Help for caterers section:
What is a vegetarian?
Vegetarians today come from all walks of life, and all sections of society. They don't generally want to cause a nuisance when they eat out, they just want what most people want: good food and a choice. Sadly this isn't always available.
Identifying a vegetarian
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as follows:
"A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods (e.g. salt) with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish*, insects, by-products of slaughter** or any food made with processing aids created from these."
There are different degrees of vegetarianism which may be what causes confusion with caterers. The four most common forms of vegetarianism are:
- Lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Eats both dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet.
- Lacto-vegetarian. Eats dairy products but not eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian. Eats eggs but not dairy products.
- Vegan. Does not eat dairy products, eggs, or any other animal product.
Eggs: Many lacto-ovo vegetarians will only eat free-range eggs. This is because of welfare objections to the intensive farming of hens. Through its Vegetarian Society Approved trade mark, the Vegetarian Society only endorses products containing free-range eggs.
Look at our interpretation of The Food Standard Agency's Eatwell Plate.
Vegetarians aren't that different from carnivores - we just have a different source of protein.