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Everyday Cooking - Vegetarian diets

April 2011                                                                                                                                   

foodEveryday Cooking is a feature of laterlife.com run by Rosemary Martin. 

Covering topics such as bread making, meals for one, nutritional meals, healthy eating, freezer cooking, seasonal cooking, microwave cooking, bulk cooking, preserves etc., Useful for older people and those on a limited budget, or single householders…

Please e-mail Rosemary with your cooking comments, or ideas for this section of laterlife 


 

Vegetarian diets: the basics

 
vegetarian thaliVegetarianism involves the practice of following a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, nuts, and seeds, with or without dairy products or eggs.

A vegetarian does not eat meat, including game, poultry, fish, crustacea and shellfish, and may also abstain from by-products of animal slaughter such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin. Various foods or treats, such as cake, chocolate, chips, gum, marshmallows and gummy sweets, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and may especially be a concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additions. While some vegetarians are unaware of animal-derived rennet's role in the usual production of cheese and may therefore unknowingly consume the ingredient, others of the diet are not bothered by its consumption. Often, however, animal-derived products, such as certain cheeses, gelatin or other animal-derived ingredients, are scrutinized by vegetarians prior to purchase or consumption.

An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products. A strict vegetarian diet or vegan diet excludes all animal products, such as eggs, dairy, and honey. Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods, but may include fish or poultry, or other meats on an infrequent soya whey proteinbasis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define "meat" only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism. A pescetarian diet, for example, includes "fish but no meat". The common use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, due to fish and birds being animals.

So there, we have the essence of it. Vegetarianism can be adopted for many different reasons and In addition to ethical reasons, other reasons for vegetarianism may include issues of health, religion, politics, environment, culture, aesthetics or economy, and there are varieties of the vegetarian diet to suit virtually every cause and reason.

We will be including recipes to suit most of the variations of the wide ranging vegetarian diets in a future occasional series, in which we will try to celebrate the diversity and choice of foods available to devotees.

 


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