Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 03:55:05 AM

Title: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 03:55:05 AM
The recent thread on taking certain buffet items intended for children got me thinking about a party I was at recently.

The food was served buffet style, and there were probably about 30-35 people present, of whom I'd say 5-10 were veggie. The food was mainly BBQ food, and there was wayyyy more meat available for each of the meat eaters than any sane person could eat in one sitting (there were tons of leftovers).

There were also some veggie sausages/burgers available, but an amount which would give a more modest (but still fine) portion to each of the vegetarians (I took one sausage and one burger, I didn't see anybody take more than that, and they were all gone).

However, what I did see was a couple of guests (who I KNOW to be meat lovers) taking the veggie sausages because 'they just wanted to try one'. I didn't comment (because that would have been rude), but inside I was screaming 'Dude, there's a big pile of sausages that you can eat, right there. This smaller pile has to be shared between all the people who CANNOT eat the meaty sausages.'

I've felt the same at pizza parties when people are loading up on the one veggie pizza knowing that I can't eat the meat feast. This feels a bit weird since I suppose I'm sort of rooting for people to eat meat, but this is meat that these people will eat, eventually. They'll just be stuffed and I'll still be hungry!

Part of the problem lies in poor planning. When I planned parties (when I still ate meat), I make sure that most of the food was veggie so that everybody who wanted some could take enough to satisfy their stomachs.

I guess my question is: If you are NOT on a restricted diet, and there is clearly a smaller amount of 'special' items, is it rude to take some? I would say yes, at least until you are very sure that everybody has taken a reasonable amount (i.e. the party has got to the stage where people are just 'picking').
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Miss Unleaded on October 02, 2013, 05:03:53 AM
The people I know are very different.  I can't think of a single occassion when omnivores would voluntarily eat vegie options to the point that there's none left for the vegetarians.  Provided there were additional dishes to eat (potato salad, rolls, devilled eggs, etc) I'd probably be happy to be in the company of people willing to experiment with new stuff.  If there wasn't additional food to compensate then I think that yes, it could be rude, but then again I wouldn't ordinarily expect that everyone in the crowd will know how many vegetarians are present and whether there is enough food to cover the numbers.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: staceym on October 02, 2013, 05:24:00 AM
is is rude? Truthfully, unless there is a big sign that says "for vegetarians only" I'm going to have to say no, not really.  The food is put out with the other food so it is there for anyone.  But, like Miss Unleaded , I can't understand why an omnivore would eat a veggie option where there was a ton of meat available? 

I should clairfy the above when I mean veggie option - I mean veggie burgers/sausages/veggie meat of some kind.  Because I can understand people wanting the veggie pizza or a veggie dish.

But, I have to say since being in charge of ordering food for work events you can NEVER figure out what people are going to eat.  We use to order pizzas a lot for lunchtime meetings and I use to watch and see what was eaten and what wasn't and go by that the next time I ordered; but the next time - different results.  The other thing I will never do is order something (sandwiches in particular) thinking people will only take one - nope, not going to happen unless you police the food (yeah, that happened the first time I ordered sandwich rings  :-\ )  Or order say lasagna and chicken and order enough thinking people will take EITHER the chicken OR the lasagna - nope not going to happen some people will take both.


eta:  I just read the one post on the front of ehell about the OP taking a drink out of a cooler and was told "hey those are for kids only" - so yep, you can never tell who is going to take what.  And, in her case I don't think she was wrong at all to take it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 05:38:49 AM
I would feel differently if there was clearly an abundance of a particular food (e.g. there was lots of potato salad, which everybody could take), but when a particular item is clearly provided in a smaller amount, I think it's polite to think about why that might be, and to adjust what you take accordingly.

For me, it falls under the same basic rule of buffet etiquette that I think everybody should abide by: look at particular dish, divide by number of people who will be eating, and take ONLY that amount or less, at least initially.

If there are ten cupcakes and ten people, you don't take two straight away. Similarly, if there are 10 veggie sausages and 30 people, I'd think 'that's less than one per person, I'd better make sure that all the veggies get one before I take one'.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: flickan on October 02, 2013, 05:39:05 AM
If you know there are people with restricted diets and you aren't on one then I think it is very rude to take from their available food if there is much less of that available.

In my family we have vegetarians and at gatherings we make sure to have multiple all-veg side dishes so vegetarians can get their fill.  My father will also cook up veggie patties or salmon patties on demand for those who don't want red meat.

Hosts should do their best to anticipate the needs of their guests but it's impossible to guess who will want what at the time if there are different groups of food for different diets.  I remember working a serving line for an event where the vegetarian entree was stuffed peppers.  No one had told anyone that the stuffed peppers were the vegetarian only option, consequently the servers (myself included) were handing out stuffed peppers to anyone who asked.  Once they realized they had a problem we were instructed to stop giving them out unless the guest had pre-requested a vegetarian meal.  I have no idea how that all turned out in the end but I assume they had to scramble to find more food.  Point being, there should have been clear instructions because it's unreasonable to expect omnivores not to eat a veggie option if they don't know it's in limited quantities for vegetarian guests.

The hosts should either set aside the vegetarian food clearly or make enough of the vegetarian food that there will be plenty for all.

And guests should use common sense based on the information they have.  It's a two-way effort.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Another Sarah on October 02, 2013, 05:47:29 AM
I think there is a point here about using your common sense - I love veggie sausages, but if there was a mountain of meat and five veggie sausages on the side, I'd stick to the mountain of meat.
On the other hand, if there were heaps of both, I would take some of both.

I think standard buffet rules mean that you check the table. If there's a small amount of something, figure out why before you trough in, and if it's for a special reason, avoid.

edited- had whole other question so moving it to a new thread
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Psychopoesie on October 02, 2013, 06:06:24 AM
Last big bbq I went to, there were grilled portabello mushrooms with cream cheese as well as meat. It didn't occur to me that they were the vege option - they were just another side to me, like the salads - so I took one.

It's only when I overheard the host say later about how they were catering for vegetarians that the penny dropped - too late. Hopefully there were enough to go around.

If you only make enough of something for guests with a dietary restriction, it's best not to put it out with the rest of the food. Serve them separately instead.

Even better, make enough extra so no one is likely to miss out. Personally prefer to have too much food than too little.


Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 06:16:29 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down.

I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Pen^2 on October 02, 2013, 06:40:57 AM
A lot of vegetarian things taste completely different to meaty things, and are quite nice in their own right. So just because someone isn't adverse to eating meat doesn't mean they don't also enjoy vegetarian dishes.

But if there is clearly a limited amount of food available to people who are more restricted, then I wouldn't take any. I was at a dinner party recently where we ordered several dishes from a Thai place. Two happened to be vegetarian--one of them is a personal favourite of mine. It isn't a vegetarian version of a meat thing, but just a particularly delicious dish that happens to not have any meat in it. Even so, I asked the two vegetarians present if they'd mind if I had some, because I didn't know how hungry they were and if me taking any would mean they went home hungry.

Regardless of how good it tastes or what you prefer to eat, if you have other options available, then you shouldn't take food prepared for a specific group if it will mean that they won't get enough. Wanting to try it is all very good and well, but not if it means other people go hungry. That's not polite at all.

It's clear, OP, that the people at the gathering you described didn't think about the fact that they were preventing others from having enough food, so they must have needed clear instructions. It's good to prepare more than enough, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. In that kind of situation, maybe, after putting down the veggie sausages (or whatever), I'd just go straight out and say, "Here are the veggie sausages! If meat is an option for you, then please don't take these until you're sure the vegetarians among us have had their fill first. I'd hate to see anyone go hungry!" Or, depending on how the food was being served, I'd offer the dish specifically to each vegetarian in turn before putting it where others can help themselves.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MrTango on October 02, 2013, 07:14:07 AM
I'm of the opinion that any and all food on a buffet is part of the buffet and that what one chooses to put on their plate from that buffet line is no one else's business.

I'm also of the opinion that if there is a small minority of guests (or just one guest) with a dietary restriction that requires a special meal, that person's meal should be given directly to them by the host or they should be the first through the buffet line.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Knitterly on October 02, 2013, 07:28:27 AM
BBQs can be difficult, because you have to figure out how much food each person is going to want so you have enough without having a whole big bunch left over.

I think if you KNOW that a small group at the party is on a restricted diet and you knowingly bypass the food you can eat to take some of the food laid out for them, that's a bit inconsiderate.  Maybe not flat out rude, but definitely inconsiderate.

If you don't know, it's neither rude nor inconsiderate.

However, like others have said - if you find yourself wondering if it's okay to take from the smaller portion, a thoughtful and mindful person would stop to consider why there is so much less of this thing.  A well mannered and very thoughtful person would approach the host/ess quietly and ask if there's enough to try a bit.

So, maybe not flat out rude, but thoughtless to take food clearly meant for a few particular guests when there is lots of other food you can eat and they can't.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2013, 07:47:48 AM

However, what I did see was a couple of guests (who I KNOW to be meat lovers) taking the veggie sausages because 'they just wanted to try one'. I didn't comment (because that would have been rude), but inside I was screaming 'Dude, there's a big pile of sausages that you can eat, right there. This smaller pile has to be shared between all the people who CANNOT eat the meaty sausages.'


I think you could have said something. Your problem, perhaps, was in getting mad.
If you'd been free of the desire to scream, or the anger/annoyance that fueled it, you might have said, "Why don't you wait to try it until after all the vegetarians have gotten their first serving? It doesn't look like there are very many."

But yes, I think if it's not "your" cuisine, you must wait until everybody has had their firsts.

And yes, it's poor planning, but still, it sounds like there was enough for the vegetarians. I bet the host never imagined that other people would eat that food.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 02, 2013, 07:56:57 AM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.

I don't think it is rude to take any food that is on the main table and not specifically designated for a particular group.  It is thoughtless to not let that group get their options first and then take something if there are leftovers.  And it is rude to load up (ie: take more than one serving) on anything before everyone has had a chance to get something.

If I were a vegetarian, I'd be making darn sure I was near the front of the line.  It does drive me a bit crazy that the two vegetarians in our office don't do this - and at that point, if they don't get enough food, it is kind of their own fault.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 08:03:05 AM
I would leave the limited foods in the kitchen or a 'private' place and let the vegetarians know where it is.  I'm of a mind that all of it is up for grubs if it goes on the main tables.


It would be nice for people to stop look and analyze before taking things but honestly it's a party and not a serious time.  They aren't doing it to be spiteful or deprive people of something.  It's up to the host/ess to think about logistics.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: gen xer on October 02, 2013, 08:06:27 AM
 I eat meat but there are many vegetarian dishes I enjoy too.  Honestly I would think at a buffet there is nothing off limits to anyone.  Now if it looks like something is running out then yes - it is rude to decimate the buffet.  Common courtesy requires us to be considerate of others...but it seems as though we are assuming that the guests should know and keep track of who is a strict vegetarian and how much food is left.

If there is that much of a concern that someone won't get fed then reserve a bit outside the buffet.  Other than that I think it would be a little rude to dictate who is allowed to take what.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 08:12:17 AM
I would leave the limited foods in the kitchen and let the vegetarians know where it is.  I'm of a mind that all goes if it on the main tables.


It would be nice for people to stop look and analyze before taking things but honestly it's a party and not a serious time.  They aren't doing it to be spiteful or deprive people of something.  It's up to the host/ess to think about logistics.

Oh, I agree it's not spiteful. But I do think it's thoughtless, and a little selfish.

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.

At best, you are taking a large portion of a highly limited resource for yourself, which I always thought was poor food etiquette (isn't that why we always offer others the last piece of cake, for example?), and at worst, you are depriving somebody of any cookie at all because those were the gluten-free cookies, for example.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 08:14:31 AM
I would leave the limited foods in the kitchen or a 'private' place and let the vegetarians know where it is.  I'm of a mind that all goes if it on the main tables.


It would be nice for people to stop look and analyze before taking things but honestly it's a party and not a serious time.  They aren't doing it to be spiteful or deprive people of something.  It's up to the host/ess to think about logistics.

I agree with this.

At a party of 30-35 people, most guest would not know how many vegeterians were in attendance or how many veggie dogs or burgers had been made per vegeterian. If I saw a pile of meat and believed it was more than the guests could consume, I would assume the hosts made similar over abundance of the veggie option.

I do think a considerate guest should leave items obviously designated for a certain group alone until they are sure that group has been through the buffet line. But I think that it really falls upon the hosts to make sure there is plenty of both options. With so many people looking for ways to improve nutrition, I wouldn't find it odd for someone to say "oh, I've always wanted to try eggless egg salad" or want to sample the sugar free cheesecake.

But I've heard others on this board say guests shouldn't use parties as a chance to sample new foods they don't know they like because of the risk of not eating it and having it go to waste. So I'm sure others will disagree with me since I think buffets I host are great opportunities for my guests to sample something new.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 08:21:26 AM
I would leave the limited foods in the kitchen and let the vegetarians know where it is.  I'm of a mind that all goes if it on the main tables.


It would be nice for people to stop look and analyze before taking things but honestly it's a party and not a serious time.  They aren't doing it to be spiteful or deprive people of something.  It's up to the host/ess to think about logistics.

Oh, I agree it's not spiteful. But I do think it's thoughtless, and a little selfish.

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.

At best, you are taking a large portion of a highly limited resource for yourself, which I always thought was poor food etiquette (isn't that why we always offer others the last piece of cake, for example?), and at worst, you are depriving somebody of any cookie at all because those were the gluten-free cookies, for example.


Honestly I would think the hostess had only two different sizes platters to use and not think twice.  I don't see it as selfish or thoughtless either.  It's a party and guests are there to be jolly.  It's up to the hostess to think and make sure her guests are provided for by taking extra steps such as placing the limited foods in the kitchen etc.  And back to your cookie example, who knows if the hostess still have boxes of more cookies in the kitchen as I would have. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyL on October 02, 2013, 08:31:32 AM

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.


I disagree - I think most people appreciate novelty - if the 5 cookies look like a special treat of some sort (that there may only be 5 of because they are so good, people already ate the other 45) wouldn't you want to try one? As someone who has planned events, it is just a bad idea to expect guests surveying a buffet to follow the same set of unwritten rules you had in your mind. Either put the vegetarian stuff in another location, or have enough extra veggie burgers so that if everyone wants one you can make more.

Also, my experience as a meat eater is that good vegetarian and vegan food is often WAY tastier than run-of-the-mill bbq food (i.e. burgers and dogs). There are more varied and unexpected textures, flavors, etc. - so given a choice between a well done hamburger (meh) and a veggie burger I'm going veggie burger. It's also a health consciousness thing - I know the veggie burger is going to be lean and, well, have a serving or more of veggies; if I'm not up for a salty fatty meatfest a veggie burger is my preferred option over meat.

In my family there is one vegetarian  but lots of veggie burgers because she's recommended really good ones and lots of people have tried and liked them.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: secretrebel on October 02, 2013, 08:39:03 AM
At a lot of meals I've been to the vegetarians are given the first serving of the veggie dish and then only when people are having seconds do the meat eaters get invited to try it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 08:50:07 AM

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.


I disagree - I think most people appreciate novelty - if the 5 cookies look like a special treat of some sort (that there may only be 5 of because they are so good, people already ate the other 45) wouldn't you want to try one? As someone who has planned events, it is just a bad idea to expect guests surveying a buffet to follow the same set of unwritten rules you had in your mind. Either put the vegetarian stuff in another location, or have enough extra veggie burgers so that if everyone wants one you can make more.

I suppose that I was just brought up with very strict rules regarding communal eating, which were as follows:

1) Look at the dish being served. Divide it by the number of people there. Take that amount or less until you are sure everybody has had their first helping.

2) Don't take the last of anything without offering it to others first.

3) Take only what you are sure you will eat. If you want to try something new, take a tiny helping to taste.

4) If you touch it, you take it.

So, if there were 5 cookies (and they were presented in such a way as to make it clear that there were only ever 5 of that variety, and not 5 left from a batch of 50), then even if they looked delicious, politeness would forbid me from taking one because of rules 1 and 4. A whole cookie would be too much to take for just me, and there's no way to break a piece off without leaving an unappetizing piece that I've touched.

That's quite apart from any consideration as to why a host would serve 50 of one kind and only 5 of another, which is surely the first thought that would occur to me, leading me to conclude that there was something else at play here.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 08:56:25 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 09:00:35 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 09:01:09 AM

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.


I disagree - I think most people appreciate novelty - if the 5 cookies look like a special treat of some sort (that there may only be 5 of because they are so good, people already ate the other 45) wouldn't you want to try one? As someone who has planned events, it is just a bad idea to expect guests surveying a buffet to follow the same set of unwritten rules you had in your mind. Either put the vegetarian stuff in another location, or have enough extra veggie burgers so that if everyone wants one you can make more.

I suppose that I was just brought up with very strict rules regarding communal eating, which were as follows:

1) Look at the dish being served. Divide it by the number of people there. Take that amount or less until you are sure everybody has had their first helping.

2) Don't take the last of anything without offering it to others first.

3) Take only what you are sure you will eat. If you want to try something new, take a tiny helping to taste.

4) If you touch it, you take it.

So, if there were 5 cookies (and they were presented in such a way as to make it clear that there were only ever 5 of that variety, and not 5 left from a batch of 50), then even if they looked delicious, politeness would forbid me from taking one because of rules 1 and 4. A whole cookie would be too much to take for just me, and there's no way to break a piece off without leaving an unappetizing piece that I've touched.

That's quite apart from any consideration as to why a host would serve 50 of one kind and only 5 of another, which is surely the first thought that would occur to me, leading me to conclude that there was something else at play here.


Wow that takes out all the fun of a party to have to stand there and count the guests, looks at the different dishes offered and do math.  Then on top of that, ask the person anywhere close to you if they want the last servings etc etc.  I am not trying to be snarky but it does boggle my mind.  I just take a little from each platter and carry on.  Now I won't take the last scoop, that's just me.  I leave that for others but I wouldn't offer it or even think about it, I just skip it for the next fuller platter/offering.  But that's the extent of it.  Moderation is my motto.  And as I stated earlier, as a hostess, I have doubles, triples in the kitchen waiting.  I would NOT want my guests to sit there and worry about how much to take, how much is left etc.  That's my job, please just enjoy and be merry is what I say.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Two Ravens on October 02, 2013, 09:04:49 AM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.


See, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not like meat on pizza. Never have. Why should I have to take the pizza with meat that I do want? Am I being rude by taking what I like?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 09:10:21 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 09:14:42 AM
...I suppose that I was just brought up with very strict rules regarding communal eating, which were as follows:

1) Look at the dish being served. Divide it by the number of people there. Take that amount or less until you are sure everybody has had their first helping.

2) Don't take the last of anything without offering it to others first...

By your own rules aren't you pretty much obligated to offer the veggie options to everyone?

If there are 35 guests at a party - and all guests are equal human beings - then surely by your rule #1 everyone should get a first helping opportunity at every dish.

And even if there are only 5 veggie dogs, and by the time you get to them there is only 1 left, but there are 15 people behind you line, mustn't you, by your rule #2, offer it to the others in line before taking it yourself?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Roe on October 02, 2013, 09:16:57 AM
I'm not a veggie but I prefer vegetables over meat any day of the week!  I suppose that makes me rude in the OP's eyes but if the host sets it on a buffet table, it's fair game.  Instead of being angry at the "dude" you should feel annoyed at the rude host.  The host didn't plan with her guests in mind.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Twik on October 02, 2013, 09:17:59 AM
I have to say, if it's intended that certain foods (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) are intended for part of the group, this should be made public knowledge. You'd be surprised how often Ann may say she's a vegetarian, but her coworkers don't remember that, or factor it in, when they see the nice grilled vegetable wraps.

In a reasonable sized gathering, I don't think it's rude to announce, "Ann, we have vegetarian stuff for you over here," in a voice that carries to the whole group.

It should also be part of the planning to buy more vegetarian stuff than is the minimum required to feed the vegetarians in the group. More than one non-vegetarian may prefer the mushroom and onion pizza rather than the pepperoni.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: gen xer on October 02, 2013, 09:44:39 AM
 It could just go in circles trying to defer to the next person all the time.  If I defer the last portion to be polite then is the next person expected to defer?  And on and on and on?  Who should be entitled to the last portion etc then? 

I do think it's rude to be a pig and take multiple servings of a dish before letting others have a chance....but it's a buffet.  Nobody is entitled to anything over anyone else.  You take your chances that you may not get what you want.  I have been disappointed about not getting what I want too but them's the breaks sometimes.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Psychopoesie on October 02, 2013, 09:47:00 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down.

I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Announcing that "these are veggie sausages" is not the same as saying these are for vegetarians only. Plus, if people are chatting and generally enjoying themselves at a party, they may not be paying that much attention or understand that this is what was meant by the statement.  So it's worth making it plain. I wouldn't take an item if it was clearly stated to be "for vegetarians only".

If it's a large enough buffet, it may not be obvious that there is only a small amount of one food item. Sometimes smaller serving plates of the same food are placed at different points along the table. Or food could be being brought out in batches, as it was at the bbq I attended. It can be hard to tell how many of an item there were originally if you're towards the end of the buffet line. Taking a single serve of a dish from a buffet does not strike me as greedy or selfish.

I'd usually expect the hosts to ensure enough food was provided so that everyone could at least sample each type of food on a buffet and that those on restricted diets could have a decent feed. After all, the hosts are likely the only ones who know how many of their guests have dietary restrictions.

Like some of the previous posters, I'm also not a big meat eater. If it was a choice between pepperoni or vegetable topped pizza, I'd go veg every time. There are lots of other veg based foods that are widely popular - felafels, stuffed peppers, vine leaves and more. So if there's only just enough of a particular food for vegetarian guests, it would be helpful if it wasn't served buffet style.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 09:54:24 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:00:13 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.

Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.

Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.

Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu  ;) ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

ETA: I hope the bolded doesn't mean that you think that vegetarians should just suck it up and eat meat if there's no veggie food left.  :o
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: White Lotus on October 02, 2013, 10:00:44 AM
When we bring a vegetarian entree or a not obviously veg side dish, which we often do and always offer, we also bring, for a buffet, little cards that say "vegetarian" or "vegan" and add "gluten-free" where applicable.  We find that non-veg folk often avoid those dishes first time around, and then the cards get lost or moved, and everybody dives in.  We bring a lot, because non-veg folk like our cooking, we like to demonstrate that vegetarian or vegan food is really good, and we like leftovers.  I do get sick from stealth meat, and usually rope somebody in as my "official taster".  It is a good way to strike up an acquaintance, too.  It is possible for hosts to reserve and hold back something  until all the restricted people have had a shot at it, and then set it out for everyone.  That works when quantities are limited.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Ms_Cellany on October 02, 2013, 10:01:52 AM
When I was vegetarian, and our office ordered a bazillion meat pizzas and one veggie one, I'd watch in dismay as people went, "Oh, good, veggies!  Something lighter!" It simply never entered their mind that the vegetarian would be left with nothing to eat.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:04:24 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."

To clarify, I brought them to the table, I didn't bring them to the party.

Would you still think you should take one if there were clearly fewer sausages than guests? That's the part I can't wrap my head around, I suppose. Yes, it's nice to taste all of the dishes, but if it's clearly a special dish, and there isn't enough to serve everybody, I think it's polite to pass until those who have more of a need for that dish have been served.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:06:01 AM
When I was vegetarian, and our office ordered a bazillion meat pizzas and one veggie one, I'd watch in dismay as people went, "Oh, good, veggies!  Something lighter!" It simply never entered their mind that the vegetarian would be left with nothing to eat.

That's what I mean.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 10:10:26 AM
When I was vegetarian, and our office ordered a bazillion meat pizzas and one veggie one, I'd watch in dismay as people went, "Oh, good, veggies!  Something lighter!" It simply never entered their mind that the vegetarian would be left with nothing to eat.

IMO, the answer to that (in the long term) is more veggie pizza (instead of one of the meat varieties), not that the omnivores should feel obligated to skip the veggie pizza for all time. I've been in workplaces where we quickly figured out that the majority of people simply liked veggies, even if they weren't vegetarian, and ordered correspondingly. This is not to dismiss the annoyance in the short term! Just saying that it's fixable for the next time.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Library Dragon on October 02, 2013, 10:10:47 AM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.


See, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not like meat on pizza. Never have. Why should I have to take the pizza with meat that I do want? Am I being rude by taking what I like?

POD
My favorite pizza is quattro formagi (4 cheese) or mushroom. 

I also like veggie burgers and portobello mushrooms.  There are many reasons that a smaller plate of a veggie item would be on the buffet table.  Keeping these items fresher, grilling as needed, etc.  It wouldn't automatically signal that these are all that is available unless the guests are informed of that fact. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 10:11:35 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."


Snipped:
Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.[/size]Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude. Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu   ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

To clarify, I brought them to the table, I didn't bring them to the party.

Would you still think you should take one if there were clearly fewer sausages than guests? That's the part I can't wrap my head around, I suppose. Yes, it's nice to taste all of the dishes, but if it's clearly a special dish, and there isn't enough to serve everybody, I think it's polite to pass until those who have more of a need for that dish have been served.



