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Thread: meat on tour

  1. #1
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    meat on tour

    I'm curious about how much meat you eat on longer tours and why. Do you crave lots of meat for protein, or do you cut down on meat in favor of oatmeal, pasta, veggies, trail mix, and other food that feels lighter in the belly? Do you find that meats and other animal products that you pack along and cook at your campsite are more difficult to deal with because they need to be kept cold and go bad quickly? Any advice for how to deal with this? If someone offers to let you share their food, does it tend to be meat-centric? If you're vegetarian, do people get offended if you decline? Do you feel like you encounter more restaurants that have lots of meaty or lots of veggie options?

    Personally, I'm a vegetarian, but for health and financial (not ethical) reasons. If meat is what's available, I'll eat it. But after being vegetarian it doesn't tend to agree with me, so I may try to ease it back into my diet before the summer just to keep all my options open, and to have the opportunity to try tasty meaty local dishes.

    What about you?

  2. #2
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    Vegan till death.
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

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    Quote Originally Posted by RiotBoi
    Vegan till death.
    awesome.

    can you say more about how that affects you when you're not in the city, though? is it hard to find vegan food? do you run into a lot of people who are like, "what-gan?" do you find that on the road you end up eating cheaper than meat-eaters, or do you end up paying a premium for vegan food? do you buy pre-prepped stuff, or tend to eat whole/raw/unprocessed foods?

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    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    well, I havent bike toured(yet) but I have hitchhiked a lot, and its a pain. Finding premade vegan food is near impossible. I don't consider subway veggie delight with no cheese food, either. far from the cities I normally make a bean/rice concoction. lentil life.
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  5. #5
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    oh, and yea the classic (and common) southern quote

    "I never heard 'o no vee-***, what caliber is it?"
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  6. #6
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    i haven't officially toured, but I got three words for ya:

    Jerky, Jerky, Jerky.
    Yum!
    Tasty, compact, light, and practically non-perishable

  7. #7
    Senior Member kamoke's Avatar
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    For me, I would stop at a Husky and eat spaghetti with meat sauce.

    +1 for the jerky. You could also make your own at home (:dehydrating food)

  8. #8
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    The problem with jerky, at least with store-bought jerky, is that it's very expensive. I don't know how much it costs to make it at home, but meat is generally more expensive than vegetarian foods - this was one of the major reasons that my friend and I lived on rice, lentils and bread for our first tour last summer. In fact, a lot of bakeries will let you have day-old bread for next to nothing, which makes picking up a couple loaves of bread every three or four days a very appealing option. One recommendation, though: don't get something with too strong or unusual a flavor to it, unless you're positive that you'll still want to eat it a couple days down the road! My friend and I ended up with two loaves of bread that we just didn't want to eat, because it tasted too weird. We choked it down with a lot of peanut butter, which also comes highly recommended eating on the road - plenty of protein and fat, for good, strong muscle tissues and plenty of long-term energy!

  9. #9
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I have toured but not camping, stayed at motels and peoples houses. I did eat meat in the evening, but not that much. I usually crave strong flavors after the ride, salt, sour,spice. I carried bread, fruit, and cookies on the bike. I went across the U.S. with a very strict vegan and he sometimes had trouble getting food at small town restaurants, especially in the south, you know, "How big you want your steak, son?" We did get brown rice at the market and some restaurants would cook it for us, no charge. I did eat about 6000 calories a day and lost weight. Hit the markets daily if possible.

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    Us southern boys like our meat

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    Sorry, This site is so slow I didn't think my initial post whent thru

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I have toured off and on since the Seventies. Not a lot, but as the saying goes, I've been around. I just eat what I feel like eating. I try to eat lite during the day of course. Which I find hard. But I'll eat like a draft horse for dinner. And a decent sized hunk of meat or fish is defintely on the menu. I find a massive plate of sphaghetti and large meatballs very satisfying.

    My problem, and I don't know of an answer, is that after a few days of touring i get massively hungry for breakfast. But if I eat massive, I pay for it big time.
    Last day I toured I ordered an egg sandwich thinking that would be good, but then I thought that didn't have enough carbs so I ordered some oatmeal. We had ridden to the place, so I had to bend over the bars right after breafast. Ever hold the bars with just your fingertips?

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I am a semi-vegetarian ... if I had my way, I would eat a bit of chicken or tuna maybe once a week or so ... and that's exactly what I did when I lived on my own. But a year ago I moved to Alberta and am being given room and board so I can attend University. Alberta is BEEF country. You can't go anywhere here without having someone serve you beef. And I am NOT a big fan of beef. And meals here are very meat-centric ..... a big slab of beef <<shudder>> ...... and almost as an after-thought, maybe a bit of potatoes or veggies or something. So, I'm dealing with the situation you mention in my everyday life right now!!


