Author Topic: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians  (Read 20652 times)

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snowdragon

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #225 on: October 05, 2013, 02:03:43 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.



perpetua

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #226 on: October 05, 2013, 03:21:59 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.




drzim

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #227 on: October 05, 2013, 02:48:23 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. 






bloo

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #228 on: October 05, 2013, 04:24:58 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. 

blarg314

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #229 on: October 05, 2013, 09:42:40 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.

mbbored

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #230 on: October 06, 2013, 02:04:31 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.

lowspark

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #231 on: October 07, 2013, 08:50:12 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."

Tea Drinker

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #232 on: October 07, 2013, 02:39:30 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.
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baglady

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #233 on: October 14, 2013, 04:12:45 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.
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that_one_girl

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #234 on: October 14, 2013, 10:25:00 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. 

m2kbug

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #235 on: October 14, 2013, 11:41:14 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. 


Dragonflymom

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #236 on: October 15, 2013, 10:31:15 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.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #237 on: October 15, 2013, 02:08:42 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.
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BuffaloFang

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Re: S/0 taking food for kids: taking food for vegetarians
« Reply #238 on: October 15, 2013, 04:52:06 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)