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
This is our definition of a vegetarian:
Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.
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.