Posted by: serrels | May 5, 2010

Love me Tender

This. What is this.

No really. What is this? What is it made of? It tastes like something I really shouldn’t be eating. Like a AAA battery or a bar of soap.

Why would anyone shoehorn this ungodly morsel into a home cooked meal? What is the rationale behind this misguided decision? Why would you feed someone this – it’s inhumane, it’s horrific, it’s… un-Christian.

That’s Sanitarium’s Tender Pieces for you – Christianity’s greatest culinary paradox.

But if I were to hazard a guess as to the ‘why’ of these so called ‘Tender Pieces’, it would be this: many Seventh Day Adventist Christians are vegetarians. In fact, due to a random verse buried deep in the Bible, in the book of Daniel, being a vegetarian is actually a defining facet of the SDA church and its beliefs.

Which accounts for the fact that Seventh Day Adventist church lunches are utterly devoid of meat and, hence, cursed with the presence of Sanitarium ‘Tender Pieces’.

But the truly nefarious aspect of the Tender Pieces conundrum is its penchant for stealthy infiltration. Being a repulsive concoction cunningly disguised as beef, you never quite know when that unsavoury bastard is going to catch you unawares. ‘Whoa’, you think to yourself, stomach gurning in anticipation, ‘that’s a delicious looking bolognese sauce you’ve got there Mrs Rodriguez. Mind if I have a little tasty taste?’ She nods her head enthusiastically, and you take a bite…

Oh! Dios mio!

Except that’s not mince – it’s not any kind of meaty substance you could imagine. It’s, you guessed it, tender pieces. You’ve just eaten them. And you want to kill yourself.

And this same little scenario repeats itself endlessly, like a twisted kaleidoscope of SDA torture – ‘meat’ pies, ‘beef’ enchiladas, ‘beef’ empanadas, shepherd’s pie – many a time I’ve sunk my teeth in anticipation of that sweet, sweet meaty taste, only to find that I’ve actually ingested an ingredient from the darkest depths of Beelzibub’s pantry – the heinous Tender Piece.

But the worst part of this little dilemma is this: Seventh Day Adventists are absolutely the worst vegetarians I’ve ever encountered. In fact, if I had to hazard a guess, I’d estimate that less than 2.5%  of Sevvies are actually proper veggies.

‘Give me a bite of the McChicken burger right now, before I knee you in the balls’ is pretty much verbatim what my missus said to me one fine eve, precisely five minutes after refusing to buy her own, because she ‘didn’t eat meat’. Three huge bites later her conscience kicked in and she gave me the burger back, but that deep primitive beef-lust is always lurking, just beneath the surface. Waiting to strike, whenever a McChicken burger is in the vicinity.

Seriously. You have to watch out, they’re like bloody seagulls these SDA types – they barely even know they’ve grabbed the burger from your cold dead hands until they’re wolfing it down – like a dog eating a biscuit, or Bear Grylls chomping on his own faeces. They just love it – a bitter twisted love, an unrequited love. A love they can only indulge in fleetingly, before resigning themselves to a life of pain, suffering…

And Sanitarium Tender Pieces.

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  1. Dr Kellogg was an SDA, he created Corn Flakes to stop people masturbating as it was considered to be sinful and a certain diet would fix it. Or something like that. Either way, I find that fact very amusing.

  2. This is the kind of stuff that confuses me the most. Whether or not one chooses to eat meat is neither here nor there; it’s nobody else’s business really.
    What seems odd to me is avoiding meat because somebody in the Second Century BC said so. I went to 13 years of Catholic school and I never did quite come to grips with which parts of the Bible ‘still apply’. We don’t beat our children with sticks anymore, depite what the Book of Proverbs says (Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”) so I wonder why this in particular?

    • Hi Luke

      No one is stopping you from eating meat. You have the freedom of choice. But choice does have consequences. God gave you a body and spirit which turns out to be a soul. Your body is a temple of God, and it is our duty to treat the things God has given us with respect and reverence. We worship God in spirit (John 4:24) for God is Spirit. Our spirit is severly affected by the way we treat our bodies. We know today that meat is the cause of many heart problems and other bodily dieseases. Much more so than the Second Century BC. The problem we have as a society is that we cannot control our fleshly lusts for gluttonous behaviour. As far as Catholic school goes, I wouldnt believe anything they said (A study of revelation would help you understand exactly where the Catholic church fits into The Great Controversey”. The whole Bible applies to YOU. The Bible was written for YOU. God loves you, you are significant to Him, and He made the Bible for YOU. The rod is form of punishment not a physical rod. God chasitises people today, me in particular. But I am accept it when He does it, cos the only reason He does it is cos He wants the best for me and loves me. But God doesn’t use a rod to chastise me. There are many ways in which you can teach a child to avoid foolishness.
      I would be very interested in talking to you, should you have any questions about the Bible, please send them to me, I would be most happy to share this journey with you.
      God Bless

  3. Some crackin’ lines, ye old cracker. Had me gassing myself.

    So. When am I invited around for a BBQ?

