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photo by Julia Sumpter

Opinions Editor Greta Carrasco questions her decision to try eating vegan. Turns out making a switch from meat to vegan supplements isn’t so easy.

The vegan experience

As becoming vegan or vegetarian becomes more and more popular, many people have focused on finding good alternatives to their favorite meaty meals. They want to give up the key ingredients of what they are eating but keep their favorite foods like chicken and burgers. To try and find the best option for these people, a 100% meat lover and vegetarian of five years put two of these growing meat alternative brands to the test. Gardein vs. MorningStar. We tried three common foods: chicken nuggets, meatballs, and veggie burgers. Each one was given a score out of 10 based on taste, smell, and how easy it was to make. Our overall thoughts are below, but click on the image in the grid to see specific reviews of each product.


Greta: MorningStar was by far the best brand to cook and eat. Both are easily available in local Publix which is a plus, but the prices can be expensive depending on your budget. The downside of all the products was that none had a meaty taste, they were pretty bland so a sauce is the best provider of some flavor. Honestly there is no real need to purchase these unless a new vegetarian hasn’t gotten over their attachment to meat or if someone is curious to see if the supplement meats are really that bad. It was hard to stomach most but it isn’t the worst thing out there, just kind of left a hungry girl unsatisfied and unable to eat a meal for the rest of the day.

Angelica: Overall MorningStar was my favorite, but once again I am biased. I personally really like most MorningStar products because compared to other brands, like Gardein and Beyond Meat, they do not have a meat taste which is sickening to me. Despite not tasting like meat, most still have the perfect amount of flavor to keep them from being too bland but not overbearing. A good thing about most vegetarian substitute brands, especially MorningStar and Gardein, is that they are easy to get. They are available in most stores like Publix and even Target and most include multiple different ways to cook based on what is convenient to you. Along with that there are many options for people, such as the three we did and things like sausage or ground beef.

MorningStar chicken
MorningStar meatballs
MorningStar veggie burger
Gardein chicken
Gardein meatballs
Gardein veggie burger
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