Knowledge In The Vegetarian Cuisine Biology Essay

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The aim of this report is to get an in-depth knowledge in the vegetarian cuisine. The Purpose in this report is to identify the developments and trends in the vegetarian cuisine. I will investigate into the reasons, people opting for vegetarianism and also about the different types of vegetarians. In this report I shall be further discussing about the diet of a vegan and also about the sources from where they get their nutrients.

A person who is a vegetarian only survives on a diet of vegetables, fruits, cereals, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. In some parts of the world mainly in the western, part people believe that dairy products (such as milk and cheese) and eggs are vegetarian. So Vegetarian cuisine is any food made for consumption excluding the poultry and meat products as well as animal by-products (such as gelatine and rennet) in the preparation.

In the 1800 century Greek civilisation developed Vegetarianism and in the same time vegetarianism was already prevailing in ancient India. It was in 1849 when vegetarianism came into United Kingdom. In this age vegetarians were strongly not in favour of killing animals and they never used to eat any kind of animal or animal by-product. Their food was strictly based on fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses. In the 19th century under the control of the Roman Empire vegetarianism was getting lost slowly from Europe. On the other side of the world in the 19th and the 20th century vegetarianism was at its peak in Asia. It was during the Renascence when vegetarianism again emerged in the Europe. Since then vegetarian have made lot of changes in their eating habits. "Most of the vegetarians do not eat meat, fish and animal by-products because they consider it as sentient food or foods which have feelings and can experience pain" (, 2010). Vegetarians can be distinguished in different types.

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Types of Vegetarians

Vegan: Vegans are known as strictly vegetarians. They only eat fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. They neither touch nor eat animal products in their food. As vegans are fully vegetarians they do not eat animal by-products such as gelatine and rennet. They also exclude few food items from their diet such as honey, wine and sugar because some wines are refined as well as sugar are whitened or polished with the help of animal bones. There are few vegans who are known as 'raw vegans'. They only eat raw or uncooked fruits and vegetables or sometimes partially cooked food. They believe that while cooking most of the vitamins and nutrients are destroyed so it is better to eat foods raw to retain all the nutrients and vitamins.


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Ovo Vegetarian: An Ovo vegetarian is a person who only consumes eggs with fruits, vegetable, legumes and grains. They do not eat meat, fish and daily products. One main reason of not consuming dairy product is that they could have lactose intolerance or dairy allergic reaction. Ovo vegetarians believe that they will not get enough vitamins and nutrients without the consumption of meat and fish so with the addition of eggs with fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds will balance their diet. It is also seen that ovo vegetarians will have higher cholesterol diet if their diet is not properly planned. (, 2010)

Lacto Vegetarian: These types of people only eat dairy product (high in calcium) with fruits, vegetable, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. They do not eat meat and fish not even eggs. They are also known as lactarian, in their diet they mainly consume yogurt, milk, butter, cheese and cream. They will not eat any dairy product which consists of animal products such as gelatine or rennet (used for making cheese). People follow lacto vegetarian diet because this diet reduces the risk of high cholesterol, maintains blood pressure and prevents from excessive fat in the body. This diet also reduces the risk of cancer. Lacto vegetarians might get less protein in their diet so they have to supplement their diet with soy, tofu or textured vegetable proteins. Lacto was derived from a Latin word lactic for milk. This diet is generally low in fats and high in fiber. (, 2010)

Lacto-ovo Vegetarian: Lacto-ovo vegetarian will only eat eggs and dairy products with fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. They will not include meat, fish and animal by-products in their diet. Same as lacto vegetarians they have to be very careful while consuming dairy products such as cheese and yogurt because gelatine or rennet might be used to prepare the product (a substitute can be used to prepare these products for the vegetarians). Most of the people follow lacto ovo diet because they acquire adequate amount of the nutrients such are proteins from eggs and dairy products. (, 2010)

Pescatarian: A pescatarian is a person who only consumes fish with other fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains and seeds. They do not consume meat, eggs, dairy products and animal by-products in their diet. These people follow this diet to keep their body healthy. Omega3 fatty acids are very important for the human body and it is only found in the fish which adds on as an advantage in the diet of the pescatarian. There are also few minerals and nutrients which are only available in the fishes such as shrimps or oysters, these minerals or nutrients are not available in plant based foods. (, 2010)

