Meat Neutral — the Blog

Cheese Dreams by woodstockcollective

I often dream of cheese but I never knew that cheese would make me dream.

We at Meat Neutral, recently came across a study commissioned by the British Cheese Board that investigated the phenomenon of cheese dreams, and more importantly cheese nightmares!.

While it should be taken with a grain of salt (and a glass of wine for that matter) the study followed 200 volunteers who, over the course of 1 week, ate 20g of cheese before going to sleep. The study found that cheese before bed increased the likelihood of remembering your dreams.

“ One of the amino acids in cheese – tryptophan – has been shown to reduce stress and induce sleep so cheese may actually help you have a good night’s sleep,” says Dr Judith Bryans, Nutrition Scientist at The Dairy Council.

The most curious finding is that different cheeses caused different types of dreams (none of which were nightmares thank goodness). Our personal favorite was the likeliness of women to have “nice” dreams, such as Jamie Oliver cooking dinner in their kitchens after eating British Brie.

Hmmmmm… I can’t wait to hear about the dreams all our female readers will have once they try Meat Neutral’s Baked Crab Meat and Brie — a vision of the beefy hunks of the Woodstock Collective bringing them breakfast in bed perhaps?

Which brings up another question, what about meat dreams? Are there any specific meat dreams our readers would like to share?

That’s all for tonight. Meat Dreams


Fleischgeist — Unite! by woodstockcollective

This week, Meat Neutral would like to bring special attention to Amy Standen and Sasha Wizansky who are fellow supporters of the world of meat. Amy and Sasha, who once upon a time were committed vegetarians themselves, are the creators of the magazine “Meatpaper.”

Meatpaper, recently featured in the New York Times, is a print magazine of art and ideas about meat. The term fleishgeist most appropriately describes the movement:

Fleisch-geist (flish’gist’) n. From the German, Fleisch “meat” + Geist “spirit.” Spirit of the meat. From Zeitgeist, “spirit of the times.”

Meatpaper goes beyond recipes and food, striving to capture the essence or spirit of meat. As Standen states: “Meatpaper is about every way of looking at meat. I think of it as a magazine that’s just as intended for vegetarians as it is for meat eaters.”

Some of our favorite articles included those that strive to examine people’s relation to the meat they eat. Our personal favorite: Chris Cosentino doesn’t want to eat penis but if he has to, he will” is an interview of head chef Chris Cosentino who specializes in Offal meats. The interview touches on some important issues about how disconnected we are in urban settings from the meat we eat the animals it comes from, as Chris puts it (describing his more exotic dishes): “People say, “oh a tongue, I have one.” Or, “a heart, I can’t eat that.” What I try to do is make people understand a whole-animal ethic.”

The thing we liked best about Meatpaper is that it creates the space for an appreciation of meat that goes beyond the traditional “meat and potatoes” ethos. Meatpaper, like Meat Neutral endeavors to positively embrace our connection to meat. Eating meat is not something to be guilty of, nor should it be a divisive factor limiting our appreciation of vegetarian cuisine.

And finally a parting quote: “We find over and over again that bacon is the conversion meat,” Ms. Standen said. “Bacon is how vegetarians change their minds.” (related see Meat Neutral post: Bacon the Gateway Meat)

Bacon + Chocolate — the sweet sweet savoury marriage by woodstockcollective
Bacon Chocolate Wasabi Nirvana

One night last December in Tofino, the Woodstock Collective was sitting around a fire, drinking wine and laying the groundwork for the Meat Neutral cookbook when an interesting question arouse: What about desert?

Staying true to our roots of expanding our culinary consciousness, we instantly thought of our some favorite deserts such as vegan cayenne chocolate cake, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing — deserts which clearly paid homage to the “vegetarian”in all of us. With a little more thought, we came were reminded of the meat based gelatin dishes from our childhood, just like grandma used to make. But how to combine the two, that was the question. Then, finally after searching high and low, we came across an innovative chocolatier who trailblazed the meat neutral desert world with the creation of the Applewood Smoked Bacon Chocolate Bar.

Award winning Vosges Haut-Chocolates, based out of Chicago, introduced the world to the bacon/chocolate creation with Mo’s Bacon Bar, designed by owner Katrina Markoff. Hand picking exceptional ingredients of the highest quality she has created the piece-de-resistance:

Mo’s Bacon Bar

The bacon bar is pure brilliance, a joy to the senses — the smells, textures, and tastes all combine harmoniously to create a chocolate experience like no other. Merging savoury with sweet, the fusion wisps the palette away in a lusty promenade, remnant of a geisha tangoing with Astor Piazzolla.

And it was proven… dessert can be meat neutral. What a sweet sweet victory we savour. The doors have been blown wide open.

Meat Neutral Tip: Try with wasabi peas to take Mo’s Bacon Bar to the next level for a spicy-savoury-sweet trifecto.

PS. Vosges also gets extra points for sourcing 100% of their energy from renewable sources, and for being certified organic.

