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  1. #226
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.


    Posted by Charlie Hintz | Cannibal Week

    Hufu was a tofu-based product designed to taste like human flesh, providing an alternative meat source for health-conscious cannibals.

    Hufu artwork created by Ray Drainville of Ardes

    Hufu founder Mark Nuckols was reading the book Good To Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture by anthropologist Marvin Harris, while eating a tofurkey sandwich, when the idea came to him: a healthy, vegan alternative to human meat.

    Nuckols launched Hufu in 2005, and the initial stock of 144 boxes of Hufu Classic Strips sold out in just two days.

    If I had known about it back then, every one of those boxes would have shipped to me. But Hufu, surprisingly, had a bigger market than one random weirdo with a website and an unhealthy interest in cannibalism.

    “Hufu was originally conceived of as a product for students of anthropology hungry for the experience of cannibalism but deterred by the legal and logistical obstacles,” the now defunct Eat Hufu website stated. “However, our preliminary market research revealed the existence of a larger segment of the public that was interested in the availability of a legal and healthy human flesh substitute, as well as vegetarians and vegans. We also found that Hufu is a great product for cannibals who want to quit. Hufu is also a great cannibal convenience food — no more Friday night hunting raids! Stay at home and enjoy the flavorful, convenient human flesh alternative.”

    “Cannibalism might seem wrong to your hetero-normative, Judeo-Christian culture, but who are we to judge the Aztecs or the indigenous cultures of Papua New Guinea?”

    – Eat Hufu website FAQ, 2005
    In an interview on The Daily Show, Nuckols said, “I think that a lot of the pleasure of eating the Hufu product is imagining you’re eating human flesh. For that moment, you can join the fraternity of cannibals… If you really want to come as close as possible to the experience of cannibalism, Hufu is your best option.”

    But how did Nuckols, or anyone eating Hufu, for that matter, know what human flesh tastes like?

    Polynesian cannibals called human the “long pig,” so we tend to associate people with pork. After studying historical descriptions from cannibal tribes, and a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, Hufu discovered otherwise.

    “Hufu is designed to resemble, as humanly possible, the taste and texture of human flesh,” the website stated. “If you’ve never had human flesh before, think of the taste and texture of beef, except a little sweeter in taste and a little softer in texture. Contrary to popular belief, people do not taste like pork or chicken.”

    The FAQ adds, “We are supremely confident that our food products would satisfy the tastes of even the most demanding cannibal.”

    “I bet you a real Fijian headhunter would enjoy Hufu,” Nuckols told The Stanford Daily.

    The name Hufu is a portmanteau of human and tofu. The name was apparently coined by Resident Evil actress Milla Jovovitch when she overheard some of Nuckols’ business associates discussing it on a train from London to Paris, according to the website. They were calling it “Hufu” at the time.

    “‘Hofu’ sounds like [the male organ],” Milla chimed in. “You should call it ‘hufu.'”

    The website offered articles on famous cannibals and cultural traditions, merchandise and recipes: Hufu Stroganoff, Lechter’s Liver with Fava Beans, and Aztec Human Stew for anyone who wants to “vicariously participate in one of the great Aztec customs, the human sacrifice festival.”

    Sadly, Hufu closed up shop in 2006.

    “The world has moved on past Hufu,” Nuckols said.

    Well I didn’t, Mark. There’s a Hufu-sized hole in my soul that can never be filled. If you ever read this and you still have some Classic Strips, or even just a t-shirt (not to eat), taking up space in a closet somewhere, hit me up. My cannibal fork is on standby.

    I can't even...
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #227
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.



    Following a successful trial, McDonald’s will be rolling out its first ever plant-based burger to EVERY restaurant across the UK and Ireland from Wednesday 5th January

    McPlant, which features a patty co-developed with Beyond Meat®, is McDonald’s first plant-based burger option

    To celebrate its release, famous faces including Rosie Ramsey, Simon Gregson and Lawrence Okolie gave McPlant their seal of approval with tastings all across the UK
    McDonald’s is proud to announce the national roll-out of its plant-based offering, the McPlant, to all restaurants across the UK and Ireland from Wednesday 5th January 2022, following a successful trial at over 250 restaurants last year.
    The impressive McPlant, which took over three years to develop, features a patty co-developed with Beyond Meat® and has already proved hugely successful with McDonald’s customers.

