughts… to say the least.
“Watching Supermarkets Unwrapped on C4. They’re doing ‘vegan aisle’. Dear God, the extent that food manufacturers will go to produce UPF (ultra-processed food) crap to replace natural foods,” said one.
“If you want to be vegan eat actual plants not this synthetic sh*t!”
Viewers of Channel 4's Supermarkets Unwrapped: The Vegan Aisle were left sickened last night as they learned how a number of different plant-based products for sale in British supermarkets are made. pic.twitter.com/szY17Ecwhz
— Trung Hien (@LTrungHien) July 12, 2023
“Why any one believes these ultra processed plant based foods are a healthy alternative to meat is totally beyond me,” said someone else.
But not everyone was as scathing.
“If they think this is bad someone should tell them what happens in abattoirs,” chimed in someone else.
“Lol people upset by what’s in vegan sausages, […] but are perfectly fine with millions of pigs being slaughtered, mashed up and shoved into their own intestines.. incredible..,” someone else said.
Some might be grossed out, but is it just us who actually found this quite fascinating?
Featured image: Getty/ Channel 4