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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Any good caterer will be able to provide a vegan meal - just be sure to explain what exactly that means.

    I have a good friend who's vegan - when we first met, she would bring her own snacks to parties so as not to trouble the hosts. But since then, we've all (a group of friends) taken up the challenge to find delicious vegan choices for dinner parties and barbecues, and those dishes have proven just as popular with the meat and dairy eaters. We often go to restaurants together, and usually call ahead to ensure that a vegan can be accommodated. Half the time the chef prepares something especially for her, and the rest of us look longingly at her plate and wish we were having what she's having
    We paid for a buffet and we won't have a seating chart, so the caterers won't know which one of our guests is vegan. We're still having our barbeque, but a few of the sides are vegan and I think she'll be able to make a meal out of it.

    My fiance was already a little frustrated that I "had to" accomodate one person out of possibly 70 when it came to catering. But this friend is understanding and doesn't get all huffy when people don't eat vegan around her. I just wanted to make sure there was something she could eat! And I think the grilled portabello mushrooms and roasted baby carrots will be a hit with everybody.

    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Just...LOTS OF WARNING. Most annoying customer ever did nothing other than show up with a twelve-top (reservation of 12 people at one table) and only after being seated tell the server she was a vegan. If we'd known when the reservation was made, we could have done something decent. Instead she got whatever we could throw together in the time it took to make everything else for the table from what few ingredients we had on hand. Couldn't use any of the prepared starches (pretty much ever restaurant makes those in advance), couldn't use any prepared sauces, even the vegetarian entree had dairy on it (limited menu). I was on pastry; she got berries tossed in sugar with a mint sprig.

    Although my favorite LATELY is someone who came in (we're an Italian restaurant) wanting something without garlic or olive oil. Their options were pretty much any of the regular proteins-two kinds of fish, or two kinds of steak, without the sauces and with the rice (the only side made with just water), or a special-order pasta.
    Just...why even bother?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    But this friend is understanding and doesn't get all huffy when people don't eat vegan around her. I just wanted to make sure there was something she could eat! And I think the grilled portabello mushrooms and roasted baby carrots will be a hit with everybody.
    When my friend is going to an event like that she just eats at home before she goes, just in case there's nothing that she can eat. Even grilled/roasted veggies can have butter on them, and grilled foods will often come in contact with meat juices/fats, so in her case better safe than sick.

    Either way, I think you *can* ask the caterer to go through the menu with you so you can ask how things are prepared, and you could also ask that a special plate of roasted veggies are prepared for her, and then she can have whatever salads and breads everyone else is having, once you've confirmed they are meat and dairy free. Like I said, a good catering company shouldn't have a problem with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    When my friend is going to an event like that she just eats at home before she goes, just in case there's nothing that she can eat. Even grilled/roasted veggies can have butter on them, and grilled foods will often come in contact with meat juices/fats, so in her case better safe than sick.

    Either way, I think you *can* ask the caterer to go through the menu with you so you can ask how things are prepared, and you could also ask that a special plate of roasted veggies are prepared for her, and then she can have whatever salads and breads everyone else is having, once you've confirmed they are meat and dairy free. Like I said, a good catering company shouldn't have a problem with it.
    Well I did ask the caterer and she confirmed that the garlic mashed potatoes were a no-go (apparently made with butter) but the baby carrots and grilled portabello should be fine. So I think she knows what "vegan" is.