Your first example with the burgers, how would Bob know it's the only one?  How does he know the hostess doesn't have more?  In your second example of the sausages, again how would they know it's "clearly" special other than you announcing it's a specialty sausage and it might not be very popular so you just cooked a few but might have more on reserve in the kitchen.


In both of these examples, the limited food should be in the kitchen away from the crowd. 




Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 10:14:51 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."

To clarify, I brought them to the table, I didn't bring them to the party.

Would you still think you should take one if there were clearly fewer sausages than guests? That's the part I can't wrap my head around, I suppose. Yes, it's nice to taste all of the dishes, but if it's clearly a special dish, and there isn't enough to serve everybody, I think it's polite to pass until those who have more of a need for that dish have been served.

So who is supposed to decide who gets the "special" dish?

So there's a party of 30-35 people.
You bring a tray of 12 veggie sausages to the table and say "these are veggie sausages"
How am I supposed to know there are 6 vegetarians in the group of 30 and if I take one of the veggie sausages and a chicken leg that I'm going to leave 1 vegetarian with only 1 sausage instead of the allocated 2?

Or let's say it's 3 trays of cookies. One looks like a sugar cookie and there is about 2 dozen. Another looks like peanut butter and has a dozen and another tray is chocolate chip and there are 2 dozens. So who decides who is "special enough" to deserve on of the peanut butter cookies? Does all guests stay away from them because they might be taking something that someone else might want?

I'm mean sure, if it's a group of 5 guests and there are 4 regular burgers and one veggie burger made specifically for the vegetarian it would be rude to take it.

But for a large party of 20 or more, it's too much to expect the guests to be able to accurately guess if something is intended for a limited audience. It's up to the hosts to clarify if they mean for an item to only be consumed by that group.

Example is sugar free desserts. If I make 3 pies and 1 is sugar free, I'll state 'I made a sugar free cocunut pie for the diabetics in the group". But if I just say I made a sugar fre cocunt pie, my guests might assume I made it for anyone trying to control their sugar intake.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 10:15:53 AM
Usually, in my experience, if there's only a few of the restricted food, the host will try to discreetly get it to the person who needs it personally. At my last workplace, one woman had a gluten allergy, and we'd make sure to hand her GF food directly to her, because there wasn't enough for everyone and it didn't necessarily look special or might be tempting to others for different reasons. One example: she'd get a salad when the lunch was a platter of sandwiches, and we had to give her the salad personally, or else someone would just decide they felt like salad that day (even though the sandwich platter had been planned and agreed on by all) and wouldn't realize there was only the one. Another example: we got GF cinnamon rolls for a breakfast, and had to get them to her personally because, well, they just looked like cinnamon rolls and not very different from the other cinnamon rolls.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 10:18:20 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.

Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.

Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.

Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu  ;) ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:19:47 AM
Well, my example was a hypothetical, in which Bob and Ann are the only people there and those two burgers are the only food provided.

At most parties I go to, it's a given that there are fewer veggie main dishes than meat main dishes. Like I said, I don't like that setup, but that appears to be how it is. Absolutely the solution is for there to be enough of everything for everyone to take as much as they want, but I can see why hosts don't want to do that, because it's going to lead to a hell of a lot of leftovers and possible food wastage, plus it's expensive!

Unfortunately, what that means in my neck of the woods is that the hosts budget for less of the 'speciality' food and more of the 'regular' food. What this ends up meaning is that those who need to eat the speciality food don't get quite enough, because it's eaten up by people who could have chosen from another dish.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 10:22:55 AM
I'm mean sure, if it's a group of 5 guests and there are 4 regular burgers and one veggie burger made specifically for the vegetarian it would be rude to take it.

But for a large party of 20 or more, it's too much to expect the guests to be able to accurately guess if something is intended for a limited audience. It's up to the hosts to clarify if they mean for an item to only be consumed by that group.

Yeah, in a really small and close-knit group, people might know each other's dietary quirks really well; for example, growing up, one of my sisters despised nuts and all sauces. So we all knew who the naked pasta was for (she loved this, with a bit of parmesan), and if a muffin was off to the side, we knew it was the nutless one. But in a larger group, I don't expect people to know everyone else's restrictions.

Well, my example was a hypothetical, in which Bob and Ann are the only people there and those two burgers are the only food provided.

Well, if there are only two people there, and Bob knows Ann is a vegetarian, I get it. But in a big party, I don't expect Bob to know that Ann is a vegetarian and Beth has celiac and Chris is allergic to shellfish and Dan can't have nuts and Elizabeth keeps kosher.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:24:18 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.

Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.

Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.

Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu  ;) ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I just can't get behind that viewpoint at all. Ann, a vegetarian, should eat the meat because Bob prefers the taste of the veggie burger?

What if it was a bacon sandwich and a turkey sandwich? Jill prefers turkey, but Jane is Jewish and will only eat the turkey. But, after all, Jewish people can eat bacon, they just opt not to, so Jill should feel free to take the turkey sandwich and Jane should suck it up and eat the bacon?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 10:24:56 AM
...Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat...

 ...I hope the bolded doesn't mean that you think that vegetarians should just suck it up and eat meat if there's no veggie food left.  :o

No I mean many vegetarians made a choice to reduce what they would willingly eat. And that choice has the consequence they will not have as many options - that consequence is what they signed up for and they should be the ones to suffer less options, not people who did not make the choice to limit themselves.

Its like limiting anything else. If I chose to only go to rock concerts and never pop music or classical or folk or jazz, I should not get dibs on rock concert tickets just because other people can or will go to other types of music. If I choose to only wear 100% wool sweaters and never acrylic or cotton or cashmere I should not first shot at all wool sweaters simply because I choose to limit myself. Limiting what you eat does not mean you should get first shot at what is available to everyone, it means you need to plan around your own restrictions and sometimes you will not get what you want because there simply isn't enough to go around.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 02, 2013, 10:26:12 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."

To clarify, I brought them to the table, I didn't bring them to the party.

Would you still think you should take one if there were clearly fewer sausages than guests? That's the part I can't wrap my head around, I suppose. Yes, it's nice to taste all of the dishes, but if it's clearly a special dish, and there isn't enough to serve everybody, I think it's polite to pass until those who have more of a need for that dish have been served.

Yeah, actually I would. 

At the kind of party you describe I would have no idea if those were the only veggie sausages, or if they were the "first wave" of veggie sausages (my experience with BBQs is that there is a constant wave of stuff being put on the grill, and finished stuff coming off of the grill and being moved to the table)

Also, I don't keep track of other people's diets/food needs if I am not the host.  Because it is simply not my business or my problem.  If someone needs those veggie sausages, then it is on them to make their needs known, and not to expect the other guests to be mind-readers.  Look... if you sit silently by and internally seethe that "meat-eaters" are eating the "veggie" option, but don't actually say anything... that is kind of your problem.

If the host has some "special" dishes that should be set aside for only a select sub-group of guests, then it is up to the hosts to make sure that those guests get those dishes.  Either by clearly labeling those dishes as "For X-group only" or by physically offering those dishes to the X-group members first.  Putting a tray on the table and simply making an announcement (that guests may not hear or pay attention to) doesn't really cut it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:34:37 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: flickan on October 02, 2013, 10:36:10 AM
All of these replies and the debate have definitely made me feel better about the way I host when it comes to food restrictions.

I always base meals around the common denominator.  That means that if I have 6 people coming to dinner and 1 is a vegetarian then the majority of dishes can be enjoyed by both, aka it's mostly meat-free.  I believe this is the best solution because omnivores don't have to eat meat.  That means cooking with vegetable broth, oils and butter instead of animal fat, and adding a vegetarian friendly protein in enough quantities for everyone.  I love meat but I don't miss it if the food is a complete meal on it's own.   

I don't host often but I've yet to hear a complaint.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:39:00 AM
All of these replies and the debate have definitely made me feel better about the way I host when it comes to food restrictions.

I always base meals around the common denominator.  That means that if I have 6 people coming to dinner and 1 is a vegetarian then the majority of dishes can be enjoyed by both, aka it's mostly meat-free.  I believe this is the best solution because omnivores don't have to eat meat.  That means cooking with vegetable broth, oils and butter instead of animal fat, and adding a vegetarian friendly protein in enough quantities for everyone.  I love meat but I don't miss it if the food is a complete meal on it's own.   

I don't host often but I've yet to hear a complaint.

When I ate meat, that's how I would do it as well. Of course, the solution is to host as you do, and have enough veggie options available that everybody can make a decent meal out of them if they so choose, but that often isn't the case.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 10:39:20 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?

Well, in my experience, at a potluck, there isn't necessarily an expectation that everyone will get every thing anyway--everything is too small to feed every guest unless they only take small samples. Like, if there are 50 people there, each person won't have brought a dish for 50, they'll have brought maybe a dish for 10-15 or so, because otherwise there's way too much food. Family style, you're probably close enough (if not in relationship, at least in proximity because you're all sitting around a manageably-sized table) that you can talk about the dish's purpose.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MrTango on October 02, 2013, 10:40:38 AM
Also, I don't keep track of other people's diets/food needs if I am not the host.  Because it is simply not my business or my problem.  If someone needs those veggie sausages, then it is on them to make their needs known, and not to expect the other guests to be mind-readers.  Look... if you sit silently by and internally seethe that "meat-eaters" are eating the "veggie" option, but don't actually say anything... that is kind of your problem.

If the host has some "special" dishes that should be set aside for only a select sub-group of guests, then it is up to the hosts to make sure that those guests get those dishes.  Either by clearly labeling those dishes as "For X-group only" or by physically offering those dishes to the X-group members first.  Putting a tray on the table and simply making an announcement (that guests may not hear or pay attention to) doesn't really cut it.

Agreed. At a buffet, it's not the guest's responsibility to know what others' preferences are.  Certainly, a guest should exercise some self control to take reasonable portion sizes, but if it's on the buffet, there's no way for the guests to know that it's "reserved" for people with dietary restrictions.

It's the host's responsibility to ensure that their guests have enough food to eat, and if there are people with dietary restrictions, the host needs to make arrangements to ensure that those people get adequate meals.  Simply putting those special dishes on the buffet (even if labelled as vegitarian, GF, or whatever) is not enough.

Of course, the solution is to host as you do, and have enough veggie options available that everybody can make a decent meal out of them if they so choose, but that often isn't the case.

Now, this, I agree with, especially the bolded.  In those situations, however, the responsibility lies with the host, not the guests.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 02, 2013, 10:41:11 AM
I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

As a vegetarian, I respectfully disagree with the bolded. Some people just don't notice those types of things, don't think things through fully, assume there is more food in the kitchen, whatever - I don't think any of those thoughts or assumptions are rude.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: redboothe on October 02, 2013, 10:43:28 AM
I'm with those that say yes, it would be okay, as long as no special mention had been made of who the dish was for.

For example I have Type-1 diabetes and so the carbs I can safely eat are limited. At holiday meals, in addition to things like mashed potatoes and regular dessert we usually have lower carb options (mashed cauliflower, sugar free low carb baking etc). If someone else chooses to eat those things, as they often do, that is not rude - maybe other people are trying to lower their carb intake (without identifying as "low carb") etc - who am I to judge?

What would be rude is if someone brought a very limited portion of a low-carb dish to the table and said "Here's some mashed cauliflower for the diabetics" and someone who was non-diabetic took a large helping before the diabetics did.

I think part of the issue people are having Teeny is with the idea of self-identification and blame. First of all, people feel like the "rudeness" in your scenario traces back to the host for failing to provide for their guests, not to the guest themselves. Also, in this example "Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway" Ann identifies as vegetarian but Bob "doesn't really eat that much meat" but doesn't call himself a vegetarian. It seems unfair to call him rude because he hasn't applied the same label to himself as Ann, even if his eating habits and choices are similar.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Twik on October 02, 2013, 10:45:00 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Roe on October 02, 2013, 10:45:26 AM
If it matters, I brought the veggie sausages to the table at this gathering, and loudly annouced 'these are the veggie sausages' as I put them down. I think if you have to 'hope there's enough' for others after you take one of something, then that's a sign that you should be thinking more deeply about why there is a smaller amount of that particular item. Maybe there's more on the way, maybe that item was intended for a group of people on a restricted diet (e.g. that's the dairy-free ice cream), but I think it's polite just to give a little bit of thought to the question.

Teeny, if I had been a guest and a person brought something to the table and announced "here's something different that I brought" and just put them down, I would think they were everyone to sample them.   

If you meant them to be for the vegetarains, then I think you should have said "I brought these veggie sausages for the vegetarians."

To clarify, I brought them to the table, I didn't bring them to the party.

Would you still think you should take one if there were clearly fewer sausages than guests? That's the part I can't wrap my head around, I suppose. Yes, it's nice to taste all of the dishes, but if it's clearly a special dish, and there isn't enough to serve everybody, I think it's polite to pass until those who have more of a need for that dish have been served.

You did bring them to the party.  Just because you set them down at the table doesn't mean you didn't bring it as part of the buffet.  Plus, your announcement would make me think you meant to share the food with all, not say "it's only for veggies." 

More of a need? How in the world am I supposed to know who has more of a need? That's not my business as a party guest. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 10:47:27 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 02, 2013, 10:48:15 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?

I stand by my previous response. 

If there isn't enough of the "special" dish for everyone, then it is up to the host to make sure that the "special" people get to the "special" dish first.  And if they do not do so, and if the "special" people do not speak up about their needs, then I do not this that it is at all rude to dig in to the "special" dish.  Because at that point, no one knows that the dish is in any way "special".
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:50:26 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2013, 10:54:07 AM
The thing is, the vast number of dishes that could be eaten by vegetarians are not made or ordered for vegetarians at the gatherings I go to.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 10:55:21 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

It's not rude to prefer veggie burgers, but if there are clearly 5 veggie burgers and 25 guests, I think it's more considerate for the meat eaters to take from other dishes until the veggies have had a chance to take their first serving.

ETA: I'm not saying don't take from the 'special' dishes, just to hang back from taking from them until the crowd that can only eat those dishes has had an opportunity to serve themselves.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 10:55:36 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

But the point others are making is just because one choice is nicer, doesn't mean the other choice is rude.

If I get to "seat yourself" performance first and choose the best seat in the house, and then someone comes later and is shorter then me, it would be nice for me to move and give them my spot, but its not rude for me not to.
If I bring my lunch to work and pack a bunch of awesome home made cookies for myself as dessert its nice for me to share but not rude if I eat my lunch and don't share.
Etc.
Being nice is great, but its not the exact same thing as being polite.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 10:55:51 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.


Then it would be well known that people tend to prefer the veggie options despite it not being for them.  As a hostess you have two options, have more of the veggie options OR place the veggie option in the kitchen and tell the well known veggies where it is.  After they are done with it, then bring it out.


These are the politest two ways of doing it without trying to make a spectacle of themselves by announcing it's only for X group or hoping that people will go and find the well known 4 or 5 veggies and ask if they are done.  In fact as a veggie, I would feel uncomfortable and even if I was NOT done, I would tell them of course go ahead.  So it's a moot point really.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Knitterly on October 02, 2013, 10:57:09 AM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.

Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.

Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.

Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu  ;) ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

Your post equates vegetarianism with pickiness.  That actually upsets me a bit as a vegetarian.

It's not pickiness.  It's a lifestyle choice which is comprised of many factors.  For me, it is a combination of health and ethical reasons.  It's not pickiness.  I'm not a pain in the butt about my vegetarianism.  I cook meat for my husband and daughter.  I abstain from eating it.  I suffer from several health problems and abstaining from meat helps control those problems as an unintended side effect of what was initially purely an ethical choice for myself.  For some people, the ethics of vegetarianism is such a strong motivator as to be religious.  Some choose vegetarianism for religious reasons (many hindus and buddhists, for example, choose to eat vegetarian).  Some choose it out of such a strong moral objection to the meat industry that it becomes a spiritual or religious-like motivation. 

Pickiness is very different.  Pickiness is "I won't eat meat because it's gross.".  Meat isn't gross.  It's very very tasty.  Most of the vegetarians I know recognize that it looks and smells and tastes yummy.  Sometimes I miss it.  Most vegetarians do it for a combination of health and ethical reasons (watch Food Inc if you wonder what I mean by "ethical reasons").  They don't do it to be snobby, a pain in the bum, or picky.  There are some who are vegetarians because it's cool and trendy.  I know lots of vegetarians and (thankfully) don't know anyone who does it to be trendy.  It's actually a pretty significant lifestyle choice and takes a lot of commitment and motivation to stick to.  Because, frankly, meat is yummy and smells really good!!

Let's pretend that we're not talking about tofu.  Let's pretend that we're talking about halal or kosher chicken dogs in a room where there are 3 people who cannot eat beef for religious reasons.  There is a big plate of beef hotdogs and a small plate of 6 chicken hotdogs.  There are enough for 2 hotdogs for everyone.  The beef-eaters choose the chicken dogs because they are super yummy.  This leaves one hotdog each for the 3 people who abstain from beef for religious reasons.

Two of the beefeaters who took a chicken dog know that there are people who choose to abstain from beef in attendance.  One of the beefeaters does not know.

The beefeaters who know about the non-beefeaters may nto be outright rude, but they are definitely being extremely inconsiderate.  The one who does NOT know why there are chicken dogs is being neither rude nor inconsiderate.

However, in an ideal, polite society, everyone at the party (whether they know about the non-beefeaters or not) would look at the big plate of beef dogs and the small plate of chicken dogs and make the logical, thoughtful conclusion that those chicken dogs are probably for someone specific.  In their uncertainty, perfectly polite folks would ask.

Of course, the solution is to host as you do, and have enough veggie options available that everybody can make a decent meal out of them if they so choose, but that often isn't the case.

Now, this, I agree with, especially the bolded.  In those situations, however, the responsibility lies with the host, not the guests.

It has been my experience that if you're hosting for 20 people and only 5 are vegetarians, offering enough veggie options for 20 people to make a decent meal out of them virtually guarantees a HUGE quantity of leftovers.

I often make the mistake of doing this and always end up with a fridge full of leftovers that start to spoil before I can finish it all.

It's certainly ideal to do so, but if previous experience has taught a host that "this is how much vegetarian food typically gets eaten", providing slightly more than that amount ought to be sufficient.  If providing slightly more than usually gets eaten ends up not being enough, the host/ess hasn't been a bad host/ess or shirked their responsibility to the guests.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 02, 2013, 10:58:01 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?

Yes.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 02, 2013, 11:01:41 AM
That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

Teenyweeny, you seem quite insistent that the other guests were rude. Are you just seeking validation?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 11:02:09 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

But the point others are making is just because one choice is nicer, doesn't mean the other choice is rude.

If I get to "seat yourself" performance first and choose the best seat in the house, and then someone comes later and is shorter then me, it would be nice for me to move and give them my spot, but its not rude for me not to.
If I bring my lunch to work and pack a bunch of awesome home made cookies for myself as dessert its nice for me to share but not rude if I eat my lunch and don't share.
Etc.
Being nice is great, but its not the exact same thing as being polite.

Well, in the theatre example, you've paid for the seat and gone out of your way to get there early. It's a business transaction, not a hosted event, so I think your obligations to others become different. Like, it's not rude for me to buy the last iPhone in the shop, because I'm buying it, with my money, fair and square.

Similarly, there's no expectation (by most reasonable people) that you would share your packed lunch. In a communal eating situation, the whole point is that the food is shared. The whole nature of the scenario is different.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Library Dragon on October 02, 2013, 11:03:44 AM
The obligation is still on the host, not the guests.  When I host dinner knowing there are vegetarians I don't make a smaller amount of food for the vegetarians.  I make a large amount of a dish they can eat.  Spinach risotto is often my favorite option.  A guest may have never had risotto before and say, "Oh, I want to try that."  It is on me as the hostess to plan enough for everyone, not chance that a guest won't have enough food. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: GreenHall on October 02, 2013, 11:03:51 AM
When I was vegetarian, and our office ordered a bazillion meat pizzas and one veggie one, I'd watch in dismay as people went, "Oh, good, veggies!  Something lighter!" It simply never entered their mind that the vegetarian would be left with nothing to eat.

I feel bad knowing I haven't gotten to the end of the thread, but I keep seeing Pizza stories pop up here.  The above is one situation, but from what I've seen with my vegetarian relatives, even more common is - each person/family orders the pizza(s) they want, but the serving winds up buffet-ish.  And many of the people who ordered meat pizzas for themselves, decide the cheese or veggie looks good too.  And take some.  And have leftover meat pizza, while the vegetarians may or may not even get a meal's worth.  I try to be mindful of this when I'm in groups ordering, and suggest any extra pizzas be either veggie, or plain cheese.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 11:04:32 AM
That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

Teenyweeny, you seem quite insistent that the other guests were rude. Are you just seeking validation?

No, I just wanted viewpoints. I actually have moved from thinking them rude to thinking them inconsiderate, because now I see how much people just don't think of these things.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 11:05:52 AM
The obligation is still on the host, not the guests.  When I host dinner knowing there are vegetarians I don't make a smaller amount of food for the vegetarians.  I make a large amount of a dish they can eat.  Spinach risotto is often my favorite option.  A guest may have never had risotto before and say, "Oh, I want to try that."  It is on me as the hostess to plan enough for everyone, not chance that a guest won't have enough food.

Oh, absolutely, having plentiful food is the ideal solution. But where this is not the case....?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: redboothe on October 02, 2013, 11:06:07 AM
Again, I think the problem is with the self-identification. Ann calls herself a vegetarian, Bob eats very little meat but doesn't call himself one. But what if he only eats meat that is raised in a certain way that meets his ethical guidelines? what if he only eats certain types of meat? What if he has a health problem that prevents him from eating meat most of the time but he "cheats" once and a while when it's something so delicious he is willing to deal with the side-effects?

I think the rude thing in this scenario is judging other people's actions and food choices without knowing their reasoning and assuming the worst of them because of it.

People have lots of their own rules and reasons about what they eat and why - no one's needs should be placed above anyone else's. If there is a food available in a limited quantity for a specific group - this should be announced and respected. If it's not announced? Fair game
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Library Dragon on October 02, 2013, 11:07:40 AM
The obligation is still on the host, not the guests.  When I host dinner knowing there are vegetarians I don't make a smaller amount of food for the vegetarians.  I make a large amount of a dish they can eat.  Spinach risotto is often my favorite option.  A guest may have never had risotto before and say, "Oh, I want to try that."  It is on me as the hostess to plan enough for everyone, not chance that a guest won't have enough food.

Oh, absolutely, having plentiful food is the ideal solution. But where this is not the case....?

Then in it's still on the host to announce/serve in a manner that allows those with food restrictions to have a chance to eat.  Not the other guests.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 02, 2013, 11:08:00 AM
That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

Teenyweeny, you seem quite insistent that the other guests were rude. Are you just seeking validation?

No, I just wanted viewpoints. I actually have moved from thinking them rude to thinking them inconsiderate, because now I see how much people just don't think of these things.

Ah, now I understand. Thank you for explaining.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sophia on October 02, 2013, 11:13:21 AM
I've seen the reverse.  The "vegetarians" eating the meat and the veggie options being the leftovers. 
But, I think if you can only eat less than 50% of the offerings in a buffet you should make sure that you are near the front of the line. 

note: I'm not saying anything about real vegetarians.  Just the ones that think they shouldn't eat meat because they are dieting.  But, then see the pretty meat.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 11:13:34 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

It's not rude to prefer veggie burgers, but if there are clearly 5 veggie burgers and 25 guests, I think it's more considerate for the meat eaters to take from other dishes until the veggies have had a chance to take their first serving.

ETA: I'm not saying don't take from the 'special' dishes, just to hang back from taking from them until the crowd that can only eat those dishes has had an opportunity to serve themselves.

If there are 5 veggie burgers for a group of 25 guests and there are 5 "Known" vegetarians in the group then it is doubly the repsonsibility of the host to specify "I made these 5 burgers for Sue, Ann, Tarrence, Carlos, and Emily." Honetstly, I don't keep track of my friend's eating habits enough to track when one is eating a certain way or not.

Sure, if I'm at this party and I see a plate of 20 meat burgers and 5 portobello mushrooms, I'm going to ask if the mushrooms are for specific people. But really, I'd see this as very poor planning on the part of the host. Because obviously at least one of the guests who they designated a "meat eater" (me) is interested in a non-meat option.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Kari on October 02, 2013, 11:18:45 AM
If the host does not place restrictions on the buffet selection, it is not rude for guests to help themselves according to their preferences. If only a few veggie options are present, I think a good host would alert the vegetarians first as to when the food is out to make sure they get the stuff they can eat. But if preferences aren't known, I can see how this would be problematic.

One thing to think about: not every meat eater may be able to go with the meat option. If it's beef burgers vs. veggie burgers, and my doctor told me to cut beef out of my diet, would I be rude for taking the veggie burger? Theorectically I could eat it, but I don't want to. Maybe the meateater  has a touchy stomach that day, or gave it up for Lent.  Maybe he or she wants something less filling. Who knows? But a meateater should not be painted the villain for selecting the veggie options when they're put out for everybody.

