The Imperfect Vegan

Michael Haase31. July 2019

We don’t need a handful of people to do veganism perfectly… We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.

Where is the meat?
We get these questions about 5 times per day, so here’s the answer.

We neither have meat nor fish in the Plant Jammer app. Yes, Plant Jammer is a vegetarian cooking app. Why? Because veggies are great for the planet and your health. It’s not that we are dogmatic vegetarians, but we would like to spend all our time and artificial intelligence on the gastronomy of the planet- and health- saving veggies instead.

We don’t expect you to be vegetarian too, but hope you’ll use the app 1-3 times per week for plant-based kitchen experiments.

How do I cook with meat or fish then?

Plant Jammer is vegetarian, but we realize that many of our users eat meat, and we’re cool with that. Actually, we are so cool with that, we developed a feature for you: We added 20 new dish themes in the app, that are ’foodpairings with meat and fish’. Whether you have chicken or tuna, you can now make the perfect plant-based sidedish for it.

Our sneaky vision is to make the plant-based side dish so tasty, that it crowds out the meat on your plate. That’s why we call it the ’Trojan Horse’ internally 🙂

Why Plant Jammer doesn’t have meat

The reason we started Plant Jammer, was to make it easier to eat plant-based. We have written about this before, and even made this cute animation video about it 2 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJMUejgJLmY

We have 2 major reasons for being plant-based
Sustainability: With 1 plant-based meal you save as much CO2 as a tree captures in a year.
Health: Wholesome plant-based nutrition will make you live longer and better

On-top of this, meat is not very interesting gastronomically. Meat is just a slab of protein with fat and umami flavor. Most of us know what to do with meat in the kitchen, while we’re challenged by the veggies. We saw an actual need for more guidance in the vegetarian space beyond recipes, whereas we didn’t see that challenge with meat.

Why Plant Jammer doesn’t have fish

Assessing fishs’ impact on sustainability and health is super complicated:

  •  Some fish are quite sustainable, while most are not. It’s not based on the species (salmon, tuna, …), but based on HOW it was grown and fished (bottom trawling, aquaculture, free fishing,…)
  • Some fish are healthy (due to omega-3), while others are not (due to heavy metals and anti-biotics). Again, this is not due to the species, but how and where it was grown

Due to these complications above, healthy and sustainable fish are expensive, and probably mostly something to eat 1 time weekly. So, less need for a ’jamming approach’ here.

Should you eat fish? We recommend you to do your own local due dilligence on sustainability and health of the fish you have available.

Why Plant Jammer does cheese, dairy, and eggs

The dairy and egg industries are ugly, and sometimes unsustainable (e.g., hard cheeses have a large CO2 footprint), but we decided to ’pick our fights’ and still have them in the app.

Why? While meat is not so interesting gastronomically, dairy and cheese products have functional capabilities in cooking that are harder to replicate without. The cheap eggless omelett or vegan parmesan are just not here yet, so we keep the animal-based products in the app, while working on substitutes in the kitchen. Let us know, if you have great hacks for creating vegan eggs (beyond aquafaba) and vegan cheese (beyond soft and expensive cashew cheese)! Furthermore, we pose a challenge to the food industry to stop trying to replicate meat and instead focus on plant-based cheese and egg functionality!

Are we being hyppocritical?

So, we call ourselves vegetarian but have meat-pairing in the app. We call ourselves plant-based but have dairy and eggs. We call ourselves health-focused but don’t have fish. Are we selling out? We hope you don’t think so!

Our stated vision is to ’empower 1 billion people to eat 1 more plant-based meal per week’. To reach habit-change at such scale, we need to be pragmatic and facilitate step-by-step convenient changes without alienating people or demanding too much from them.

We are in awe for vegans who go all the way. They hold the key to our future food habits, and we thank you for that! However, we believe that to change the masses we need a pragmatic step-by-step approach. The overarching philosophy behind is ”We don’t need a handful of people to do veganism perfectly… We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”. That is what we call ’imperfect veganism’.

Do you still find us hypocritical? Let us know on michael@plantjammer.com. If we find really strong arguments against our approach, we’ll change it.