    From today, it will be available from Inverness to Liverpool and Penzance to Grimsby, meaning the McPlant is officially everywhere for burgers lovers to get their hands-on. Whether they’re plant-based, taking part in Veganuary or a true meat lover – McDonald’s is confident it’s a burger for everyone.
    To celebrate the fact #McPlantIsEverywhere, McDonald’s took celebrities to all corners of the country to sample the latest addition to the menu. From Rosie Ramsey celebrating its arrival in the North East on the remote Northumberland shoreline to Corrie legend Simon Gregson swapping the Bushtucker Trials for a McPlant in Manchester city centre.
    Michelle Graham-Clare, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “We’re so pleased that our McPlant is now officially ‘everywhere’ and available for more of our customers to taste and enjoy. We saw a remarkable response to the trial period back in October and now McPlant is on the high-street, in retail parks and service stations all over the UK and Ireland so all of our customers will be able to try it. We’re proud to once again be offering our customers more great-tasting options from McDonald’s. Its our same iconic taste – but plant-based.”
    McDonald’s UK&I spent three years on research and development to bring a delicious plant-based offering to British and Irish customers, and every element of the McPlant was designed with taste and quality top-of-mind. From the plant-based patty co-developed with Beyond Meat, to innovative vegan cheese based on pea protein that tastes just like McDonald’s iconic cheese slices, and a new vegan sandwich sauce.
    The impressive McPlant features a Vegan Sesame Bun, Mustard, Ketchup, Vegan Sauce, Fresh Onion, Pickles, Lettuce, Tomato and Vegan Cheese. It is cooked separately from other McDonald’s burgers and sandwiches using dedicated utensils.
    For more information please visit

    About Beyond Meat
    Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ:BYND), a leader in plant-based meat, offers a portfolio of revolutionary plant-based meats. Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat products are designed to have the same taste and texture as animal-based meat while offering certain environmental benefits. Beyond Meat’s brand commitment, Eat What You Love™, represents a strong belief that there is a better way to feed our future and that the positive choices we all make, no matter how small, can help us move towards the kind of future we want. By shifting from animal-based meat to plant-based meat, we can help address concerns related to resource conservation and animal welfare. As of September 2021, Beyond Meat had products available at approximately 128,000 retail and foodservice outlets in over 85 countries worldwide. Visit and follow @BeyondMeatEU on Instagram, @BeyondMeat on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
    Fast Food Nastiness
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #228
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Taqueria La Venganza

    This article had me at 'vegan carniceria' and 'regular-ass taqueria'
    This Vegan Carnicería Wants to Be the Latinx Answer to Impossible Foods
    Luke Tsai
    Mar 8

    Taqueria La Venganza's downtown Oakland storefront aims be a "regular-ass" taqueria—and, eventually, to bring its vegan meats to the national stage. (Raul Medina)

    In the future that Raul Medina imagines, not only will America have a taco truck on every corner, but all of those trucks will also offer a full slate of vegan meats. Carnitas, carne asada, chicharrón—each taco a delicious miracle crafted out of tofu skins and dehydrated soy chips. And the supplier of these stellar faux meats? Naturally that would be Medina himself, whose vegan carnicería, Taqueria La Venganza, opened in Oakland earlier this year.

    “I want to be the Impossible Foods—the Beyond Meat—of the Mexican meat world,” Medina says.

    That’s a bold ambition for a chef whose entire operation, at the moment, is based inside a small downtown Oakland bodega. Just a couple of months in, La Venganza has already garnered a reputation for serving the best vegan tacos in town. But Medina has his sights set much higher: He doesn’t want to be known as just a taquero. He wants to be the guy up the supply chain who makes your favorite taquero want to offer a vegan option—who makes meats that are delicious enough, and profitable enough, that every taqueria in the country will want to use them.

    In short, Medina wants his vegan carne asada—not Impossible’s or Beyond’s—to be the one that goes national. And in the process, he hopes to strike a blow for smaller, less corporatized and more Latinx-centric businesses. “I don’t want them to do ‘Beyond Asada’ or ‘Impossible Asada,’ and then suddenly we’re eating some other corporate ****.”