I don't blame vegetarians for being upset over this, though. It's gotta be tought to show up to a picnic hungry, see that --finally-- Aunt Ida managed to make her potato salad without bacon this year and by the time you get to the front of the line, the only options left contain meat. I'm trying to think of a good solution from an etiquette standpoint, because I don't think a good solution is to tell off a meateater for not eating the meat option, because there could be reasons why that's not appealing at the time.

Personally, I think we've come to the point where vegetarian options shouldn't be considered exotic food - it would be nice if hosts could do as someone mentioned earlier in the office pizza scenario and order more veggie options for everyone.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Figgie on October 02, 2013, 11:18:56 AM
I just ask people to let the vegetarians/people who are gluten free etc. make their choices of the speciality food I've prepared first.  It's an easy enough announcement to make, as I do it at the same time I announce that everyone can start eating.

I have nice little porcelain place cards that I label with the type of food, so people are aware that it is gluten free, vegan or vegetarian.  I've never had a problem and people have been fine with it. 

My experience has been that as long as people know this, they will honor that request.  Probably because I don't invite the kind of people who would be so rude as to take vegetarian food before the vegetarians have had a chance to make their choices.

What I don't do is assume that people can read my mind and somehow magically know that any specific food on a buffet is somehow reserved for other people.  :)

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 11:19:49 AM
Ok, so let's change it up a bit because I think the buffet aspect of the thing is becoming a red herring, because some people are mentioning that in their experience they would expect a food that had run out would be replenished.

Say you are eating 'family style' or 'potluck-style', (i.e. there is a buffet of sorts but no expectation that the food will be replenished, what you see on the table is what is available), is it still ok to take from a 'special' dish that clearly will not serve everybody there?


You can come up with 101 scenarios but the results are the same.  People in general aren't trying to deprive others of certain foods on purpose.  They aren't rude for preferring the "special" dish over the main dish being offered.  The only way they will be rude if the hostess makes the entire room silent and announces, "Please do NOT take from this platter if you aren't (insert type here)."   Or if there is a clearly marked sign, "DO NOT TAKE IF YOU AREN"T THIS TYPE".

It's not rude to prefer veggie burgers, but if there are clearly 5 veggie burgers and 25 guests, I think it's more considerate for the meat eaters to take from other dishes until the veggies have had a chance to take their first serving.

ETA: I'm not saying don't take from the 'special' dishes, just to hang back from taking from them until the crowd that can only eat those dishes has had an opportunity to serve themselves.

If there are 5 veggie burgers for a group of 25 guests and there are 5 "Known" vegetarians in the group then it is doubly the repsonsibility of the host to specify "I made these 5 burgers for Sue, Ann, Tarrence, Carlos, and Emily." Honetstly, I don't keep track of my friend's eating habits enough to track when one is eating a certain way or not.

Sure, if I'm at this party and I see a plate of 20 meat burgers and 5 portobello mushrooms, I'm going to ask if the mushrooms are for specific people. But really, I'd see this as very poor planning on the part of the host. Because obviously at least one of the guests who they designated a "meat eater" (me) is interested in a non-meat option.

And grilled portobellos are AMAZING, says this omnivore.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 02, 2013, 11:20:34 AM
The obligation is still on the host, not the guests.  When I host dinner knowing there are vegetarians I don't make a smaller amount of food for the vegetarians.  I make a large amount of a dish they can eat.  Spinach risotto is often my favorite option.  A guest may have never had risotto before and say, "Oh, I want to try that."  It is on me as the hostess to plan enough for everyone, not chance that a guest won't have enough food.

Oh, absolutely, having plentiful food is the ideal solution. But where this is not the case....?

Then in it's still on the host to announce/serve in a manner that allows those with food restrictions to have a chance to eat.  Not the other guests.

It is also on the guests with the food restrictions to stand up for themselves and their needs. 

I really can't even call the omnivores inconsiderate if the vegetarian just stands there while they help themselves to the veggie hot dogs and says/does nothing.  It may not be precisely PA, but a refusal to take responsibility for your own needs is... something...
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 11:25:40 AM
Let's express it in a different way, and I think we'll get more buy-in. If you know there are vegetarians in the group, it is considerate to avoid the vegetarian options until you are sure that they have had enough (at least one serving).

If you are unaware that a specific dish is there because it's all one person can eat, and no one tells you that until you've eaten most of it, it's not really your fault, but the fault of the organizer.

That's what I'm saying. If it is known that there are vegetarians at this party (and in every circle that I move in, it's a near certainty that there will be at least a handful), then it would be nicer if people avoided the more limited veggie options until everybody had had a chance to take their first serving.

Certainly at this particular party, it was known that there were at least 4-5 veggies.

But the point others are making is just because one choice is nicer, doesn't mean the other choice is rude.

If I get to "seat yourself" performance first and choose the best seat in the house, and then someone comes later and is shorter then me, it would be nice for me to move and give them my spot, but its not rude for me not to.
If I bring my lunch to work and pack a bunch of awesome home made cookies for myself as dessert its nice for me to share but not rude if I eat my lunch and don't share.
Etc.
Being nice is great, but its not the exact same thing as being polite.

Well, in the theatre example, you've paid for the seat and gone out of your way to get there early. It's a business transaction, not a hosted event, so I think your obligations to others become different. Like, it's not rude for me to buy the last iPhone in the shop, because I'm buying it, with my money, fair and square.

Similarly, there's no expectation (by most reasonable people) that you would share your packed lunch. In a communal eating situation, the whole point is that the food is shared. The whole nature of the scenario is different.

I didn't say a paid performance. It could mean free theater in the park, or a street performer, or story time at the library.
The point is, just because it might be nice to do something doesn't mean its rude to not do it.


Knitterly just wrote  a whole long thing about ethics and eating.
Well I do eat meat. But I choose what meats to eat based largely on ethics and on health issues. I eat venison my husband and or one of his friends shot, but grain-fed beef is not something I choose to eat. I recently went camping with a group and specifically brought free range, nitrate free chicken dogs because I'm pregnant and while I always tried to avoid nitrates, now that I'm pregnant I absolutely unconditionally avoid them - and when the chicken dogs ran out (because they were awesome and delicious and plenty of people who could eat regular dogs simply preferred them) I didn't pout, I dealt with the situation. In fact I was happy to have exposed a new and awesome food to people who were used to regular hot dogs.

The thing is I don't necessarily voice all my reasons behind my food choices. I'm not going to say I'm a vegetarian because I'm not, but I am not willing to eat all meat choices out there. I don't like to casually talk about my ethical reasons behind my food choices. I simply make my choices, sometimes missing out, and deal with it. Because they are my choices, and any consequences should be mine to suffer.

I make my personal limitations my issue to deal with. I don't expect others to cater to my quirks - they are mine. And while I feel very strongly about them, I recognize they are mine, and mine alone to manage. And I expect every other person out there who make personal choices about their food (whether they make the choices based on religion, or ethics, or whims) to do the same.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Kimberami on October 02, 2013, 11:25:58 AM
This has been food for thought.  We'll be going to a huge family Christmas party, and several people have dietary restrictions.  Making tags ("Vegan" "Nut Free" "Gluten Free") is a great idea!  Thank you.  :)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 11:28:38 AM
However, in an ideal, polite society, everyone at the party (whether they know about the non-beefeaters or not) would look at the big plate of beef dogs and the small plate of chicken dogs and make the logical, thoughtful conclusion that those chicken dogs are probably for someone specific.  In their uncertainty, perfectly polite folks would ask.

How does anyone know who those specific people are though? If someone prefers to not eat beef aren't they part of that specific group? How are they to know that their preference (whether its a general preference or just what they prefer at that moment) wasn't the one one being catered too?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 02, 2013, 11:30:02 AM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2013, 11:30:28 AM
...Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat...

 ...I hope the bolded doesn't mean that you think that vegetarians should just suck it up and eat meat if there's no veggie food left.  :o

No I mean many vegetarians made a choice to reduce what they would willingly eat. And that choice has the consequence they will not have as many options - that consequence is what they signed up for and they should be the ones to suffer less options, not people who did not make the choice to limit themselves.

Its like limiting anything else. If I chose to only go to rock concerts and never pop music or classical or folk or jazz, I should not get dibs on rock concert tickets just because other people can or will go to other types of music. If I choose to only wear 100% wool sweaters and never acrylic or cotton or cashmere I should not first shot at all wool sweaters simply because I choose to limit myself. Limiting what you eat does not mean you should get first shot at what is available to everyone, it means you need to plan around your own restrictions and sometimes you will not get what you want because there simply isn't enough to go around.

This. And changing the scenario will not change my answer. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2013, 11:30:32 AM
I'm of the opinion that any and all food on a buffet is part of the buffet and that what one chooses to put on their plate from that buffet line is no one else's business.

I'm also of the opinion that if there is a small minority of guests (or just one guest) with a dietary restriction that requires a special meal, that person's meal should be given directly to them by the host or they should be the first through the buffet line.

I agree 100% with this. If it's on the buffet line, it's up for grabs. If you don't want it to be up for grabs, don't put it on the buffet line. Put it aside somewhere and let the specific people who you want to eat it know where it is.

To me, the rudeness is to bring a dish and then announce that only certain people can eat it. That would make me want to take some all the more!

Honestly, it's just as rude to say that omnivores shouldn't eat the vegetables as it would be to insist that vegetarians eat the meat. I like all kinds of foods. And although I love meat, I also don't want to eat a ton of it at one sitting. So I take a little of lots of different dishes. I don't want to be told to pile up on the meat so that the vegetarians can have the veggies.

Bottom line: either bring enough for everyone or don't give everyone access to it.

I understand TeenyWeeny's complaint. And I can see how frustrating it would be to miss out on the only things you can eat simply because the people who could eat other things ate all the stuff that I could eat. But I think the fault lies with those who are doing the supplying, not those who are doing the eating.

And that's why I say, if the food is for a certain group only, it should not be on the public table. Whether that's a buffet or pot luck or formal dinner or whatever. It should be set aside and not offered to the whole group.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 11:30:55 AM
However, in an ideal, polite society, everyone at the party (whether they know about the non-beefeaters or not) would look at the big plate of beef dogs and the small plate of chicken dogs and make the logical, thoughtful conclusion that those chicken dogs are probably for someone specific.  In their uncertainty, perfectly polite folks would ask.

How does anyone know who those specific people are though? If someone prefers to not eat beef aren't they part of that specific group? How are they to know that their preference (whether its a general preference or just what they prefer at that moment) wasn't the one one being catered too?


The host/ess knows.  And he or she should make the arrangements clearly.  That's an ideal and polite party.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sharnita on October 02, 2013, 11:32:32 AM
As far as there only being 5 veggie burgers, IME it is entirely possible another 5 just haven't been cooked yet because nobody was sure of demand. If the first  5 are consumed more are cooked up.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 02, 2013, 11:32:50 AM
I believe people should eat the food they find delicious. As a vegan, I share my favorite foods with my omnivore friends in the hopes that they will enjoy it. I don't fault omnivores for trying veg food, in fact, I think it's part of the fun of potlucks and parties. And I don't expect others to have to keep track of who eats what. As a hostess, I don't want my guests to worry about those things, that's my job! I just want them to relax, have fun, try new foods, meet new people and have a great time.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2013, 11:36:23 AM
To me, the rudeness is to bring a dish and then announce that only certain people can eat it. That would make me want to take some all the more!


If a host told me this - or a guest confronted me about food choices- I'd simply leave. I don't need to be at a place where I am not welcome, and having two tiers of hospitality means that one group is at the very least more welcome than the other.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 11:37:32 AM
 Besides, a true vegan/vegetarian wants omnivores to enjoy the veggies types foods in hope they will swear off meats, right?  >:D
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 11:37:57 AM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Queen of Clubs on October 02, 2013, 11:43:28 AM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Knitterly on October 02, 2013, 11:45:03 AM
However, in an ideal, polite society, everyone at the party (whether they know about the non-beefeaters or not) would look at the big plate of beef dogs and the small plate of chicken dogs and make the logical, thoughtful conclusion that those chicken dogs are probably for someone specific.  In their uncertainty, perfectly polite folks would ask.

How does anyone know who those specific people are though? If someone prefers to not eat beef aren't they part of that specific group? How are they to know that their preference (whether its a general preference or just what they prefer at that moment) wasn't the one one being catered too?

You missed the part of my post where I said:
Let's pretend that we're not talking about tofu.  Let's pretend that we're talking about halal or kosher chicken dogs in a room where there are 3 people who cannot eat beef for religious reasons.  There is a big plate of beef hotdogs and a small plate of 6 chicken hotdogs.  There are enough for 2 hotdogs for everyone.  The beef-eaters choose the chicken dogs because they are super yummy.  This leaves one hotdog each for the 3 people who abstain from beef for religious reasons.

Two of the beefeaters who took a chicken dog know that there are people who choose to abstain from beef in attendance.  One of the beefeaters does not know.

The beefeaters who know about the non-beefeaters may nto be outright rude, but they are definitely being extremely inconsiderate.  The one who does NOT know why there are chicken dogs is being neither rude nor inconsiderate.

It was a long post, and that part was probably easily lost in the wall of words - I tend to ramble sometimes. ;)

So if you don't know that there are vegetarians present and you eat the yummy vegetarian dish because it's yummy, you're neither rude nor inconsiderate.  If you notice that it is a specifically vegetarian main dish and there is less of that main dish than of the other main dishes, AND it's a main dish that's comparable to the non-veggie main dishes (ie veggie dogs or veggie burgers when there are loads more regular dogs and burgers), it would be more considerate to stop and thing about whether this is meant for someone specific, and maybe do a quick check.

But if you really don't know or didn't realize that any of your friends are vegetarian (lots of us like to keep it low key to avoid the preachy feeling that comes with explaining our choice and avoid coming off as snobby or 'picky' as you earlier mentioned), if you really thought this was just something different that the host/ess has offered, and/or if it really didn't occur to you that this might be a main dish for a specific small group, you're neither rude nor inconsiderate.

It seemed to me in the original post that the person who took the veggie option did know.  That may not be rude, but it is pretty inconsiderate.  It's a subtle difference.

Also, it seems likely to me that at a party of 20-30 guests, most people are going to know each other.  I know I can easily pack my house full of 30 people who all know each other to some degree or another.  :)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: snowdragon on October 02, 2013, 11:50:18 AM
Even if someone knows,,,it's not rude or inconsiderate...you don't know why they are taking it. There could be any number of reasons, if vegetarians don't want to be judged for their choices, they need not to judge others, even if the other's choices is inconvenient for someone, IMHO.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2013, 11:53:31 AM
If I am making food that is for someone with a dietary restriction, I either make enough for everyone to share or I serve it specifically to them.  Putting it out as a self serve or just identifying it as something that would satisfy that restriction doesn't mean others won't want to eat it or recognize that they aren't meant to eat it.

We had a large Indian buffet for my sister's graduation/family reunion and exactly one family out of the 150 guests was vegetarian.  We didn't put out one small tray of vegetable biryani amongst the large chafing dishes of meat-based biryani and chicken and roti.  We took that tray directly to their table for them exclusively.  No way would I expect the 147 meat-eating people to instinctively realize that this small tray on the buffet line was only for those who couldn't eat meat rather than whoever felt like trying vegetable biryani.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Betelnut on October 02, 2013, 11:57:51 AM
Just this weekend, I went to a picnic that was sponsored by the adoption agency that I used to adopt my daughter.  It is hosted by the agency. They supply the hot dogs/hamburgers, buns, condiments.  Everything else is provided potluck.

I snagged a veggie burger.  I'm NOT vegetarian but dieting.  I have no idea if anyone else there was a vegetarian.  I literally didn't know anyone there except my daughter.

I don't know if I was rude but there weren't very many of the veggie burgers sitting out.

Hmm.  I didn't even think about it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 02, 2013, 12:10:19 PM
I, too, don't get hung up on WHY somebody won't/can't eat the main dish, which is why I wouldn't confront somebody for taking a veggie burger instead of a beef burger. Maybe they are Hindu, maybe they don't/can't eat red meat, maybe they are veggie, maybe they only eat organic, whatever. If they wouldn't/couldn't eat the beef burgers provided, then absolutely they should take a veggie burger.

I just think that if somebody would eat the beef but just isn't choosing it today, then it's more considerate of them to hang back a little before they take a veggie burger.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyL on October 02, 2013, 12:20:35 PM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.

I don't think picking = picky. Picky means choosy or discerning, with the implication of rejecting lots of things based on superficial criteria (like Kraft cheese not being "sophisticated" enough for someone's tastes or something). "Picky" implies preferences outside the norm (like adults who don't eat any vegetables at all), and I would like to think that these days, vegetarianism, veganism, or not eating red meat for your health are not really outside the norm.It's really not that hard as a host to make your baseline "food 99% of guests can eat" including a veggie platter, a main dish without meat (pasta, mac and cheese, veggie skewers, quesadilla, etc.), and some rolls of bread. I like the idea of the "catering to the common denominator" approach others mentioned.

I think that given that all meat eaters can also eat vegetables, it's practical logistically to have a meatless main dish large enough for all guests, rather than have a meatfest with some veggie stuff as a concession. Exceptions if you are throwing a meat themed event like a pig roast or a dinner at a Brazilian bbq or something.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 12:52:33 PM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.

I don't think picking = picky. Picky means choosy or discerning, with the implication of rejecting lots of things based on superficial criteria (like Kraft cheese not being "sophisticated" enough for someone's tastes or something). "Picky" implies preferences outside the norm (like adults who don't eat any vegetables at all), and I would like to think that these days, vegetarianism, veganism, or not eating red meat for your health are not really outside the norm.It's really not that hard as a host to make your baseline "food 99% of guests can eat" including a veggie platter, a main dish without meat (pasta, mac and cheese, veggie skewers, quesadilla, etc.), and some rolls of bread. I like the idea of the "catering to the common denominator" approach others mentioned.

I think that given that all meat eaters can also eat vegetables, it's practical logistically to have a meatless main dish large enough for all guests, rather than have a meatfest with some veggie stuff as a concession. Exceptions if you are throwing a meat themed event like a pig roast or a dinner at a Brazilian bbq or something.

I do totally agree with your points about how everyone can eat meatless dishes and its best to take a "catering to the common denominator".

I just think if someone chooses to not eat an entire category of food, regardless of why they choose it, that is their choice and any consequences of that choice fall to them. That is what I mean by them being picky. I think there are plenty of very legitimate and good reasons to pick and choose among available food choices, but regardless of the why the fact still remains if you choose to limit yourself, that means you are the one who is limited in what you can take (and I count myself among those who make limiting food choices). People who do not choose to limit what they will eat should not have limitations* on what they eat placed upon them by people who choose otherwise.

*Aside from what I think we all agree on, such as not taking more then one serving until everyone has been through the line, etc.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Belle on October 02, 2013, 12:57:57 PM
I think it's entirely on the host to make sure they have enough vegetarian food, rather than the guests to decide how many vegetarian guests there may be, if there's enough food for the vegetarians, etc.

I'm a meat-eater who quite often prefers vegetarian options. At work meetings with boxed lunches I typically skip the veggie boxes and grab a meat box because I know the veggie options are very limited. (Somehow they never order enough veggie options!) However, at a party where there is a wide variety and amount of food, I would eat something that's vegetarian as part of my meal.

As a host, though, it's difficult to figure out how many "veggie" options you need. I quickly learned that if you offer grilled portabella mushrooms as an alternative to burgers or brats, half of the meat-eaters (at least, those in my circle), will take the mushroom over the meat. I try to plan so that I have enough veggie options for all of the vegetarians and about half of my non-vegetarians. (Of course, I'm also perfectly happy with tons of leftovers, so I don't mind if I have too much food.)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 02, 2013, 12:59:40 PM
But I've heard others on this board say guests shouldn't use parties as a chance to sample new foods they don't know they like because of the risk of not eating it and having it go to waste. So I'm sure others will disagree with me since I think buffets I host are great opportunities for my guests to sample something new.

To me, a buffet type situation is the perfect time to sample something new. I can take a tiny bit of something and taste without having to order a whole dish (in a restaurant) or make a whole recipe (at home).

So with that in mind, it might have been nicer for the guy who wanted to try the veg sausage to just take a slice of a sausage instead of the whole thing.

But the idea that we should determine whether to take something off the buffet totally based on how much is in the plate strikes me as problematic. If I'm the 15th person in line how do I know if the small amount of a given dish is due to it being a restricted item (for vegetarians only) or due to it just being a popular item with the 14 people before me?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2013, 01:01:47 PM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.


See, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not like meat on pizza. Never have. Why should I have to take the pizza with meat that I do want? Am I being rude by taking what I like?

I agree. In my experience, plain pizzas are the most popular, period, even among meat eaters.

What people were telling the organizers is, "we prefer the nonmeat pizza." And the first time that things worked out that way, the organizers should have used that info to adjust the next order.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2013, 01:05:03 PM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this.

i wonder if what WillyNilly is saying is that people who don't eat a lot of stuff because they don't like is should get the same respect as those who don't eat meat because they have taken a moral stance.

So it's not that "picky" = "bad."
But that "picking" = "choosing" and "all food choices (i.e., all picks) " = "worthy of respect."
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 02, 2013, 01:09:28 PM
Bob wouldn't be the inconsiderate one. The host would be.

You are saying omnivores don't deserve to get what they prefer and should suffer for their choice to not be picky. That is not fair or polite or considerate of omnivores, it just isn't. Not being picky should be rewarded not punished. Why should Bob not get what he prefers? Why should Bob always have to suck it up and take the least desirable thing simply because Ann refuses to compromise and occasionally eat meat like Bob does even though Bob does not prefer meat?
If Bob chooses to defer to Ann that's him being extra nice and he should be thanked and recognized, but he should not be forced to take the less desirable item simply because Ann refuses to budge.

I agree with your point that the host would be the inconsiderate one, but totally disagree that vegetarianism = being picky.  I'm vegetarian because I cannot bear to eat meat and I believe it's wrong for *me* to eat meat.  I've been vegetarian for 20+ years now, even though dining out would be far easier if I could bring myself to eat meat or fish, but I can't violate my principles.  Would you claim a Hindu was being picky for refusing to eat beef or a Muslim was for refusing to eat non-Halal meat?

I don't expect anyone else to eat veggie (or non-veggie) because of my principles.  The host needs to provide enough veggie food so those who can make a choice have the opportunity to do so.

Yes.  You can pick and choose what you eat based on anything. Ethics, religion, the weather, your outfit, your upbringing, etc, but so long as its a choice (as opposed to say an allergy or reaction to illness) it is something you are picking, and therefore falls under picky eating IMO. And I consider my own self-imposed, ethics and health-based eating habits to be picky as well.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this.

i wonder if what WillyNilly is saying is that people who don't eat a lot of stuff because they don't like is should get the same respect as those who don't eat meat because they have taken a moral stance.

So it's not that "picky" = "bad."
But that "picking" = "choosing" and "all food choices (i.e., all picks) " = "worthy of respect."

Sort of yes.
Certainly I'm not saying being picky is bad.
I'm saying if you limit yourself, you can only expect those limitations to extend towards yourself. People should respect your limitations and not force you to eat things you object to (for whatever reason) but no one else should have to limit themselves based on your choices.

(all "you" and "your" statements are general)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 02, 2013, 01:11:51 PM
Part of the problem here too is the fact that the lines that demarcate vegetarian vs meat eater are not strict and straight boundaries.  I eat meat but I prefer vegetables.  And at a large buffet, which is pretty informal, I am not going to be able to determine if this one dish is for a specific guest vs just another alternative dish.

If you want to restrict certain dishes to certain guests, placing it on the buffet table is not the way to go.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 02, 2013, 01:23:49 PM
I am going to use my workplace as an example, since I don't have very many vegetarian people in my social circles.

On Fridays in the summer we often order pizza. We have 10 omnivores, 5 vegetarians and 2 people with celiac disease.

We order a gluten-free pizza for each of the two people with celiac disease, as they are small. They get their own pizzas and are not expected to share.

We order three supreme (two kinds of meat with green peppers, onion and black olives) pizzas, three pepperoni pizzas, and three vegetarian pizzas. The vegetarian pizzas are the first to go.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 02, 2013, 01:31:39 PM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.


See, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not like meat on pizza. Never have. Why should I have to take the pizza with meat that I do want? Am I being rude by taking what I like?

No, I don't think you are rude to take what you like.  But in my work's case, there are two known vegetarians (out of 17 people).  Everybody knows; if they don't, they've been living under a rock for the last 5 years.  I just think it is pretty thoughtless of them to take the only pizza these two folks can eat, without considering whether or not they've had a chance to get any yet.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 02, 2013, 01:37:50 PM
Then you have people, like one co-worker of mine, who are alternate vegetarians. If she doesn't like the main course and or protein offered, she becomes vegetarian. Only problem, she doesn't let you know which option she would prefer until at the event.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 01:39:35 PM
I am going to use my workplace as an example, since I don't have very many vegetarian people in my social circles.

On Fridays in the summer we often order pizza. We have 10 omnivores, 5 vegetarians and 2 people with celiac disease.

We order a gluten-free pizza for each of the two people with celiac disease, as they are small. They get their own pizzas and are not expected to share.

