Vegetarian Complains About Chicken Fat In Rice-A-Roni. Response? Sent Free Recipe For "Prize-Winning Meatloaf"

Jordan writes:

Recently, I discovered that many of Rice-a-roni’s products, even the one’s I assumed to be vegetarian friendly, had meat byproducts in them. Granted, I can expect “Chicken and Broccoli” to have meat byproducts, but I’ve come to discover almost all of them do. Nearly all contain Chicken Fat. I wrote Rice-A-Roni a complaint, which can be found below, with there extremely helpful response! I was very pleased with their Customer Relations department for the time being. They wrote they’d send me a few coupons and such to try out their Kosher line, which can be vegetarian friendly. I just received the coupons in the mail. I opened the enveloped, with three coupons for Quaker Oats products. Here’s the irony. They decided it’d be friendly of them to send a recipe that I could try out with their products. What recipe is sent, do you ask. A recipe for Quaker Oats “Prize-Winning Meatloaf.”

Here is the original complaint Jordan sent Rice-A-Roni:

I recently became aware of your new Natures Way Rice-A-Roni product line. I was pleased with this because of the high reliance upon artificial preservatives in modern foods. Being a vegetarian, Ive never bought the meat flavored rice-a-roni products, and have stuck with items such as mexican style or herbs and butter. The non-meat products were my targeted food groups. I never bothered for a moment to look and see if these contained meat or meat byproducts, until I bought the Natures Way: Italian Cheese and Herbs. Now, I find that this product and the old products I was buying all contain Chicken Fat. Your guidelines specifically request no product suggestion, so I will say that I have an extreme product frustration. As an off-campus college student, I had been eating these for lunches many days of the week. I cannot in good moral conscience continue to eat any of these products until they dont have meat byproducts. If I was seeking the chicken broccoli, beef, or any meat product, I would expect meat. When I buy the others, meat is an extreme distaste, one that has lost me as a customer until chicken fat is removed from the ingredients list.

Here was their response:

RE: Rice-A-Roni Nature’s Way Italian Cheese and Herb , REF.# 026325336A

Jordan:

We’re so sorry that the presence of chicken fat in Rice-A-Roni causes you some concern. We have shared your comments with our Product Development Team for consideration in the future.

We wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about another line of pasta and rice dishes called Near East. While not labeled specifically for vegetarians, the products are labeled for Kosher certification. Some vegetarians find the Kosher labeling helpful in keeping to their dietary preferences.

Kosher Law is based on the Jewish book of the Torah, and precludes the use of meat and dairy products in the same meal. While a product may contain meat and also be Kosher, it must be labeled as containing meat products to prevent accidentally being mixed with dairy. Below is guide to some symbols you can watch for on our packages of Near East.

* The letter “U” enclosed in a circle on the front of a product is the symbol of the Orthodox Union of Jewish Congregations and indicates the product is Kosher. If it appears by itself, the product contains neither meat nor dairy as defined by Kosher Law.

* If a letter “M” is beside or underneath the circled U, it means that some part of the product contains meat.

* If a letter “D” is beside or underneath the circled U, it means that some part of the product contains dairy.

If you would like to learn more about our Near East products, please visit: http://www.neareast.com.

We hope this information is helpful, Jordan. A coupon to try Near East has been sent to you and should arrive within 7-10 business days. We hope you will find a new product to enjoy.

Jennifer
Quaker Consumer Response

That is the kind of customer service that happens when reps are just looking for keywords and then they print off a pre-formulated reply selected from a drop-down menu and include the standard “we’re sorry” package without thinking about what they’re doing. Jordan’s bungled encounter no doubt means Quaker Oats products now leave him with a a bad taste in his mouth. Sending a meatloaf recipe to a vegetarian, that is some delicious irony right there.

(Photo: basykes)

Comments

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  1. TulstinNative says:

    How hard is it to read the ingredients label? I was vegetarian for many years, and knew well enough to check for animal ingredients even if it wasn’t obvious. I wonder if this guy knows where gelatin comes from…

  2. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I’m probably the only one who thinks that his serves that self-righteous vegetarian right …

    Eat meat. Meat gave us humans our big brains. Let us not try to reverse the process.

  3. TulstinNative says:

    @radleyas: And besides, fat=flavor! :P

  4. Tzepish says:

    @radleyas: Right, because all vegetarians are self-righteous, right?

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 7 years, and I do it for my own personal health, and it has worked pretty well. It’s not for everybody.

