What is the shelf-life of the frozen products?
You can store our frozen products in the freezer after purchase for about 3-6 months (see the Best before date). Products must first be defrosted before preparing them: preferably by putting them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before use or by defrosting the in the microwave. You can also keep our frozen product in the refrigerator after purchase, but that reduces the shelf life to a couple of days. After preparation, we recommend keeping the product in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days.
What is the shelf-life of the refrigerated products?
If you purchase a refrigerated product, the shelf-life of the product is the Best before date.
Can I refreeze a refrigerated product?
You can freeze a refrigerated product on the day of purchase. After defrosting, we recommend consuming the product immediately.
How do I prepare the product?
Our products can be heated in a frying pan, just like any other vegetarian ‘meat’. We advise against using a microwave to heat our products. You can find preparation instructions per product on our product page here
Is the packaging recyclable?
The cardboard sleeves and freezer boxes are fully recyclable.
What is lupine?
Lupine is a plant you may recognize from seeing it in your garden. Lupine has beans, just like a soy plant. These beans are processed to obtain a fibre with a firm bite that forms the base for our products. Lupine itself has a nutlike flavour. The beans are very high in protein and fibre, making them a perfect ingredient for a healthy meal.
Where is your lupine grown?
The lupine we use is organically grown on Dutch soil. It is a robust plant that is easy to grow without having to resort to fertilizer and chemicals. The plant was traditionally grown in the Netherlands to make the soil more fertile. As The Vegetarian Butcher grows, this wonderful plant will decorate increasing amounts of our landscape.
Which of your products are lupine based?
The following products are lupine based:
Vegetarian Croquette Ball
Vegan Noodle Patty
Vegetarian Sausage roll
Vegan Spring roll
Can I purchase lupine beans from you to process myself?
We advise against processing lupine yourself. Not all kinds of lupine are suitable for consumption. Also, unprocessed lupine is toxic because of the quinolizidine alkaloid (lupinan, hydroxilupinan). The lupine species we use for our meat substitute is the sweet blue lupine. After the beans have been harvested, they are professionally cleaned and the quinolizidine alkaloid level is determined. If this meets the requirements, it is turned into lupine flour, which we then use as the foundation for some of our products.
Where does your soy originate from?
The soy we use in some of our vegetarian meat products is GMO-free and originates from small-scale cultivation, for which no forests are chopped down (South America outside the Amazon, Midwest US, Canada and parts of Asia).
What products are soy based?
The following products are soy based:
- Fish-free Tuna
- Vegetarian Meatball
- Vegetarian Raw Minced Meat
- Vegan Fried Minced Meat
- Vegan Chicken Chunks (all vegan chicken products)
- Vegetarian Snack Balls
- Vegetarian Smoked Bacon Strips
Is the soy you use GMO-free?
We only use soy that is not genetically modified (GMO). This guarantees that the soy originates from small-scale cultivation, for which no forests are chopped down.
Is the soy you use organic?
At the moment, fat free (defatted) soy flour required for the production of our products is not organically grown yet. We are doing everything in our power to change this and in addition, we are working on products that are made of Dutch grown organic lupine.
Do you use fermented or unfermented soy?
We currently use unfermented soy in our products. Opinions about the health effects of unfermented soy differ greatly, scientific reports contradict each other. None of that changes the fact that we are doing everything in our power to include all information on health issues in our product development. In that case, it might be good to know that we also create products made of organic lupine grown on Dutch soil by us. It may be good to know that our new meat substitutes, like our Vegan Beef Strips are made of 100% locally grown vegetables.
Are your products organically certified?
Currently, a large portion of our meat substitutes is organic. The following products have an EKO-label: Vegan Shawarma, Vegetarian Croquette Ball, Vegetarian Croquettes, Vegetarian Sausage Rolls and Vegan Noodle Patty. Our aim for the future is to have as many of our products be 100% organic. At the moment, there is an insufficient supply of organic soy concentrate available for an acceptable price. By choosing gen-tech-free soy, we can be sure however that our soy does not originate from large scale cultivation, for which forests have to be chopped down. Our aim is to choose organic, locally grown lupine as main ingredient of our products where possible.
Do your products contain E-numbers / MSG?
Our products do not contain MSG, monosodium glutamate; we have a very strict policy on the use of E-numbers and specifically ask our suppliers about the origins of their products. The few E-numbers still used in some of our products are under less scrutiny than MSG, but even so, our aim is to minimize or even eliminate the E-numbers used in our products. The Dutch Commodities Act requires food producers to mention any E-numbers of glutamate added to a product. This concerns the following E-numbers; E621 (MSG, monosodium –glutamate, the most famous branch of the glutamates), E622, E623, E624 and E625. We strongly oppose the use of these flavour enhancers, meaning that they will never be used in our products. The link below provides more information, including about the natural presence of glutamate in certain food:
In addition, it is good to know that should we use yeast extract in a product, we will always mention this on the label, simply because some people want to avoid it.
Do your products contain glucose syrup?
Four of our products contain a small percentage of glucose syrup. That is somewhat different than High Fructose Corn Syrup (mainly used in America and currently in the media due to its relation to obesity). We also have plenty of products without glucose syrup.
Are any forests destroyed to obtain the palm oil you use?
To us, environment and sustainability are extremely important aspects of our business. There is a lot of palm oil available from suppliers who destroy forests to obtain what they need. However, the palm oil and soy we use, come from sources for which no forests are destroyed.
Are your product comparable to real meat in terms of nutritional value?
