Popularity of vegetarian cuisine

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This report is prepared to understand the rise in popularity of vegetarian cuisine and how it has affected current and future trends of menu and business in hospitality industry. This study has been undertaken and result has been drawn keeping consumer surveys in mind as well. The study has resulted in some interesting facts which are the increase in public awareness to consume a well balanced diet, new fortified products introduced in the market and varieties which have been supplied to the customers in current market situation. The conclusion clearly depicts that if a restaurant has to survive in the current market situation, it has to offer well balanced diet to its customers supplying loads of vegetarian options and knowledge of new products is essential. Thus the vegetarian cuisine study is a must and has been explained in detail in my report.

Ravi Lohani

Definition

A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat or seafood, or products containing these foods such as gelatin Originally, the term vegetarian meant, "with or without eggs or dairy products", which is the definition the Vegetarian Society still holds to today. Vegetarians live on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit, with or without free-range eggs, milk and milk products. Vegetarians not eating anything containing dairy products or eggs are called vegans. The eating patterns of vegetarians may vary considerably.

There are different characteristics/ types of vegetarians.

Total Vegetarian: Their diet consists only of plant food and excludes animal foods, which along with meat includes, Dairy products, Eggs, Fish, and Honey.

Vegans: Vegans not only eliminate animal products from their diet like vegetarians. However, they take it a step further. They don't use any products made from animals. This includes Leather, Wool, and Silk

Lacto Vegetarians: Like vegetarians they too eliminate meat from their diet; they do eat dairy products with the exception of eggs.

Lacto Ovo Vegetarians: Lacto Ovo vegetarians diet consists of include dairy products and eggs in their diet with the exception of meat. This is the most common type of vegetarian.

Semi-Vegetarians: Semi-vegetarians restrict their intake of animal products but do allow specific kinds of meat in their diet. These restrictions vary from one person to another. If you are a semi-vegetarian, you'll find that purists don't look at semi-vegetarians as real vegetarians. Semi-vegetarians include:

Pesco Vegetarians: Allow fish in their vegetarian diet.

Pollo Vegetarians: Eat a largely plant-based diet but do allow poultry to be consumed. This includes: Chicken, Duck, Turkey, and Wild fowl

Raw Foodists: They don't believe in heating their food above 115 degrees Fahrenheit because they believe the cooking process kills valuable enzymes. This diet consists mostly of: Fruits, Raw vegetables, Nuts and seeds

Fruitarians: Fruitarians believe in eating fruit and fruit-like vegetables (about 75 percent of their diet) it consists of a minimal amount of processed or cooked foods. The additional feature of their diet is that they only eat fruit harvested without killing the plant. This includes things like Avocados, Cucumbers, Grains, Nuts, Squash, Tomatoes

Consumer Trends:

To understand consumer trends there were certain research activities conducted by Food Standards Agency in the form of survey. The idea was to be aware of rapid increasing popularity of vegetarian cuisine amongst people of UK. The results of the study are:

Previous Study

According to the Food Standards Agency there have been variety of surveys conducted to establish the number of people turning vegetarians. Study of the past ten years, which are from 2000-2009, has been studied for the purpose of analyzing the change in consumer trends. It was also referred as Public Attitudes to Food survey. According to the study and research, it was observed that there has been an increase of 5% of vegetarians every year.

The study clearly shows the popularity of increasing vegetarian cuisine amongst people of UK from 2000-2009. There has been a surprising increase of people who started liking vegetarian cuisine in spite of its myth as a boring cuisine.

This study has lead to different observations. They have been extremely informative and educative as well.

Reasons for the increase of popularity and change in the trend was due to or Common reasons for people choosing a vegetarian diet are:

Variety offered in a vegetarian menu: Plenty of vegetables provide loads of variety in vegetarian cuisines. Such extensive variety was not available to people who follow meat diet.

Health considerations: People slowly started becoming aware of the nutrients offered by the food and this increasing awareness leaded to the increase in popularity of the vegetarian cuisine. Some people follow the vegetarian diet as a part of a heart diseases reversal program. Many studies have observed that following the vegetarian diet (natural diet) helps not only sustain life, but it can actually aid people in avoiding many of the most common western illnesses.

Allergies caused due to consumption of animal byproducts: This awareness also leaded to different advantages such as knowledge of different allergies caused due to consumption of animal byproducts. One such example is lactose intolerance, which is caused due to indigestion of milk.

Concern for the environment: there have been several organizations working for the concern of the environment. Over utilization of livestock and over fishing is leading to the ecological misbalance in various parts of the continents and putting many species under the endangered species.

Animal welfare factors. Various organizations also work for the welfare of animals. They tend to educate people regarding the slaughter of animals and encourage people to become vegetarians.

Economic reasons: vegetarian food is considered to be cheaper and easily accessible to people. Thus it tends to gain popularity amongst people.

Ethical considerations: Some people are principled and according to them slaughtering an animal for the consumption is unethical and thus they stick to vegetarian diet on human grounds.

Religious beliefs: different religions do not allow their followers to consume any kind of meat and alcohol. This also leads to an increase in popularity of vegetarian cuisine.

Additional evidence for the increasing interest in vegetarian diets includes the emergence of college courses on vegetarian nutrition and on animal rights.

Launch of Web sites: the increase in awareness amongst people regarding healthy diet is due to Internet and websites. The value of vegetables has been established and word is spread in the effort to help keep the body free from many of the illness of modern times.

