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  • February 07, 2016, 05:10:16 AM

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Author Topic: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?  (Read 7819 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #105 on: January 06, 2016, 12:49:56 PM »

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's. I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time. And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?
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IMHO think it depends on the volume of selections whether All Halal would be appropriate or not. For example if I was to have one beef, one fish and one vegetarian main then I'd make sure the beef was Halal. However, if I had  2 beef, lamb, fish, veg and chicken offering, then I wouldn't be so concerned about the both beef dishes being halal and I wouldn't flinch at also including a pork dish as long as the chicken, one beef and a lamb were Halal. And if I were the Halal family I don't think I'd feel any less included because there was a pork dish offered. I just never expect to want or enjoy every food offering at a wedding or other large catered event.

It's just very much like vegetarian issue. If the grooms family is vegetarian but the brides family is not, I can't imagine they'd be upset if 2 of 3 of the 15 dishes offered were non-vegetarian.

greencat

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2016, 05:56:44 PM »
Choosing your menu out of the foods you like and enjoy while considering your guests' needs and enjoyment is perfectly polite.  Choosing a menu that doesn't take into consideration your guests' needs is rude - why are you hosting someone you're not willing to feed an edible meal?

I followed the links through to the blogger's own pictures, and it looked like the breakfast on offer featured a variety of cold cereal and fruit, like a normal continental breakfast bar in hotel.  There were big platters of assorted vegetables in another shot, and based off the pictures, there weren't that many guests attending.  Since we tend to self-assort into groups with similar eating habits because we do so much socializing while eating, I'm guessing the guests who did attend were those who also follow the same kind of lifestyle.  It was probably not rude at all to feed her friends who normally eat like that the food that she did. 

sammycat

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #107 on: January 06, 2016, 11:29:53 PM »

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?


I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome. This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.

I agree with kudebee's post, especially the part I bolded.

I would think very poorly of a couple where one side was allowed to dominate the food at the expense of the other. Just because one person/family follows a particular religion or way of eating doesn't mean they have the right to enforce it on everyone present.

The bride and groom (or both brides or both grooms) are equal in their wedding/marriage.  Therefore both sides should be represented equally in the food choices at their reception.

greencat

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2016, 02:18:01 AM »

And I think it would be very rude and seem PA or even hostile for a bride's parents to serve, say, nonhalal food at the reception when they know the groom's family eats only halal, even if an alternative is available; it ignores that this is an important family event for them, too, even though they're not hosting. 

Question about this quote and what I bolded: does the alternate mean that a halal option was available, but the entire reception wasn't halal?  Because if that is the hypothetical situation, I'd think it's perfectly reasonable.  If I'm not understanding right, then apologies for assuming, but I still think providing the option is considered acceptable good hospitality.

I would agree for guests in general.  As long as they will be able to get something good to eat, that's adequate hosting.  But I was thinking about the close families.  For example, say the wedding is hosted by the bride's parents.  The groom comes from a family that eats only Halal meat.  If I were the host in that situation, I'd have all the food be either Halal meat or fish or vegetarian. 

Why?  Because this is not just a party, and it's not just a question of everyone being fed well.  Even though, in my example, the bride's parents are the only hosts of the reception, the wedding is equally a major event for the groom's family as for the bride's.  I would not want them to feel like outsiders or even slightly less important or central than our family at such a time.  And in my opinion and experience, even one appetizer with bacon on it will do precisely that.  At the other end of the spectrum, serving pork ribs as the main course, even with a pasta choice available, would get everyone fed, but do you see how it could send a very uncomfortable message?


I think the concept is nice, but should work for both families.

What if the family are farmers, the majority of them pork producers and they enjoy pork at their meals?  While this isn't a religious or cultural objection, should the family not get to enjoy pork at the wedding as well, to feel that their family traditions are important?

If you are bringing together two families with vast differences in religion and culture, there has to be give and take on both sides but one should not get to dominate the other if we truly want both families to feel welcome. This may mean setting up two buffet lines or having a split at a certain point. It can be done with thought and planning in advance.

I agree with kudebee's post, especially the part I bolded.

