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"vegetarian" chicken?

I thought I might try some “plant-based” meat substitutes when I did my usual Woolies shop online, and I was delighted to see some items that looked like the real thing in their “Vegetarian and Meat Free” section. You know, chicken schnitzels, nuggets and similar crumbed products.

But when I saw the photo for Woolworths Southern Fried Chicken Portions with what looked like bones, I zoomed in to confirm my suspicions. Yes. Chicken with bones.

I scrolled through the page and realised all of the chicken selections are actually chicken, as their labels do say, but I think some shoppers could be misled by the category and think it’s ‘fake’ chicken.

I have sent my concerns to Woolies, and they’ve said they will fix their online catalogue, but I’m not holding my breath.

That’ll teach me to keep paying attention.


I cannot see why you did not think it was real chicken.

The label clearly states “Southern Style Chicken Portions” and “RSPCA Approved Farming”. The RSPCA do not do plants.

Woollies does sell plant based imitation chicken products as do Coles.


It appears they have wrongly categorised some new chicken products in their online categories.

Human error I suspect. One can however, as @Fred123 points out, that they are real chicken and not some plant based product.

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For products more in line with misleading and deceptive conduct, I picked out these 2 from the link that @phb posted above.

“These mouthwatering Pork Ribs”?

“Tender Diced Beef”.

Good luck with that.

After I first read your post, I thought Woolies may not have been pulling a shonky, but they are apparently implicit in other shonkys in imitation meat products.



Yep. I didn’t search at all. I often find the search function pretty limited. Not all of their vegetarian food seems to have the “plant-based” tag, so I just went for a general list.

I used the online links and went to the tab for Dairy, Eggs & Fridge and then selected “Vegetarian & Meat Free”, so I expected the only offerings would be that category. I don’t think they’re trying to fool anyone. I’m sure it’s just human error.

But it does look odd on the age. :slight_smile:


Yes, I mentioned that they are correctly labelled, just that it was a surprise to find them there. Perhaps I’m just easily amused. :slight_smile:


Perhaps…one could argue most chickens and pigs are vegetarian anyway. It is just humans that have a different view.


One thing that intrigues is that the fat of beef and lamb which are herbivores, especially when raw, is harder to clean away than axle grease yet the fat of pork and poultry, which are omnivores, will simply wash away with hot water…

I would have expected that it would be the opposite.



Unless they are organic free range chickens!

Free range chooks are noted pest controllers happy to eat what ever they turn over foraging. Pigs on the roam will make a meal of anything not likely to eat the pig.


I am enjoying all of your responses. I hadn’t thought about the difficulty of cleaning the different fats - interesting observation.

We had horses that used to sneak out of their paddock into the house yard where they would happily eat up all the dog kibble. I don’t know if they’d like the grain-free varieties these days, though. I’m sure cattle and sheep scoff down all kinds of insects and creepy crawlies as they graze.


Without wishing to offend anyone - if you’re vegetarian, as I am, I don’t see the point of eating fake meat. Anyway, if you examine the ingredients you’ll most likely find that they are as fake and unhealthy as the finished product.


Hi Clea - I’m certainly not offended. I would just expect that a page for Vegetarian and Vegan foods on a site as big and popular as Woolworths would not have so many chicken dishes.

Incidentally, they are still there.

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I would suggest that most current meat replacements are far from healthy.

I agree. Most people seem to assume if it is vegetarian it is somehow inherently better for you than meat based products. That could not be further from the truth. They often have more calories than the meat alternative and a lot contain hydrogenated fats ie. trans fats. If I am eating plant based meals I prefer to make mine from scratch using fresh produce, most of which comes from my garden and is grown organically.

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Why do you have any expectation about the relationship between an animal’s diet and the ease of cleaning its fat?

Humans may decide to feed them that way but it is not the way they have evolved.

If you turn over a mouse’s nest in the chook house skip out of the way quickly or you will be knocked down as the chooks rush to gobble up the baby mice. The limit on the meat eating by chooks is not metabolism or preference it is their lack of teeth and tearing beaks and claws, if a lump of meat is too big to swallow whole they can’t eat it. Pinkies are yum!

The dentition of mammals is very closely related to their diet, pigs have omnivore teeth like us; incisors, canines, premolars and molars. As are we they are adapted to bite and chew flesh as well as grind up veges. They are bigger than us and their canines are larger than ours; watch out!


Really! Pull the other …… oops?

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I was just curious to see what was available, and was surprised to see actual meat included in a list for plant-based foods. I was looking for things to add to sauces and stir-fries that I might not have considered. I can omit meat from recipes, but I often like to add something instead.

Texas moves to ban fake items being sold as meat.