We order three supreme (two kinds of meat with green peppers, onion and black olives) pizzas, three pepperoni pizzas, and three vegetarian pizzas. The vegetarian pizzas are the first to go.

So why aren't more veggie pizza's ordered?

ETA: I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 02, 2013, 01:55:24 PM
We used to have the ratio of 2-veggie pizzas to 6-meat pizzas, and added another even though there are not more vegetarians. I guess this summer we will increase to 4-vegetarian and 4-meat to keep it even.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: SamiHami on October 02, 2013, 02:18:49 PM
We used to have the ratio of 2-veggie pizzas to 6-meat pizzas, and added another even though there are not more vegetarians. I guess this summer we will increase to 4-vegetarian and 4-meat to keep it even.

That makes sense, especially if you are having the pizzas on Fridays. Remember, some religious people don't eat meat on Fridays.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Twik on October 02, 2013, 02:25:01 PM
I am going to use my workplace as an example, since I don't have very many vegetarian people in my social circles.

On Fridays in the summer we often order pizza. We have 10 omnivores, 5 vegetarians and 2 people with celiac disease.

We order a gluten-free pizza for each of the two people with celiac disease, as they are small. They get their own pizzas and are not expected to share.

We order three supreme (two kinds of meat with green peppers, onion and black olives) pizzas, three pepperoni pizzas, and three vegetarian pizzas. The vegetarian pizzas are the first to go.

So why aren't more veggie pizza's ordered?

ETA: I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.

I agree - a pizza with, say, mushrooms, onions and green peppers is not a "vegetarian pizza", it's just a pizza with vegetable toppings. And it sounds like more people like that than the meat ones. I might try next time switching one of the meat pizzas to the veggie one.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 02, 2013, 02:28:09 PM
Let me point out that I have no voice in the pizza ordering.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: hobish on October 02, 2013, 02:31:18 PM
I am going to use my workplace as an example, since I don't have very many vegetarian people in my social circles.

On Fridays in the summer we often order pizza. We have 10 omnivores, 5 vegetarians and 2 people with celiac disease.

We order a gluten-free pizza for each of the two people with celiac disease, as they are small. They get their own pizzas and are not expected to share.

We order three supreme (two kinds of meat with green peppers, onion and black olives) pizzas, three pepperoni pizzas, and three vegetarian pizzas. The vegetarian pizzas are the first to go.

So why aren't more veggie pizza's ordered?

ETA: I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.

I agree - a pizza with, say, mushrooms, onions and green peppers is not a "vegetarian pizza", it's just a pizza with vegetable toppings. And it sounds like more people like that than the meat ones. I might try next time switching one of the meat pizzas to the veggie one.


Exactly. I just can’t wrap my head around pizza without meat automatically equaling vegetarian pizza, or pizza for vegetarians only – and I used to be one. Erm … a vegetarian, not a pizza.

WillyNilly, I get what you are saying and have tried to express that a few times, but it never really comes out right. I think you’ve got it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: NyaChan on October 02, 2013, 02:43:11 PM
I think it is the default issue - for some people, pizza with meat is the default pizza.  For myself, pizza starts with cheese as the default and then you add whatever toppings you want whether they are vegetables or meat. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Ms_Cellany on October 02, 2013, 02:46:02 PM
Not relevant to the core issue, but a side anecdote: When I was in grad school, we used to order what we called the "Bill Special" - a black olive & anchovy pizza. It guaranteed that we never had to share.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 02:48:03 PM
You would have needed to share with me.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: CocoCamm on October 02, 2013, 02:48:18 PM
I do not think it is rude or inconsiderate to choose to eat a meatless dish regardless of the reason. As long as you take a polite sized portion a guest should be able to try whatever dish they like at a party without fearing that another guest is going to call them out or silently judge them about what they eating.

I do think it is a bit entitlement minded to think that vegetarians have a greater right to a meatless dish then say someone who is on a diet, or has ethical issues with certain meats, or who just simply does not want to eat meat that particular day.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: silvercelt on October 02, 2013, 03:03:02 PM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.

I don't think it is rude to take any food that is on the main table and not specifically designated for a particular group.  It is thoughtless to not let that group get their options first and then take something if there are leftovers.  And it is rude to load up (ie: take more than one serving) on anything before everyone has had a chance to get something.

If I were a vegetarian, I'd be making darn sure I was near the front of the line.  It does drive me a bit crazy that the two vegetarians in our office don't do this - and at that point, if they don't get enough food, it is kind of their own fault.

This. Totally this.

After a couple of times of buying pizza for my staff, I got wise to their tricks. :P
I'd poll the office, then order pizzas based on preferences.  We have 2 vegetarians in this office, and I can't eat pizza with meat on it.  Everyone one else would say "Oh, we want a meat lovers/pepperoni/random meat item pizza!" so I'd order one and 1/2 cheese or veggie pizzas and the rest with various kinds of meat....and every single meat eater would devour the vegetarian options and we'd have meat leftover.  Every. Time.

The last time I got pizza (couple weeks ago) when everyone was asking for pepperoni and meat lover's, I told them to speak up if they were really wanting veggies, because if I ordered a bunch of meat pizzas again, the veggie option was going to disappear into my office for the non-meat eaters who REQUESTED it.

Strangely, everyone decided they wanted cheese, or veggies.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: HGolightly on October 02, 2013, 03:04:20 PM
I think the issue is frustrating and disappointing on all sides. I have severe dietary restrictions and an extremely limited diet that is purely medical and no I am not being picky or spoiled! I just can't eat most foods. I am fortunate that when I am hosted friends and family they provide me with a dinner option I can actually eat. To be fair, I always offer to bring my own. This summer we had a BBQ where my BFF made me my own plain dish of shrimp, my nephew thought they looked good and helped himself.....off of my plate. When admonished by his dad, his response was "so what, I wanted them". I was disappointed and hungry but he is a kid (I don't think he will do that again given how mad his dad was). I will always share if asked but I find it more than a little embarrassing to have my "special food" or none while the others are eating all they like.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Allyson on October 02, 2013, 03:45:32 PM
I think it's the host's responsibility to make sure that people with restrictions have enough to eat. Whether that means specifically serving gluten-free to the Celiac people, or just adding more veggie options overall, I suppose depends on a lot of things. But I don't think it should be up to the guests to figure out what is supposed to be restricted.

It sounds like the "veggie pizza is most popular" thing is a super common problem. I think the solution that is pretty easy--more veggie options overall! Lowest common denominator is a factor here, too. More food that everyone can eat is a good thing I'd say.

I eat meat but try to do Meatless Mondays, so if the dinner were on a Monday i'd go for the veggie option, even though I *could* eat the meaty option. Just for another perspective and reason people might not go for the meat!
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: AnnaJ on October 02, 2013, 03:57:12 PM
I think the issue is frustrating and disappointing on all sides. I have severe dietary restrictions and an extremely limited diet that is purely medical and no I am not being picky or spoiled! I just can't eat most foods. I am fortunate that when I am hosted friends and family they provide me with a dinner option I can actually eat. To be fair, I always offer to bring my own. This summer we had a BBQ where my BFF made me my own plain dish of shrimp, my nephew thought they looked good and helped himself.....off of my plate. When admonished by his dad, his response was "so what, I wanted them". I was disappointed and hungry but he is a kid (I don't think he will do that again given how mad his dad was). I will always share if asked but I find it more than a little embarrassing to have my "special food" or none while the others are eating all they like.

OK, fitting jaw back into mouth. 

You didn't ask for an opinion about your nephew so I won't give one, but want to say that what he did to you is very different from the main question about people serving themselves from serving dishes/pizza boxes/buffet lines. 

It is the responsibility of the host to make sure there is sufficient food for their guests, and that doesn't mean telling some guests that they cannot have certain food that other guests are eating, with one exception: if a guest has severe restrictions like yours I think they need to give the food to you specifically, as they apparently did at this dinner.  People stealing food from your plate is covered in a whole different area of etiquette.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Twik on October 02, 2013, 04:09:02 PM
Just how old is this nephew?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: *inviteseller on October 02, 2013, 05:54:05 PM
We had a catered holiday lunch at my last job one year.  There was 7 employees, boss had a nice spread ordered (enough for 2 days), including a specific entree for me, the only vegetarian.  There were 2 meat entrees and 6 sides, 2 of those sides had ham or bacon in them.  I was last to go get my food as we, of course, got busy and when I went to get my plate, my entree was gone.  Yes, for all the food that was there, one employee decided to take all of mine (and there was enough for 2 decent servings).  His excuse? "Well I knew it was specifically for you, but you can have the sides or just eat the meat because this looked good and what I was hungry for"  >:( >:( >:(  So, my holiday luncheon meal was some mashed potatoes and some broccoli, while everyone else had sirloin tips and all the sides.  Needless to say for the next holiday luncheon, I told my boss not to order anything special for me and I brought my lunch that day.

I do not think it is rude or inconsiderate to choose to eat a meatless dish regardless of the reason. As long as you take a polite sized portion a guest should be able to try whatever dish they like at a party without fearing that another guest is going to call them out or silently judge them about what they eating.

I do think it is a bit entitlement minded to think that vegetarians have a greater right to a meatless dish then say someone who is on a diet, or has ethical issues with certain meats, or who just simply does not want to eat meat that particular day.

It is not entitlement minded if the hosts only put out a few servings of a meatless option for the known vegetarians and they actually hope to get some.  It is entitlement minded if the meat eaters, who are eating the meat also are scarfing the small amount of meatless food.  Would it be entitlement minded for someone with a medical dietary restriction having options that are made for them scarfed down by others just because they wanted it?  I do not whine, stomp my feet or cry.  I will eat around the meat dishes, if it means just sides, but if someone makes me a a specific dish to replace the carnivore entree and someone eats it because they just wanted it, that is rude.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 02, 2013, 06:02:20 PM
We had a catered holiday lunch at my last job one year.  There was 7 employees, boss had a nice spread ordered (enough for 2 days), including a specific entree for me, the only vegetarian.  There were 2 meat entrees and 6 sides, 2 of those sides had ham or bacon in them.  I was last to go get my food as we, of course, got busy and when I went to get my plate, my entree was gone.  Yes, for all the food that was there, one employee decided to take all of mine (and there was enough for 2 decent servings).  His excuse? "Well I knew it was specifically for you, but you can have the sides or just eat the meat because this looked good and what I was hungry for"  >:( >:( >:(  So, my holiday luncheon meal was some mashed potatoes and some broccoli, while everyone else had sirloin tips and all the sides.  Needless to say for the next holiday luncheon, I told my boss not to order anything special for me and I brought my lunch that day.

I do not think it is rude or inconsiderate to choose to eat a meatless dish regardless of the reason. As long as you take a polite sized portion a guest should be able to try whatever dish they like at a party without fearing that another guest is going to call them out or silently judge them about what they eating.

I do think it is a bit entitlement minded to think that vegetarians have a greater right to a meatless dish then say someone who is on a diet, or has ethical issues with certain meats, or who just simply does not want to eat meat that particular day.

It is not entitlement minded if the hosts only put out a few servings of a meatless option for the known vegetarians and they actually hope to get some.  It is entitlement minded if the meat eaters, who are eating the meat also are scarfing the small amount of meatless food.  Would it be entitlement minded for someone with a medical dietary restriction having options that are made for them scarfed down by others just because they wanted it?  I do not whine, stomp my feet or cry.  I will eat around the meat dishes, if it means just sides, but if someone makes me a a specific dish to replace the carnivore entree and someone eats it because they just wanted it, that is rude.


Well of course in your situation you described, it was incredibly rude.  There was a "single" generous meal for you amid the tons of foods you described plus the person knew it was for you.  In all the scenarios described in this thread, it was part of a buffet, family style meal etc with several offerings.  Not a single offering.


I hope your boss said something to that jerk!
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: sunnygirl on October 02, 2013, 06:03:13 PM
I agree that if omnivores eat the vegetarians' food without knowing, that is not rude at all - guests should not be expected to monitor everyone's food requirements. But if you're in a small group and you know for definite that one person cannot eat x food, and only one dish that doesn't contain x is present, it's rude to eat it imo. A buffet situation is generally very different from that though. Personally I believe the point of etiquette is to go the extra mile to be courteous and polite and treat people well even when you do not 'have' to.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 02, 2013, 06:06:44 PM
We have a couple of vegetarians in my office.  When we ordered pizza, there would be one veggie and the rest would all have meat of some sort, some all meat, some meat and veggies.  Drove me nuts that people would take the veggie and if the two vegetarians weren't near the front of the line, they wouldn't get at any.

We solved the problem by ordering two veggie pizzas and reducing the meat options by one.


See, I am not a vegetarian, but I do not like meat on pizza. Never have. Why should I have to take the pizza with meat that I do want? Am I being rude by taking what I like?

No, I don't think you are rude to take what you like.  But in my work's case, there are two known vegetarians (out of 17 people).  Everybody knows; if they don't, they've been living under a rock for the last 5 years.  I just think it is pretty thoughtless of them to take the only pizza these two folks can eat, without considering whether or not they've had a chance to get any yet.

But people at a hypothetical workplace may not know. And the problem w/ the pizzas occurred the first 3 or so times--The first few times, I would expect there to be plenty of plain, etc., and THEN I would expect the organizers to wise up and order less meat, and more of what people were actually eating.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: HGolightly on October 02, 2013, 06:37:33 PM
My nephew is definitely old enough to know better. Let's just say he can be a few flakes short of a blizzard.  He has also learned not to mess with auntie or there WILL be an etiquette lesson. I am glad his dad is taking a stand on his son's manners.......finally.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: baglady on October 02, 2013, 06:38:08 PM
I'm a meat eater. At work pizza parties, my experience has been I take one or two slices from the meat pizza, then if I go back for seconds and discover that there are two slices of the meat pizza left, but eight slices of the veggie/plain, I take my seconds from the latter, because obviously the demand is higher for the meat. If it were vice versa, I'd leave the non-meat slices for those who didn't want meat -- whether they were vegetarians or just not eating meat that day. But most of the time it is the plain or veggie pie that has the most left over.

If I were throwing a grill-centric party/barbecue with a veggie protein option, I'd include in the invitation that "there will be veggie burgers and tofu dogs available for vegetarians." My omnivore friends tend to respect that and leave the "fake meat" for the vegetarians until invited to have some.

Vegetarian sides -- e.g., bean salad, green salad, mac and cheese -- would be fair game for everyone.

My go-to dinner party dish is two pots of chili, one with meat and no beans, the other with beans and no meat. Guests are invited to mix and match. I'm on Atkins, so I go for the straight meat-no-beans option.

Is it rude for a non-vegetarian to take the veggie food? Only if it has been spelled out clearly that such-and-such is reserved for vegetarians. In practice that "reserved" status is only for the veggie burgers/dogs, not the sides.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: blarg314 on October 02, 2013, 07:16:21 PM

Buffets are generally everyone for themselves - putting out a vegetarian (or gluten free, or fat free) option on a buffet table and hoping that only the people who cannot eat the other dishes will take it is a pretty risky way of doing it, for all the reasons mentioned upthread. I think the best way to do it is to either make the veggie version by request, or to have a separate table, separate from the main one, clearly labelled "for vegetarians/gluten free/fat free/nut free only".

I'm an extremely non-picky omnivore, but American ground beef is one of the few things I try to avoid eating for safety reasons, so I might be tempted by the veggie burgers even though normally I'd prefer a good beef burger to a substitute.

I've also been to BBQ buffets where the veggie option was far superior to the meat options. In one case, it was the annual grad student picnic. The budget was tight, so it was the cheapest pre-prepared burgers you could get at No Frills, and the cheapest buns. The person getting the vegetarian option was a bit of a food snob and didn't like veggie substitutes, so the vegetarian option was things like grilled portabellos and red peppers, which were way more pricy that what everyone else was eating.

Things like side salads, bean salads, mac and cheese, veggie pizza etc are even trickier, because to many people these are just plain food that is there to be eaten. Pizza in particular - I know lots of people who just plain like veggie pizza, and more who avoid meat on pizza for other reasons (avoid salt, for example).


Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MommyPenguin on October 02, 2013, 07:18:55 PM
The pizza thing absolutely drives me crazy.  I really like cheese pizza.  I like sausage pizza, or sometimes ham and pineapple if I'm in the mood, and that's absolutely it.

Whenever people order pizza for an event, they seem to order pepperoni, cheese, and maybe one other options.  They'll order 90% pepperoni and 10% or less cheese.  Then all of the first people go through the line, get cheese, and it's picking off the pepperoni for everybody else.  Why do people not get that cheese is an easy default, and that it always goes first?  I don't think I've been to a single event in which there was leftover cheese pizza, even when there are lots of meat pizzas leftover.  I think enough people are picky in *which* meats or meat combinations they like, that they'd rather have cheese if it isn't the right meat.  So the cheese seems to go first.

I remember my daughter being invited to a birthday party.  They'd invited a ton of kids and ordered 10 pizzas.  My daughter is *very* picky about pizza and really only likes cheese.  So, of course, you can guess that there were 9 pepperoni and 1 cheese pizza.  8 slices of cheese pizza, and Emily was 9th in line, so the first kid not to have a choice.  She looked like she was going to cry, although she bucked up and picked off the pepperoni to eat what she could.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: BarensMom on October 02, 2013, 07:33:05 PM
I learned very quickly about the law of vegetarian take-out:  If faced with a meat option and a vegetarian option, the meat eaters will take the veggie option every time, especially when there is a lower quantity of the veggie option.

Story:  I ordered food for a meeting involving Big Boss, a client (compatriot of Boss), and several underlings.  The meeting coordinator specified a meat lasagne, with a four-serving veggie lasagne for Big Boss and those underlings who were also vegetarian.  Food arrives, is placed into the meeting room, and all's well in the EOC world.  Post-meeting, Big Boss comes into my office to ask that in future, any meetings involving him and his compatriot(s) have only vegetarian food.  The underlings got to the food first and gobbled up the vegetarian lasagne, leaving only salad and bread for Big Boss and client.

Therefore, in spite of grumblings from meat-eaters, only vegetarian food was ordered for any meeting involving Big Boss, client company, or if more than 2 of the co-workers involved were compatriots of Boss.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 07:40:50 PM
Off topic
I think the cheese only pizza being a preference might be a regional thing. In my experience, cheese pizza is usually left. I used to order 40 pizzas for an annual neighborhood swim team party. 10 each pepperoni, cheese, veggie combo, and a pepperoni, sausage mushroom, olive. After 2 years I learned to cut the cheese down to 6 and up the meat/veg combo.

At my kids bday parties the one cheese pizza I order would be eaten by a couple of kids and always the most left over, which was fine with me because I like cheese. Actually I remember a mom and I talking that neither of us had a cheese only pizza till we were moms. Our families never ordered them. And I grew up in a family who only ate meat twice a week in the summers.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: miranova on October 02, 2013, 07:59:16 PM
It would never occur to me that different sized plates or different sized servings "meant" anything in particular.  It certainly wouldn't scream "this food is special!" to me.  I don't think anything is nearly as obvious or clear as some people think it should be.  At a buffet, people should wait in line politely, take small servings of whatever suits their fancy and wait until everyone has gone through the line once before they get seconds.  That covers them from an etiquette standpoint, in my opinion.  But looking at the relative serving sizes of everything and trying to guess which guests want which foods?  Unreasonable.  I know plenty of vegetarians and vegans but I admit unless they tell me outright, it might take me months to notice that they never seem to be eating meat, because I don't scrutinize what people eat, and I don't even think I should. 

It also is very frustrating sometimes as an omnivore for so many foods that are just, to me, regular foods, to be labeled as "vegetarian", aka " you can't have this unless the vegetarians don't want it".  Many people like pizza, and pasta, and mushrooms, and peppers, and rice and beans, and so on without actually being vegetarians.  If the food is that good and so many people enjoy it, more should be made and offered!  As a host, I would much rather deal with leftovers than have things run out before people get to try them.  I hosted a big meal for my husband's employees recently and oh the leftovers!!!  But you know what, they all wanted them the following Monday still, because my husband brought them in to work and they were thrilled to have more.  There are always ways to get rid of leftovers (or freeze them).  In fact, I don't think I've ever not had a ton leftover.  I just consider it part of hosting.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 02, 2013, 10:11:13 PM
I haven't read all the responses yet, so forgive me if this point has already been made.

To me, there is a difference between "dishes that happen to be meat-free" (such as potato salad) and "dishes with meat substitutes" (such as veggie sausages and veggie patties). I don't think it's rude of omnivores to help themselves to the first - as those meat-free foods tend to be for everyone - vegetarians and omnivores alike. But I do think it's rude of the omnivores to help themselves to the second, since those types of foods are usually intended to be just for the vegetarians. Plus, there is usually a limited amount.

So in short, I do think the omnivores at this BBQ were rude for taking the veggie sausages and veggie patties. I think it would have been fine for one of the vegetarians to have spoken up, and said "Hey guys, we don't have that much to eat. Do you mind if we get first dibs?"

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 02, 2013, 10:14:32 PM
I haven't read all the responses yet, so forgive me if this point has already been made.

To me, there is a difference between "dishes that happen to be meat-free" (such as potato salad) and "dishes with meat substitutes" (such as veggie sausages and veggie patties). I don't think it's rude of omnivores to help themselves to the first - as those meat-free foods tend to be for everyone - vegetarians and omnivores alike. But I do think it's rude of the omnivores to help themselves to the second, since those types of foods are usually intended to be just for the vegetarians. Plus, there is usually a limited amount.

So in short, I do think the omnivores at this BBQ were rude for taking the veggie sausages and veggie patties. I think it would have been fine for one of the vegetarians to have spoken up, and said "Hey guys, we don't have that much to eat. Do you mind if we get first dibs?"
Yes, it has been discussed that there are lots of reason a meat eater may choose to not eat the meat provided.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: miranova on October 02, 2013, 10:21:24 PM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 10:24:32 PM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Raintree on October 02, 2013, 10:43:08 PM
I "can" eat meat (I think most vegetarians "can" but choose not to for whatever reason, which is totally fine, but I wanted to explain my quotation marks). But I like vegetarian pizzas. I find most of the meat that appears on pizzas kind of grim, or too salty. I'll eat it, but I'd prefer not too much. So if a veggie option is available, I'll take it, along with a slice of meat pizza. Never occurred to me that it was rude, although I do think the strict vegetarians should have first crack at the meat-free options.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Poppea on October 02, 2013, 10:59:48 PM
I'm an omnivore. I eat meat. But I'm by no means a "meat lover". I love vegetables. And I prefer cheese or spinach pizza to any other types of pizza. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean I want every dish, or even every meal to have meat in it. And I get pretty insulted when vegetarians assume that because I do eat meat it means I always eat tons of meat to the exclusion of other foods.

As i said in the other thread, when at a buffet party people should do a quick scan of the number of people of at the event and at the number of servings of each food and only take one portion. But if all foods are presented to all the guests, every guest has equal rights to try any of the foods.

I absolutely agree. I'm talking specifically about cases where it's clear that one dish won't stretch to give everybody present a reasonable helping (e.g. 10 veggie burgers and 25 guests). Then, if you aren't veggie, I think it's rude to take a veggie burger.

So its rude for me to take the food I prefer because I'm not strict about never eating meat? Because I choose to be flexible in life I should not get my preferred foods at parties but rather should be relegated to eat what I don't want? That doesn't sound very polite.

Most vegetarians are so by choice not by necessity. And most vegetarians despite the rumors won't in fact get sick if they suddenly consume meat. So I really don't see why if someone chooses to not ever meat they should be granted things they like while the person who chooses to simply eat less meat should not get what they prefer because they are willing to compromise.

Ok, let's say there are two people, and two burgers. One is a veggie burger, one is a beef burger. Ann is a vegetarian, Bob is not, although Bob actually prefers veggie burgers to beef burgers, and doesn't really eat that much meat anyway.

Does Bob get to take the veggie burger, leaving Ann hungry? I think we'd all say that Bob was at least being inconsiderate, if not rude.

Similarly, when I eat with vegan friends I make sure that I let them have the lion's share of the vegan-friendly food, even if the tofu looks super yummy (and I do love me some tofu  ;) ), because it would be inconsiderate of me to place my tastes above their need to eat a decent meal.

ETA: I hope the bolded doesn't mean that you think that vegetarians should just suck it up and eat meat if there's no veggie food left.  :o

Why are you assuming that Bob knows Ann is a vegetarian.  I'm an omnivore and sometimes I just don't want to eat meat.  In the situation above I would eat the veggie burger because I hate hamburgers.  Should I go hungry?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyR on October 02, 2013, 11:09:28 PM
I hosted a party this weekend that involved a hot dog bar and two of my friend's are vegetarians, so I provided a small number of veggie dogs for them. I only bought one package, so really there was just enough for the two of them, with one maybe extra (it was a 5 pack, so if they each had two, there would be one left over). I set them out on the opposite end of the table from the regular hot dogs and definitely made it clear they were for the two of them. No one else went near them, except my toddler who ate 1/2 of the left over one. I'd have been a little put out if anyone else had grabbed one before they got a chance to serve themselves, since there were just enough for the vegetarians and honestly, they were a lot more expensive than the regular hot dogs, so I had no desire to buy enough for everyone just in case.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: CocoCamm on October 02, 2013, 11:14:15 PM
We had a catered holiday lunch at my last job one year.  There was 7 employees, boss had a nice spread ordered (enough for 2 days), including a specific entree for me, the only vegetarian.  There were 2 meat entrees and 6 sides, 2 of those sides had ham or bacon in them.  I was last to go get my food as we, of course, got busy and when I went to get my plate, my entree was gone.  Yes, for all the food that was there, one employee decided to take all of mine (and there was enough for 2 decent servings).  His excuse? "Well I knew it was specifically for you, but you can have the sides or just eat the meat because this looked good and what I was hungry for"  >:( >:( >:(  So, my holiday luncheon meal was some mashed potatoes and some broccoli, while everyone else had sirloin tips and all the sides.  Needless to say for the next holiday luncheon, I told my boss not to order anything special for me and I brought my lunch that day.