    As for touring, when I went to Australia, the initial plan was to stick to a very tight budget which didn't allow for the purchase of meat. My cycling partner and I stuck to that budget, and a basically meat-free diet, for nearly three weeks. Three weeks of riding approx. 100 kms a day. Toward the end of three weeks we were cranky, irritable, lethargic, and both of us CRAVED protein.

    Then, two nights in a row, we were given meat by fellow campers in the campgrounds at which we were staying (the Australians are REALLY friendly!!) ..... and after that we made sure we had meat every day.

    While we were in the southern part of Australia, and Tasmania, where it was cooler, we usually stopped at a store near the end of our day's journey and picked up a package of frozen, pre-made, hamburger patties, which we cooked up on the large BBQs which all Australian campgrounds have. Those packages usually contained 8 patties, and we ate them all! So there was no chance of them spoiling.

    When we went to Queensland, our cycling plans changed because of the heat. We would ride early in the morning, then stop somewhere in the middle of the day, then ride again in the evening. Because we were rolling into our campsites so late, and because we were often bush camping during that time, so the BBQs weren't available, we changed our eating plans .... instead we started eating our big meal in the middle of the day while we were waiting out the heat. And our meals usually consisted of Australian hamburgers!!

    Have you ever had an Australian hamburger??? You haven't had a hamburger until you've had an Australian hamburger!! Those things were entire meals all in one!! Bun, several hamburger patties, a fried egg or two, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, beets, pineapples, and the top bun!! And they were usually served with a newspaper full of fries!!! Mmmmmmm!!! All for about $5.00. That was basically what I ate ... small bowl of oatmeal in the morning, the Australian hamburger meal around noon, and a couple granola bars later in the day.

    If you do want to stick to a vegetarian diet on a tour, keep in mind that you'll likely need more protein to keep up your cycling energy, rebuild your muscles etc. So, you might want to choose vegetarian foods which are high in protein. Soy products are supposed to be pretty good.

  14. #14
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    I usually just shoot and eat whatever critters are around. I am a pretty handy drive-by shot on my bike, and my ***** fits nicely between my cycle computer and nightlight.

    When adequate game can't be found, I rely on a wide variety of tinned meat products; Spam, deviled ham, vienna sausages, whole-boiled-chicken-in-a-can, tuna, sardines, kippers, whathaveyou.

    I believe it was the Mongolians who perfected a method of cooking and consuming meat whilst on horseback. They would just shove slices or chunks of meat under the saddle to be "cooked" by the horse in transit. Next came Mongolian BBQ. I haven't tried the saddle method yet, but the BBQ is tasty.
    Go big.

  15. #15
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    I adore meat, especially when touring. However, reality bites and I eat most of the time only oatmeal and pasta, sometimes with canned tuna. But that's already good enough to keep me going.

  16. #16
    Yet another vegan biker
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    At a campsite I'd be happy to start the day with my steelcut oatmeal served up with powdered (reconstituted) soymilk and a splash of splenda (the sweet stuff is as light as goosedown).

    I can usually find some meatless delights from restaurants serving Italian, Mexican or other ethnic quisines.

    Sometimes I'll get stuck in a meat-centric villa and be left with a lettuce salad choice. But mmost of the time I find plenty of good things to eat, even if I have to look a little closer.

    I'm a vegetarian because I find it make me feel good, great, actually. I'm stronger, have more endurance, and feel much younger than I did when I was consuming animal products.

  17. #17
    Hairy Member Crankypants's Avatar
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    While I agree that meat is tasty, it stinks up your body odor, and is hard to digest so it just ferments inside your colon. In short, it slows down your body and is not recommended for touring. If you are vegan, you can find food everywhere. I've toured several months eating entirely raw fruits and veggies in Southern France. The key body fuel is fats: avocadao, olives, nut butters! Happy cycling!

  18. #18
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    The 'Australian Hamburger' is also prevalent in New Zealand. There has also been a wave of 'Gourmet' throughout New Zealand, so in most sizeable towns you will find HUGE burgers with large amount of fresh salads and whole chicken breast or high quality ground beef. Actually not bad as far as nutritous meals go. Many places will do Vege or Vegan versions with Tofu/Tempeh or nut based patties.

    If you are not burger touring touring in the South Pacific, can you get single serve tins of flavoured tuna in the US? We have little 95g tins or sachets of tuna that can be added to a instant pasta meal etc to provide a protein boost. As a bonus, the cans are pop top and actually made of aluminium in these parts so it is a no brainer to pop a couple into your panniers. You can even get single serve tuna packaged with crackers intended for snacks at school or the office in most convenience stores here if you cant be bothered integrating your protein into a meal.