    After launching his pop-up in Berkeley six years ago, Medina made a name for himself when La Venganza won the title for best taco in all of Los Angeles. (Raul Medina)
    Ten or 20 years ago, vegans like Medina could scarcely have imagined a time when “plant-based meat” would be seen as the trendiest, most lucrative sector in food—the subject of dozens of breathless reviews and earnest thinkpieces. These days, you can buy an Impossible Burger at Burger King. You can find the patties in the freezer aisle of your local Walmart or Target.

    “For me, veganism was always punk rock,” Raul Medina says of his early days of meat abstention. “You were looked upon as a weirdo. Like, what the **** are you doing?”

    Now, he says, companies like Beyond and Impossible have helped take veganism to the masses. But their proliferation has also led to a certain ****geneity in the vegan food scene. The national fast food chains sell the same faux meat patties that customers might shell out $20 for at their favorite boutique pop-up. For the most part, vegan chefs aren’t even bothering to experiment with their own personalized take on an old-school black bean burger anymore. “I don’t care how much you say, ‘Oh, I make it taste different. I season it differently,’” Medina says. “It tastes the same to me everywhere I go.”

    "At the end of the day, that’s the vision—to have a vegan carnicería in every major city and have it supply the meats to every taco truck on every corner."
    Medina doesn’t deny that the Impossible Burger tastes good, and he acknowledges that any reduction in meat consumption that comes as these companies become more mainstream is a net positive. But for him, veganism was always about more than just protecting animals. It was also about all of the other systemic abuses that were endemic to the industrial meat complex—the way the workers in the slaughterhouses were treated, for instance. In his past career, Medina worked at an immigration law firm, and he says he saw firsthand how the big poultry plants would bus in workers from Mexico and “literally deport them after the season’s done.”

    Medina questions whether the big plant-based meat companies are set up so differently, even if they’re applying a “green bandage” to the food system.

    “Is that the same situation that’s going to go on with soy and wheat and coconut oil? I’m not blind to consumerism and capitalism,” he says. “I know what happens when something becomes popular. There are ways that they’re going to try to cut down costs. Who are we getting to work the fields? Are we paying them more, or are just paying them what the **** we need to pay them?”

    A plate from La Venganza's collaboration with L.A.'s Taco Vega. (Raul Medina)
    Indeed, part of what motivated Medina to really push the Taqueria La Venganza brand and extend its reach was hearing the news that Beyond Meat was working on a (thus far unsuccessful) vegan carne asada for Taco Bell. La Venganza’s attempts at global expansion have seen more modest success thus far: In addition to his own taqueria, Medina also supplies vegan meats for Oakland’s Taqueria El Cruzero, and he recently ran a collaboration with Taco Vega, a vegan taqueria in Los Angeles, with an eye toward opening his second location down in L.A. Toward that end, he’s actively looking for investors.

    In comparison to the food tech giants, Medina says his supply chain is relatively straightforward and analog. For his carne asada, for instance, he imports dehydrated soy chips from Taiwan and seasons them with various spices (including Vietnamese rice powder) to emulate the smoky, slightly burnt effect you get when a nice piece of skirt steak hits the grill.

    “Who’s getting rich off of that? Me, a Taiwanese company and whatever Mexican just sold you the taco,” Medina says. “I want Mexican people making money off of my products. At the end of the day, that’s the vision—to have a vegan carnicería in every major city and have it supply the meats to every taco truck on every corner.”

    "It opened people’s eyes to be like, ‘This guy is making Mexican food vegan, but it tastes like my mom made it.’ ... You didn’t have to ask for something with a stupid name. What you were used to is what you got."
    Of course, none of these plans would have much hope for success if the tacos themselves didn’t taste good. For Medina, basing his first carnicería in the East Bay marks something of a homecoming: La Venganza first burst onto the vegan food scene six years ago as a popular Berkeley pop-up. The chef went on to make a name for himself in Los Angeles, where in short order La Venganza was tapped to sell tacos at Coachella and then—its biggest break—won L.A. Taco’s “Taco Madness” competition for the coveted title of best taco in all of Los Angeles in 2018.

    “It’s L.A. It’s Mexicans,” Medina says of the street cred that the victory gave his business. In many ways, it also set off a whole new wave of vegan taquerias in Los Angeles and beyond. What set La Venganza apart from much of the previous generation of vegan tacos was that, apart from whatever textural magic Medina was able to work out of yuba and other soy and wheat gluten products, the chef’s approach was fundamentally nostalgic, meant to capture everything that people loved about getting tacos at an old-school taqueria—just without the meat.