I do not think it is rude or inconsiderate to choose to eat a meatless dish regardless of the reason. As long as you take a polite sized portion a guest should be able to try whatever dish they like at a party without fearing that another guest is going to call them out or silently judge them about what they eating.

I do think it is a bit entitlement minded to think that vegetarians have a greater right to a meatless dish then say someone who is on a diet, or has ethical issues with certain meats, or who just simply does not want to eat meat that particular day.

It is not entitlement minded if the hosts only put out a few servings of a meatless option for the known vegetarians and they actually hope to get some.  It is entitlement minded if the meat eaters, who are eating the meat also are scarfing the small amount of meatless food.  Would it be entitlement minded for someone with a medical dietary restriction having options that are made for them scarfed down by others just because they wanted it?  I do not whine, stomp my feet or cry.  I will eat around the meat dishes, if it means just sides, but if someone makes me a a specific dish to replace the carnivore entree and someone eats it because they just wanted it, that is rude.

I was responding to the OP who was contemplating calling out a fellow guest for eating a veggie sausage. It's no one business why a meat eater may decide to scale back on the meat and instead choose a lighter and same may argue healthier option. The idea that because someone declares themselves to be a vegetarian they have a greater right to all the veggie dishes doesn't sit well with me. I think someone on a diet or who only eats certain meat has as much of a right to the food they want to eat. It's really all about choosing what one wants to put in one's body and no one persons choice is superior.

The fail was on the part of the hosts who didn't provide enough of the lighter/veggie options. Just because I do eat meat doesn't mean thats all I eat or even the majority of what I eat.

And I think it's pretty uncharitable and bordering on rude to assume that the meat eaters were "scarfing down" any of the food. Choosing a veggie option when you eat meat doesn't automatically make someone a gluttonous pig who shovels food down their throat.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyR on October 02, 2013, 11:16:28 PM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!

Because veggie dogs and veggie burgers tend to be more expensive than the normal ones. For my son's birthday a 5 pack of veggie dogs cost more than a 12 pack of regular dogs. A 4 pack of veggie burgers is the same price as an 8 pack of beef burgers. I'd rather not pay that much extra and have tons leftover/thrown out and I personally can't stand veggie burgers and dogs, so I wouldn't eat the left overs. I don't mind a little bit of left overs (I expect it), but I'm not going to buy a double serving of the more expensive product just so that people can have the option, if they want. But then I also know my circle of friends and other than the few vegetarians, most are meat-lovers to the extreme. If I was catering to a different group, or if I wasn't sure of the eating preferences, I would obviously provide some extras, but not enough to feed everyone.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 02, 2013, 11:22:02 PM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!

Because veggie dogs and veggie burgers tend to be more expensive than the normal ones. For my son's birthday a 5 pack of veggie dogs cost more than a 12 pack of regular dogs. A 4 pack of veggie burgers is the same price as an 8 pack of beef burgers. I'd rather not pay that much extra and have tons leftover/thrown out and I personally can't stand veggie burgers and dogs, so I wouldn't eat the left overs. I don't mind a little bit of left overs (I expect it), but I'm not going to buy a double serving of the more expensive product just so that people can have the option, if they want. But then I also know my circle of friends and other than the few vegetarians, most are meat-lovers to the extreme. If I was catering to a different group, or if I wasn't sure of the eating preferences, I would obviously provide some extras, but not enough to feed everyone.

The posts you quoted are about pizza, which is roughly the same price for all sorts of varieties, unless you get one with like 6 toppings. Specifically, they're about pizza ordered for an office where even the omnivores prefer veggie pizza. At a certain point, it makes more sense to order enough veggie pizza for all the people who want it, no matter why they want it.

If you're serving something that's way more expensive, I don't see any issue with making just a few and getting it specially to the vegetarian rather than putting it out on the general buffet, which I've said elsewhere in the thread.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyR on October 02, 2013, 11:28:17 PM
Sorry, I didn't read that clearly. Yes, for pizza I don't see why you just wouldn't have equal amount of veggie pizza to non, but for other options I do see why there is a limited amount.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: CocoCamm on October 02, 2013, 11:29:11 PM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!

Because veggie dogs and veggie burgers tend to be more expensive than the normal ones. For my son's birthday a 5 pack of veggie dogs cost more than a 12 pack of regular dogs. A 4 pack of veggie burgers is the same price as an 8 pack of beef burgers. I'd rather not pay that much extra and have tons leftover/thrown out and I personally can't stand veggie burgers and dogs, so I wouldn't eat the left overs. I don't mind a little bit of left overs (I expect it), but I'm not going to buy a double serving of the more expensive product just so that people can have the option, if they want. But then I also know my circle of friends and other than the few vegetarians, most are meat-lovers to the extreme. If I was catering to a different group, or if I wasn't sure of the eating preferences, I would obviously provide some extras, but not enough to feed everyone.

I know not everyone feels the same but I was raised that when hosting you provide enough of each option to feed all your guests. If I was at a party where not enough of a specific item was provided I would probably just chalk it up to minor error, if I realized that this happened at every event that person had I would consider them to be a poor host.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Luci on October 02, 2013, 11:30:43 PM
I'm of the opinion that any and all food on a buffet is part of the buffet and that what one chooses to put on their plate from that buffet line is no one else's business.

I'm also of the opinion that if there is a small minority of guests (or just one guest) with a dietary restriction that requires a special meal, that person's meal should be given directly to them by the host or they should be the first through the buffet line.

I have read through it all, and I still think this the most concise statement of my feelings and actions.

We have a family branch with multiple allergies and conditions. Their foods are on the other side of the room and mentioned to the other diners: Don't touch until Ginny's family has gone through. Not even a "please". It's an order.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: hannahmollysmom on October 03, 2013, 01:46:50 AM
When I host a bbq buffet type gathering, I always count on 1 for each person, i.e. 1 burger, 1 hot dog, 1 chicken, etc. Yes, I do have left overs, but there is never anyone short of food. So 20 people equals 20 hot dogs, 20 burgers, 20 pieces of chicken. As far as specialty items, like portabella mushrooms, etc., I would probably cook 20 also. Just because people like meat, doesn't mean they don't want to try non-meat items.

I understand how veggie "meats" are more expensive, (and are copying meat that I am also cooking), so what I would probably do is set up their likes in a different area from the regular buffet, mention it to them on the side, so they can get their "meat", and then proceed to the rest of the buffet.

When having a sit down dinner, I make the same quantity of every dish, enough for each guest to have a portion, no matter what the dish is.  I would rather have leftovers (yum) than not enough food.

As far as the bbq though, I have a question: Many vegans do not want their food cooked near meat. How do you do that during a bbq? Do you use a separate grill? Just curious.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Need to Change on October 03, 2013, 02:22:57 AM
A group of us holds a yearly BBQ in a local park.  Our group's about equal parts vegetarian and omnivore, plus occasional vegans.  Every year, we reserve "our spot," which has 2 BBQ grills.  We clean both grills as best we can, and cover them with foil.  One grill's reserved for veggie foods only, the other one for meat. 

Most of the special-diet buffet situations I've been in are potlucks with groups who are accustomed to varying diets.  There, even if folks were asked to bring a dish that served 8-10 people, each person's notion of what that means varies wildly.  No way to tell "reserved" foods just by looking at sizes.  If a food is reserved for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free or other special diet, we label them and, before the line forms, politely ask people to look for the signs.  (There isn't always room for a separate table, and when we do have one, people will just assume it's "overflow.")
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: nolechica on October 03, 2013, 02:46:47 AM
I eat meat, but not red meat, so I'd eat veggie burgers at a BBQ.  I also eat white pizza over anything meaty.  Assuming that all omnivores prefer meat when offered is dangerous.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: sweetonsno on October 03, 2013, 02:57:57 AM
This is sort of a tricky question for a number of reasons.

Several people have brought up preferences that aren't restrictions. (Say, someone who will eat red meat but who prefers poultry.) I think the onus is on a person who has a preference to let the host know, just like it's on someone who has a restriction to let the host know. I think that most hosts will try to plan their shopping and food prep based on what their guests want.

Let's say that an informal poll reveals that 15 people want beef and only 5 want chicken. Should the host be making twenty servings of each? Even if the host plans for some extra chicken, I think it's a bit cheeky for people who have said they want beef to take the chicken. It's not just because they might be eating someone else's "order," but also because the host has planned for and prepared food that they said they wanted but didn't wind up eating.

I'm not sure if the host in this case took a head count, but I'm not too thrilled about taking something you didn't ask for if you know that someone else did ask for it. If an invitation said, "If anybody needs gluten-free, let me know and I'll make sure we have a bun for you," I wouldn't take a gluten-free bun, even if it looked good. I'd assume that the host had provided them for people who had asked for them. 

The second issue is that this is a main. It also sounds like this guy had already eaten some meat. I think that with main dishes, the general consensus is that one should wait to take seconds until everyone has had firsts, isn't it? I think this applies at a barbecue as well. I don't think someone should be taking two burgers or hot dogs on their first trip through the line, should they?

As far as the bbq though, I have a question: Many vegans do not want their food cooked near meat. How do you do that during a bbq? Do you use a separate grill? Just curious.

It's not the cooking near meat so much as the cross-contamination (getting fat, juices, and the remnants that stick to the grill on your food). I There are a couple of ways of handling it. One is to have a different grill. Another is to put foil over the grill before cooking the vegan foods (or cooking the veggie foods in foil pouches, depending on what they are).
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 04:04:38 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: I'mnotinsane on October 03, 2013, 06:22:43 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

I'm sure you don't want others judging your food choices.  Please don't judge.  It is not your place to decide what is serious or not serious.  To me it comes off as placing a hierarchy on food choices with vegetarianism being higher than those who eat both meat and vegetables. 

No matter how you spin it the problem is with the hosting.  Can't afford to feed everyone the veggie option?  Make a cheaper veggie option. You don't have to provide the veggie substitute of your main dish-just make another dish.  Aren't sure how many vegetarians will be partaking?  Provide less meat.  There are plenty of delicious meals I can serve my guests that just happen to have no meat.  Pretty much every road posters have come up with can be countered by proper hosting.

If the food is on the buffet (or communal dining) I'm going to make my choices like any other guest because we are equals no matter what we choose.  If someone speaks up and says 'there are limited options for me can you let me go first' I won't be obnoxious about it-I wouldn't let someone else starve while I enjoy a banquet-although it would reflect on the hosts.  However I am not going to make assumptions or take a poll before helping myself.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 06:31:11 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

I'm sure you don't want others judging your food choices.  Please don't judge.  It is not your place to decide what is serious or not serious.  To me it comes off as placing a hierarchy on food choices with vegetarianism being higher than those who eat both meat and vegetables. 

No matter how you spin it the problem is with the hosting.  Can't afford to feed everyone the veggie option?  Make a cheaper veggie option. You don't have to provide the veggie substitute of your main dish-just make another dish.  Aren't sure how many vegetarians will be partaking?  Provide less meat.  There are plenty of delicious meals I can serve my guests that just happen to have no meat.  Pretty much every road posters have come up with can be countered by proper hosting.

If the food is on the buffet (or communal dining) I'm going to make my choices like any other guest because we are equals no matter what we choose.  If someone speaks up and says 'there are limited options for me can you let me go first' I won't be obnoxious about it-I wouldn't let someone else starve while I enjoy a banquet-although it would reflect on the hosts.  However I am not going to make assumptions or take a poll before helping myself.

I have agreed, repeatedly, that the problem is with hosting. It would be simply lovely if there was enough for everybody to take a decent portion of whatever they choose. But, IME, that often is not the case when it comes to veggie options.

I don't mean that vegetarianism is 'higher', I'm 100% against judging somebody for their food choices. I just can't see how it isn't a fact that the folks who can't/won't eat the meat option have a greater need for the veggie option than those who simply would rather choose the veggie option today.

Given that there is often a limited volume of the veggie option (again, I'D LOVE for this not to be the case, but once you are actually at the meal, the 'they should have hosted better' ship has sailed), it would be a kindness for those who have a lesser need for the veggie option to take the other options first.

And actually, what I see 99% of the time is somebody taking a veggie burger AND a beef burger, so it's not that they are even rejecting the meat, they just want some of the veggie option too.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 06:41:40 AM
Also, I am absolutely not judging somebody for taking a veggie burger, because I assume that your reasons for taking the veggie sausage/burger/whatever are valid and your business.

It's just annoying to be left with not-quite-enough (and in some cases, almost no) food because somebody chose a veggie burger from what was a much more limited resource, and is often clearly so.

Ideally (like most nice things) this would be self-policing, and those who are simply thinking about choosing the veggie burger (rather than those who can't/won't choose the other option) would look at a pile of 50 meat burgers and 10 veggie burgers and think 'oh, looks like the veggie burgers are in short supply, I'll take a meat one'. That's all. I'm absolutely not advocating judging or jumping down anybody's throat.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 03, 2013, 06:48:01 AM
If this is happening to you over and over, why not at the start of the party find the host.  Ask if they can leave the limited foods in the kitchen as it runs out before the people it was intended for get to it.  Stop trying to put the onus on the people at the party and put it back on the host where it rightly goes.  In the case of the veggie sausages, put them in the kitchen and seek out the people you know that eats them and tell them.
Also, I am absolutely not judging somebody for taking a veggie burger, because I assume that your reasons for taking the veggie sausage/burger/whatever are valid and your business.

It's just annoying to be left with not-quite-enough (and in some cases, almost no) food because somebody chose a veggie burger from what was a much more limited resource, and is often clearly so.

Ideally (like most nice things) this would be self-policing, and those who are simply thinking about choosing the veggie burger (rather than those who can't/won't choose the other option) would look at a pile of 50 meat burgers and 10 veggie burgers and think 'oh, looks like the veggie burgers are in short supply, I'll take a meat one'. That's all. I'm absolutely not advocating judging or jumping down anybody's throat.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 03, 2013, 07:47:44 AM
If I was hosting a largish BBQ, there is no way I would provide enough veggie alternatives for everyone to have some.  I won't eat them so having leftovers is a huge waste.  Plus, they are considerably more expensive than meat options.

What I would do is have the vegetarian meat substitute option in a different location, direct the vegetarians to that location and then put any leftovers on the main table once the vegetarians had their selection(s).

Or, because there are very few vegetarians in my circle, I might just have them bring their own item to grill - I have one section of my grill designated for veggies only.  I don't cook meat on that side of the grill, ever.

(As an aside, several of my coworkers call themselves 'meatatarians'.   :))
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: flickan on October 03, 2013, 08:14:04 AM
If I was hosting a largish BBQ, there is no way I would provide enough veggie alternatives for everyone to have some.  I won't eat them so having leftovers is a huge waste.  Plus, they are considerably more expensive than meat options.

I completely understand this but I'm not getting the idea of the fake meat necessity that seems to be popping up in the thread.   It's definitely too expensive and most people don't like them so why buy it period?

When I think of hosting vegetarians for a BBQ I think of putting things on the grill that everyone can enjoy.  Some mentioned portabello mushrooms.  There are also veggie kabobs and grilled corn.  Why not make extra potato salad and fruit salad?  Or how about a large green salad with nuts and cheese for protein?  People seem to get hung up on tofu dogs and veggie burgers being necessary alongside the real meat.  I just don't see it.  Cooking for vegetarian should be cheaper because you're not spending as much on the meat.  I would make more of the less expensive meatless options.  Leave the tofu dogs at the overpriced health store :)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyL on October 03, 2013, 08:27:55 AM
If I was hosting a largish BBQ, there is no way I would provide enough veggie alternatives for everyone to have some.  I won't eat them so having leftovers is a huge waste.  Plus, they are considerably more expensive than meat options.

I completely understand this but I'm not getting the idea of the fake meat necessity that seems to be popping up in the thread.   It's definitely too expensive and most people don't like them so why buy it period?

When I think of hosting vegetarians for a BBQ I think of putting things on the grill that everyone can enjoy.  Some mentioned portabello mushrooms.  There are also veggie kabobs and grilled corn.  Why not make extra potato salad and fruit salad?  Or how about a large green salad with nuts and cheese for protein?  People seem to get hung up on tofu dogs and veggie burgers being necessary alongside the real meat.  I just don't see it.  Cooking for vegetarian should be cheaper because you're not spending as much on the meat.  I would make more of the less expensive meatless options.  Leave the tofu dogs at the overpriced health store :)

This! Another veggie option at most bbqs is mac and cheese or grilled cornbread. Both very cheap and liked by most people.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 03, 2013, 08:29:43 AM

If there are 50 cookies all the same on one tray, and 5 different cookies on a smaller tray, would you not wonder what was different about the other cookies? If you thought , "cool, different cookies" and just took one, when there are clearly more than five people at the party, then I call that thoughtless and selfish.


I disagree - I think most people appreciate novelty - if the 5 cookies look like a special treat of some sort (that there may only be 5 of because they are so good, people already ate the other 45) wouldn't you want to try one? As someone who has planned events, it is just a bad idea to expect guests surveying a buffet to follow the same set of unwritten rules you had in your mind. Either put the vegetarian stuff in another location, or have enough extra veggie burgers so that if everyone wants one you can make more.

I suppose that I was just brought up with very strict rules regarding communal eating, which were as follows:

1) Look at the dish being served. Divide it by the number of people there. Take that amount or less until you are sure everybody has had their first helping.

2) Don't take the last of anything without offering it to others first.

3) Take only what you are sure you will eat. If you want to try something new, take a tiny helping to taste.

4) If you touch it, you take it.

So, if there were 5 cookies (and they were presented in such a way as to make it clear that there were only ever 5 of that variety, and not 5 left from a batch of 50), then even if they looked delicious, politeness would forbid me from taking one because of rules 1 and 4. A whole cookie would be too much to take for just me, and there's no way to break a piece off without leaving an unappetizing piece that I've touched.

That's quite apart from any consideration as to why a host would serve 50 of one kind and only 5 of another, which is surely the first thought that would occur to me, leading me to conclude that there was something else at play here.

Regarding the bolded above, by this philosophy, no one would eat any of those five cookies. Unless it was a buffet line in which case, I suppose, the last person and the four in front of him/her could each have a cookie since it could then be assumed that everyone in front of them in line had passed them by.

In my experience, a buffet line is first come first served. So if the potato salad runs out by the time I get to it, oh well, too bad for me. I'll just have to eat the cole slaw. But if the potato salad was there specifically because I'm allergic to cabbage then whoever brought it (even if it were I) should make sure I got some first, either by serving me some separately, putting some aside for me, or putting it in a totally different place and apprising me and whoever else was allergic to cabbage of its existence.

Sorry, but putting the five "special" cookies out on the buffet line, regardless of the size of the plate, says "help yourself" to everyone.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 03, 2013, 08:30:08 AM
We had a catered holiday lunch at my last job one year.  There was 7 employees, boss had a nice spread ordered (enough for 2 days), including a specific entree for me, the only vegetarian.  There were 2 meat entrees and 6 sides, 2 of those sides had ham or bacon in them.  I was last to go get my food as we, of course, got busy and when I went to get my plate, my entree was gone.  Yes, for all the food that was there, one employee decided to take all of mine (and there was enough for 2 decent servings).  His excuse? "Well I knew it was specifically for you, but you can have the sides or just eat the meat because this looked good and what I was hungry for"  >:( >:( >:(  So, my holiday luncheon meal was some mashed potatoes and some broccoli, while everyone else had sirloin tips and all the sides.  Needless to say for the next holiday luncheon, I told my boss not to order anything special for me and I brought my lunch that day.


This was a case of the coworker being deliberately rude and contrary and (I suspect) trying to goad you into not being a vegetarian anymore.

But again, the solution is the same. Your special dish absolutely should not have been in the same area as all the other foods. It should have been set aside for you. If boss went to the effort of having a special dish ordered, certainly he could have arranged for it to be set aside as well.

I think making a point of "this dish is for inviteseller only" while still leaving it on the buffet actually ended up inducing the coworker to eat it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 03, 2013, 08:30:46 AM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!

Because veggie dogs and veggie burgers tend to be more expensive than the normal ones. For my son's birthday a 5 pack of veggie dogs cost more than a 12 pack of regular dogs. A 4 pack of veggie burgers is the same price as an 8 pack of beef burgers. I'd rather not pay that much extra and have tons leftover/thrown out and I personally can't stand veggie burgers and dogs, so I wouldn't eat the left overs. I don't mind a little bit of left overs (I expect it), but I'm not going to buy a double serving of the more expensive product just so that people can have the option, if they want. But then I also know my circle of friends and other than the few vegetarians, most are meat-lovers to the extreme. If I was catering to a different group, or if I wasn't sure of the eating preferences, I would obviously provide some extras, but not enough to feed everyone.

Then the solution is to provide a veggie dish that you do like and that isn't prohibitively expensive for the vegetarians. Just because everyone else is having hot dogs, does that necessarily mean that the vegetarians must also have [vegetarian] hot dogs? Why not just provide some alternative vegetarian option that isn't hot dogs but is something you wouldn't mind having leftovers of, and make plenty of it. Problem solved.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 03, 2013, 08:31:46 AM
Let's say that an informal poll reveals that 15 people want beef and only 5 want chicken. Should the host be making twenty servings of each? Even if the host plans for some extra chicken, I think it's a bit cheeky for people who have said they want beef to take the chicken. It's not just because they might be eating someone else's "order," but also because the host has planned for and prepared food that they said they wanted but didn't wind up eating.


If a host is serving a preplated seated dinner, then taking orders and sticking with what people asked for is perfectly reasonable. 15 people will get their beef dinner and the five who asked for chicken will get that.

But if it's going to be a buffet, then the informal poll results in nothing more than a rough estimate. The host should automatically figure that just because someone said "beef" one day, that doesn't mean that when they are at the dinner and see the chicken, they won't want that.

Maybe they had beef for lunch. Maybe the chicken looks better to them than the beef that's being offered. Maybe their mood just happens to be different at that moment than it was when they were asked. It's simply impossible to predict.

So to answer the question, Should the host be making twenty servings of each? , well, yes, kind of. What I would do is make smaller portions of each, maybe half servings of each. But I'd be sure to have enough so that everyone could take one of each. And then some.

Like PPs, when I host, I always have a lot more food than I anticipate needing. I don't want to run out. And leftovers can be frozen or given to guest to take home. It's part of the expense of having a party.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 03, 2013, 09:22:49 AM
Plus, there is usually a limited amount.



Which begs the question, why?  If everyone keeps eating it, just make more next time.

The pizza stories on this thread just boggled my mind.  If there is a continual problem with not enough veggie friendly pizza, the simple and gracious solution is to order more of the pizza people like the most, not to try to guilt people into eating meat pizza "because they can".  It's not like meat pizza must be ordered.

This!

Because veggie dogs and veggie burgers tend to be more expensive than the normal ones. For my son's birthday a 5 pack of veggie dogs cost more than a 12 pack of regular dogs. A 4 pack of veggie burgers is the same price as an 8 pack of beef burgers. I'd rather not pay that much extra and have tons leftover/thrown out and I personally can't stand veggie burgers and dogs, so I wouldn't eat the left overs. I don't mind a little bit of left overs (I expect it), but I'm not going to buy a double serving of the more expensive product just so that people can have the option, if they want. But then I also know my circle of friends and other than the few vegetarians, most are meat-lovers to the extreme. If I was catering to a different group, or if I wasn't sure of the eating preferences, I would obviously provide some extras, but not enough to feed everyone.

Then the solution is to provide a veggie dish that you do like and that isn't prohibitively expensive for the vegetarians. Just because everyone else is having hot dogs, does that necessarily mean that the vegetarians must also have [vegetarian] hot dogs? Why not just provide some alternative vegetarian option that isn't hot dogs but is something you wouldn't mind having leftovers of, and make plenty of it. Problem solved.

I can understand if serving hot dogs, it is easier to just serve vegetarian hot dogs for the vegetarian guests. Creating a separate entree of a completely different style for them would be more work.

And I don't think when hosting a 4 to 1 ratio of ominvores to vegetarians, you must provide an equal amount of vegetarian food as you do meat based for a "just in case" scenario.  But if having 8 omivores and 2 vegetarians, I would spend the $5 and cook an extra 5 pack of the vegetarian option unless I absolutely knew that my 8 ominvores would be looking at the veggie dogs with a slight grimace.