The Vegetarian Butcher’s products are soy or lupine based. Both soy and lupine are beans that are high in protein and fibre, making them perfect ingredients for a healthy meal. There is no significant difference when comparing our meat free products to the real thing. Sometimes our products contain a little more carbohydrates and less fat, however, protein and number of calories per serving are almost identical to that of the real thing. If you wish to compare the nutritional values of our products vs. those of the real thing, you can use the following website and the information on our own product page to compare the products:
Which products have been enriched with iron or Vitamin B12?
The following products have been enriched with iron and / or Vitamin B12:
- Vegetarian Meatball iron + Vitamin B12
- mc2 Burger iron + Vitamin B12
- Vegetarian Raw Minced Meat iron + Vitamin B12
- Vegan Fried Minced Meat iron + Vitamin B12
- Vegetarian Snack Balls iron + Vitamin B12
- Vegetarian Smoked Bacon Strips iron
- Vegan Chicken Teriyaki iron
- Vegan Beef Strips iron
- Vegan Chicken Chunks iron
Do you have any vegan products?
Yes, we have a large variety of products that are completely egg-free and milk-free. Our Vegan products are easy to find due to the green ‘V’ on the bottom right corner of the box.
More than half of our products are vegan. Although we would love to make all products vegan, protein obtained from chicken eggs provides our products with that delicious ‘bite’ which is fundamental to our products. Flavour is our first and foremost priority, it is the only way to show meat enthusiasts that they don’t have to miss out on anything if they eat our products. That is our first priority and that is why we sometimes use free range chicken egg protein, but as soon as we are able to refrain from doing that without affecting the flavour and the bite, we will do so!
Do you have any gluten free products?
Gluten is an allergen and we are required to state whether or not our ingredients contain gluten. At the moment we cannot guarantee that our products are gluten free. The main ingredients of our meat substitutes (lupine and soy) do not contain any gluten, but gluten may be present where the products are processed. We apologise for any inconvenience; we hope to be able to do something about this in the future.
Is your Lupain bread gluten free?
Currently our bread consists partly of lupine (45%) and from wheat. This means that the bread is not gluten free.
What allergens do your products contain?
We are legally required to mention the required 14 allergens in our products. If the product contains 1 of these allergens, you will see this in the list of ingredients.
Do your products contain garlic or onion?
Garlic and onions are not allergens, which means they are not included in the list of allergens (Alba list) as used in the food industry.
Garlic / onion are categorised as ‘herbs & spices’. If ‘herbs & spices’ is listed, it means the product might well contain garlic/onion. You can check the ingredients per product on our website.
What type of eggs do you use in your products?
The eggs we use are laid by free range chickens. Which means they are code 1 eggs.
The product is too salt, too sweet, too spicy for my taste, can you do something about this?
We have chosen for the existing composition of ingredients because it is what most people like. For some products, we have adjusted the recipe to incorporate less salt. Of course, we are always working on, redeveloping and innovating our products. We might be able to release multiple versions of the same products in the near future.
If you feel that the vegetarian Meatballs are too salty, you can prepare them in a salt-free / low-sodium stock/ gravy. The will lose some of their salt to the liquid you cook them in during cooking.
What kind of flavoring do you use in your products?
All our flavourings are vegetable, meaning they are made of plants, vegetables or minerals. The precise composition of these flavourings is our secret recipe. As flavouring is not considered to be an additive by Law, it doesn’t have to be assigned a number and the term ‘flavouring’ suffices. We mainly use natural flavourings, which means the substance was not artificially obtained. Our aim is to use sustainable and organic products where possible.
What colorants do the Vegetarian Raw Minced Meat contain?
Our Vegetarian Raw Minced Meat contains natural extracts as ‘colorants’ extracted from paprika and beetroots. This is to give the product a more meat-like appearance in a healthy way.
What is the moisture level of your products?
Our products consist of about 60% water. The other ingredient is dry matter. This level of moisture is comparable to the that of real chicken breast (75%) or ground beef (64%).
Where can I find the ingredients and nutritional value of all products?
You can review the ingredients and nutritional values of our products on our website, here.
You will also find the carbohydrates per product. A full list of ingredients and nutritional values is can also be found on the product’s packaging.
What products do not contain any yeast?
Yeast provides a certain flavour that is important for the optimal meat experience of some of our meat substitutes. Fortunately, we also have products in our range that do not contain yeast.
The following products may be suitable for you:
- Vegan Smoked Bacon Bits, based on vegetables
- Vegan Chicken Teriyaki
- Fish-free Tuna
- Vegan Beef Strips
- Vegan Chicken Chunks
- Vegan Springroll
From what age can my child eat your products?
From the age of 1, you can have your child enjoy the products of The Vegetarian Butcher. We recommend that you start with small bites and we also recommend to refrain from serving the snacks, such as the Vegetarian Croquette Balls and the Vegetarian Croquettes for a while.
Can I marinate the Vegan Chicken Chunks myself?
Yes, you can marinate the Vegan Chicken Chunks yourself, or you can heat them in a delicious sauce, to allow them to absorb the flavour.
Are your products healthy?
We use only the very best ingredients, but do not claim any health benefits. Our products generally have a high protein and fibre content and are low in fat. On top of that, the vegetable oils that we use are commonly thought to be healthier than animal fats. Our main goal is to create beautiful meat alternatives that are bursting with flavour and have an equal –if not better- nutritional value.
When will your prices will be reduced?
Since we are (currently) not a dominant player in the market, we don’t a lot of purchase power yet in regard to raw material suppliers, processors and distributors, which makes up the largest portion of our expenses. However, we are growing rapidly, so we expect to be able to realize lower prices within the foreseeable future, which is a huge ambition of ours. We are trying to accommodate consumers as much as possible by implementing price drops as soon as we can. We have been able to do so twice over the past period and we hope to be able to reduce prices even more in the near future. We hope to make cheap veggie meat a reality instead of a dream! And if everyone lends a hand we will get there one bite at a time.