Author Topic: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians  (Read 19661 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2013, 11:24:18 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?



WillyNilly

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2013, 11:24:56 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.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 11:30:40 AM by WillyNilly »

MindsEye

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2013, 11:26:12 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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2013, 11:34:37 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?



flickan

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2013, 11:36:10 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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2013, 11:39:00 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.



Yvaine

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2013, 11:39:20 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.

MrTango

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2013, 11:40:38 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.

audrey1962

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2013, 11:41:11 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.

redboothe

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2013, 11:43:28 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.

Twik

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2013, 11:45:00 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.
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Roe

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2013, 11:45:26 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. 

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2013, 11:47:27 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".


MindsEye

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2013, 11:48:15 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".

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2013, 11:50:26 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.