    Well it turns out that the best man is lactose intolerant and allergic to peanuts (why Alf didn't know this, I have no idea ) so I guess we'll have to do another check to see if he can handle what we have.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Soy can sometimes. There is a Chinese restaurant near me that is 100% vegetarian and their "Chicken Curry" tastes just like the real thing. They use some sort of TVP product to make the "meat". I say this as a meat-eater too.
    There's one, too, in Seattle, just behind Seattle Center. I'm not a big meat eater, and like it well done/no pink, so I probably don't really like meat at all. My general theory is that food is a carrier for sauce, gravy, dressing, and condiments, so faux meat Chinese food is right up my alley.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    This kind of gets to something I was wondering about with reference to the possible use of an animal product in sugar production and also the bees. Do some vegans really intend to try to not consume anything that bothered the life of an animal or ended it? That's clearly going to be a full-time job if it is possible at all.
    There are fruitarians, those who only eat fruit and nuts that have fallen off the tree or vine.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    This goes both ways. I don't care if other people want to eat meat, but don't lecture me on my choices, either. And it happens all. the. time.
    But how can you get any prooooottttttteeeeeeiiiiiiinnnnn??????

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    And I love tofu (granted, when deep fried which kinda defeats the whole healthy purpose, but whatever).
    I had one friend who was a vegetarian and ate the junkiest food imaginable, and another who ate meat as part of a macrobiotic diet. Healthy food is over-rated.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    That's interesting because I find vegans to be, on average, some of the preachiest people around. But just vegans. Vegetarians, pescaderians and whatever you call vegetarians who don't eat eggs but do eat dairy tend to run the gamete but vegans who are vegans for more than a few months to a year always seem to want to lecture me about the evils of meat and how I don't *need* to eat meat to survive or dairy or eggs either.
    Seattle Center hosts all kinds of themed events in the Exhibition Hall, and I was there last Spring for Veggie-Fest. Some smiley person -- it was a rare sunny Spring day, but I should have known something was up -- handed me a flier with a "Guide to Seattle Area Vegetarian Restaurants," which is very handy, but when I turned it over, it was a screed about "The Truth about Cage-Free, Free-Range, & Organic Eggs" in which the answer to everything was "As a vegan" or "Becoming a vegan." Example:

    By becoming vegan, you will save the lives of over 100 animals every year and show your commitment to living without exploiting other sentient beings. Vegan foods are not the product of systems that objectify, torture, confine, and kill animals -- and by choosing vegan foods you are making a powerful statement of compassion that will spread to people around you. Your veganism will have a ripple effect and you will become a positive example and beacon to your friends, family, colleagues, etc. Many people become vegan because they know someone else who is vegan, so by becoming vegan you not only remove your support for the abuse and killing of animals, you inspire others to do the same."
    At least that answer's heading was "Show Your True Compassion."
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    There's one, too, in Seattle, just behind Seattle Center. I'm not a big meat eater, and like it well done/no pink, so I probably don't really like meat at all. My general theory is that food is a carrier for sauce, gravy, dressing, and condiments, so faux meat Chinese food is right up my alley.
    The Buddhists have been doing "mock meats" for centuries, so although I don't go in for the mock meats when I'm cooking for myself, I enjoy the various offerings at the ton of Buddhist Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants around Vancouver. There's a Chinese one just up the road that has an amazing cashew, veggie, and "ham" stir fry, and a Vietnamese one near my home that makes an incredible spicy "shrimp" dish as well as a an indescribably delicious "chicken" soup.

    A lot of those mock meats aren't vegan, though -- they often use whey.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post


    Seattle Center hosts all kinds of themed events in the Exhibition Hall, and I was there last Spring for Veggie-Fest. Some smiley person -- it was a rare sunny Spring day, but I should have known something was up -- handed me a flier with a "Guide to Seattle Area Vegetarian Restaurants," which is very handy, but when I turned it over, it was a screed about "The Truth about Cage-Free, Free-Range, & Organic Eggs" in which the answer to everything was "As a vegan" or "Becoming a vegan." Example:



    At least that answer's heading was "Show Your True Compassion."

    I always find this interesting - if we all ate vegan, most domesticated animals would come close to extinction...

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    What bugs me are vegetarians who still eat fish. Fish are not very scaly mobile plants. They're animals. If you eat fish, you are eating an animal, and you are not a vegetarian. You are a pescetarian.
    But fish are not warm blooded, so are a different category of animal. Many people distinguish between red and white meat (fish and chicken) and prefer white meat, as it is generally seen to be healthier. The health benefits of fish - especially salmon - are widely publicized and a lot of very very health conscious people eat fish.