On a side note... I've heard so many vegetarians tell me that they do not  like the taste of veggie hot dogs, that I would never serve them unless they told me a specific brand that they like. So instead, what I've done in the past is make a really, really thick three bean chili that can be eaten in the hot dog bun and topped with cheese and a little crema. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 03, 2013, 09:26:10 AM
This is sort of a tricky question for a number of reasons.

Several people have brought up preferences that aren't restrictions. (Say, someone who will eat red meat but who prefers poultry.) I think the onus is on a person who has a preference to let the host know, just like it's on someone who has a restriction to let the host know. I think that most hosts will try to plan their shopping and food prep based on what their guests want.


I disagree.

This is self-policing, of course.
But if what you have is a preference, I think the polite thing for a guest to do is to shut up and eat whatever is put in front of you by your gracious host, who has opened their home to you, purchased food, and prepared it.

The host is not a restaurant, where you place your order. The hospitality and the food are a *gift*, and you should treat it as such. It would be the height or rudeness for a guest to say, "Thanks for inviting me to your BBQ, Toots--I like chicken better than beef, just so you know."

Someone with a health-related restriction or a philosophically/morally/religiously held restriction is OK to share that. Partly because of the severity of the issue, and partly because saying "I'm a vegetarian" is *broader* than "I prefer chicken to beef." I can make portobellos, or buy veggie hot dogs, or make lots of lentil salad or something.

If a guest said, "I'm really looking forward to some grilled chicken," I'd take that as enthusiasm and perhaps a hint. Hints are OK. And I'd perhaps factor that hint in when planning the menu.

And if a guest said, "Oh, I'm hoping you'll make your ham, it's so yummy," I count that as a compliment and a veiled requests. Veiled requests are OK. I'll decide, when it gets down to the nitty gritty, whether I want to grant it, but I won't feel bad if I don't.

But preferences? Don't treat me like a restaurant--don't place your "order."

(Note that this does not apply to a work meal--a work meal is not "hosted" in quite the same way, even if your boss is paying.)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2013, 10:05:22 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 10:13:08 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.

And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: staceym on October 03, 2013, 10:47:57 AM
And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

then if there is a limited number of veggie burgers and Sally is a vegetarian then whoever brought them/made them should set aside the veggie burgers in a different place other than the buffet table and let Sally and the other vegetarians know where they are.

The thing is, if there is a limited number of a certain item that are made or brought specifically for a limit number of people they should NOT be put on a buffet table with the other food.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 03, 2013, 10:53:36 AM
When does having different veggie meat substitutes and meat items separated fall into tiered hosting? The other thread had that brought up as an etiquette issue a few times.

We have friends who are Orthodox Jewish and follow the dietary customs to the letter. When we invite them over, it is not based around a meal, since I can't live up to the requirements. They bring their own snacks, and we have ours, since I can't certify a dish or utensil has never touched anything that violates the dietary law. It works out well.

Friends with severe food allergies or aversions? We either meet for a picnic outdoors or at a restaurant, bringing our own food which may or may not be shared.

I usually bring packages of chicken sausage (a staple in my house) to barbecues as an alternative for those who don't eat red meat. We always have lots of produce and items that are vegetarian. I won't buy vegetarian meat substitutes as I am allergic to soy.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 10:54:44 AM
And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

then if there is a limited number of veggie burgers and Sally is a vegetarian then whoever brought them/made them should set aside the veggie burgers in a different place other than the buffet table and let Sally and the other vegetarians know where they are.

The thing is, if there is a limited number of a certain item that are made or brought specifically for a limit number of people they should NOT be put on a buffet table with the other food.

Oh, I agree. But let's say that the 'have enough for everyone' and 'don't set them out on the buffet table' ships have sailed. There's clearly a limited number of veggie burgers. What would you do?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 03, 2013, 10:57:53 AM
Oh, I agree. But let's say that the 'have enough for everyone' and 'don't set them out on the buffet table' ships have sailed. There's clearly a limited number of veggie burgers. What would you do?

If I thought that the veggie burgers looked like the tastiest option, I would take and eat one.

What kind of response are you looking for?  You keep asking different variations of the same question.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2013, 10:58:59 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.

And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

That doesn't make any sense. If there are plenty of meat burgers and limited veggies burgers and everyone is supposed to get 2 total, mix & match expected, the person who knows they can only eat one meat should take the veggie one first thus ensuring they get one - after all its pretty much guaranteed there will be meat left when they go up for their second.

But even if they do take the meat first, the person who is willing to eat 1 meat and not 2, should still be free to take their second - a veggie option - before the vegetarian takes 2 of the very limited veggie option. If everyone gets a shot at first serving, the second serving should be up for grabs. Why should a vegetarian get priority for having 2 of the limited selection while the flexitarian gets no priority to have a smaller portion of the limited selection? If its limited, them everyone should be equally limited in how much they take.

Your argument seems to come down to "people who are less willing to compromise in a group setting should get first choice, always" and "people who are more willing to compromise should get shafted, always" and that just does not seem right. As I said earlier, your food limitations should limit you in what you eat, they should not limit what others eat. When you limit yourself, by default, you get less.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 11:06:15 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.

And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

That doesn't make any sense. If there are plenty of meat burgers and limited veggies burgers and everyone is supposed to get 2 total, mix & match expected, the person who knows they can only eat one meat should take the veggie one first thus ensuring they get one - after all its pretty much guaranteed there will be meat left when they go up for their second.

But even if they do take the meat first, the person who is willing to eat 1 meat and not 2, should still be free to take their second - a veggie option - before the vegetarian takes 2 of the very limited veggie option. If everyone gets a shot at first serving, the second serving should be up for grabs. Why should a vegetarian get priority for having 2 of the limited selection while the flexitarian gets no priority to have a smaller portion of the limited selection? If its limited, them everyone should be equally limited in how much they take.

Your argument seems to come down to "people who are less willing to compromise in a group setting should get first choice, always" and "people who are more willing to compromise should get shafted, always" and that just does not seem right. As I said earlier, your food limitations should limit you in what you eat, they should not limit what others eat. When you limit yourself, by default, you get less.

Oh no, I didn't mean that the veggies should get to take two! That would be unfair as well! I just mean that ideally, everybody who wants a veggie burger will get one. Failing that, everybody who can't choose another burger will get one.

My opinions have definitely shifted, because I do see now that a lot of people don't think before they make their choices, and so it's not even so much a lack of consideration as unthinkingness.

It's just that I can't imagine seeing that there are far fewer of (say) the vegan option, but deciding that it looks yummy and taking one, without thinking that I might be relegating some poor vegan to trying to cobble together a meal of sides, when I could have easily chosen from another dish and we would both get main meals.

Clearly the second part of that sentence doesn't even occur to most people.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 03, 2013, 11:15:47 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.

And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

That doesn't make any sense. If there are plenty of meat burgers and limited veggies burgers and everyone is supposed to get 2 total, mix & match expected, the person who knows they can only eat one meat should take the veggie one first thus ensuring they get one - after all its pretty much guaranteed there will be meat left when they go up for their second.

But even if they do take the meat first, the person who is willing to eat 1 meat and not 2, should still be free to take their second - a veggie option - before the vegetarian takes 2 of the very limited veggie option. If everyone gets a shot at first serving, the second serving should be up for grabs. Why should a vegetarian get priority for having 2 of the limited selection while the flexitarian gets no priority to have a smaller portion of the limited selection? If its limited, them everyone should be equally limited in how much they take.

Your argument seems to come down to "people who are less willing to compromise in a group setting should get first choice, always" and "people who are more willing to compromise should get shafted, always" and that just does not seem right. As I said earlier, your food limitations should limit you in what you eat, they should not limit what others eat. When you limit yourself, by default, you get less.

Oh no, I didn't mean that the veggies should get to take two! That would be unfair as well! I just mean that ideally, everybody who wants a veggie burger will get one. Failing that, everybody who can't choose another burger will get one.

My opinions have definitely shifted, because I do see now that a lot of people don't think before they make their choices, and so it's not even so much a lack of consideration as unthinkingness.

It's just that I can't imagine seeing that there are far fewer of (say) the vegan option, but deciding that it looks yummy and taking one, without thinking that I might be relegating some poor vegan to trying to cobble together a meal of sides, when I could have easily chosen from another dish and we would both get main meals.

Clearly the second part of that sentence doesn't even occur to most people.

It is not unthinkingness. It is that as a guest, we do not KNOW that there is limitation on that particular item. You seem to attend a lot more events were restricted items are very scarce and have a high potential for not having enough for everyone. And in those cases, you shouldn't be annoyed with the guest (and in a previous post you did say the guests action annoys you) you should be annoyed with the host who did not plan adequately or coordinate food distribution well.

I take pride in my hosting. You are asking my guests to second guess whether are not I am providing adequate types and volume of food for my guests. I would be insulted if I set out a plate of food on a common buffet table, did not indicate in any way that it was to be restricted to a specific population and then found out I had a guest who was doing math in their head to figure out if I was an adequate host. It is not my guests job.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Clumsy Ninja on October 03, 2013, 11:17:52 AM
If  this is a problem you run into with great frequency why wouldn't you just double the amount of vegetarian food that you bring?

With every potluck/bbq type thing I've gone to, I've made sure to bring enough to feed more than just a few people.

I'm an omnivore who happens to love vegetables, some days I simply don't want red meat so I go for the vegetable/fruit offerings. Just because I eat meat does not mean I have to always be eating meat. And with food safety issues there are meat dishes I avoid, particularly when it comes to ground beef.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Teenyweeny on October 03, 2013, 11:26:16 AM
I tend to think that if somebody says no to a particular food, then there are broadly four categories of reason.

Can't eat it: eating that food will cause an adverse physical reaction. Of course, this is the most serious reason. My brother can't eat peanuts, his throat will swell and he might die.

Won't eat it: people with religious/ethical/broader health reasons go here. I won't eat meat. If I accidently eat it, I will be disturbed and upset (like my muslim stepfather would be if he ate bacon), but I won't suffer adverse physical consequences, I won't need medical attention.

Prefer not to eat it: things you dislike based on taste/texture go here. I prefer not to eat pickles. I wouldn't choose them, and if I accidentally eat one, I won't enjoy it, but it's no biggie. I'll have a drink to take the taste away and move on. The point is, I won't ever eat a pickle out of choice. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I just don't like em.

And finally, we have the least serious category:

Not today thank you: a food that I would ordinarily eat, but don't feel like having today. I have eaten it happily in the past, and will eat it happily again, but today I'd rather have one of the other options being presented.

Any one of those four reasons is completely valid as far as turning down the meat option at a gathering. But where the non-meat option is in short supply, I think that the folks from the 'not today' crowd should allow those who wouldn't ever choose the meat to go first.

What this hierarchy fails to take into account though is many people are both "won't" and "will eat anything" at the same time. At many BBQ type parties there is ample food for each guest to have 2 servings of the "main", usually a mix-n-match is expected (1 burger, and 1 hotdog, or 1 sausage and 1 pc. chicken, or 1 steak and 1 portabello, or even 2 hotdogs, etc). And simultaneously many people with "ethical/broader health reasons" won't eat more then 1 serving of meat (sometimes limited to 1 serving of red meat, sometimes any meat) at any one meal or even more then 1 serving per day (many people in fact will limit themselves to only 1-3 servings total per week). So once they have their one real sausage with the eat anything crowd, they are then bumped into the "won't" category with the vegetarians and Muslims and Hindus and all the other groups you think are higher up in the chain of getting preference.

And that's fine! If you'd eat one meat burger and then want the rest to be veggie, that's cool. I just think it would be considerate to (if you are going to eat one meat burger and one veggie burger, for example) eat the meat burger first and then come back for a veggie burger if the veggie burgers are very limited. Otherwise you might end up with two burgers, and Sally (who would never eat the meat burger) could end up with no burgers. And I just don't think that that would be fair.

That doesn't make any sense. If there are plenty of meat burgers and limited veggies burgers and everyone is supposed to get 2 total, mix & match expected, the person who knows they can only eat one meat should take the veggie one first thus ensuring they get one - after all its pretty much guaranteed there will be meat left when they go up for their second.

But even if they do take the meat first, the person who is willing to eat 1 meat and not 2, should still be free to take their second - a veggie option - before the vegetarian takes 2 of the very limited veggie option. If everyone gets a shot at first serving, the second serving should be up for grabs. Why should a vegetarian get priority for having 2 of the limited selection while the flexitarian gets no priority to have a smaller portion of the limited selection? If its limited, them everyone should be equally limited in how much they take.

Your argument seems to come down to "people who are less willing to compromise in a group setting should get first choice, always" and "people who are more willing to compromise should get shafted, always" and that just does not seem right. As I said earlier, your food limitations should limit you in what you eat, they should not limit what others eat. When you limit yourself, by default, you get less.

Oh no, I didn't mean that the veggies should get to take two! That would be unfair as well! I just mean that ideally, everybody who wants a veggie burger will get one. Failing that, everybody who can't choose another burger will get one.

My opinions have definitely shifted, because I do see now that a lot of people don't think before they make their choices, and so it's not even so much a lack of consideration as unthinkingness.

It's just that I can't imagine seeing that there are far fewer of (say) the vegan option, but deciding that it looks yummy and taking one, without thinking that I might be relegating some poor vegan to trying to cobble together a meal of sides, when I could have easily chosen from another dish and we would both get main meals.

Clearly the second part of that sentence doesn't even occur to most people.

It is not unthinkingness. It is that as a guest, we do not KNOW that there is limitation on that particular item. You seem to attend a lot more events were restricted items are very scarce and have a high potential for not having enough for everyone. And in those cases, you shouldn't be annoyed with the guest (and in a previous post you did say the guests action annoys you) you should be annoyed with the host who did not plan adequately or coordinate food distribution well.

I take pride in my hosting. You are asking my guests to second guess whether are not I am providing adequate types and volume of food for my guests. I would be insulted if I set out a plate of food on a common buffet table, did not indicate in any way that it was to be restricted to a specific population and then found out I had a guest who was doing math in their head to figure out if I was an adequate host. It is not my guests job.

Different strokes, I guess. IME, where a veggie option is provided, it's provided in more than enough quantities for the veggies, but in not enough quantities for everybody to take a portion. In the case of faux meat, I'm guessing that this is a cost thing. In the case of other dishes, I think that most hosts assume that foks who eat meat will make that the focus of their meal, and don't want to be left with a ton of the veggie left overs.

I mean, as a host you do make some assumptions about what your guests will eat, and try to plan accordingly, right? Like, if I was hosting a pizza party, I might plan for half a large pizza per person.

IME (and I guess I must go to parties where people provide less liberally than you do), guests do have to do a little bit of a calculation as to what it is polite to take first. Like, even if I was super hungry, if I could see that the budget was half a pizza each, I'd wait a little while before I took more than that. I wouldn't load up my plate first off.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: secretrebel on October 03, 2013, 11:39:33 AM
I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.

I agree - a pizza with, say, mushrooms, onions and green peppers is not a "vegetarian pizza", it's just a pizza with vegetable toppings. And it sounds like more people like that than the meat ones. I might try next time switching one of the meat pizzas to the veggie one.

Exactly. I just can’t wrap my head around pizza without meat automatically equaling vegetarian pizza, or pizza for vegetarians only – and I used to be one. Erm … a vegetarian, not a pizza.

Those pizzas are "vegetarian" because vegetarians can eat them. It's as simple as that. And if there are limited amounts of vegetable/vegetarian pizza and the meat eaters eat it all the vegetarians won't get a meal.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 03, 2013, 11:40:01 AM
I have agreed, repeatedly, that the problem is with hosting. It would be simply lovely if there was enough for everybody to take a decent portion of whatever they choose. But, IME, that often is not the case when it comes to veggie options.


So then, what's the answer?
The host has put everything on the buffet instead of setting the limited veggie items aside.
The omnivorous guests are oblivious to the fact that the veggie items are limited.
The vegetarian guests are hoping that there will be enough veggie items left by the time they get to serve themselves.

It then becomes up to the vegetarian guests to take charge of their own situation.
Maybe ask the hostess to set aside some of the veggie dishes in a special place. Or make sure you're at the front of the line. I dunno.

In any case, the host is not doing a good job for the guests but the guests aren't rude, so it's up to those guests who have specific needs to figure out how to deal with it. And if for some reason, it can't be dealt with, and you go hungry, you leave and go get something to eat elsewhere.

In the real world, people simply are not going to do the things you're suggesting, i.e. look at the small amount and assume it's for vegetarians, etc. I mean, even if we all held hands here and agreed that yes, that is the polite and right thing to do and darn it, everyone should know that!, it wouldn't make it happen.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 03, 2013, 11:48:23 AM
I have agreed, repeatedly, that the problem is with hosting. It would be simply lovely if there was enough for everybody to take a decent portion of whatever they choose. But, IME, that often is not the case when it comes to veggie options.


So then, what's the answer?
The host has put everything on the buffet instead of setting the limited veggie items aside.
The omnivorous guests are oblivious to the fact that the veggie items are limited.
The vegetarian guests are hoping that there will be enough veggie items left by the time they get to serve themselves.

It then becomes up to the vegetarian guests to take charge of their own situation.
Maybe ask the hostess to set aside some of the veggie dishes in a special place. Or make sure you're at the front of the line. I dunno.

In any case, the host is not doing a good job for the guests but the guests aren't rude, so it's up to those guests who have specific needs to figure out how to deal with it. And if for some reason, it can't be dealt with, and you go hungry, you leave and go get something to eat elsewhere.

In the real world, people simply are not going to do the things you're suggesting, i.e. look at the small amount and assume it's for vegetarians, etc. I mean, even if we all held hands here and agreed that yes, that is the polite and right thing to do and darn it, everyone should know that!, it wouldn't make it happen.

Yes, exactly, to the bolded. 

In the end, the only person responsible for your food needs/issues is you. 

The host isn't going to know about them unless you speak up.
The other guests aren't going to know about them unless you speak up.
People aren't mind readers.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 03, 2013, 11:54:03 AM
I have agreed, repeatedly, that the problem is with hosting. It would be simply lovely if there was enough for everybody to take a decent portion of whatever they choose. But, IME, that often is not the case when it comes to veggie options.


So then, what's the answer?
The host has put everything on the buffet instead of setting the limited veggie items aside.
The omnivorous guests are oblivious to the fact that the veggie items are limited.
The vegetarian guests are hoping that there will be enough veggie items left by the time they get to serve themselves.

It then becomes up to the vegetarian guests to take charge of their own situation.
Maybe ask the hostess to set aside some of the veggie dishes in a special place. Or make sure you're at the front of the line. I dunno.

In any case, the host is not doing a good job for the guests but the guests aren't rude, so it's up to those guests who have specific needs to figure out how to deal with it. And if for some reason, it can't be dealt with, and you go hungry, you leave and go get something to eat elsewhere.

In the real world, people simply are not going to do the things you're suggesting, i.e. look at the small amount and assume it's for vegetarians, etc. I mean, even if we all held hands here and agreed that yes, that is the polite and right thing to do and darn it, everyone should know that!, it wouldn't make it happen.

Yes, exactly, to the bolded. 

In the end, the only person responsible for your food needs/issues is you. 

The host isn't going to know about them unless you speak up.
The other guests aren't going to know about them unless you speak up.
People aren't mind readers.

Also, it is generally considered rude to srcutinize or take to close attention to other's eating habits. Even your "only eat it once the vegetarians have made a plate" is requiring guests to rudely track other guest's food consumption. As a hostess, I have the responsiblilty to discreetly make sure all of my guests are well fed. But it's rude of another guest to pay that type of attention.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2013, 11:59:38 AM
Also, it is generally considered rude to srcutinize or take to close attention to other's eating habits. Even your "only eat it once the vegetarians have made a plate" is requiring guests to rudely track other guest's food consumption. As a hostess, I have the responsiblilty to discreetly make sure all of my guests are well fed. But it's rude of another guest to pay that type of attention.

It's also kind of...unfestive. I grew up in a big family and we bean-counted every single thing; it's something I've had to unlearn so I can relax at parties!  ;D This does not mean, of course, that people should snarf a million servings of food like the hot dog guy in the other thread, but that standing around crunching math is not what a guest wants to do at a party. It's part of the work involved in hosting, IMO.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: azleaneo on October 03, 2013, 12:11:09 PM
I have to be gluten free against my own wishes. I have to make my own choices and if I go to a potluck and there's a gluten free option, great, if it's gone before I got to it, oh well, and if end up not finding anything to eat that time then I missed out.

What would I do in that situation? I would go to the host and say "Thank you for providing a gluten free option, it looks like it was really popular and I didn't get to it in time. Perhaps you should have it again at the next gathering since it did so well!"

What am I not going to do? I'm not going to wonder and fret over the fact that maybe Bob ate some and he's not gluten  free, and Sally doesn't really need gluten free food she's just eating it because she thinks it's a fad diet, etc.

If the host knows that I'm gluten free and put aside the gluten free stuffing in the kitchen and grabs me as I'm grabbing a plate and says, there's gluten free stuffing set aside for you then that's absolutely wonderful. However if she didn't put it aside, she's not rude for putting it out and having it end up gone.

With the vegetarian situation, if you have 100% of the people there willing to eat vegetables, and only 50% of the people there willing to eat meat, then maybe the vegetable option should be larger to accommodate all the people. If you know that you have 5 vegetarians there, you still are probably going to need more than what those people are going to consume since the rest of the people there can eat it.

Also, if all else fails, there's always plain ol' salad with a plain dressing. There's been plenty of potlucks where that's been the only thing I could have and that suits me just fine. I'm there for the company and socializing, not to get upset that Larry took the last gluten free brownie right in front of me.

*Super hypothetical situation to make you think about things: What if the ONLY option that you could have possibly eaten given whatever restrictions you have ended up getting spilled all over the ground and no one got it except the dogs? How upsetting would that be? Would there be any of the anger and worry and pointing out rudeness if the food was destroyed?

Reading through this thread I only could see two very firm examples of rudeness. 1. Nephew eating shrimp off of Aunties plate, and 2. Coworker eating a meal that was specifically for someone else and commenting that they knew it was specifically for that person but they ate it anyway. The rudeness in the second situation comes from the singularity of the food being for a single person. That situation is the equivalent of eating someone's food with someone's name on it. In a hosted situation again my previous statement that if the host had something specific for me then it should be set aside specific for me, and I should not expect that that would even be the case.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: EllenS on October 03, 2013, 12:20:17 PM
Being a piggie at the buffet and taking unreasonably sized portions of anything, is rude.  Hosting a party and not providing reasonable accomodations for your guests' comfort, and adequate portions of food for the amount of people invited, is rude. Tracking what other people (who are not your minor children) eat, is rude.

I know quite a lot of people whose dietary restrictions change frequently.  Failing to have all your fellow guests' dietary restrictions memorized and updated to the minute, is not rude. Failing to do the host's job and count/assign portions per guest, appropriately to their individual needs, is not rude.

Unless a dish is labeled or set aside in some specific way, anything on the buffet is fair game for anybody attending the buffet. Expecting other people to be psychic, and just "know" that something is for Special Guests Only, or expecting other people to be responsible for one's meal, is both unrealistic and unreasonable.

If someone brings a "special" food to a party, and announces to the crowd, "these are the Special items!  I made them just for this party!", the quite normal response in my part of the world/upbringing, would be to say, "great, I can't wait to try one!"  I would assume the bringer was purposely calling our attention to the item so we could try it and compliment it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyR on October 03, 2013, 12:23:13 PM
If I was hosting a largish BBQ, there is no way I would provide enough veggie alternatives for everyone to have some.  I won't eat them so having leftovers is a huge waste.  Plus, they are considerably more expensive than meat options.

I completely understand this but I'm not getting the idea of the fake meat necessity that seems to be popping up in the thread.   It's definitely too expensive and most people don't like them so why buy it period?

When I think of hosting vegetarians for a BBQ I think of putting things on the grill that everyone can enjoy.  Some mentioned portabello mushrooms.  There are also veggie kabobs and grilled corn.  Why not make extra potato salad and fruit salad?  Or how about a large green salad with nuts and cheese for protein?  People seem to get hung up on tofu dogs and veggie burgers being necessary alongside the real meat.  I just don't see it.  Cooking for vegetarian should be cheaper because you're not spending as much on the meat.  I would make more of the less expensive meatless options.  Leave the tofu dogs at the overpriced health store :)

In my example, it was a hot dog bar. There were 27 different types of toppings for the hot dogs (there was also salad and dip), so it was definitely the focus and i provide the vegetarian option so that the vegetarians could participate fully. I don't think I was obligated to provide that alternate option for everyone and i had them set aside on a seperate plate and announced that they were for the two vegatarians. I also did cook them seperately.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: White Lotus on October 03, 2013, 12:37:00 PM
A couple of PPs have pointed out that the provision of meat analogs (veg burgers, dogs, sausages, etc.) is not really necessary as long as there are plenty of other things vegetarians or vegans can eat, some of which contain protein sources (beans, etc.)  Omnivores see meat as a centerpiece dish and want to swap out one for one.  Failure to make that swap makes a meal feel incomplete to them.  Vegetarian cooking just doesn't work that way; main dishes tend to be mixed dishes, like soups or stews or casseroles or stir fries.  There is a reason for this, besides the wonderful plethora of naturally vegetarian dishes available.