    The burritos at Taqueria La Venganza weigh two pounds. (Raul Medina)
    “It opened people’s eyes to be like, ‘This guy is making Mexican food vegan, but it tastes like my mom made it.’ Before that it was, ‘This person is putting kale and roasted potato in my taco, what the **** is this?’” Medina says. “Finally you saw something that was asada. You didn’t have to ask for something with a stupid name. What you were used to is what you got.”

    At La Venganza’s downtown Oakland storefront, Medina makes the tortillas by hand. The taqueria offers a streamlined menu of greatest hits: carnitas, chicharrón, carne asada fries and cauliflower al pastor. It sometimes offers, as a special, vegan versions of less mainstream cuts, like beef cheek or lengua, but it also sells giant burritos that weigh two pounds.

    And though Medina is dubious of the prospect of companies like Impossible and Beyond bringing vegan food to the masses, that is what he aspires to do, too, at the end of the day—to be, as he puts it, a “regular-ass taqueria,” and to bring his vegan meats to other regular-ass taquerias.

    “It’s not like I’m using Calabrian chilies, or adding amaranth or ancestral ingredients,” Medina says. “**** all that ****. I’m putting in what your mom used to put in. There isn’t meat in it, but it tastes just like you remember.”

    Taqueria La Venganza is open Thursday through Saturday, 1–7pm at 597 15th St. in Oakland.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #229
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Mr. Charlie’s

    Smart-Alecky ‘Vegan McDonald’s’ Knock-Off Opens in Union Square, Right Across From Real McDonald’s
    Saturday saw the San Francisco opening of the up-and-coming plant-based fast-food chain Mr. Charlie’s, whose menu items and promotions clown on Ronald McDonald and the broader McDonald’s franchise.

    The chicken sandwich wars have been a focal point for the fast-food industry as well as several respected local restaurateurs since 2019. Yet now a new war (or maybe more just some David-taunting-Goliath antics) is being waged at SF Union Square at the corner of Sutter and Stockton streets. The McDonald's at 441 Sutter Street opened in 2015, and its McChickens have ruled the fast food roost there since. But on Saturday, a plant-based fast-food competitor called Mr. Charlie’s opened across the street at 432 Sutter Street, and, well, you can see whose eye they’re poking a finger into with some of their iconography below.

    Mr. Charlie’s is a vegan fast-food place with one location in Los Angeles, and they opened their Union Square location here Saturday. According to their Instagram promotion below, “In honor of our Sf opening we will be offering free mini frowny meals at both locations this Saturday, Jan 21st from 11:11am-1:11pm."

    But from the Yelp pictures and Instagram embeds from Saturday, there was clearly plenty more than just “free mini frowny meals” being served up. HEEE-heeee, is that a Michael Jackson impersonator they brought in for the occasion? Not the choice I would have made since the release of a certain 2019 documentary exposé, but people seem excited in the pictures.

    Image: Ron C. via Yelp
    While this SF Mr. Charlie’s location opened Saturday, their food has been available on delivery apps since December. The Mr. Charlie’s menu is surprisingly simple, and highly derivative of McDonald’s and In-N-Out: items are called Not a Hamburger, Not a Cheeseburger, Not a Double Double, Not Chicken Nuggets, and the combo meals are called Frowny Meals. The french fries are normal french fries, as potatoes are already plant-based, and yes their imitation beef is Impossible Burgers from Impossible Foods.

    Image: John P via Yelp
    There’s probably an appetite for a new cult-hit California burger chain in the wake of In-N-Out’s anti-vaccine shenanigans. And that it’s vegan, with likely a little less indigestion involved, is probably a plus. The big question facing this franchise is whether McDonald's is going to sue them for aping those names and logos. When asked by the Los Angeles Times about this, co-founder and SF native Charlie Kim merely told the Times, "No idea what you mean. I really want to get people eating plant-based food. That's the goal here."
    Next time I'm in Union Square...
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #230
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    veggie nuggies

    What’s Next for McDonald’s and Beyond Meat? Plant-Based Chicken McNuggets
    McDonald’s and Beyond Meat unveil their second collaboration: plant-based McNuggets. Germany’s 1,400 McDonald’s locations will be the first to try them.

