2008-12-04 / Sam Bari

Holiday warning guide—Breaking News!

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

Whenever our crack research team sees a disturbing behavioral trend, we do our best to respond appropriately. The latest cause for concern is eligible for a prominent position in our holiday warning guide. It is a threat to our freedom to enjoy the holidays with little regard for health, safety, or general well being of ourselves or anyone else, which is the way we like it.

This current annoyance comes to us from the vegan community and is commonly described as "a healthy alternative to traditional holiday dining," but we are not stupid. We know they are talking about "tofu turkey."

Tofu, thinly disguised as turkey, has been around for a few years. But this year it has been blatantly displayed in the prepared food sections of major super markets and as tasteless as it may be, the item can be found on menus of high-end restaurants that cater to the trendy and terminally skinny. This is disturbing.

Tofu turkey is made in a mold lined with tofu and stuffed with a vegetarian dressing. The mold is then baked in the oven as if it were a turkey. When the cooking thermometer reaches the correct temperature, the mold is removed from the oven and what appears to be a perfectly delicious, art -directed and air-brushed turkey pops out. But don't let that fool you for so much as a nanosecond. It is not a turkey; it is an imposter. It is still tofu.

To be fair, or rather to assure that we don't get sued, we must mention the virtues of eating tofu, which apparently are many for those who are attempting to be immortal and care little about what tasteless substances pass their lips.

Nutritionally speaking, tofu is high in calcium, iron and B vitamins, but low in fat and sodium. Tofu is an excellent source of protein, and, it has been credited with offering protection against some diseases.

Okay - we gave the yucky stuff the appropriate accolades to keep us in reasonable standing with the coalition for tofu solidarity or whatever they call themselves these days.

However, for every up side of a product, there is also a down side. Let us explore the taste side of the issue. When endorsing food, flavor is no small matter. To be kind, there is no question that, served alone, tofu tastes rather bland. Are you kidding? I would rather eat road kill. But tofu is not meant to be eaten alone. Advocates say the beauty of tofu is that it absorbs the flavors of the food that is cooked with it. (Picture a large white sponge and you've got the basic idea).

Now we all know where this path is leading. It is following in the footsteps of packaged macaroni and cheese. Boil the macaroni, add the powdered cheese substance and voila! you have a disgusting dish filled with a goopy, orange, unfit for human consumption oil byproduct.

So the natural progression in the marketing plan will be to put the tofu in a turkey mold and add the contents of a newly invented turkey flavor packet. The packet will be suspiciously similar to the flavor packet found in ramen noodles. Then bake the entire concoction until it is brown and pretty. No muss, no fuss, no grease, no cholesterol, just heaping tablespoons of bland tasting healthiness served up for all to enjoy.

This is un-American, folks. This cannot be allowed to happen in this country. It will do more damage to the economy than all the GM executive jet rides put together. Tofu is being promoted by foreign entities that are using massive advertising campaigns to guilt us into changing our eating habits.

If the country adopts tofu turkey as an acceptable alternative to our traditional Holiday fare of real baked turkey stuffed with bread, sausage, and all the things we love and adore, life in America as we know it could cease to exist.

Thousands of turkey farmers and their employees will be without jobs. Millions of turkeys will starve to death because their owners will no longer have funds to feed them. Supermarkets will lose hundreds of millions in revenue.

This will be followed by a drastic drop in people with cholesterol problems, which will seriously affect the incomes of millions of people in the health care industry. Cardiologists will be among the first to feel the pinch.

When cardiologists begin to lose money, the real estate market will drop even further than it already has and memberships in exclusive golf and country clubs will dwindle. Exotic and luxury car companies will suffer.

Worst of all, hundreds of millions of dollars will again leave our shores to be gobbled up by real turkey eating tofu manufacturing countries that are seeking to control the global economy.

If you really feel that strongly about not eating a perfectly baked, crispy-skinned, stuffed, All-American turkey, at least have the decency to eat ham.

Making tofu turkey an acceptable alternative to real food is another shining example that tells us we live in a system we can't understand.

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