    It's interesting to note that fish goes with dairy according to kosher food laws.

    Even some people who are mostly vegetarians eat fish on occasion. One vegetarian I know eats fish he catches himself at the family cottage on summer vacation, and once in great while has pickled herring. Another vegetarian I know will eat salmon when she goes out, but not at any other time.

    I have no trouble with someone being 'mostly vegetarian'. I would think that fish would be a dietary mainstay of a pescatarian, while it would be a very occasional item for someone who is 'mostly vegetarian'. Just as a 'mostly kosher' person may forgo the kosher when they eat in restaurants. The kosher people I know usually stay away from pork and don't mix meat and dairy in restaurants, but unless you to a kosher restaurant, there won't be different sets of dishes for meat and dairy.

    Not everyone follows their standard diet 100%.

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    My diet can best be described as "eat whatever I'm craving or is fast", although I do try to purchase locally as much as possible.

    And I have no argument with people who choose their food for health, environmental impact, or personal preferences and squeamishes.

    I have a tiny beef with most people who can afford to pay, but still buy cheaper food rather than local.

    And I have no respect at all for the people who choose not to eat furry mammals because it is more humane (as I said, preference or squeamishness is fine, I for one could never eat dog or monkey). Other lifeforms die to feed us. On some level fish, farm animals, squid, carrots, and even yeast are just as much alive as we are.

    Some of the more interesting science fiction I've read has been on this theme. One of my favourite stories has a Greenpeace activist receiving a very panicked message from giant squid, who've learned some language from sunken ships, asking humans to please go back to whaling, because their society was allowed to flourish once the evil whales stopped killing them.

    And a photo that always makes me smile- it's all in your perspective.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Even better are the people who give up gluten to be healthy. Unless you have celiac or an actual intolerance, there is nothing inherently more healthy about a gluten free diet. And I know too many newly gluten-free people who can only give very vague answers if asked exactly how they knew they had a gluten intolerance.
    One of the women at work has done this. I questioned her a bit, just to let her know, gently, that being gluten free without having a gluten issue isn't... But then I let it go, of course. Her deal, not mine.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    I have a tiny beef with most people who can afford to pay, but still buy cheaper food rather than local.
    And I get annoyed by the insistence that eating "local" is better than buying food from around the country or the world. While in some cases that may be the true, there are many reasons why it often isn't true. And, based on my somewhat limited experience, getting "local" advocates to define "better" can be amusing. We all have our own personal definitions of "better." Why expect everyone to comply?
    Last edited by jeffisjeff; 12-14-2012 at 03:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    And I get annoyed by the insistence that eating "local" is better than buying food from around the country or the world. While in some cases that may be the true, there are many reasons why it often isn't true. And, based on my somewhat limited experience, getting "local" advocates to define "better" can be amusing. We all have our own personal definitions of "better." Why expect everyone to comply?
    Yes, there is emerging discussion on this point as the whole locavore movement has taken off and it's become almost an assumption that it's the way to go. There are many arguments for buying local - supporting the local economy, fresher food that doesn't require as many chemicals/genetic modification to keep it presentable during long transportation, smaller carbon footprint, celebrating local culture/foodways and even the idea that some have that are bodies are not equipped to handle foods that are "exotic" to our environment.

    On the other side, supporting economies in third world countries and encouraging farmers/producers to thrive isn't a bad thing either. Nothing wrong with trade either - we sell to them, they sell to us, no? While many people try to buy local as much as possible, they usually don't want to give up wine, coffee, spices and citrus fruits either, not to mention out of season fruits and veggies that are flown in from Mexico, Chile or Israel.

    And what is local anyway? Living in eastern Canada, if the argument is about carbon footprint and freshness etc, then I'm better off buying foods produced in New England than simply "Canada," which often means it's shipping across 3 timezones from BC (ditto "buy American" - much of produce is from California, so if you live in the northeast, are you better off buying Ontario and Quebec produce, or is it more important to "buy American"?).

