Is it Really Vegetarian?

Just because its labeled vegetarian it does not mean it is.

One of the things I need to be careful with as a vegetarian when I eat out is the process that my meals go through.

I have on various occasions stopped visiting establishments because they claim to have vegetarian options on the menu to later contaminate their food by using animal by-product to season their food.

Process, Process, Process

Just because it says vegetarian it does not mean it is. The fact that a plate’s ingredients do not contain meat or animal products does not make it vegetarian. The process in which the meal is prepared is critical.

For example, local fast food restaurants like El Meson have various vegetarian options but they still cook them on the same grill that non-vegetarian options where cooked on. So the grease and other residue end up in your meal.

Ask Questions and Observe

As an ex full time IT and Operational auditor, I can tell you that the best way to make sure your meal is being prepared vegetarian is to observe those that are preparing it. If you ask questions and don’t get the right answers, there is a high probability that the vegetarian meal is not properly prepared.

If you feel that your meal is not going to be prepared vegetarian, please let them know why and on many occasions, at good places like Pino’s Restaurant, they will make sure to meet your dietary and vegetarian needs. If you perceive resistance in changing the way they prepare it, your best bet is leaving the establishment.

If more vegetarians were vocal about why we are leaving establishments because we are not being accomodated, the management at restaurants would realize that they can either win loyal customers or lose them for life. If they are not willing to tweak the preparation of meals for you, don’t support or refer customers to them.

What approach do you take when you are at a food establishment and you see they don’t have an idea on adequate vegetarian food preparation?

Do you stay and suck it up or leave?

Any tips? 

 Photo credit by fiskfisk




  1. IsaNo Gravatar on August 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    That’s true Raul, many places have for example vegetarian sandwiches, but the bread contains a lot of chemical ingredients and sometimes the lard used comes from a cow or a pig. You need to really ask a lot of questions and make your choice. Even restaurants that they identify themselves as “vegetarian” restaurants use foam or plastics with hot food, u c how the foam melts…then u eat petroleum with ur veggies.

  2. Raul ColonNo Gravatar on August 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Isa I agree with you completely doing research on a previous post we found that many bagels contain a protein derived from Duck feathers. 

    Maybe writing a guest post on breads that are vegetarian friendly would be awesome. 

  3. BeadcharmerNo Gravatar on September 21, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I make a point of letting the server know I’m gonna be a pain in the butt when I place my order and ask a lot of questions. Most places are pretty accommodating about letting me order off menu. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences that left me sick for days. I don’t recommend those places and have never been back.  I don’t eat out often,  especially not Chinese!!

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