First post-war German Chancellor, pioneer and… inventor of the vegan alternative to sausages


First post-war German Chancellor, pioneer and… inventor of the vegan alternative to sausages

What does German politics have to do with soy alternatives to sausages? At first glance, nothing at all! However, Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war German Chancellor, was not just a politician. He was also very inventive – a real Gyro Gearloose of his time. When he wasn’t busy with politics, the passionate tinkerer was creating his own inventions. While some were more successful than others, they all had one thing in common: they were ahead of their time. As early as 1936, he was busy experimenting with procedures intended to remove exhaust fumes and soot from the air. The initial ideas for sun visors in cars, self-heating teapots and toasters all existed thanks to the inventiveness of the former German Chancellor.

Adenauer called his meat alternative the “peace sausage”

Konrad Adenauer’s creativity wasn’t limited to technology – he was also interested in nutrition. And, as is so often the case with successful inventions, some of the best ideas are born out of necessity. During the First World War, Adenauer felt it was his duty to do something about rapidly worsening food shortages and hunger in Germany. Meat, which is so rich in energy and protein, was especially scarce, so the search was on to find alternatives of a similar nutritional value. And Adenauer found such an alternative in the form of soya. It was with this raw ingredient, which is now one of the best known ingredients in meat replacement products, that he created what he named the “peace sausage”. Apart from a few traces of meat, it was made solely from soya.

An English patent for a vegan invention

In June 1918, he submitted his patent for this very first soy sausage (which was almost exclusively vegetarian). However, Imperial Germany refused him the patent on account of a formal error, meaning that his idea was left unprotected, and ended up being successfully patented in England instead.
In the same year, however, Adenauer received an official patent for the “Procedure for improving the flavor of protein-rich and fat-containing plant-based flours, and for the manufacturing of sausage” from the British King, George V, so the “peace sausage” did receive protection and its inventor was given the respect he deserved after all.

Soy – still a must-have in terms of vegan food

Today, soy is known for being a vegan all-rounder: whether in the form of tofu, as a basis for cheese and meat replacement products, vegan alternatives to yogurt, egg replacements or in sandwich spreads. If you want to eat a plant-based diet, it’s hard to avoid eating soya in one form or another. Rich in proteins and nutrients, soya has a lot to offer to vegan cuisine – not only in terms of flavor and being easy to prepare, but also in terms of nutrition. However, it’s always important to pay attention to where the soya is from, to make sure it’s sustainable.
As mentioned above, in addition to his so-called “peace sausage” and initial ideas for non-meat based sandwich spreads, Konrad Adenauer was responsible for several other inventions. He tinkered with inventions including an electric insect zapper, and a darning egg with a light source inside which was intended to make it easier to repair holes in clothing. However, just as was the case with his patented spray nozzle for watering cans, these ideas did not enjoy groundbreaking success.
Even if the peace sausage wouldn’t be classed as vegan nowadays, it sheds light on and bears witness to an important aspect in the history of human nutrition: meat replacement products and vegan sausage alternatives aren’t just the latest fad – over a hundred years ago, they were already feeding people and providing them with important nutrients. All thanks to Chancellor Adenauer!