    Plus since goods and people have been moving freely across the globe for millennia, I'm not buying the idea that physically we should eat only locally (not to mention that I live in a climate where fresh food is limited during the winter months), and I think cultural exchange through food is a really good thing (that's also been going on for thousands of years).

    The other thing to think about is that defining what's local can be quite difficult. For example, I read a stat awhile back that said 95% or so of apple juice is made from concentrate that is produced in China. They sell the concentrate to US and Canadian food companies, who package it and can legally label it "made in US/Canada." Similarly, another source says that "Scottish salmon" need only be packaged in Scotland to be labeled that - the salmon itself can come from anywhere, so if you really want Scottish salmon, the only guarantee is to catch it yourself or buy it directly from the fisherman.

    It's an interesting discussion IMO with no clear black/white, and a lot of grey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    But fish are not warm blooded, so are a different category of animal. Many people distinguish between red and white meat (fish and chicken) and prefer white meat, as it is generally seen to be healthier. The health benefits of fish - especially salmon - are widely publicized and a lot of very very health conscious people eat fish.
    Which...is completely beside the point. Fish are not vegetables or plants. If you claim you do not eat meat, and eat fish, or shellfish, or insects for that matter, and are therefore 'vegetarian', you are confused at best. They're all still animals. It doesn't matter whether they're "healthy" or not, as there's nothing inherently more healthy in omitting food groups. "Vegetarian" is not defined as "eats a healthy diet", it means "does not eat animals."

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    Just...why even bother?
    That's pretty much what all three of us on the line said. We can accommodate allergies (though I would never dare make a 100% guarantee that something has never come into contact with another ingredient in any quantity EVER) but when the two things you don't eat (and we weren't told it was an allergy, just 'no garlic or olive oil') are principle ingredients in 90% of the cuisine...why would you come here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    It's an interesting discussion IMO with no clear black/white, and a lot of grey.
    That is for sure. Since I work in the agriculture industy, it is a constant topic of discussion. That is why I said I have a "tiny beef" with people who buy for price rather than buying local. One of my co-workers sells grass-fed beef that he raises with his son, and he is annoyed that I don't buy from him, but he buys all his fuel, and most of his own groceries across the border in Maine, so I buy from other farmers who spend where they live.

    One of the food inspection agents was at our workplace when we were discussing the sale of lettuce imported from California, and the energy used to transport it across the continent, and he told us that it takes much less energy to grow lettuce in California and it made more sense to buy imported, if we were concerned about energy consumption.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    At least some of the people who buy for price can't afford to buy based on some esoteric principle. I don't see why one personal choice is acceptable but another one isn't.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    One of the food inspection agents was at our workplace when we were discussing the sale of lettuce imported from California, and the energy used to transport it across the continent, and he told us that it takes much less energy to grow lettuce in California and it made more sense to buy imported, if we were concerned about energy consumption.
    I posted this graphic a while back, and I'll post it again because I think it is cool. It shows at the carbon footprint of wine imported to the US from various locations. If you live in NYC or Chicago, you are better off (from a carbon footprint perspective) buying French wine than California wine. It is all about trucks vs. boats/trains.

    http://www.drvino.com/2009/04/14/the...al-geographic/
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    One of the food inspection agents was at our workplace when we were discussing the sale of lettuce imported from California, and the energy used to transport it across the continent, and he told us that it takes much less energy to grow lettuce in California and it made more sense to buy imported, if we were concerned about energy consumption.
    Interesting point! Much of what's in my local stores right now is hot house grown, so using fuel and water to produce rather than sunshine and rainfall - hard to calculate if that's better than shipping the produce in from California or Mexico.