Fruitarians: These types of people do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and animal by-products. They only survive by eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (such as sprouted seeds). They prefer to eat most of the items raw because they believe that cooking will destroy the nutrients. There are few fruitarians who also believe to eat fruits from the plants which are not killed. This type of diet is not favourable for the human body because they will not get all the essential nutrients required by the body. (, 2010)

Flexiterian: A flexiterian is a person who predominantly eats a vegetarian diet such a fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes and seeds but they also eat meat, fish, eggs and dairy product occasionally. They generally eat a vegetarian diet because they believe that it is the healthier diet and to give a change in their diet the sometimes go for the meat products. The word flexiterian came into existence in 2003 by American Dialect Society. (, 2010)

Pollo Vegetarians: Pollo vegetarian are people who restrict them from eating red meat products such as beef, pork and lamb. They only eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, seafood, fish, dairy products and poultry such as chicken, duck and turkey. These people do not desire to eat red meats due to the saturated fat contents in these animal bodies. They also restrict them from consuming animal by-products. (, 2010)

People are choosing to become vegetarian due to several reasons. People choose vegetarianism due to religious reasons, environmental reasons, economical reasons, health reasons, ethical reasons, cultural reasons and even disliking of meat.

Factors for becoming a Vegetarian

Religious Reason: People become vegetarian because they follow nonviolence or in their spirituality killing and eating of animals are not permitted. People also become vegetarian if their family has been following vegetarianism as a religion from the past.

Environmental Reason: The high production of meat and poultry make the environment weak. The mass production leads to water pollution and inaccurate waste disposal. Giving the environment a priority people are becoming vegetarians.

Economical Reasons: Meat and animal products are more expensive than vegetable. Due to the growth in economy people cannot afford to buy meat and thus becoming vegetarian as vegetables are cheaper compared to meat products.

Health Reasons: Meat and meat products are higher in saturated fats. Consumption of meat products on a regular basis will lead to diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer. People believe that consumption of fruits and vegetables will prevent them from these diseases as vegetables are low in saturated fats and high in fibers.

Ethical Reasons: This is the most important reason why people chose to become a vegetarian. Their objection is on animal cruelty. They do not want that the animals should be killed and eaten because they know how badly these animals are treated before and at the time of slaughtering. Their pledge is that every living organism has the right to live.

Cultural Reason: People also chose to become vegetarian because they have been brought up in the vegetarian society and they get accustomed to it.

Food Safety: Most of the people suffer from disease after the consumption of meat and meat products. So to avoid from these diseases people chose vegetarianism.

Animal Cruelty: People also chose to become vegetarian because they do not want that the animals should be killed. They thing that everyone has the right to live and they oppose to this cruelty.

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Diet and Nutrient of Vegan

The vegans are those people who do not eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products. A Vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. Vegans does not use animal products such as, leather, fur, silk, wool, honey, gelatine and rennet which are used in manufacturing of the food or for clothing purpose. A vegan will also have to look in the food such as sugar and wine because some of these are polished or refined by animal bones. Vegans believe that if they eat meat they are promoting the meat production industry to grow in a larger scale. People become vegans due to enormous reasons such as ethical, economical, health or cultural reasons. Caring and human world is cascaded by the vegans. The main factor is that they want to stop the cruelty which is happening with the animals.

Vegan has to balance his diet very carefully so that they can get all the nutrients which are required by the body. The following nutrient pyramid diagram shows the quantities of food item which are require the most and food items which are require least. In the pyramid bread, cereals, rice and pasta at the bottom because it is require the most whereas oils, fats and sweets are at the top because it is required the least. The diet of a vegan is divided into five different types: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.

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Protein is the most essential component for our life. After water protein is the second most important thing which makes up our body weight. It makes up muscles, ligaments, organs, hair, nails, bones, tissues and cells. The function of the protein is to provide repair and maintenance of the body, basic component of enzymes, it's the secondary source of energy and the most important it helps in the growth of the body. When different types of amino acids combine together they form proteins, so it can be termed as proteins are substances which consists of amino acids. It is said that there are 20 amino acids which can join together and form a protein. Out of which only 8 amino acids are required for the adults and 10 for children. Amino acids are divided in two types essential and non essential. The amino acids which are required by the body are the essential amino acid because the non essential amino acids can be manufactured by the body if necessary. Essential amino acids can be found in meat, fish, cheese, egg and soya whereas non essential amino acids can be found in bread, flour, pulses, nuts, seeds and potatoes. So for the vegan Soya is the main food source which will be providing them with essential amino acids. A vegan diet will comprise more of soya with breads, cereals and potatoes which will full fill their protein diet.

