Earlier this year, The VRG had an outreach booth at the National Restaurant Association Show. This trade expo is attended by personnel in the restaurant and food service industries from around the United States. At least 50 different owners/managers who visited our booth mentioned the “veto vote,” whereby the one vegetarian or vegan in a group with six to eight non-vegetarians insists that the group go to an establishment where vegetarians can be accommodated. The managers were looking for entrées compatible with their existing menu. There are several lessons here.
When encouraging a food service to carry vegetarian options, mention the veto vote and explain the fact that the potential increase in customers amounts to much more than an increase in the number of vegetarians; it will include the six to eight friends of each non-meat-eater. Another lesson is how much impact one individual can have—for good or bad. So continue to speak up in a nice way.
Several years ago, registered dietitian Patsyjane O’Malley called our office and said she regularly visited our booth at the Annual Meeting of the American Dietetic Association. She stated that we were the only group that gave her accurate information on vegetarianism. In appreciation, she wanted to pay for our booth that year and continued to support us for future conferences. Sadly, this extremely encouraging and vivacious woman has passed away. Her sister called and said she would honor her pledge for this year. Thank you to both. Here are two individuals who understand what it means to live life and make the world better through their own actions and by supporting organizations that can positively impact others.
Last year at the Natural Products Expo trade show in Anaheim, our Food Service Advisor Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD, gave a demonstration at the Food Plaza Stage on “A Million Ideas for Serving Sweet Menu Items for Vegans and Making More Profit.” Thank you to these helpful companies that donated products for the demonstration: Albert’s Organics (assorted organic fruit); Allied Old English (vegan fruit preserves and salsa products); Edward & Sons Trading Company (Tartini, Sprinkelz, chocolates, waffle cones, waffle bowls); Mori-Nu (Mates Chocolate Pudding Mix); Newman’s Own Organics (Newman-O’s); Turtle Island Foods (Tofurky Deli Slices); Turtle Mountain (Soy Deliciousä non-dairy frozen desserts); and Wax Orchards (vegan dipping chocolate, vegan sweet sauces and plum sauces for stir-fries).
May you all have a sweet and healthy holiday season. May there always be individuals, businesses, and groups who will continue to work for a kinder world during our lifetime and for the generations that follow us.
Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group
The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone who wishes to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.
Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.
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