    FEBRUARY 21, 2023

    Plant-based McNuggets are now hitting the menu at 1,400 locations of McDonald’s across Germany. This launch is the second product to come out of the fast-food giant’s three-year development deal with vegan company Beyond Meat.

    The new nuggets are made with pea protein, corn, and wheat, and surrounded by a crispy tempura batter. The nationwide launch in Germany follows a successful test-run at locations in Stuttgart (Germany’s sixth largest city) last August.

    The country is the first to offer the plant-based McNuggets, which could expand to other markets should the item garner customer interest and demand like the McPlant, the first plant-based item developed under the three-year partnership.

    The McPlant grows roots in Europe

    In addition to the McNuggets, McDonald’s Germany will also launch the McPlant burger—which features a specially developed Beyond Meat patty served together with items that vary by location.

    The McPlant first made its debut in 2021 in several European countries, including Denmark, Austria, and Sweden. Later that year, McDonald’s tested the McPlant in its domestic market, initially at eight US locations.

    The Chicago-based fast-food chain expanded the test to 600 locations in February 2022 but has since ended the test without announcing further plans for the plant-based burger—which was served with dairy cheese and egg-based mayonnaise.

    Over in the Netherlands, the McPlant gained permanent placement on the McDonald’s menu in October 2022 after a short test run in 2021.

    “We are pleased with the permanent place of the McPlant on the menu,” Stijn Mentrop, McDonald’s Netherlands Marketing Director, said in a statement at the time. “During the temporary introduction last year, we received many positive comments from our guests about the taste of the McPlant.”
    In the United Kingdom and Ireland, McDonald’s has been serving a vegan McPlant burger—with dairy-free cheese and all—since October 2022.

    For Veganuary this year, McDonald’s upped the ante with a double McPlant which featured two Beyond Meat patties with ketchup, mustard, vegan special sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and dairy-free cheese on a sesame-seed bun.

    In the UK, McDonald’s hopes that the plant-based burger will help it to become a category leader in the plant-based. However, Burger King might beat McDonald’s to the plant-based punch.

    Burger King’s plant-based options reign supreme

    Burger King has been exploring plant-based options since 2019 when it first launched the Impossible Whopper in the US. Burger King has gone on to test many plant-based concepts since, including fully vegan pop-ups around the globe.

    As a result, the chain’s locations in the United Kingdom have since seen an explosion of vegan options such as plant-based Whoppers, meatless chicken sandwiches, and more. For Veganuary last year, Burger King became the first fast-food chain in the UK to add vegan chicken nuggets to its menu—which it “dirtied up” for World Vegan Day by offering them topped with smoky barbecue sauce and topped with crispy onions.

    All of these options in the UK—where Burger King aims to serve a 50 percent meat-free menu by 2030—are made together with its European plant-based supplier, The Vegetarian Butcher.

    For Veganuary 2023 and beyond, Burger King took its plant-based exploration a step further with new partners. Its new plant-based bacon cheeseburgers feature vegan bacon made by Parisian company La Vie and vegan cheese by Greek brand Violife.

    While the plant-based McNuggets are just making their way to McDonald’s Germany, Burger King added a similar item—plant-based chicken nuggets made by The Vegetarian Butcher—to its locations across Germany back in 2020.

    “Burger King is the first to offer its guests the chance to try meat-free chicken,” Klaus Schmäing, Director of Marketing for Burger King Germany, said in a statement at the time. “Of course, nobody has to [forgo] the taste experience of the original: ‘Without meat’ in this case means ‘with maximum taste.’”
    And Burger King has made much more plant-based progress in its domestic market than McDonald’s. In 2021, Burger King test-launched plant-based Impossible Nuggets at select locations in Iowa, Massachusetts, and Florida.

    Last year, Burger King also tested its first-ever meatless chicken sandwich. The Original Chick’n Sandwich—made together with Impossible Foods—was available for a limited time at Burger King locations in Cincinnati, OH for a limited time.

    Anna Starostinetskaya is the Senior News Editor at VegNews and is always keeping an eye on all things vegan in her home city of San Francisco, CA and everywhere else.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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