Sources of protein for Vegans:

Nuts -- Hazels, brazils, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine kernels.

Seeds -- Sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds.

Pulses -- Peas, beans, lentils, peanuts.

Grains and Cereals -- Wheat (in bread, flour, pasta), barley, rye, oats, millet, maize (sweetcorn), rice.

Soya products -- Tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, veggie burgers, soya milk.

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Main source of energy or fuel is provided by carbohydrates in the body. Carbohydrates comprises of three elements that is carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These are found mainly in plants. Carbohydrates are formed in the process of photosynthesis in the plants, when plant enzymes, carbon dioxide from air, sunlight and water from soil is combined the synthesize carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are further divide into three parts that is sugar, starch and dietary fats. When Carbohydrate are inside the body get transformed into glucose and are then absorbed into the cells. So for a vegan carbohydrate can be found easily in their diet as plants are the main source. The below mentioned item should be eaten for the requirements of carbohydrates in the vegan diet.

Sources of Carbohydrates for Vegan

Sugar: From fruits and table sugar

Starches: Cereals or grains such as bread, rice, pasta, barley, millet, buckwheat, rye. Root vegetable such as potatoes and parsnips

Dietary Fats: These are unrefined whole grain cereals or grains, dry or fresh fruits and vegetables. Consumption of dietary fats helps in reducing the diseases of cancer.

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Fats are also known as Lipids. Fats are also important for the human body to keep the tissues in good condition, some vitamins are carried to the different organs of the body with the help of fats and fats also help in making of hormones. Same as proteins fat are also made of fatty acids. Fatty acids are further divided into two parts that is linoleic and linolenic acids which are required in the diet for the human body. These acids are found in abundance in plants.

Fats are divided into two parts saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Animal fats are saturate fats and vegetable fats are unsaturated fats. High intake of fats can lead to diseases such as heart disease. As fats are also essential for the human body it should be consumed in less quantity and unsaturated fats should be used. So a vegan is consuming unsaturated fats in his/her diet which gives him/her a better diet and saves from disease as compared to meat eaters.

Sources of Fats for vegan

Unsaturated Fats: Olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil

Saturated fats: Coconut oil and palm oil. These are some saturated fats which are found from vegetables.

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Minerals are very much usefull for the human body. Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are beneficial for teeth and bones. Some of the important minerals are:

Calcium: Calcium's are very much essential for the human body. It helps in strengthening the bones and teeth's where as it is very much important for the children's. Calcium deficiency can also lead to muscle contraction and blood clotting.

The sources from where vegan can get calcium are: soy milk, spring greens, cabbage, bokchoy, broccoli, watercress, parsley, okra, peas, beans, chickpeas, almonds, sesame seeds, oranges and figs. There are some fortified breakfast cereals, orange juices and breads are also available for the vegan diet.

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Iron: Iron is very much important for women and young girls. Iron is found mainly in green leafy vegetables but the absorption is very poor by the body. Iron helps in the production of red blood cells. The best source of iron is red meat. For vegan, they should have combination of vitamin C and green leafy vegetable. Vitamin C helps in absorption of iron in the body.

The Sources from where Vegan Can get Iron are: Dry fruits, green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread, cereals and pulses.

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Zinc: Zinc plays a very important role in the immune system as well as it help various enzyme reactions.

The Sources are: these are easily available in lentils, green vegetables, wholegrain cereals and sesame and pumpkin seeds.

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Vitamins are required to provide energy or fuel and growth to the body. Vitamins are required to break down fat, protein and carbohydrates to get energy. Vitamins, nourish the body from various sources, vitamins are divided into groups of two water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are comprises of four vitamins (vitamins, A, D, E and K) and water-soluble vitamins composite of vitamin B and vitamin C which includes nine types of vitamins.

Sources of vitamins for Vegans are

Vitamin A: Vegan gets their vitamin A from oranges, yellow vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and fruits such as peaches.

Vitamin B: These are classified into B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Whole cereals, nuts, pulses, seed and green vegetable will supply all the vitamins B except on that is B12. To get Vitamin B12 vegans have to consume fortified products which are enriched by B12 such as fortified soy milk or B12 supplements. These B12 are derived from T6635 (red star natural yeast).