  5. Not to sound insensitive or anything, but can you throw us that recipe?

    Also, yeah… reading ingredients labels ought to be second nature to anyone on a special diet of ANY kind, but especially vegetarians, since gelatin or beef fat is injected into most processed foods.

  6. smitty1123 says:

    Well, some coupons and a meatloaf recipe is still way better than a “sod-off broccoli boy”…

  7. AstroPig7 says:

    Reading ingredient labels is somewhat scary even for non-vegetarians. Look at what’s in carmine, a semi-common red food colouring, for instance. If you don’t mind eating crushed beetles, then it might not be a problem, but most people do.

  8. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Tzepish:

    Well, yes. You just proved my point :)

  9. MercuryPDX says:

    My Jew-fu is a little weak, but I never understood it as Kosher equals Vegetarian? Doesn’t it just ensure that Meat and Dairy are not simultaneously present, but may be individually present? (in which case, neither is really vegetarian, right?)

    @radleyas: NO. Don’t encourage them. It leaves more delicious beef for the rest of us. :)

  10. Jasmo says:

    If you are a vegetarian and still eating processed crap like rice-a-roni, you’re missing the point.

  11. AstroPig7 says:

    @radleyas: I’m scratching my head over this one. How?

  12. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @AstroPig7:

    To which comment do you refer?

  13. chrisgoh says:

    Come on, they go out of their way to give you a great response, yet you still ding them because their preprinted coupons happened to have a recipe for meatloaf. Are you also upset when you buy any vegetable product and it comes with serving suggestions that include any meat based product.

    BTW – Meatloaf with oatmeal is great. I also add some homegrown sprouts a half can of V8 and some wasabi to mine.

  14. AstroPig7 says:

    @radleyas: Sorry, I was referring to the self-righteousness of the poster. If it’s because of the statement about vegetarianism not being for everyone, then I fail to see the self-righteousness. Skydiving isn’t for everyone, but stating this doesn’t make me self-righteous.

  15. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @AstroPig7:

    It was the immediate attitude demonstrated. It seems to go hand in hand with not eating delicious, moist, tender meat.

  16. ludwigk says:

    This Jordan individual needs to educate himself if he intends to have a strict vegetarian diet.

    If you are trying to maintain a strict policy of not ingesting meat/animal derived products (such as flavorings derived from meat), or be a vegetarian, if you will, then you should carefully inspect the packaging of all processed foods that you intend to eat. Chicken fat, and chicken broth are going to be common ingredients in prepared foods, packaged foods, pastas with sauces etc. even if they don’t mention chicken anywhere. The flavor profiles that these companies are usually using are from recipes that also did not mention chicken, but often contained chicken broth as a flavoring.

    You should NEVER assume that a non-vegetarian-labeled food is vegetarian just because the contents “seem” like they could be vegetarian to you. For instance, any refried bean can that is not labeled vegetarian probably contains lard. It is, after all, a traditional ingredient in refried beans.

    A prominent example of this is that McDonald’s french fries contain a flavor additive derived from beef. This is to make them taste a bit more like they did in the early ’80s when the fries themselves were fried in beef tallow. It produced an exquisite french fry, but had enough saturated fat to kill you at 50 paces.

    If you’re trying to avoid beef products but not other meats (perhaps you are hindi, or for whatever reason), fast food is still a bad choice, because beef flavorings are often added to processed chicken, such as patties and nuggets.

    The fact is, these foods are designed to appeal to us, and we are engineered to like the flavor of meat. Food manufactures will inject beef into a donut if it’ll makes people eat more of it.

  17. AstroPig7 says:

    @radleyas: Ah, understood. We have to present some kind of haute couture, or people might get nosey and realize that we’re taking over.

  18. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @AstroPig7:

    Unlikely, but I wish you well.

  19. Christovir says:

    @radleyas: Hmm, so you complain about vegetarians being self-righteous, but then post the most self-righteous comments in the thread? Project much?

  20. DrGirlfriend says:

    I thought the letter was more than just a keyword-driven response. It goes into detail as to what product line he may find more suited to his tastes and includes ways of easily determinging which ones may be vegetarian friendly, and he will be sent a coupon fo r said line. The recipe that was included was silly, but I’m not sure why it would leave a bad taste in his mouth. It wasn’t meant to be insulting, it doesn’t harm the OP in any way, and it might have even just been a mistake. For one meatloaf recipe to obviate what looks like a personalized, helpful letter seems like nitpicking.

  21. ludwigk says:

    @mercurypdx: Brief details of Kosher system (kashrut):

    Parve: Essentially vegan, depending on your definition of vegan. In preparation has not come into contact with meat, dairy, or even pots/pans/surfaces/tools used to make meat or dairy, unless that container has been scorched ritually for like half an hour at 1300 degrees.

