Wednesday, March 22, 2006

V Is for Vegetarian

So far, I have noticed a few funny things regarding food and the names of food items. For example, ketchup is called "tomato ketchup." I guess they figure specificity is good, but they don't have any other kind of ketchup here. They also have something called "salad cream", which is kind of mayonnaisey, and I find it quite unappealing. On menu items and products that are vegetarian, there is a little V symbol with the statement "suitable for vegetarians." Very helpful! There have been numerous fantastic vegetarian options at just about every place I've eaten. And I haven't stuck to just the healthy-looking establishments. I went to a little pub in Lacock that served vegetarian sausage and mash and it was damn tasty! One thing I've realized before, when talking to mates from the UK, is a different perception of vegetarianism. I've heard several people from the UK say they don't eat meat but they do eat fish. But, I have always thought that fish was meat. I finally decided to see what the Internets have to say about this. The USDA food pyramid lists these categories of food in the meat and beans group: meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Okay, so it separates meat and fish. But it also separates poultry. And you'd not see a vegetarian saying they don't eat meat but then eat a chicken! So, I don't know what's up! Webster's doesn't distinguish poultry and fish from other meats in its definition. Nonetheless, vegetarianism does not include meat, fish, nor poultry in the diet. At the end of the day people should eat what they want to and heck...call themselves what they want to. But labels only work if there is a common definition. Ah well...maybe the word "pescetarian" isn't all that popular?

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