    I have found that it is good for your digestive system to not stray too far from the content your regular meals. But definately bump up the complex carbs and vegeable oils, especially in cold weather. You can probably do without protein on weekend trips but regular small amounts are a nice addition to the evening meal on longer tours.

    I suggest reading the tour report of Jakub Postrzygacz who rode across 1250 miles of sandy desert in Western Australia last year for an interesting perspective on the issue. Jakub lost 18 Kg (40 pounds) during the trip and (apart from the kangaroo ribs that were provided by local Aborigines early on) supplimented his diet with any lizards and insects that he could catch

  19. #19
    Yet another vegan biker
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    If you are not burger touring touring in the South Pacific, can you get single serve tins of flavoured tuna in the US? We have little 95g tins or sachets of tuna that can be added to a instant pasta meal etc to provide a protein boost. As a bonus, the cans are pop top and actually made of aluminium in these parts so it is a no brainer to pop a couple into your panniers.
    I'm seeing a lot of foil pouches for a variety of formerly canned goodies. They look nice for touring.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by radical_edward
    If you are not burger touring touring in the South Pacific, can you get single serve tins of flavoured tuna in the US? We have little 95g tins or sachets of tuna that can be added to a instant pasta meal etc to provide a protein boost. As a bonus, the cans are pop top and actually made of aluminium in these parts so it is a no brainer to pop a couple into your panniers. You can even get single serve tuna packaged with crackers intended for snacks at school or the office in most convenience stores here if you cant be bothered integrating your protein into a meal.

    I don't know about the US, but you can get them in Canada .... I often use them for lunches. They come in about half a dozen different flavors too, if plain tuna seems a little boring, so you don't even have to bring along a lot of condiments to spice things up.

  21. #21
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    On a long tour it is important that you are getting enough proteins in your diet, whatever the source. I found that getting enough calories a day became difficult, so I moved to a more fatty diet. Fat has a lot more calories per ounce and made fueling-up for the day easier. Once you get the fire hot enough, it will burn anything! I also took a daily multi-vitamin because I had a hard time finding veggies throughout my cross country.

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    I've never noticed any difference whatsoever with my endurance or energy level based on the amount of animal protein I was or was not eating. I've never craved meat, and I wonder if it's simply a psychological effect based on craving? Even when I was a kid, I loved vegetables, bread, and other starches and didn't like meat all that much, and my parents were always trying to get me to eat more meat. My tastes haven't changed. I'm not a vegetarian, but I simply don't eat a lot of meat, and when I do, I eat much smaller portions than most folks.

    My recent bike trip to Sri Lanka was a fantastic eating experience. The food was consistently delicious (and cheap). Even if you ordered "chicken rice & curry" or "fish rice & curry", you got only a very small portion of meat or fish, but always lots of vegetables, lentils, & rice. Sri Lankans do wonderful things with vegetables, and I've never seen so many vegetable & fruit stands along the road as in that country. There were also great savory baked goods in the many bakeries. Very spicy and flavorful food. I also suspect it's one of the more healthful diets on the planet. Most of the protein comes from the ubiquitous lentils (dal) and rice, part of every meal. There were also lots of tasty snacks made out of lentils or bean flour. I noticed many advertisements for soy protein in Sri Lanka, but I never knowingly was served it.

    I'm not at all worried about not getting enough protein if I eat little to no meat on tours. Legumes & grains have quite a bit of protein, and since I'm consuming larger amounts than normal of each when touring, I know I'm getting more than enough protein in my diet.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    I've never noticed any difference whatsoever with my endurance or energy level based on the amount of animal protein I was or was not eating. I've never craved meat, and I wonder if it's simply a psychological effect based on craving? Even when I was a kid, I loved vegetables, bread, and other starches and didn't like meat all that much, and my parents were always trying to get me to eat more meat. My tastes haven't changed. I'm not a vegetarian, but I simply don't eat a lot of meat, and when I do, I eat much smaller portions than most folks.
    Just like you, I've always disliked meat, and preferred vegetables, bread, and other starches, even though my parents tried their best to get me to eat it. But when my protein intake is particularly low, and my body decides it needs protein, I crave meat. And that's the only time I will eat meat with any kind of enthusiasm.

    But I don't reach that point very often. I have reached it on a few of my ultra-distance randonnees, and after many days of long, hard riding on tours, but that's it. I definitely don't crave meat on a regular basis.

  24. #24
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    food on tour:
    anything, and enough to be full!
    i use chicken, beef, Italian sausage, pork, (canned tuna, spam, freeze-dryed meat based stews and pasta in a pinch). ((coleman peak 1 stove)) if possible, i always stop at local market (grocery store) and pick up dinner items, including the next day's breakast (eggs/oatmeal) and lunch (p-b, bread, meats, fruit, and cheese).
    now i'm getting hungry...~!

  25. #25
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    I like deer jerky as well. Umm Umm good.

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