Cookbooks with a vegetarian theme; Easy availability of various cookbooks in the market has also lead to high popularity amongst vegetarians cuisine.

New Product Availability: Ne product leads to new variety, which becomes easy to consume and thus becomes instant hit amongst the people. Supermarket vegetarian produce sections continue to grow with a wide range of available products like: tofu, tempura, vegetarian-style burgers, and meatless sausages. In the frozen department of many supermarkets meatless burgers, dairy free sorbets and tofu-based desserts are readily available. Natural food grocery stores have an even wider variety of these options and many other meat food alternatives in recognition of this growing consumer market share.

Changes in Future trends

This rise in popularity of vegetarian cuisine has caused people from hospitality to be aware of the current market trends and make changes in their menu accordingly.. Thus with wider options available in the market and emergence of fortified foods a drastic changed in the menu as made by the restaurants.

Some clearly visible examples have been: Fast-food restaurants have started to offer salads, veggie burgers, and other meatless options.

Most university foodservices are offering vegetarian options.

The availability of new products, including fortified foods and convenience foods is making a huge impact on the nutrient intake of vegetarians who choose to eat these foods. Fortified foods such as soy milks, meat, analogs, juices, and breakfast cereals are continually being added to the marketplace with new levels of fortification. These products and dietary supplements, which are widely available in supermarkets and natural foods stores is adding substantially to vegetarians intakes of key nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B-12, vitamin, riboflavin, and long-chain n-3 fatty acids.

Another trends which is developing on a fast pace is concern for the environment people are adopting a plant based eating program. In this approach people are concerned as they observe that fewer natural resources are used when people choose to follow a meatless diet. Due to the widespread of information and as people are getting aware and getting concerned to do the least amount of harm to the earth when raising their food. Adopting organic farming technique's, sustainable agriculture methods and trying to maintain an unpolluted ecosystem are the trends that is going to widespread and followed in the future.

A variety of menu planning approaches can provide adequate nutrition for vegetarians

Thus in order to prepare a vegetarian well balanced menu there have been various factor which have are now being studied and practiced by the current hospitalizes. This is done keeping the current and future trend in mind and providing great deal of options for the vegetarian cuisines. Some of these factors observed are

  • choosing a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, Dairy products, and eggs.
  • Minimizing intake of foods that are highly sweetened, high in sodium, and high in fat,
  • Especially saturated fat and trans-fatty acids.

  • availability of increased variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • if animal foods such as dairy products and eggs are used, choosing lower-fat dairy products
  • And use both eggs and dairy products in moderation.

  • Use a regular source of vitamin B-12 and, if sunlight exposure is limited, of vitamin D.

These elements are further explained in the form of a menu considering keeping and restoring its nutritional value. The menu is designed in order to preserve the nutrients of its ingredients to form a well balanced diet. In order to maintain its nutrition care has been taken not only in the selection of ingredients but also its cooking and storing factors.

Nutritional elements of vegetarian cuisine

Getting enough protein and other nutrients when following a vegetarian diet is simply a matter of eating a variety of food that supply the necessary protein, building amino acids along with the required amount of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients.

Many people worry that when they stop eating meat and fish, they might be in danger of some nutritional deficiency. This is not the case as all the nutrients a person need can easily be obtained from a vegetarian diet. Beans/ grains can be eaten throughout the course of a day instead of having to be present at every meal. The value of fibre and the special health maintaining qualities of many vegetables are recognized as an important part of the overall diet. In fact research shows that in many ways a vegetarian diet is healthier than that of a typical meat-eater.

Nutrients are usually divided into five classes: carbohydrates, proteins, fats (including oil), vitamins and minerals. We also need fibre and water. All are equally important to our well-being, although they are needed in varying quantities, from about 250g of carbohydrate a day to less than two micrograms of vitamin B12. Carbohydrate, fat and protein are usually called macronutrients and the vitamins and minerals are usually called micronutrients. Most foods contain a mixture of nutrients (there are a few exceptions, like pure salt or sugar) but it is convenient to classify them by the main nutrient they provide. Still, it is worth remembering that everything you eat gives you a whole range of essential nutrients.

Meat supplies protein, fat, some B vitamins and minerals (mostly iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorous). Fish, in addition to the above, supplies vitamins A, D, and E, and the mineral iodine. Vegetarians can obtain all the nutrients from other sources.

Vegan (also strict or pure vegetarian)

A vegan diet excludes any kind of meat, poultry and fish and they're by products such as gelatin, stock and bases. The vegan diet excludes eggs and dairy products and their byproducts such as lactose, casein and dried egg whites or yolks used in baking.

Many vegans don't consume avoid white sugar as it is often filtered through charred animal bones, many excludes honey as it is an animal byproduct.

Bibliography

  • http://www.meat-free.org.uk/
  • http://www.vegetariantimes.com/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism/
  • http://www.vegsoc.org/newveg/index.html
  • http://www.goveg.com/
  • http://vegetarian.about.com/
  • http://vegweb.com/
  • http://www.veggie123.com/
  • http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Everyday-Cooking/Vegetarian/main.aspx
  • Bergeron,K (1999) professional vegetarian cooking, New York: john wiley & sons.inc
  • Cherie, S (1996) Angel foods, California: heartstar productions.
  • Blackman, J.F (1989) working chef's cookbook for natural foods, Vermont: c.v. Publishers
  • O'connell, A (2008) early vegetarian recipes, Great Britain: Cromwell
  • Gayler, P (2000) vegetarian cook book, London: Dorling Kindersley

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