Author Topic: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians  (Read 19135 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #165 on: October 03, 2013, 10:22:49 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. 

TootsNYC

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #166 on: October 03, 2013, 10:26:10 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.)

WillyNilly

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #167 on: October 03, 2013, 11:05:22 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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #168 on: October 03, 2013, 11:13:08 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.




staceym

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #169 on: October 03, 2013, 11:47:57 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #170 on: October 03, 2013, 11:53:36 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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #171 on: October 03, 2013, 11:54:44 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?



MindsEye

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #172 on: October 03, 2013, 11:57:53 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #173 on: October 03, 2013, 11:58:59 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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #174 on: October 03, 2013, 12:06:15 PM »
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.



Hmmmmm

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #175 on: October 03, 2013, 12:15:47 PM »
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.


Clumsy Ninja

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #176 on: October 03, 2013, 12:17:52 PM »
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.

Teenyweeny

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #177 on: October 03, 2013, 12:26:16 PM »
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.



secretrebel

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #178 on: October 03, 2013, 12:39:33 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.

lowspark

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #179 on: October 03, 2013, 12:40:01 PM »
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.