Meat analogs are just not that good.  They are overpowering at best and icky at worst.  I do not want to eat a meat analog dog all by itself in a bun, with appropriate condiments.  It is too much.  Maybe an eighth of one, like a pickle spear. Once a year, if that.  We use meat analogs occasionally, but prefer to use them in tiny amounts mostly to make omnivores comfortable -- chili just doesn't feel right to them without something that looks like meat in it, for example, even when they know it is not meat.  Red sauce for pasta.  Shepherd's pie.  Like that.  We do have a brand of veg burgers we like -- but they don't pretend they are trying to be meat, and we want burgers only a few times a year, anyway.

It is nice when a host makes an effort to provide veg food.  We appreciate it, and we're happy to bring it, too.  We like your company, but we get hungry.  But a one to one swap is not really necessary.  Why not ask the guests?  I don't know a single veg who does not automatically offer to bring a veg entree when accepting any invitation.  We really don't mind, and would like to work with you to make it a coordinated and delicious meal. ETA: that hog dog bar sounds great!  You won't mind if I skip the veg dog or only take part of one, will you?  Thanks!
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: turnip on October 03, 2013, 01:20:00 PM
You know - I wonder if some of the disconnect is that there seem to be regions where a meal without meat is not considered a true meal.  I remember a thread - I don't know if it was here or another wedding site, it was a while ago - where a couple wanted to have a vegetarian reception and there were many responses along the lines of "Well, we'd go, but we'd have to leave as soon as possible to get some 'real' food"

I live in the land of granola and tofu, so my default assumption is that any guest may eat any variety of food, and 'vegetarian'  plates should be available to all.  If I lived somewhere else, I might assume that the only reason a person would willingly forgo meat is if they had severe food or moral restrictions.  Therefore it might seem 'rude' for a non-veg guest to take a veg entree, because it is so far out of my social norm.

Hmm - food for thought.  No pun intended!
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: I'mnotinsane on October 03, 2013, 03:20:20 PM
I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.

I agree - a pizza with, say, mushrooms, onions and green peppers is not a "vegetarian pizza", it's just a pizza with vegetable toppings. And it sounds like more people like that than the meat ones. I might try next time switching one of the meat pizzas to the veggie one.

Exactly. I just can’t wrap my head around pizza without meat automatically equaling vegetarian pizza, or pizza for vegetarians only – and I used to be one. Erm … a vegetarian, not a pizza.

Those pizzas are "vegetarian" because vegetarians can eat them. It's as simple as that. And if there are limited amounts of vegetable/vegetarian pizza and the meat eaters eat it all the vegetarians won't get a meal.

And if we subscribe to a false hierarchy that says vegetarians get first pick of pizzas without meat I won't get a meal.  Just because I eat some meats doesn't mean I eat pepperoni or sausage pizza.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: audrey1962 on October 03, 2013, 03:35:30 PM
And if we subscribe to a false hierarchy that says vegetarians get first pick of pizzas without meat I won't get a meal.  Just because I eat some meats doesn't mean I eat pepperoni or sausage pizza.

Agreed. Even before I went veg, I never liked pepperoni or sausage. I was just never a big meat-eater, regardless of "labels".
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: sweetonsno on October 03, 2013, 03:40:18 PM
I never considered a black olive and mushroom pizza a vegeterian pizza. It's just pizza.

I agree - a pizza with, say, mushrooms, onions and green peppers is not a "vegetarian pizza", it's just a pizza with vegetable toppings. And it sounds like more people like that than the meat ones. I might try next time switching one of the meat pizzas to the veggie one.

Exactly. I just can’t wrap my head around pizza without meat automatically equaling vegetarian pizza, or pizza for vegetarians only – and I used to be one. Erm … a vegetarian, not a pizza.

Those pizzas are "vegetarian" because vegetarians can eat them. It's as simple as that. And if there are limited amounts of vegetable/vegetarian pizza and the meat eaters eat it all the vegetarians won't get a meal.
[/quote

And if we subscribe to a false hierarchy that says vegetarians get first pick of pizzas without meat I won't get a meal.  Just because I eat some meats doesn't mean I eat pepperoni or sausage pizza.

I imagine that you mention this preference when you order, right? I really don't think the issue with the pizza is so much the vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian thing but that people sometimes ask for one thing but take another, leaving the person who asked for it without anything. I know that the original question was about vegetarianism, but it could go for any other restriction or preference.

Let's your office was ordering pizzas and ten asked for pepperoni and you and one other asked for barbecue chicken. Your PM orders 4 pepperoni pizzas and 1 chicken pizza. I think you and the other person who ordered barbecue chicken should have first crack at it. The people who asked for pepperoni should take the pepperoni first.

Heck, we could even make them all vegetarian pizzas. Ten people ask for mushroom pizza because they love mushrooms and two ask for pineapple because they loathe mushrooms. The mushroom lovers should take the mushroom pizza that they asked for instead of taking the pineapple pizza that was ordered for someone else. The pineapple people would have every right to be annoyed if they arrived to lunch and found only mushroom pizza while the people who had requested the mushroom pizza were chowing down on pineapple.

Crud. Now I want pineapple pizza.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2013, 03:44:37 PM
But we're talking about offices where, instead of asking what people want or responding to what they actually eat, they buy (for example) 1 green pepper and mushroom pizza "for the vegetarians" and 3 pepperoni pizzas "for everybody else" even though the omnivores have made it clear they don't really want the pepperoni either. There's just no sense in keeping ordering just one veggie and a zillion meat if the group would prefer, say, 3 veggie and 1 meat.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: WillyNilly on October 03, 2013, 04:18:21 PM
Sometimes the problem with the pizza issue is how its worded too.
Lets say Alice is doing the ordering so she sends out an email or walks around and does a quick poll "would you prefer muchroom pizza or pepperoni pizza?" She asks like this because perhaps thats what she is used to or what her boss had suggested, or some other random reason. She gets 16 answers, of 8 and 8.
But then 17th person says "hmmm actually can you just order a plain cheese pie I really don't care for either." So now persons 18, 19 and 20 are asked "would you prefer mushroom, pepperoni  or plain cheese pizza?" and finds out 2 like both toppins and one peson also prefers plain cheese. Based on her answers she order 2 mushroom, 2 pepperoni and 1 cheese.
When they arrive the first 8 people - all of whom actually prefer plain cheese but didn't have it offered as an option and didn't think to ask to add a third option, see the cheese pie and each grab a piece, thus leaving 4 pies (all mushroom or pepperoni) untouched and person's 17 and 19 who asked for the plain have none...

Its not that those 8 people lied when they pizza they preferred, its that they weren't given the full gamut of options. They picked which of the two they liked better, not what kind of pizza they liked best in the whole world, or even which they liked best out of the options that were actually ordered.

Sometimes its also worded "would you eat pepperoni if it was ordered?" instead of what pizza do you like. Some people might eat pepperoni over nothing, so if they are led to believe only pepperoni is being ordered, yes they would eat some, but that doesn't mean if assorted toppings are ordered they would still choose pepperoni. For example I hate black olives. But I love pizza. If the only pizza available has olives I will pick them off, so I will eat a pie with black olives on it. But if there is a pie without olives I'd rather that, because its a hassle to pick the olives off. If someone were ordering and were trying to justify a pie with olives on it (say they were the only one who asked for olives) they might not be clear that there were other options available - its not olive pizza or nothing.

It would be a wonderful world if everyone was a clear and consistent communicator, but unfortunately that's not always the case.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sharnita on October 03, 2013, 04:47:21 PM
As far as the hot dog bar, we were at one. My sister who is not begetatian but who was pregnant took a vegetarian hot dog because it doesn't have many of the thongs she was trying to avoid. Seems entirely valid to me. I think it is probably unwise to make assumptions about who rates in the "deserving"  category.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 03, 2013, 05:12:39 PM
I think our next pizza order will be 3 vegetable, 3 cheese and 3 meat topping pizzas.  :D
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: sweetonsno on October 03, 2013, 05:27:43 PM
Sometimes the problem with the pizza issue is how its worded too.
Lets say Alice is doing the ordering so she sends out an email or walks around and does a quick poll "would you prefer muchroom pizza or pepperoni pizza?" She asks like this because perhaps thats what she is used to or what her boss had suggested, or some other random reason. She gets 16 answers, of 8 and 8.
But then 17th person says "hmmm actually can you just order a plain cheese pie I really don't care for either." So now persons 18, 19 and 20 are asked "would you prefer mushroom, pepperoni  or plain cheese pizza?" and finds out 2 like both toppins and one peson also prefers plain cheese. Based on her answers she order 2 mushroom, 2 pepperoni and 1 cheese.
When they arrive the first 8 people - all of whom actually prefer plain cheese but didn't have it offered as an option and didn't think to ask to add a third option, see the cheese pie and each grab a piece, thus leaving 4 pies (all mushroom or pepperoni) untouched and person's 17 and 19 who asked for the plain have none...

Its not that those 8 people lied when they pizza they preferred, its that they weren't given the full gamut of options. They picked which of the two they liked better, not what kind of pizza they liked best in the whole world, or even which they liked best out of the options that were actually ordered.

Sometimes its also worded "would you eat pepperoni if it was ordered?" instead of what pizza do you like. Some people might eat pepperoni over nothing, so if they are led to believe only pepperoni is being ordered, yes they would eat some, but that doesn't mean if assorted toppings are ordered they would still choose pepperoni. For example I hate black olives. But I love pizza. If the only pizza available has olives I will pick them off, so I will eat a pie with black olives on it. But if there is a pie without olives I'd rather that, because its a hassle to pick the olives off. If someone were ordering and were trying to justify a pie with olives on it (say they were the only one who asked for olives) they might not be clear that there were other options available - its not olive pizza or nothing.

It would be a wonderful world if everyone was a clear and consistent communicator, but unfortunately that's not always the case.

I do agree that it's better to leave it open-ended when taking orders, but I still think it's iffy to ask for one thing and take another. Take, for instance, a catered sales presentation I once attended. There were two choices offered on the invitation (for the sake of discussion, let's say beef or fish). However, if you called the venue, you could get an alternate that was vegetarian, kosher, gluten-free, etc. At this event, at least one diner who had ordered the beef changed her mind and snagged someone else's risotto. Luckily, the caterers had brought enough that nobody went hungry. However, I really can't get behind what that guest did.

People with dietary restrictions sometimes do a little extra work to make sure that they can be accommodated (or make alternate arrangements if they cannot). It may mean asking the waitress what kind of stock the soup has, or whether the pastry is made with lard, or if the dressing has soy sauce in it. It may mean asking for a substitution. It may mean finding out if there are any off-menu options for them. I guess I don't see why a person who just happens to like the veggie pizza better than the meat lover's (but who isn't non-vegetarian/kosher/sensitive to nitrates) shouldn't be expected to ask the person ordering whether they can get a veggie option while the person who has a religious/ethical/health reason for wanting to pass on the meat lover's is.

I guess my point is that if someone else has gone to the trouble of making special arrangements for themselves in a situation, they should be able to benefit from it. Now, if the person who doesn't like pepperoni doesn't show up until half an hour after the food has been served, I'm less sympathetic if the cheese pizza has all been eaten. But I do think that they should have first crack at it. If someone really wanted the veggie pizza but didn't ask for them, then I do think they need to wait until the people who arranged for it eat first.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: EllenS on October 03, 2013, 05:36:58 PM
As far as the hot dog bar, we were at one. My sister who is not begetatian but who was pregnant took a vegetarian hot dog because it doesn't have many of the thongs she was trying to avoid. Seems entirely valid to me. I think it is probably unwise to make assumptions about who rates in the "deserving"  category.

Snicker.  I also tried to avoid thongs when I was pregnant. As I do to this day. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Hmmmmm on October 03, 2013, 05:51:51 PM
As far as the hot dog bar, we were at one. My sister who is not begetatian but who was pregnant took a vegetarian hot dog because it doesn't have many of the thongs she was trying to avoid. Seems entirely valid to me. I think it is probably unwise to make assumptions about who rates in the "deserving"  category.

Snicker.  I also tried to avoid thongs when I was pregnant. As I do to this day.
See I gave a pass on thongs but I'm still trying to figure out begetatian. At first I thought it might be a term for a pregnant vegetarian who decided to introduce beef to their diet during pregnancy to increase protein and iron.

But is it a typo too?
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 03, 2013, 05:57:55 PM
As far as the hot dog bar, we were at one. My sister who is not begetatian but who was pregnant took a vegetarian hot dog because it doesn't have many of the thongs she was trying to avoid. Seems entirely valid to me. I think it is probably unwise to make assumptions about who rates in the "deserving"  category.

Snicker.  I also tried to avoid thongs when I was pregnant. As I do to this day.
See I gave a pass on thongs but I'm still trying to figure out begetatian. At first I thought it might be a term for a pregnant vegetarian who decided to introduce beef to their diet during pregnancy to increase protein and iron.

But is it a typo too?

Well, begetting and pregnancy do go together.  >:D
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyR on October 03, 2013, 07:05:24 PM
I think my issue with this idea is I can't imagine hosting a party where I didn't know my guests well. At the hot dog bar party there was a dozen people all together and I knew with certainty that most of them would never, ever eat a meat substitute. One occasionaly does, but she also likes regular hot dogs. That left the two vegetarians. If it had been an occasion where a guest was brunging someone i didn't know, I'd have bought the large pack of hot dogs.

Generally, i avoid meat substitutes and just go for meat-free options when i host parties. When I did tacos a few months ago, I provided a black bean and corn filling for the vegtarians, the thiught of meat subsitute never occured to me, but for something like a hot dog bar, I thiught a substitute was appropriate.

So i stick by my answer that it is not rude to only provide enough for a few guests, if you know your guests well. If you are at all uncertain, then it is polite to ahve some extras, but I don't think you have to have enough for every single person to have one.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: baglady on October 03, 2013, 08:01:09 PM
After 14 pages, my conclusion is, "It depends."

I have a pretty good handle on who in my circle is vegetarian/vegan/lactose intolerant/gluten intolerant/keeps kosher, etc. As a guest, if I saw a small plate of veggie burgers or gluten-free cookies on an otherwise well-stocked buffet table, I'd instinctively pass them by because I knew they were for someone who needed them.

But that might not have been the case in the party OP describes. Sometimes at large parties a vegetarian option is offered without specific people in mind -- it's more of a "just in case anyone prefers not to eat meat" situation. These "anyones" can be committed vegetarians, people who are thinking about going vegetarian and see an opportunity to sample veggie burgers, people who have just been told by the doctor to cut back on meat, or people who simply don't feel like eating meat that day. Unless the guests all know each other very well, or there is a "reserved for ___" sign on the ___ food, they can't be expected to know that a certain food is for certain people only.

Ideally, every guest should be able to eat his or her fill of whatever s/he likes/is able to eat. But that isn't always the case in real life. Guests with food issues or preferences need to take some responsibility and make some choices. If you're vegetarian and invited to a pig roast, you can decline the invitation, eat beforehand and come for dessert, eat afterward, fill up on sides, or offer to bring something. I'm on Atkins and have left a few potlucks with a less-than-full stomach because so many of the contributions were starch-based. It happens.

All of the above presumes we're talking about a casual party/cookout/buffet/potluck, not a sit-down dinner party.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 03, 2013, 10:51:25 PM
I host BBQs quite a lot. The ratio of omnivore friends to vegetarian friends is about 4:1.

So I accordingly buy 4:1 ratios of meat versus meat-substitute products*. With a few extra meat-substitute products. I do NOT buy 50:50 ratios.

Why do I do this? Because I assume that my omvivore friends will - at the BBQ - prefer to eat the proper meat products, rather than the meat substitutes. I don't think this is an "interesting assumption". Nor do I consider myself rude for not buying enough meat-substitute products on the (extremely unlikely) off-chance that the omnivores would suddenly prefer them over the meat products.

And if the Extremely Unlikely Off-Chance did occur, and all the omnivores "wanted to try" a meat substitute product (as happened in the OP) rather than eat the normal meat, you can bet your boots I (as the hostess) would say something. Eg "Hey guys, just so you're aware, we only have a limited number of those veggie sausages. Can you make sure there's a few left for Sally and Jim?"

I have a responsibility to ensure that all my guests are fed, not just the omnivores.


*I'm talking about actual meat substitutes like veggie sausages, not meat-free sides like bread and salad.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 07:44:25 AM
I do agree that it's better to leave it open-ended when taking orders, but I still think it's iffy to ask for one thing and take another. Take, for instance, a catered sales presentation I once attended. There were two choices offered on the invitation (for the sake of discussion, let's say beef or fish). However, if you called the venue, you could get an alternate that was vegetarian, kosher, gluten-free, etc. At this event, at least one diner who had ordered the beef changed her mind and snagged someone else's risotto. Luckily, the caterers had brought enough that nobody went hungry. However, I really can't get behind what that guest did.

Actually, luck had nothing to do with it. Instead I would say that these caterers knew their business and knew that regardless of what had been ordered, there would inevitably be some people who would be tempted by something at the dinner that they hadn't ordered. It's human nature. Asking me today what I want to eat a week from now is fine, but don't be surprised if I change my mind on the day. And that's how a good host figures it. It's never wrong to have too much food at a party. The thought of running out of something that someone still wants is abhorent to me as a host. Even the more expensive options. Either I can afford to supply plenty of everything or I do something different.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 07:52:37 AM
In the case of the pizzas being ordered in a work scenario, the solution is obvious. Order extras. If 8 people want meat and 8 people want mushroom and 3 people want cheese, does that mean we only order five pies? Why not order seven? Yeah, there will be leftovers, but again, it's way better to have leftovers than to run out.

I've been in several different situation where lots of people are going to be eating pizza ordered by one supplier. At the office or at an industry function for example. There is always an overabundance of pies. They pick a few different kinds of pizza and order a bunch of each. Sure there are leftovers. But no one gets short changed.

It's really the same thing that's been said over and over again. Make sure to have enough of each item that everyone can partake without anything running out. It's a very simple answer.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sophia on October 04, 2013, 08:02:54 AM
This has been an interesting thread because it would have never occurred to me that a meat-eater might voluntarily eat a veggie burger or veggie sausage.  I've tried a bite of them when a veggie was trying to convert me and I thought they both pretty disgusting.  So, if I were hosting and providing meat substitutes, I would count the number of veggie guests.  Figure out how much they might eat, round up slightly, and buy that much.   

For accidentally veggie dishes like mushrooms, I would assume the 'market' was everyone and buy accordingly. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LadyL on October 04, 2013, 08:12:28 AM
This has been an interesting thread because it would have never occurred to me that a meat-eater might voluntarily eat a veggie burger or veggie sausage.  I've tried a bite of them when a veggie was trying to convert me and I thought they both pretty disgusting.  So, if I were hosting and providing meat substitutes, I would count the number of veggie guests.  Figure out how much they might eat, round up slightly, and buy that much.   

For accidentally veggie dishes like mushrooms, I would assume the 'market' was everyone and buy accordingly.

It seems equally preposterous to me that there are meat eaters who shun all "vegetarian" food! I think it might be somewhat a regional thing? I don't know.

I'm guessing the meat substitutes you tried were store bought ones? Where I live most restaurants have at least 1-3 veggie or vegan options. I've seen some creative and delicious veggie burgers - one had chunks of avocado in it. I get ones from the meat market (somewhat ironically) that they make out of corn, carrots, squash, and other veggies that are very tasty, you bake them in the oven and they are crisp on the edges and softer in the middle. I think the key is embracing that it's a veggie patty, not trying to make it "fake meat." I know some vegetarians who hate all "fake meat" themselves.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 04, 2013, 08:15:03 AM
This has been an interesting thread because it would have never occurred to me that a meat-eater might voluntarily eat a veggie burger or veggie sausage.  I've tried a bite of them when a veggie was trying to convert me and I thought they both pretty disgusting.  So, if I were hosting and providing meat substitutes, I would count the number of veggie guests.  Figure out how much they might eat, round up slightly, and buy that much.   

For accidentally veggie dishes like mushrooms, I would assume the 'market' was everyone and buy accordingly.

It seems equally preposterous to me that there are meat eaters who shun all "vegetarian" food! I think it might be somewhat a regional thing? I don't know.

I'm guessing the meat substitutes you tried were store bought ones? Where I live most restaurants have at least 1-3 veggie or vegan options. I've seen some creative and delicious veggie burgers - one had chunks of avocado in it. I get ones from the meat market (somewhat ironically) that they make out of corn, carrots, squash, and other veggies that are very tasty, you bake them in the oven and they are crisp on the edges and softer in the middle. I think the key is embracing that it's a veggie patty, not trying to make it "fake meat." I know some vegetarians who hate all "fake meat" themselves.

I've heard really great things about black bean burgers.

And with pizza, pizza with lots of veggies can be amazing; there's a lot of flavor and texture, and it's also visually enticing when you open up the box and see it--all those colors! Green peppers, red onions, black olives...I'm making myself hungry! :D
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: MindsEye on October 04, 2013, 08:20:41 AM
This has been an interesting thread because it would have never occurred to me that a meat-eater might voluntarily eat a veggie burger or veggie sausage.  I've tried a bite of them when a veggie was trying to convert me and I thought they both pretty disgusting.  So, if I were hosting and providing meat substitutes, I would count the number of veggie guests.  Figure out how much they might eat, round up slightly, and buy that much.   

Heh.  Now, I love a good burger... emphasis on "good".  But I am choosy about my meat.  I won't eat low quality meat.  And frankly a lot of the generic meat burger patties are pretty bottom-shelf quality and have a lot of what I consider questionable additives.  So given the choice of that or the garden (or black bean) burger, I will go with the garden burger every time. 

Just because someone eats meat, doesn't mean that they eat meat exclusively, or that they always have to go with the meat option. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Sophia on October 04, 2013, 08:28:25 AM
...and that is why this thread is so interesting. 
I was raised that it was positively a sin to run out of any major item when hosting.  I could see myself being the host of the party where the meat substitutes ran out.  And being mortified.  So, I now know to round up to a greater amount. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 04, 2013, 08:36:55 AM
...and that is why this thread is so interesting. 
I was raised that it was positively a sin to run out of any major item when hosting.  I could see myself being the host of the party where the meat substitutes ran out.  And being mortified.  So, I now know to round up to a greater amount.


Or again, just place it out of the main area and direct the vegetarians to it as it can be pricey as others noted. 


And ditto to not liking most burgers as I am "snobby" about my meat too. Plus for some reason a lot of the lesser quality meat gives me stomach pains for a couple of days.  I would instead fill up on the sides or alternatives if they are on the main buffet.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Yvaine on October 04, 2013, 08:40:46 AM
Oh, and if you get into grilled portobellos, I love them love them love them, and I'm a meat eater.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 08:56:24 AM
...and that is why this thread is so interesting. 
I was raised that it was positively a sin to run out of any major item when hosting.  I could see myself being the host of the party where the meat substitutes ran out.  And being mortified.  So, I now know to round up to a greater amount.


Or again, just place it out of the main area and direct the vegetarians to it as it can be pricey as others noted. 


Or.... Don't make anything special for the vegetarians. Instead make enough main stream dishes that are naturally vegetarian. I'm not much of a fan of meat substitutes. In addition, putting myself in the place of a vegetarian, I would not want to be singled out and have food set aside for me* or have it be announced to the crowd not to partake of a particular dish because it was made specifically for me.

So for example, instead of making one meat lasagne, I'd make one meat and one veggie. Or set up a taco bar with make your own tacos, with meat and veg filling options. I recently hosted a baby shower and served heavy appetizers. One was a meat item. Everything else was veggie, but none of those things were meat subs, they were all things that were just naturally veg.

It's not that hard to make meatless items as principle parts of the meal. I just do that, making enough so that if everyone ate some of everything, there would still be plenty.

*I know I've advocated for doing just that and I still think it's the right thing to do if a limited amount of something is available and meant for those specific people. I'm just saying I wouldn't want it done for me.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 04, 2013, 09:17:34 AM
...and that is why this thread is so interesting. 
I was raised that it was positively a sin to run out of any major item when hosting.  I could see myself being the host of the party where the meat substitutes ran out.  And being mortified.  So, I now know to round up to a greater amount.


Or again, just place it out of the main area and direct the vegetarians to it as it can be pricey as others noted. 


Or.... Don't make anything special for the vegetarians. Instead make enough main stream dishes that are naturally vegetarian. I'm not much of a fan of meat substitutes. In addition, putting myself in the place of a vegetarian, I would not want to be singled out and have food set aside for me* or have it be announced to the crowd not to partake of a particular dish because it was made specifically for me.




Well in the thread it has been said over and over that people like meat substitutes but won't buy enough for everyone.  If a quiet comment directly to the vegetarians of the party is offensive, that's surprising.  (I do agree with the announcement or the "reprimand" hey that's for...)  And it shouldn't be noticed in the "rush" of getting foods, enjoying party etc if one or two vegetarians step into the kitchen and pick up their yummy foods and slip back into the party.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 04, 2013, 09:25:36 AM
...and that is why this thread is so interesting. 
I was raised that it was positively a sin to run out of any major item when hosting.  I could see myself being the host of the party where the meat substitutes ran out.  And being mortified.  So, I now know to round up to a greater amount.


