3/26/2018 9:34:51 AM
By cold cuts I assume they mean what are often also called deli slices, and today there are a tremendous variety of vegan/vegetarian versions as well as veggie burgers and sausages etc. These are just convenient forms for food and they often have the familiar spices you see in the meat analogs. This is helpful for people dealing with carnivores or who grew up in a meat-based culture, but isn't essential. Some brands are very good, others not so much. Tofurky deli slices are very nice for sandwiches, for example (many other brands as well). Field Harvest has slices based on beans that are not intended to mimic meat. Louisville Vegan has wonderful soy-based soft jerky in many flavors that can be used also in sandwiches or casseroles. I've always liked some of the Loma Linda line. They all typically do have a lot of sodium, as is true for many processed foods. But only a fraction of the population is actually salt-sensitive (I'm not) and also the key point is how much sodium you get over the course of the day. Even though I eat some of these products fairly often, my sodium intake is well within current guidelines. Just track sodium if you're sensitive (or just curious, like me).
By the way - although some veggie meat-like products may have a taste reminiscent of the meat analogs, they definitely do not have the bad parts of meat texture that I hated as a kid. (Not even Gardein products, which taste so much like their carnivore analogs that allegedly some vegetarians don't want to eat them... but they are entirely plant-based and so I can eat them with no trouble despite my dairy and egg allergies). So anyone bothered by the texture of meat might want to give the vegetarian/vegan analogs a try.
Anyway - such processed veggie foods are not essential for eating vegetarian or vegan (and neither is soy), but can still be useful for some of us including carnivores trying to reduce their meat consumption. We also don't need to become master chefs -- I am kitchen-challenged but eat very simply, so it really isn't hard to eat mostly or entirely vegan for me. I rinse canned beans thoroughly and put portions in plastic snack bags and freeze, so I can just grab some for a meal or to use in things like no-tuna tuna salad (mashed or whole garbanzo beans work nicely). Same with other things like rice or millet or frozen veg or frozen fruit (including ones I bought raw and cut up if needed). Canned soups and grain/legume combos etc. as well as anything I managed to actually cook myself - same thing, I just repackage portions as needed in small glass containers or plastic, whatever works. I do something similar with raw veggies, for instance I just filled zip sandwich bags with about 1/4 of a 1lb bag of shredded cabbage and baby spinach and snack bags with similar amounts of baby carrots (yes, I'm not organized enough to shred or peel on my own when I can get pre-fab) to go in the fridge and also frozen veg to go into the freezer. and will be putting celery sticks away similarly today. This makes it so much easier for me to actually eat properly with enough variety (more organized types of people with other humans around may not need to do this).
I also use nuts and seeds and oily legumes like peanuts as well as their butters both for separate eating and tossed into raw and cooked veg/grain. I really have no trouble meeting and exceeding protein recommendations even when eating entirely vegan and not using processed veggie protein foods (slices, patties, sausage forms).
Anybody like the person who thinks vegetables taste horrible has been buying bad produce or low quality frozen or canned veg or else has damaged taste buds. I do think that my taste buds woke up when I dropped meat, though, so maybe that's the problem. My mother always overcooked everything, which makes them blah. I discovered as an adult that many foods ruined by my mother's cooking are delightful raw... or at least not cooked to mush. Roasted veg have an especially nice taste and even I can manage that.