Regarding your funny-tasting TVP:
It sounds like you did indeed get a bad batch if it tasted like
chemicals. The TVP I've tried doesn't taste like anything, really. A
trick is to use a savory liquid instead of water to rehydrate it. TVP
will take on the taste of whatever you add. It is this quality of it
which makes me think maybe something might have contaminated your TVP.
Try to buy some somewhere else and see how it is...
BUT there are some things one can't get the taste for no matter what, so
if you hate it, then hey, try something else! Someone posted about the
Mail Order Catalog yesterday and I was dazzled by their selection. So
many meat substitutes! Ordered one of their catalogs by snail-mail and
can't wait to try some new stuff!