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is enriched in fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapes, green leafy vegetables, potatoes and salads.

Vitamin D: Plant products do not provide Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found through sun light. We can get Fortified soy milk and fortified orange juices which are enriched with vitamin D.

Vitamin K: can be found in cereals and vegetables which are fresh.

Vitamin E: Can be found in whole grain cereals and vegetable oils.

Developments and Trends followed in the Vegetarianism


Vegetarian diet as religion attribute firstly was detected in India as the integral part of Buddhism religion. In most religious of the world the vegetarianism exists as the general or part restriction of the animal products.

The history of vegetarian cuisine started very early and can be traced as far back as recorded history. According to historians, Egyptians had a percentage of their own population that enjoyed vegetables and fruits. There is evidence the Chinese were following a non-meat diet even before northern Indian monks brought the Mahayan branch of Buddhism to China between 25 - 60 A.D. The Book of Genesis also suggested a diet of fruits, seeds and nuts. Other various eastern religions believed in reincarnation and had a belief that if they were not respectful to living animals then their soul will transmigrate to lower life forms.

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Buddhists have been enjoying vegetarian dishes for centuries. There is a common belief that all Buddhists are vegetarians Buddhists from Japan felt that by eating a dead animal, the body would remain polluted and toxified for over eighty days.

In 1989 a MORI poll indicated that 3%nof the UK's population was vegetarian, while the results of a similar conducted in 2001 estimated that 5.7% of the population were vegetarian. In numbers this means there are over 3 million vegetarians in the UK today and vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more and more mainstream in UK culture. Part of this is down to food scares, but social changes, and the fact that the range of vegetarian food available is so wide, have also played a part

ORGANIC FOOD: According to the Soil Association, the UK's leading campaigning and certification organization for organic food and farming, three out of every four households in the UK now buy organic food in some shape or form.


One of the rising trends in UK food culture is vegetarianism. It has been greatly influenced by recent food safety scares. What is certain, however, is that more people are cutting out meat and animal products from their diet. The proportion of vegetarian population is still rising in many Western countries, and has been greatly influenced by health issues such as the link between 'mad cow disease' and new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease in humans. It is really difficult to predict the future trends in the dietery preferences of populations but there is no doubt that a move towards a 'semi-vegetarian' diet low in animal products would allow more people to be fed from less land and could have substantial ecological benefits.

It has been estimated recently that there are about 5 million vegetarians in the UK with a growing number of adherents under 16 years of age. The food industry is responding to the increased demand by providing a greater variety of highly nutritious, competitively priced, convenience foods for vegetarians. This is likely to encourage a further expansion in vegetarianism in the future.

(, 2010)

British meat eaters consume a third less than the French and half as much as Americans. A survey in summer 2000 for the RSPCA revealed that only 38% of meat eaters eat it daily, 21% four or five times a week, 33% two or three times and 8% just once a week or less. In other words, an incredible 60% of people have become demi-vegetarian

(, 2010)

According to research and markets 2007 Report Forecasts That, over the Next 5 Years (2007 to 2011), Sales of Vegetarian Foods Will Continue to Grow but at a slower rate of between 6.2% and 6.9% year-on-year. Despite this, there will still be significant overall value growth in the market over the period.

(, 2010)

Advantages and Disadvantages of a vegetarian

Many people from past and till date have converted themselves to vegetarians for the betterment of their health. People also become vegetarian due to ethical, religious, cultural or economical reasons. A vegetarian diet usually consists of fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. This type of diet is favourable for an overall healthy body and it also reduces the risk of any disease such as high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure which are the common diseases for meat eaters. However, there are many disadvantages associated to vegetarianism. The pros and corns related to vegetarianisms are as follows:

Advantages of Vegetarianism

Vegetarian diet reduces the risk of disease such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Meats are expensive in the market as compared to fruits and vegetables.

Span of life may be longer for the vegetarians as compared to meat eaters as commented by some experts.

The risk of cancer is reduced in the vegetarian diet as per World Cancer Research Fund.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are found in good proportion in a vegetarian diet.

Calcium is available in good quantity in green leafy vegetables.

Vegetarian diet contains lesser quantity of fats and saturated fats which reduces the risk of obesity.

Vegetarian diet is high in fiber which improves the digestive system.

Food-borne diseases such as bird flu and mad cow disease will be prevented if a vegetarian diet is followed.

