Author Topic: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians  (Read 20621 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Need to Change

  • Guest
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #150 on: October 03, 2013, 03:22:57 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.")

nolechica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6231
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #151 on: October 03, 2013, 03:46:47 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.

sweetonsno

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1411
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #152 on: October 03, 2013, 03:57:57 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).

Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #153 on: October 03, 2013, 05:04:38 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.



I'mnotinsane

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2375
  • My mother had me tested
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #154 on: October 03, 2013, 07:22:43 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.

Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #155 on: October 03, 2013, 07:31:11 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.



Teenyweeny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1664
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #156 on: October 03, 2013, 07:41:40 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.



Zilla

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #157 on: October 03, 2013, 07:48:01 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.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 07:51:14 AM by Zilla »

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14049
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #158 on: October 03, 2013, 08:47:44 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'.   :))
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

flickan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 192
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #159 on: October 03, 2013, 09:14:04 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 :)

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2883
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #160 on: October 03, 2013, 09:27:55 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.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #161 on: October 03, 2013, 09:29:43 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.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #162 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:08 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.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #163 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:46 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.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4054
Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #164 on: October 03, 2013, 09:31:46 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.