Or again, just place it out of the main area and direct the vegetarians to it as it can be pricey as others noted. 


Or.... Don't make anything special for the vegetarians. Instead make enough main stream dishes that are naturally vegetarian. I'm not much of a fan of meat substitutes. In addition, putting myself in the place of a vegetarian, I would not want to be singled out and have food set aside for me* or have it be announced to the crowd not to partake of a particular dish because it was made specifically for me.




Well in the thread it has been said over and over that people like meat substitutes but won't buy enough for everyone.  If a quiet comment directly to the vegetarians of the party is offensive, that's surprising.  (I do agree with the announcement or the "reprimand" hey that's for...)  And it shouldn't be noticed in the "rush" of getting foods, enjoying party etc if one or two vegetarians step into the kitchen and pick up their yummy foods and slip back into the party.

I never said it was offensive. Where do you see that? I said *I* would not want that done for me.
I would not want to be singled out. I would not want to feel like something were made especially for me that no one else would be allowed to eat. Read my * comment:

*I know I've advocated for doing just that and I still think it's the right thing to do if a limited amount of something is available and meant for those specific people. I'm just saying I wouldn't want it done for me.

And that's why I wouldn't do that sort of thing, myself, as host.

However, I do agree, as I said above, that if there's not enough for everyone, that's probably the best way to handle it.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Zilla on October 04, 2013, 10:53:56 AM
Quote

I never said it was offensive. Where do you see that? I said *I* would not want that done for me.
I would not want to be singled out. I would not want to feel like something were made especially for me that no one else would be allowed to eat. Read my * comment:



I never said you said it was offensive.  I did read your post, thanks.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: snowdragon on October 04, 2013, 11:12:14 AM
This has been an interesting thread because it would have never occurred to me that a meat-eater might voluntarily eat a veggie burger or veggie sausage.  I've tried a bite of them when a veggie was trying to convert me and I thought they both pretty disgusting.  So, if I were hosting and providing meat substitutes, I would count the number of veggie guests.  Figure out how much they might eat, round up slightly, and buy that much.   

For accidentally veggie dishes like mushrooms, I would assume the 'market' was everyone and buy accordingly.

Different brands of burgers are different. Even different varieties of the same brands can be different. I won't touch a portobello for the life me - but a Morningstar Farms Garden Burger  is great- I will often have them in my freezer and eat them in semi-regular rotation. Given tho choice between those and a lot of other stuff, I will happily eat those....keep me from having them at BBQ because someone else is more worthy will often mean I don't get to eat that evening.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 04, 2013, 11:16:25 AM


Also, it is generally considered rude to srcutinize or take to close attention to other's eating habits. Even your "only eat it once the vegetarians have made a plate" is requiring guests to rudely track other guest's food consumption. As a hostess, I have the responsiblilty to discreetly make sure all of my guests are well fed. But it's rude of another guest to pay that type of attention.


I see that as "only eat it once the vegetarians have had a CHANCE to make a plate."

If I go through a buffet line, and there's a plate of burgers w/ a little sign that says "vegetarian," I think that as a meat-eater, I should not take one of those burgers on my first time through the line. Ditto anything that's labeled "vegan" or "gluten free." If that's not my restriction, I wouldn't take it. Oh, if the macaroni & cheese were labeled "vegetarian" or the potato salad was "vegan," I'd take an ordinary helping of those, because those are mainstream dishes. But the **alternate** food--reg. burgers & veggie; reg. bread & gluten free; reg. pasta & vegan--I'd wait until the 2nd trip. (I don't think the host should have to make a big announcement if they've labeled the food.)   (oh, and if it looked like there was a big pile of the veggie burgers, I might be willing to break this rule of mine.)

And with any hosted buffet (as opposed to a restaurant), *everyone* should wait to make a 2nd trip (or take a 2nd serving, or a serving big enough to be 2) until after enough time has passed that everyone could have gone through once.

Should some other guest get caught up in a conversation and not make it through the line until later, then they're on their own--I agree that those w/ restricted diets have their own half of the equation to hold up.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: ettiquit on October 04, 2013, 01:18:53 PM


Also, it is generally considered rude to srcutinize or take to close attention to other's eating habits. Even your "only eat it once the vegetarians have made a plate" is requiring guests to rudely track other guest's food consumption. As a hostess, I have the responsiblilty to discreetly make sure all of my guests are well fed. But it's rude of another guest to pay that type of attention.


I see that as "only eat it once the vegetarians have had a CHANCE to make a plate."

If I go through a buffet line, and there's a plate of burgers w/ a little sign that says "vegetarian," I think that as a meat-eater, I should not take one of those burgers on my first time through the line. Ditto anything that's labeled "vegan" or "gluten free." If that's not my restriction, I wouldn't take it. Oh, if the macaroni & cheese were labeled "vegetarian" or the potato salad was "vegan," I'd take an ordinary helping of those, because those are mainstream dishes. But the **alternate** food--reg. burgers & veggie; reg. bread & gluten free; reg. pasta & vegan--I'd wait until the 2nd trip. (I don't think the host should have to make a big announcement if they've labeled the food.)   (oh, and if it looked like there was a big pile of the veggie burgers, I might be willing to break this rule of mine.)

And with any hosted buffet (as opposed to a restaurant), *everyone* should wait to make a 2nd trip (or take a 2nd serving, or a serving big enough to be 2) until after enough time has passed that everyone could have gone through once.

Should some other guest get caught up in a conversation and not make it through the line until later, then they're on their own--I agree that those w/ restricted diets have their own half of the equation to hold up.

I don't think I would look at a food labeled "vegetarian" and assume I shouldn't eat it because I'm a meat eater. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals (I love trying new tofu recipes) - we're even having veggie burgers tonight. I'd pick a portabello burger over a red meat one any day. It's part of my regular diet, so why would I not take the vegetarian option if that's what looks the best to me?

OTOH, I probably would avoid anything marked gluten-free because I'd be surprised that something like that would be served if there wasn't someone there with that restriction.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: sunnygirl on October 04, 2013, 03:49:07 PM
Personally I don't consider vegetarianism or religious food restrictions to always be a case of 'won't eat' rather than 'can't eat.' Sometimes it is, certainly, but not always.

Eating meat for the first time after a long period of vegetarianism (and even more so veganism) makes many people physically ill because their bodies can't digest it.

When it comes to religious food restrictions, it's hard to explain, but in some people who are very devout the psychological block is so strong it really would not be physically possible to bring themselves to do eat the food in question, and the person would likely become physically ill (either because their body isn't used to it, or as a psychosomatic response) if they did. I've seen people become extremely ill after finding out they'd accidentally eating even a tiny bit of ham broth. It's basically like if a someone was offered a human baby or their pet to eat - hypothetically you might be physically capable of eating a human baby, but in practice I think very few people would actually be able to bring themselves to do so - most people imo would consider that a "can't" rather than a "won't".

I know that's slightly off the topic - and that the posters describing vegetarianism/religious restrictions as a 'won't eat' situation or as pickiness weren't implying anything pejorative - but I think it is an important point. (Also I am not trying to imply that such restrictions are higher or more important than any other eating habits - and definitely if you "can't" eat something you have to take responsibility for your food.)
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: darkprincess on October 04, 2013, 04:57:46 PM
With the whole wont and can't debate. I don't think we can limit this to just vegetarian and religious. Some people are told to limit their red meat intake, so if they had bacon for breakfast and a roast beef sand which for lunch they can't eat the hamburger and should have the same dips of the veggie burger. When I had gestational diabetes I was told my plate had to have 1/2 veggie, 1/4 carb, and 1/4 protein. Depending on what else was being served I might have to have the veggie burger to get my plate to 1/2 veggie along with the hamburger (protein and carb mixed). Someone who is pregnant might not be allowed to have the meat hot dog or the pepperoni pizza because of nitrates.
I think it is better not to judge what people eat. The host needs to provide enough food and not make the guest try to guess what they are supposed to eat.

I also find it interesting that people are using price as a reasoning of why meat eaters shouldn't eat something. i thought it was considered rude to have two tiers of guests, one gets more expensive food or food that is perceived as better than others.  Hosts should have parties that they can afford that allow everyone access to the same food. If this means the BBQ is changed to a more reasonably priced chili feed so what. Have spaghetti and garlic bread instead of hamburgers and portobello mushrooms.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 04, 2013, 05:16:44 PM
It isn't the cost to feed my guests that bothers me; it is the cost of leftover food I won't eat.  If there is leftover meat, it is no problem for me - I make up my own TV dinners for my lunches.  But I don't eat meat substitutes.  I can't take the processing of those kinds of food.  I will happily eat vegetarian food but I don't eat meat substitutes.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: TootsNYC on October 04, 2013, 05:27:50 PM
I don't think I would look at a food labeled "vegetarian" and assume I shouldn't eat it because I'm a meat eater. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals (I love trying new tofu recipes) - we're even having veggie burgers tonight. I'd pick a portabello burger over a red meat one any day. It's part of my regular diet, so why would I not take the vegetarian option if that's what looks the best to me?

OTOH, I probably would avoid anything marked gluten-free because I'd be surprised that something like that would be served if there wasn't someone there with that restriction.


As I said, I wouldn't personally restrict myself for all vegetarian foods--but I would for those that looked to be the duplicate/option/alternate one. And I would restrict myself if the vegetarian ones didn't look like a big supply.

Because, why would they be labeled, unless (like the gluten free) there was definitely someone there with the food restriction? I figure the host knows the guest list and has a reason for labeling them.

So I'd wait, even if it did look best to me. Then, I'd definitely try them on the second time around.

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Library Dragon on October 04, 2013, 06:42:22 PM
As with many things it's location, location, location. 

If one BIL served both meat and veggie burgers I would definitely take the veggie because his meat burgers are always charcoal briquettes and he doesn't understand or appreciate quality in beef.  My friend K? Definitely the meat because they would be tasty and juicy. 

Labeling something as vegetarian would seem to me to be informational rather than a request not to take a serving.  Leftovers that I don't like? They go home with family and friends. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: CluelessBride on October 04, 2013, 07:05:52 PM
I guess I wouldn't see a vegi-burger as a direct replacement for a hamburger the same way I would see (for example) a gluten free apple pie as a replacement for an apple pie. Vegi-burgers taste nothing like hamburgers, and they really don't attempt to. And tons of non-vegetarians eat them for reasons other than avoiding meat because they enjoy them in their own right. So, I wouldn't expect vegi-burgers to be served for only vegetarians any more than I'd expect turkey burgers to be served only for Hindus. Hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers are just 3 completely different types of burgers.

From a hosting perspective, I think you* need to be careful when you start making special dishes that you don't share with your entire guest list to avoid two-tiered hosting. Offering filet mignon to only a subset of your guests because they don't eat sirloin while everyone else gets sirloin (since it is too expensive to serve everyone filet mignon) is clearly not okay. Setting aside a plate of gluten free food for a gluten free guest so that it doesn't get contaminated by other gluten dishes on the buffet or making an apple pie and gluten free apple pie and setting aside a piece of the latter for GlutenFreeSally ahead of time is (in my opinion) definitely okay.

Serving both beef burgers and veggie burgers, but only giving the veggie burgers to the vegetarians is somewhere in between - and I lean towards not okay. Especially if the quality of beef burgers is far inferior to the quality of veggie burgers (as they are likely to be if the cost/burger is much higher for the veggie burgers). It is definitely something that I would never do as a host.  And I say this as someone who personally dislikes the taste of veggie burgers and would choose the beef burger (or sides only if the burgers were really bad) over the veggie burger.

Yes, ending up with leftovers you don't like is less than ideal. But you can always send them home with guests or (in the case of burgers) only cook a few at a time and save the extras in the freezer for the next event.

*All  yous general.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: LifeOnPluto on October 05, 2013, 12:46:41 AM
Interesting to read about posters who say that they (or their friends) - as omnivores - would readily eat a meat-substitute over a proper meat product.

Perhaps this is a regional thing, or a know-your-audience thing? Because my circle of omnivore friends would definitely go for the proper meat product over a meat-substitute every time.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: snowdragon on October 05, 2013, 01:03:43 AM
Interesting to read about posters who say that they (or their friends) - as omnivores - would readily eat a meat-substitute over a proper meat product.

Perhaps this is a regional thing, or a know-your-audience thing? Because my circle of omnivore friends would definitely go for the proper meat product over a meat-substitute every time.

devout Catholics will often do meatless on Fridays and certain other days ( Some I do Fridays even if it's not Lent, because that is how they were raised and that is what they still believe)

I have one friend who is allergic to MSG so hotdogs and sausage are right out for her. If the hamburgers are mixed with anything that might contain MSG that puts those out for her too.

I am allergic to fennel so if there is Italian anything, I can't have it - as much of the seasoning has Fennel in it. If the Italian stuff is grilled with the other choices -- I can't have those either.

Other people may be cutting back on Dr's orders on certain types of meats.

My Aunt attended the BBQ shower for her granddaughter the day before she had tests for cancer,,,,,she was told not to eat meat before the test.  She had the vegetarian options

I am sure there are other reasons - but those 5 were what I came up with off the top of my head.


Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: perpetua on October 05, 2013, 02:21:59 AM
Having read the whole thread (do I get a cookie?) to me this whole thing seems a little like the disabled toilet analogy. They can  be used by other people (apparently, although that's a whole other discussion that I'm not really on the side of), but if there is a disabled person there, they get to use them first, because they can't use the others.

Ditto the veggie food if it's obviously a vegetarian substitute for a main part of the meal.

I think where the line clouds is when food isn't obviously meant as a substitute for the meat part of a meal. For example, it wouldn't occur to me not to take a serving of, say, a cheesy pasta bake, or cauliflower cheese, because they're often sides.

Of course the other thing is - how do you know when the vegetarian has had their fill? At a small party where you know everyone and what their food leanings are, that would be easy. But at a large gathering do you even know who the vegetarians *are*, let alone if they've had anything? If you fancy a veggie burger instead, how do you know when it's safe to take one?

Bit of a minefield, really.



Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: drzim on October 05, 2013, 01:48:23 PM
Many of us omnivores do enjoy vegetarian meals.  The Garden burger brand is especially quite good.  They don't taste like hamburgers, but are tasty in their own right.   Trader Joes makes veggie/tofu corn dogs which are really good...I like them better than regular because they are not overly greasy.

My Dad had some health issues and was told to cut back on red meat and other fatty foods.  We got him hooked on Garden burgers.  A few months later, he was at a work barbecue and noticed that there were grilled Garden burgers.  He happily took one and was feeling a bit proud of himself for forgoing the greasy cheeseburgers.  Just then,  an obnoxious coworker screamed at him "You can't have that!  You're not a vegetarian!  You're just a carnivore with high cholesterol!"   Luckily, my Dad has a sense of humor and was not too upset.  And yes, he ate the Garden burger anyway.

Which trumps the other anyway?  Who is more deserving of the Garden burger?  The vegetarian who will become "violently ill" at even the thought of eating meat, or the carnivore on a restricted diet trying to avoid another heart attack? 

If you choose to limit your diet for whatever reason (or have it limited for you for health reasons), you are solely responsible for making sure you get what you require.  If you have to bring your own dish to a potluck to make sure you get some, or if you have to politely request that a vegetarian item is saved for you,  you do it.  Or if you find yourself in the position of always going hungry at buffet gatherings because there's never enough of "the only dish you can eat", then maybe you need to eat beforehand. 





Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: bloo on October 05, 2013, 03:24:58 PM

If you choose to limit your diet for whatever reason (or have it limited for you for health reasons), you are solely responsible for making sure you get what you require.  If you have to bring your own dish to a potluck to make sure you get some, or if you have to politely request that a vegetarian item is saved for you,  you do it.  Or if you find yourself in the position of always going hungry at buffet gatherings because there's never enough of "the only dish you can eat", then maybe you need to eat beforehand.

Well said. I always try to accommodate guests with special dietary needs but at the end of the day, I believe I am responsible to get myself fed. I've read and heard and had to stop on the way home from hospitality when there wasn't enough food. It happens. I'd be mortified if it happened at something I was hosting but I usually shrug when it someone else does. Fortunately it's rare.

I was just at a wedding recently that had a massive cookie table and a large tray of gluten-free cookies. ALL of the GF cookies were taken before the people who followed gluten-free diets were able to get any (including the woman who baked all of them). It was the 'Gluten-free? I'll give it a try,' mentality. Some people would have a problem with signage that reflects that only people following certain diets were to eat certain things while others would not mind at all. I agree with the PP that said this is probably akin to the handicapped toilet discussion. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: blarg314 on October 05, 2013, 08:42:40 PM
I think my issue with this idea is I can't imagine hosting a party where I didn't know my guests well.

It's actually not too hard depending on the type of party, and the back-yard BBQ, I think, is one of the  most common cases for this.

I've often held parties with fairly open invitations - I'll invite all the grad students, for example, or everyone from choir. Throw in their families, which I may or may not have met, and there's a fair number of people whose dietary habits I'm not familiar with. There's also the case of being the organizer for a broader party - for work, or school, or any sort of larger group.

What I would do as a BBQ host/organizer is have enough veggie substitutes for about 20% of the group, and put out a tray of the veggie substitutes labelled 'vegetarian'. I would also label various other dishes according to what they contain - "contains cheese", "contains soy" and so on, making sure that there is a variety (ie, not all the sides contain wheat, and some are vegan). I might keep a few veggie burgers aside for if they run out quickly.

After that, I won't worry about it too much. I've made a good effort to see that people with different dietary requirements have food to eat, and that the food is clearly labelled. Whatever happens after that is no longer in my control. I wouldn't overbuy the veggie substitutes by too much, because that will almost always lead to wasted food, plus, as others have said, the veggie versions are usually significantly more expensive that meat versions. If the veggie burgers do run out, there are enough vegetarian sides so that people won't go hungry.

Oh, and the vegetarian side dishes would be intended for everyone, not just the vegetarians - things like corn on the cob, or chips and dip, or vinegar based coleslaw.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: mbbored on October 06, 2013, 01:04:31 AM
I think my issue with this idea is I can't imagine hosting a party where I didn't know my guests well.

It's actually not too hard depending on the type of party, and the back-yard BBQ, I think, is one of the  most common cases for this.

I've often held parties with fairly open invitations - I'll invite all the grad students, for example, or everyone from choir. Throw in their families, which I may or may not have met, and there's a fair number of people whose dietary habits I'm not familiar with. There's also the case of being the organizer for a broader party - for work, or school, or any sort of larger group.

What I would do as a BBQ host/organizer is have enough veggie substitutes for about 20% of the group, and put out a tray of the veggie substitutes labelled 'vegetarian'. I would also label various other dishes according to what they contain - "contains cheese", "contains soy" and so on, making sure that there is a variety (ie, not all the sides contain wheat, and some are vegan). I might keep a few veggie burgers aside for if they run out quickly.

After that, I won't worry about it too much. I've made a good effort to see that people with different dietary requirements have food to eat, and that the food is clearly labelled. Whatever happens after that is no longer in my control. I wouldn't overbuy the veggie substitutes by too much, because that will almost always lead to wasted food, plus, as others have said, the veggie versions are usually significantly more expensive that meat versions. If the veggie burgers do run out, there are enough vegetarian sides so that people won't go hungry.

Oh, and the vegetarian side dishes would be intended for everyone, not just the vegetarians - things like corn on the cob, or chips and dip, or vinegar based coleslaw.

This sounds like a very reasonable plan to me.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: lowspark on October 07, 2013, 07:50:12 AM
It isn't the cost to feed my guests that bothers me; it is the cost of leftover food I won't eat.  If there is leftover meat, it is no problem for me - I make up my own TV dinners for my lunches.  But I don't eat meat substitutes.  I can't take the processing of those kinds of food.  I will happily eat vegetarian food but I don't eat meat substitutes.

I totally get that. The thing is, though, that I don't cook or serve anything I don't want to eat. I know that sounds sort of selfish, and yeah, it probably is. There aren't a lot of things I won't eat but there's a list nonetheless.

I prefer to prepare and serve things I like, for multiple reasons. Leftovers are one, but also, I wouldn't feel comfortable cooking something that I couldn't (or wouldn't) taste. How would I know if I'd made it well or not?

No matter what the restriction I'm trying to accommodate, there are always plenty of dishes I can prepare that will meet the requirement and that I like. So why buy something that is both expensive and not to my taste? I understand the "everyone's having hot dogs so my vegetarian friends will have veggie dogs" philosophy. I'm just saying that I don't buy into that. My philosophy is more along the lines of, "I want everyone to be well fed with foods they enjoy and are ok with eating."
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Tea Drinker on October 07, 2013, 01:39:30 PM
It isn't the cost to feed my guests that bothers me; it is the cost of leftover food I won't eat.  If there is leftover meat, it is no problem for me - I make up my own TV dinners for my lunches.  But I don't eat meat substitutes.  I can't take the processing of those kinds of food.  I will happily eat vegetarian food but I don't eat meat substitutes.

I totally get that. The thing is, though, that I don't cook or serve anything I don't want to eat. I know that sounds sort of selfish, and yeah, it probably is. There aren't a lot of things I won't eat but there's a list nonetheless.

I prefer to prepare and serve things I like, for multiple reasons. Leftovers are one, but also, I wouldn't feel comfortable cooking something that I couldn't (or wouldn't) taste. How would I know if I'd made it well or not?

No matter what the restriction I'm trying to accommodate, there are always plenty of dishes I can prepare that will meet the requirement and that I like. So why buy something that is both expensive and not to my taste? I understand the "everyone's having hot dogs so my vegetarian friends will have veggie dogs" philosophy. I'm just saying that I don't buy into that. My philosophy is more along the lines of, "I want everyone to be well fed with foods they enjoy and are ok with eating."

I won't generally cook things I don't want to eat, because as you said, i wouldn't be able to tell if I'd made it well. But something like veggie dogs, if someone who liked them was prepared to tell me "grill them for x minutes at the same heat you'd use for beef hot dogs," sure. That feels more like buying soy or almond milk when my girlfriend who can't eat dairy is visiting (and then she buys dairy milk for me to have in my tea, when I visit her), or peanut butter for her or my husband (they both like it, I don't), because all I need to do is ask what brand you like and check the date on the container.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: baglady on October 14, 2013, 03:12:45 PM
I thought of this thread over the weekend. I was at an event with about 150 people. Saturday night dinner was a catered Chinese buffet.

Vegetarian food was on a separate table. When the organizer announced dinner, he told us the setup and asked that the omnivores please refrain from taking any of the vegetarian dishes until the vegetarians had all served themselves.

It worked. Everyone got fed, and nobody missed out on their preferred food.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: that_one_girl on October 14, 2013, 09:25:00 PM
I think that perhaps a Make Your Own Kabob style meal would be good for a BBQ where there is a group of people whose preferences for vegetables varies. 
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: m2kbug on October 14, 2013, 10:41:14 PM
If I'm at some sort of party with a buffet, I'm going to take portions of what is offered to me, and I'm really not going to take much notice, or care, whether or not certain other people have certain dietary restrictions and I'm not allowed to partake of a meal placed in front of me.  It's not my job, as a guest, to ticker-tape the guest list and their dietary restrictions and whether or not I can partake of a meat-free dish that is presented in the buffet line. 

Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Dragonflymom on October 15, 2013, 09:31:15 AM
As a vegetarian, I have the same problem cooking for omnivores who prefer to eat meat with most meals.

I don't mind cooking it in theory, but in practice because I can't taste it to adjust the seasonings it never seems to come out right.  After the last batch of chicken with rosewater and almonds, which used to come out so awesome before I had to give up eating meat, came out too salty and not good at all according to the trusted friend I asked to try it, I kind of had to give up.

Now I aim for just cooking really substantial and filling vegetarian stuff, that seems to be about the best I can do and have it come out edible.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: Outdoor Girl on October 15, 2013, 01:08:42 PM
I think that perhaps a Make Your Own Kabob style meal would be good for a BBQ where there is a group of people whose preferences for vegetables varies.

I've done this - sort of.  What I did was make skewers entirely of meat, skewers entirely of vegetables, with a separate skewer of tomatoes because they cook faster than the other veggies.  So those that wanted the meat could take those and a veggie skewer.  Those that only wanted the veggies only took the veggie skewers.
Title: Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
Post by: BuffaloFang on October 15, 2013, 03:52:06 PM
As a vegetarian, I feel like my food limitations are my own to deal with.  I would say the same about allergies and intolerances.  If you know you can't eat X, you cannot assume anyone else will remember or cater to your inability to eat X.

Typically before a large buffet or potluck style party I will eat a light snack.  I just make the assumption that there may not be food for me.  If there is (and 90% of the time there is), great! If not, I can usually last enough for a bit of socializing before heading out early.

Granted, if I am constantly going to your events to find there is no food for me, you'll probably be getting a lot of declines.  There are several races and events I refuse to attend ever again because I've been left hungry after cycling 100 miles, or completing a half ironman.  (I admit I've burst into tears - not my most reasonable moment)