Disadvantage of Vegetarianism

A well planned balanced diet is required to get all the nutrients for the body.

In the vegetarian diet Vitamin B12 cannot be found naturally as it is mostly found in meat and meat products.

Children's brought up as vegetarians will lack in some nutrients such as zinc, iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and copper.

Amino acids are in lesser quantity in plant based products. It is mainly found in meat based products which helps for digestion.

Vegetarians do not get all the essential nutrients in their diet they have to go for some supplements which will full fill their requirement for the body.

While dinning in the restaurants it is very difficult to get sufficient choice of vegetarian food to full fill their requirement.

Most of the carbohydrates and proteins are found in the meat base products so insufficiency can lead to anema.

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Cheese and herb Fritters with Tomato and Balsamic Jam

Feedback from Chef

Fritters tasted good.

Sizes of the fritters were accurate.

It was soft and moist.

Seasoning, texture and taste was good.

Crisp and Nice colour.

Seasoning and taste of the tomato balsamic jam was perfect.

Good presentation.

Self Evaluation

Constructive Comment on work

Kitchen was clean and tidy.

I was wearing a clean neat uniform.

As I entered the kitchen wash my hands.

The coordination with my partner was very good

We discussed the recipe with each other before we started the work.

Measured all products accurately.

Demonstrated correct knife and cooking skills while cutting vegetables and cooking the food.

We grated all the three cheeses well. Mixed egg, milk, all the grated cheeses and flour accurately and kept in the refrigerator for setting.

Presentation of the dish was very good.

We finished our work on time.

Clean as you go was not followed.

We also did not sanitize the vegetables before cutting.

We were working slowly; we have to work faster.

Constructive Comment on the dish

The mixing for the cheese fritters was good.

Sizes, texture and seasoning of the fritters were perfect.

Fritters were moist and cooked well.

Fritters were golden brown in colour.

Tomato and balsamic jam was cook to the consistency

Seasoning and texture of the Tomato and balsamic jam was perfect.

The Equipment, commodities and method used

A deep fry cooking method was used while preparing this dish. Deep fry method provides the product a crispy and a crunchy texture. It even provides golden colour from all the sides. Even golden colour is not possible in shallow frying.

The deep frying should be done on medium heat so that the heat of the oil and cook the product till the centre and will also help in getting even colour on the product. If the product is cooked on high heat, the product will get the colour fast but the inside of the product will be raw or the product might get burnt due to high heat.

The equipment used in this cooking were whisk, deep pan for frying, spatula, chopping board, knives and a sauce for cooking the Tomato and balsamic jam.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Feedback from Chef

Potatoes cooked properly. It was not over cooked.

Texture and taste was good.

Colour of the Dauphinoise potato was perfect.

Nice and Good presentation.

Seasoning was less in the potatoes.

Self Evaluation

Constructive Comment on work

Kitchen was clean and tidy.

I was wearing a clean neat uniform.

As I entered the kitchen wash my hands.

The coordination with my partner was good.

We discussed the recipe with each other before we started the work.

Measured all products accurately.

Demonstrated correct knife and cooking skills while cutting vegetables and cooking the food.

This time we were following clean as you go and were washing our hand every time we moved from one work to another.

Presentation of the dish was very good.

Thickness of the potatoes was perfect.

I demonstrated the skill of how to assemble and dismantle mandolin.

We did wash the potatoes properly before cutting.

Our planning was not right and we could not finish our work on time.

By mistake we poured more pepper in the potatoes so we had to was the potatoes to remove the excess pepper but in this process we forgot to season it with salt again which resulted in less seasoning of potatoes in the dish.

Constructive Comment on the dish

Cheese on the top was not burnt. The colour was golden brown in colour.

Taste and texture of the potatoes was good.

Potatoes were well cooked and not over cooked.

Seasoning was less in the potatoes. We have to keep this thing in mind when we cook food.

We oven cooked the dish at 180°c

The Equipment, commodities and method used

Oven baking method of cooking was followed in this dish. The potatoes were assembled with milk and cream mixture in an oven baking dish. The potatoes need to be cooked evenly from all the side and in oven baking the heat is circulate from all the sides.

The equipment used in this dish were oven baking dish for potatoes, Oven for baking the food, sauce pan doe cooking the milk and cream mixture and mandolin for slicing the potatoes in 2mm slice.