    • Hahahaha! Absolutely – I need to have a BBQ quicksmart. I’ll def give you a shout.

  4. This is actually one of the things I struggle with the most. The Taliban followed biblical law to the letter, and last I checked that was tyrannical regime that George W and his Christian warriors had to go in and overthrow.

    But here’s the true madness – of all the laws the SDA chose to keep, and enforce strictly, they kept the one about not eating bacon. Truly they want to punish themselves. They can beat there children with a stick all day for all I care, I’m just truly saddened by the fact that some Christians will never get to experience the joys of a pork chop.

    Sniff. I promised I wouldn’t cry…

    • Hi Mark

      Remember that not all called Christians are Christians, but all Christians are called Christian. In other words just cos the world labels a group of people who claim the Bible to be thier belief system Christians(That includes SDA’s who claim to be christian but do not practice the Gospel.), doesnt mean you need to tar true Christians with the same brush.
      In this day and age a true Christian of any domination should and would choose not to eat any meat. Wether it be pork or not. Cosidering the amount of hormones, the decline in health standards and and enviroment that has been exhausted, meat should be declared a dangerous substance. But as I said in the previous thread, the world is driven by a gluttenous passion. But hey, we not stopping you, mearly stating the facts. It is your choice in the end. Just don’t whinge about the consequences.

      • “SDA’s who claim to be christian but do not practice the Gospel” can you please explain what you mean Sean? That’s quite a big statement to write without backing it up whatsoever.

      • I think Sean mean’t particular people in the SDA church, not the SDA church as a whole.

      • Hi Nerida

        My apologies for not been and a bit more specific. Please see Mario’s comment dated 14/05/10.
        May God Bless you

  5. Sanitarium used to be totally anti all animal products, but these days some of their cereals contain milk derivatives.

  6. I don’t know enough about religion to know who is right, but I personally believe that taking most stuff in the bible literally can lead to nasty times.
    That said, I don’t think you can just throw it all into the stupid bin.

    For example, in regards to the verse in Proverbs could “rod of correction” possibly simply mean discipline??
    It now sounds less like jail time, and more like good parenting.

    Again, this is just my opinion, but I think if you see the bible as a “how to live an awesome life” guide, it gives it a lot more meaning.

    • Hi Ben

      You are right, the rod does mean disicipline.

      Ben you said: ” Again this is just my opinion, but I think if you see the bible as a “how to live an awesome life” guide, it gives it a lot more meaning”””””””

      As Jesus would of said,”Blessed are you, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”

      God Bless


  7. My parents where not allowed to be married by the priest, at my mums SDA church because my dad was working at a butcher shop.

    I tried being a vegetarian for 3 year but had to stop because of a iron deficiency.

    • Hi Nathan

      It is important that you learn what foods can provided you with a protien subsitute. I recommend you seek advice from a health program called “CHEP” run by Hans Dhiel at Loma Linda University USA.

    • HiNathan

      It is important that once you start a vegi or vegan diet that you find the right foods that will substitue protien and B12 vitamins. I reccomend that you get advice from health program called “CHIP” which is run by Hans Dhielat Loma Linda University USA
      God Bless

      • In fact, the Serrels’ church of late (Parramatta) runs the CHIP program.

  8. Hey I had no trouble with the vegetarianism. I’m not a big meat lover anyway. But I did have trouble with the mock meats! Oh and all that cheese! Oh and crumbed ‘thong'(gluten steaks).

  9. Must be an Aussie thing. Sevvies in Europe have so much meat at their potlucks. You’ll have meatmares.

  10. While finding your comments a little amusing and an interesting perspective on the SDA idiosyncrasies, I’m interested as to what your wife’s take is on you publicly trashing something that means a lot to her – her faith. Not a lot of respect going on in this relationship I’m guessing.