    Many people also talk about American/Canadian jobs being sent to other countries by companies looking for cheaper labour. Years ago I toured a tomato cannery in Ontario - all the tomatoes were grown onsite, but guess who was doing all the harvesting? Jamaicans! Ever year during harvest season, the company flew in a planeload for a month or so because they couldn't find locals to do the labour. Personally I have no problem with that - but it's an interesting point to bring forward to those who think that buying a can of Aylmer tomatoes means they are being good locavores (not to mention that Aylmer is owned by ConAgra out of Omaha, Nebraska ).

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    The Sobeys grocery chain has started selling their fresh fish with an ID number that you can use to look up on the internet to track who caught it, what gear he/she used and where it was processed.

    One of my favourite things that Sobeys does in our area is attend the local Spring Show and Sale for livestock and they buy the local 4H Club winning steer and then sell it in their store. They also put up the name of any farm that has suppied anything in their produce section. One of the things I really appreciate about my rural lifestyle is that it is very easy to stay connected that way.

    On the other hand- I'm tempted to drive back to Quebec City (6 hours) to go to that little bakery and buy some more of that pecan/poppyseed/sea salt brioche I bought there last week.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    But fish are not warm blooded, so are a different category of animal. Many people distinguish between red and white meat (fish and chicken) and prefer white meat, as it is generally seen to be healthier. The health benefits of fish - especially salmon - are widely publicized and a lot of very very health conscious people eat fish.

    It's interesting to note that fish goes with dairy according to kosher food laws.

    Even some people who are mostly vegetarians eat fish on occasion. One vegetarian I know eats fish he catches himself at the family cottage on summer vacation, and once in great while has pickled herring. Another vegetarian I know will eat salmon when she goes out, but not at any other time.

    I have no trouble with someone being 'mostly vegetarian'. I would think that fish would be a dietary mainstay of a pescatarian, while it would be a very occasional item for someone who is 'mostly vegetarian'. Just as a 'mostly kosher' person may forgo the kosher when they eat in restaurants. The kosher people I know usually stay away from pork and don't mix meat and dairy in restaurants, but unless you to a kosher restaurant, there won't be different sets of dishes for meat and dairy.

    Not everyone follows their standard diet 100%.
    I think there's a difference between being a vegetarian and eating mostly vegetarian. Someone who eats meat (including fish) is not a vegetarian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Yes, there is emerging discussion on this point as the whole locavore movement has taken off and it's become almost an assumption that it's the way to go. There are many arguments for buying local - supporting the local economy, fresher food that doesn't require as many chemicals/genetic modification to keep it presentable during long transportation, smaller carbon footprint, celebrating local culture/foodways and even the idea that some have that are bodies are not equipped to handle foods that are "exotic" to our environment.
    Local has become trendy. I'm all for supporting local economies, but admit that don't really double check the food I buy for where it comes from. And our bodies do handle plenty of foods that aren't indigenous. That would be coffee, tea and citrus fruits for many of us.

    On the other side, supporting economies in third world countries and encouraging farmers/producers to thrive isn't a bad thing either. Nothing wrong with trade either - we sell to them, they sell to us, no? While many people try to buy local as much as possible, they usually don't want to give up wine, coffee, spices and citrus fruits either, not to mention out of season fruits and veggies that are flown in from Mexico, Chile or Israel.

    Plus since goods and people have been moving freely across the globe for millennia, I'm not buying the idea that physically we should eat only locally (not to mention that I live in a climate where fresh food is limited during the winter months), and I think cultural exchange through food is a really good thing (that's also been going on for thousands of years).

    This is true. But foods are among the many things being transported by truck and plane. As shown by the National Geographic graph posted above, boat has a much smaller carbon footprint.

    I find interesting that environmentalists can be very big on buying local, but wouldn't couldn't forgoing airplane travel because of its environmental impact. It is easy to be environmentally conscious if it only means doing things that come easily, like shopping at the local farmers market.

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    For me buying local has more todo with taste than environment - tomatoes in season are so much better, so I try to make the most of it.

    I'm also pragmatic though, if I want tomatoes out of season I try to find some that are ok.

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