So after an extremely fun but overly meat filled weekend at my cottage, I thought I’d give my cholesterol levels a break and at the same time give myself a fun challenge by going vegetarian for a week. From a health point of view I’ve had a very successful week. For the most part I had substantial and delicious meals and hadn’t really craved meat in anyway. That being said I was extremely surprised by the challenges I faced. On any given week the ratio of how much I cook at home versus how much I eat out at restaurants is different. It happened that this week was heavy on the later half of the equation due to my schedule. Now cooking vegetarian cuisine at home is not a problem at all, I enjoy cooking with vegetables so having a meal entirely composed of them is not of any concern. However I was very surprised at the difficulty of eating vegetarian at restaurants. Now I’ve always noticed that even some of the best veggie friendly restaurants usually only have a few options for vegetarians but I was shocked that the choices I had this week were limited at best. I can’t tell you how many veggie burgers and cheese pizzas I was forced to eat, while I had to pass up on so many delicious options because they unnecessarily contained things like bacon, chicken strips or ground beef. In some cases these could be removed but often that resulted in the meal missing a flavor component or now being over priced for what you got.
I don’t think any stark revelations were made during this exercise but I have learned two things about restaurant cuisine when it comes to vegetarian fare: there is an unnecessary obsession with meat, and a lack of creativity on the side of most restaurants to create meals with out it. I think this is something that should be addressed by most chefs as it’s not a hard mentality to change. There are plenty of meat substitutes out there and people will learn that their meals can be equally as delicious and filling with these changes.
Ultimately this post won’t reveal anything new for the vegetarians out there, just now know you have a supporter for your cause. I haven’t decided how I will work vegetarianism into my life. Whether it’s eating vegetarian one week a month, or part of every week, I’m unsure, but I do know I will be eating less meat from here on out.
Let's put an end to 'dietary tribalism' by Andy Bellatti
As someone who is dedicated to food culture, I’m inevitably interested and concerned with a healthy diet. I have been focused lately on creating a diet for myself that combines the knowledge of all the food culture factions (vegans, vegetarians, paleos etc.) and my own personal taste in what food i like to eat. In this approach I hope to satisfy my nutritional requirements, help with food sustainability, and as much as possible, animal rights.
I have been lucky in my attempts that I have many friends in these factions that are open minded and supportive. It is with their help that I am likely to succeed in my goal. But I am also very aware that surrounding my food oasis there is a war going on between these factions and that they are all missing the point.
Andy Bellatti has made the best food culture argument I have possibly ever heard. In summary it is this: It doesn’t really matter whether you are a paleo, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb eater, or whatever, your main goal in this choice is to live a healthy lifestyle. And instead of arguing whose diet is better, these ‘dietary tribes’ should unite under their unified goal of a healthy lifestyle to combat the major problems in the food industry.
You can read the article here. I highly recommend you do.
“We all get caught up in trying to identify what we see as trends and fads— things we can just put an umbrella over and give a name to. At this point in my life, I don’t look at it like that. Records are important. Artists are important. One of the reasons why I thought it was a good decision to put Def Jux on hold is that it’s a hell of a lot easier to dismiss something as a movement than to dismiss individuals making good records. What’s happening now is that there are a bunch of different people who are making exciting shit, and everyone’s trying to make it a ‘scene.’ And I’m really proud of everyone for not letting anyone do that. Because as soon as it’s called a scene, then there’s some guy who wants to be the first person to say that he’s over it.”—El-P talks to us about the current state of hip-hop’s underground and his forthcoming album, Cancer for Cure. (via pitchfork)