    • If you can find a single part of my blog where I trash her faith I’ll be very surprised. You can kindly take your uninformed judgements elsewhere thanks. The only disrespect here is coming from you second guessing my relationship with my wife.

    • Thought I would respond cause I suppose it might not be the first time anyone thinks about how I might feel about this blog experience.
      Firstly, simply because I have a faith or belief in God does not mean that Mark doesn’t have a belief or sense of moral values himself – as such, by becoming involved with me (and my church community) he has had to adapt and adjust to many of my more stringent lifestyle requirements (cause lets be realistic and admit that Christianity is rather structured at times!). Ultimately, I see this blog as something that will allow him expression for any frustration at things that are foreign and unknown to him, but also allow him an avenue through which to evaluate and appreciate the good.
      Secondly, I have never known Mark to purposely disrespect anyone’s beliefs, and if at times it comes across that way it is purely creative license and for comedic effect. In the same way he respects mine, I respect his – along with his right to express himself as he sees fit. I know in a heartbeat he would do everything in his power to allow me the opportunity to express my beliefs and opinions – regardless of how opposed to his own they might be. So, I allow the blog and do not in any way feel disrespected – there is no taboo in my home – everything is discussed and there is no fear of opposing opinion.

      • To the Missus

        After reading your post, I must say I admire your courage. I might seem a bit harsh on Mark, but he must understand that if you play with foolishness you bound to get hurt (Proverbs helps you understand this) . I have added him and you to my prayer list. Please pray that the posts I submit are not interpreted as been mean and spiteful. Mark also needs to understand that people who read his blog must be given the opportunity to see both sides of a claimed truth.
        I pray that God will be able to use the talents that Mark has to be used instead for the glory of God.

        May God bless you ma’am

        Yours faithfully

  11. Wow that is one awesome relationship – it’s so sad how many people come unstuck because they believe differently.

  12. “In fact, due to a random verse buried deep in the Bible, in the book of Daniel, being a vegetarian is actually a defining facet of the SDA church and its beliefs.”

    Actually….its because Seventh-day Adventists (its hyphen d not capital d in (day) were a health reform group early on…

  13. Mark this is so funny.
    Some of the fake meat stuff is not that fantastic.

    I think the vego thing in the adventist church is a cultural thing like Mario pointed out.

    Go to a lunch at a fijian sda church and you will find meat 🙂

  14. LOL!! Funniest post yet. Sorry all SDA’s, but I have to agree with mark.. and I’m an SDA and “sort of” a vegy!

    • Yeah me too… but mostly “sort of vego” now because we are killing the planet with the amount of gluttinous eating behaviour that we all show. If everyone cut down their meat intake to just three meals a week there would be such a significant reduction of greenhouse gases, disease and obesity!

  15. Mark, I was considered by some to be vegetarian for the ‘wrong’ reasons. I would say that clearly the health message was secondary to me, because I didn’t go to any effort to exercise or get enough sleep, so it would be outrageously hypocritical to pretend that my not eating meat was out of any respect to my body.

    I didn’t eat meat because I grew up on a farm and was horrified at the idea of eating the animals (and even more horrified at the idea of consuming anything milk oriented that hadn’t been disguised beyond recognition into chocolate icecream). By the time I was maybe 10 or 11 I was also aware of the huge environmental impact meat-eating has on the world, but this was an extremely heretical perspective back in the late 1970s.

    So, rest assured, it’s not just what you do, but the reason for your [not] doing it that gets assessed by the brethren…..

  16. This post cracked me up – so funny!

    I decided at 15 that killing animals for food was not good, and red meat made me feel ill. So I stopped. I had Nutolene for the first time around that age, and I confess to being really disgusted by it.

    Now I’ve gone and married a born and bred Adventist who’d have it every night, he loves it so much.

    What’s interesting is that being vegetarian was so uncool for about 200 hundred years, but as Vegetarian Adventists are decreasing, it’s becoming cool!

    Also there is so much scientific evidence that shows being vegetarian is a good thing – for our environment AND our bodies. In fact US & World Report paper had an article (October 2009) “10 Tips for Living to 100”. Point number 9 stated, “Live Like An Adventist”. It talked about the healthy lifestyle including no smoking, no drinking, a vegetarian diet and focus on family and community. I remember being a little bit blown away by it. In the article it says that Adventists live 10 years longer than their American counterparts.

    Coincidental? Prophetic? Fluke?

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