We Are All Meat Eaters by woodstockcollective
March 28, 2008, 4:34 am
Filed under: diet, food, lifestyle, meat, meat neutral, vegetarianism | Tags: , ,


In past posts, we have mentioned how from a political perspective, Meat Neutral is about reclaiming the word “vegetarian.” Continuing in this thread,today, we are going look into the origin of the word meat.

The first meaning of the word Meat was solid food in general, in contrast to drink. This was the meaning in the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary ~900. It was not until ~1300 that meat was used to denote the flesh of animals and not until even later the definition in the dictionary was changed.

So there you have it. We are all meat eaters, whether you like it or not.

Leave your preconceptions behind, or take them with you, and join the Meat Neutral movement.

Is This A Joke? by woodstockcollective



Its not. Meat Neutral may sound to good to be true, but it is a living, breathing, reality. We are writing a cookbook and the people from the Woodstock Collective are going to help. This week, the Meat Neutral blog celebrates its 1000th visitor and the momentum continues to build.

Already we have received several recipes our reader’s favorite Meat Neutral creations. Some of our favorites so far include Lovely Laura White’s scrumptious creation, Yummy Yummy Squash Curry (with Chicken) and our European correspondent, Nicole Porteous’ Speck Lasagna. These foreign fusions keep raising the bar higher and higher.

Our goal is to collect at least one recipe per week over the next year, so that we can put them together into a cookbook — with each recipe profiling the creator chief.

So take this as a call out to all you closet vegetarians. Start exploring your pantry and think of the frying pan as your canvas. Send your recipes to

Help us take back vegetarianism!

PS: “…Meat is fine if you like it.”

Recently, an astute Meat Neutral reader pointed out that Mollie Katzen (author of one of the best selling cookbooks of all time, the Moosewood Cookbook) has been endorsing the Meat Neutral concept.

Ms. Katzen who holds a charter seat at the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable recently commented: “Vegetarianism is a negative statement about meat. My cooking is a meat-neutral positive statement about the joys (for everyone, no matter where they get their protein) of eating plant-based foods. I don’t like to draw lines in the sand with meat eaters in one category and vegetarians across the border in another club. I just want everyone to eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts and legumes. Meat is fine it you like it. Eggs are fine if you like them.”

Woodstock. Moosewood. Its all Meat Neutral.

Blue Cheese, Almond, Bacon, Spinach Salad

Fish Are Animals Too by woodstockcollective
March 14, 2008, 8:04 am
Filed under: animal rights, cooking, food, meat neutral | Tags: , , , , , ,

Fish Top Banner

Over the past few weeks we have begun to articulate the Meat Neutral “manifesto” in each successive post. Some of the key tenets which we have covered include:

  • Vegetarian food is good… its just missing meat
  • Meat Neutral = Balance (like yoga)
  • We promote culinary creativity
  • Meat Neutral is about promoting vegetarian cuisine
  • Meat Neutral can reduce your carbon footprint

Another pillar of the Meat Neutral lifestyle/philosophy is that we do not condone or support fishism.

What is fishism? For those of you not familiar with the term, fishism (fi-ˌshi-zəm), is a phenomenon quite common in the “vegetarian” world. It is a situation where an individual has made a strong political statement about their beliefs and ethical code that is reflected through dietary habits. (i.e. “It is morally wrong (and cruel) to kill sentinent beings to sustain our lifestyle”). This is a respectful choice that people have a right to make. However, more often than not, the fishist, does not extend this moral framework to the aquatic species. They bend the rules for when it comes to fish. Haven’t you ever heard the phrase: “I’m vegetarian, but sometimes I eat sushi.”

In essence, this statement entrenches the prejudice that our scaled friends endure on a constant basis. The fishist, acting as if they were nature’s omnipotent anthropocentric judge, grants freedom and rights to certain animals whilst taking them away from others.

Meat Neutral would officially like to state that we do not judge animals by their scales (so as we may not be judged by theirs). Instead we strive to spread and reduce our inevitable impact on the living world due to our perpetual need of victuals.

And remember:

Fish are animals too.

Fish Bottom Banner

Go Meat Neutral And Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by woodstockcollective


In addition to the obvious health and tastiness benefits of a Meat Neutral diet, this week we are going to explore another bonus. Reducing your carbon footprint.

As a case study, we are going to see how this week’s featured recipe, Stuffed Italian Sausage Portabella Burgers, actually decreases the meat consumption (and CO2 emissions) of your average BBQ.

Lets do a brief analysis and see how:

As we can clearly see, the Meat Neutral version actually decreases the meat consumption of your average BBQ by 500g.

Jamais Cascio, former editor of determined that 2.85 to 3.1 kg of carbon emissions (see article) can be contributed to the average hamburger. As we normally eat large burgers at Woodstock, we’ll assume the CO2 emission for each burger is on the high end, around 3.1kg.

Lets calculate the total amount of CO2 equivalent emissions of four burgers:


Let us then calculate the CO2 reduction for the 500g decrease in meat consumption:


We can see that by eating Stuffed Italian Sausage Portabella Burgers we actually reduce the carbon footprint of an average BBQ by 8.86kg or 71%.

–Put that in your salad and toss it.