I would think very poorly of a couple where one side was allowed to dominate the food at the expense of the other. Just because one person/family follows a particular religion or way of eating doesn't mean they have the right to enforce it on everyone present.

The bride and groom (or both brides or both grooms) are equal in their wedding/marriage.  Therefore both sides should be represented equally in the food choices at their reception.

The problem with serving a food  specifically forbidden by religious dietary laws that are being followed by half the attendees is that cross-contamination is a problem in the kitchen.  It's very difficult to have a kitchen prepare a halal/kosher/whatever dish and something that is as specifically haram or treif as pork is unless two separate kitchens are available.  Guests who are being served a kosher or halal meal who don't care about the restrictions need never know that what they're being served conforms to the religious standard - it doesn't affect the taste of meat, only the saucing options (in the case of kosher restrictions) and types of meat available. 

gellchom

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2016, 02:48:04 AM »
I do agree both families should be equally respected.  But it's not exactly parallel, enjoying a particular food on the one hand and having a religious restriction, much less a taboo, on the other.  Traditions and preferences simply aren't equivalent to religious law.  No one is going to feel like an outsider at their own child's wedding because the menu doesn't happen to include pork.  Or meat at all.

I don't know of any religion or culture that absolutely requires that meat be served at every meal, let alone any particular kind.

If a vintner's daughter married a guy from a family whose religion strictly forbade alcohol, her parents might well be disappointed if they don't serve their family's wine at the reception.  And it would not violate any etiquette rule if they do so.

But in my opinion the classier, respectful thing to do is to keep the wedding reception dry, and perhaps serve the family wine at another event of the weekend that's just for your relatives or something, or give those who want it a bottle to take home.  That way the groom's family will feel like the wedding itself is their family's special event, too, not like they are just ordinary guests.

Which it is, in my opinion, which I readily acknowledge is shaped by my own cultural traditions.  In my community, for example, wedding invitations always list the groom's parents as well as the bride's, and usually all as hosts, no matter whether they are contributing financially or not.  The wedding is treated as a major life cycle event for both families. 

So that's why I wouldn't want to see a taboo item for either family on the menu, even if other options are available.  I've seen it happen, and it wasn't a big deal, but I can tell you that people thought it wasn't very nice of the hosts and made them look tone-deaf at best.

Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2016, 08:04:52 AM »
I do agree both families should be equally respected.  But it's not exactly parallel, enjoying a particular food on the one hand and having a religious restriction, much less a taboo, on the other.  Traditions and preferences simply aren't equivalent to religious law.  No one is going to feel like an outsider at their own child's wedding because the menu doesn't happen to include pork.  Or meat at all.

I don't know of any religion or culture that absolutely requires that meat be served at every meal, let alone any particular kind.

If a vintner's daughter married a guy from a family whose religion strictly forbade alcohol, her parents might well be disappointed if they don't serve their family's wine at the reception.  And it would not violate any etiquette rule if they do so.

But in my opinion the classier, respectful thing to do is to keep the wedding reception dry, and perhaps serve the family wine at another event of the weekend that's just for your relatives or something, or give those who want it a bottle to take home.  That way the groom's family will feel like the wedding itself is their family's special event, too, not like they are just ordinary guests.

Which it is, in my opinion, which I readily acknowledge is shaped by my own cultural traditions.  In my community, for example, wedding invitations always list the groom's parents as well as the bride's, and usually all as hosts, no matter whether they are contributing financially or not.  The wedding is treated as a major life cycle event for both families. 

So that's why I wouldn't want to see a taboo item for either family on the menu, even if other options are available.  I've seen it happen, and it wasn't a big deal, but I can tell you that people thought it wasn't very nice of the hosts and made them look tone-deaf at best.

Yes, I agree. This line of discussion has gone far beyond etiquette and into just being a welcoming, thoughtful person. relationship-wise, it just seems not very respectful or kind to purposely exclude half of your guests from one of the meat entrees, when the other half can enjoy either or both. Anyone can eat and enjoy Halal or Kosher meat. But strict Muslims/Jews can only enjoy the meat that is Halal/Kosher. So why make a point of having 2 entrees that only half of your guests can enjoy?

Vicki

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #111 on: January 07, 2016, 12:45:00 PM »
This is actually not true - there are many conservative Christians who won't eat halal meat because the meat is blessed as part of the process and they believe that eating meat offered to "idols" is a sin.  There are also many people who find the process of killing the animal in both the halal and kosher processes to be cruel and are ethically opposed to it.

Spring Water on Sundays

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #112 on: January 07, 2016, 12:59:55 PM »
This is actually not true - there are many conservative Christians who won't eat halal meat because the meat is blessed as part of the process and they believe that eating meat offered to "idols" is a sin.  There are also many people who find the process of killing the animal in both the halal and kosher processes to be cruel and are ethically opposed to it.

In this hypothetical situation that has been discussed, the hosts know for a fact that about half the guests can't eat meat that is not Halal. If the hosts also know for a fact that many guests who *can't* eat Halal will be attending, then yes, it would be good hosting to have one Halal offering and one non-Halal offering. Unless the hosts have reason to believe this, such a preference doesn't need to be a concern when deciding the menu. You can't plan a menu for a large party around every hypothetical opinion/belief/preference/allergy.

StoutGirl

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2016, 06:19:28 PM »
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

However, I want to know why I wasn't invited, that meal sounds amazing!  I love Thai food and healthier/slightly exotic foods.  Unfortunately, I think it would be considered offensive if I served anything remotely close to that should my day ever come along.  My parents' social circle is way too stuck in their Midwestern meat and potato ways.  ::)

TeamBhakta

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #114 on: January 08, 2016, 09:27:58 PM »
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

As a follow up: She went on a "healthy" honeymoon. I think their friends and family may be sick of the word "healthy" if she becomes pregnant soon & does a healthy mummy series

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3384712/Jessica-Sepel-Dean-Steingold-embark-healthy-honeymoon-clean-wedding.html

Twik

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #115 on: January 11, 2016, 02:47:13 PM »
I don't think the meal was controversial, but I would be annoyed if the subject was the only thing the bride would talk about the whole time.

As a follow up: She went on a "healthy" honeymoon. I think their friends and family may be sick of the word "healthy" if she becomes pregnant soon & does a healthy mummy series

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3384712/Jessica-Sepel-Dean-Steingold-embark-healthy-honeymoon-clean-wedding.html

I agree, I'd be ready to gambol through a toxic waste dump just out of perversity.

One "healthy" meal shouldn't be an issue. Even several days of such would be fine if all her guests like the same sort of meals. But if she has guests who don't eat like that regularly, and don't *want* to eat like that, then a good hostess should take that into consideration.
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Lula

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #116 on: January 16, 2016, 06:05:52 PM »
Wow.  You'd think a bride who claims to have suffered from disordered eating, overexercise and body image distress would know better than to create a four-day waking nightmare of triggers for any guests who might be experiencing these in the present.

I think the main rudeness to this would be if she preached to her guests about why she chose these foods and how they were superior to whatever they would normally eat.

This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."

Sophia

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #117 on: January 18, 2016, 10:01:58 AM »
Wow.  You'd think a bride who claims to have suffered from disordered eating, overexercise and body image distress would know better than to create a four-day waking nightmare of triggers for any guests who might be experiencing these in the present.

I think the main rudeness to this would be if she preached to her guests about why she chose these foods and how they were superior to whatever they would normally eat.

This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."

You nailed why I was bothered by the menu and expressed it so well.  It reminds me of the Diets of the Stars articles from the 80's.   Stars who later turned out to be anorexic.  Princess Di was one example.   

TeamBhakta

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Re: Controversial food choices, is it worth it?
« Reply #118 on: January 18, 2016, 04:49:57 PM »
Quote
This.  Rude or not, I find food-moralization extremely offensive if not downright irresponsible.  I would never attend a wedding with such a "theme."

It reminds me of another short lived wedding trend: remember when it was all the rage (at least in bridal magazines) to push your bridal party into teeth whitening, Botox or other "self improvements" ? The idea of "we'll teach our guests to eat healthy" is just a more socially acceptable version of that. Because what guest is gonna speak out & say "Scrabble you, I have to hear about your 'healthy diet' on FB all year. Can you just serve food most of us like without patting yourself on the back ?"
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 04:51:42 PM by TeamBhakta »