    Milkig: May contain eggs, milk products, or fish, but no other meat. This explains lox and creamcheese bagels, or tuna sandwiches with a slice of cheese.

    Fleishig: Contains meats, but does not contain anything from the milkig group.

    Kosher already contains a very small subset of edible sea and land animals. Most shellfish, and any split-hoofed animal (i.e. pigs) is non-kosher. According to kashrut, no foods can contain simultaneously milkig and fleishig ingredients, or it is considered inedible.

  22. ripple says:

    @radleyas:

    When McDonalds got rid of that Beef Tallow is when their fries started to suck. They have never been good since. Why is it that everything that tastes good is “bad” for you and everything that is healthy is nasty. Im sorry but I cant help if I dont like soy, whole grains, vegetables (except peas and corn), and fruit (except raspberries and cherries). What am I supposed to eat that is healthy.

  23. Miguel Valdespino says:

    @mercurypdx: If you read the letter, it explains that Kosher labels indicate if the product has meat or dairy products in them.

  24. MercuryPDX says:

    @ludwigk: Right, hence the separate dinnerware, stoves, cooking utensils, etc. for dairy and for meat.

    “Parve” is a new one for me. Thanks :)

  25. headon says:

    ahh just eat some meatloaf and quit complaining. Mamma Mia you don’t like what you see on the label don’t buy the product. Just cause you think its wacky vegitarian friendly doesn’t mean it is.

  26. zundian says:

    @TulstinNative: Exactly, it pains me that almost every single flavor of Stove Top stuffing has chicken stock in it, but I live with it and find which of their products doesn’t.

    Oddly, “Stove Top Stuffing For Pork” is vegetarian out of the box.

  27. MercuryPDX says:

    @Miguel Valdespino: yes, that’s what confused me. I thought Kosher meant either meat OR dairy, but NEVER both in the same dish. ludwigk cleared it up. :)

  28. smith186 says:

    @mercurypdx: Their kosher products identify cearly on the package whether they contain meat, dairy, or neither, in order to help cooks prepare full meals that are also kosher. Basically, they have ‘full disclosure’ on the presence of meat/dairy.

    So kosher != vegetarian, but kosher products that are marked as not having meat/dairy are effectively the same thing.

  29. howie_in_az says:

    @ludwigk: The problem is that some vegetarian-labelled items aren’t actually vegetarian-safe. Take for instance a certain brand of refried beans which carry a ‘VEGETARIAN’ label on them. Some poking and prodding later and the company admits that their supposed vegetarian refried beans aren’t vegetarian safe. I think they’ve since corrected things but can’t find any URLs so I’ll let them remain unnamed.

    While it may not be a big deal to some, religious people following a vegetarian diet may be horribly insulted, not let into heaven, frowned on by their local deity, etc. The point is that if it’s advertised as being vegetarian, one would assume that it is actually vegetarian, not mostly vegetarian. Not to mention that trying to find the animal products used in meals, apart from the obvious meat, is fairly difficult and/or confusing — did you know that sometimes “natural flavors” or “natural flavoring” means animal products, depending on the manufacturer?

    As a side note, using ‘manufacturer’ for food kinda grossed me out a little bit.

    Also loving the irony of ‘self-righteous’ vegetarians amidst the “delicious meat” comments.

  30. balthisar says:

    ::WTF:: Anyone on a special diet (and vegetarianism is a special diet) has the responsibility to look out for themselves first.

  31. cashmerewhore says:

    This whole story reminds me of pissing off several newly vegeterian friends-of-friends. I brought jello shots. They were a hit until I reminded them what gelatin was.

  32. KarmaChameleon says:

    @DrGirlfriend: Agreed. The poster does a long way to further the “vegetarians are whiny prats” stereotype. Heck, I’m not even a vegetarian and found that response helpful.

    I just find it a little odd that someone who’s as conscious about what goes into his body as an avowed vegetarian is buying processed shit anyway. And Rice-a-Roni at that. That shit’s gross.

  33. Scooter says:

    God forbid Jordan go without the heavenly flavor of her three square meals of Rice-A-Roni a day.

  34. Plorry says:

    @smith186: You know what gets me? Thai restaurants that label their menus with a “vegetarian” section, then fail to inform you, unless you specifically ask, that they all contain fish sauce or oyster sauce by default. I agree that we vegetarians ought to take care to check labels, but the fish/oyster-sauce thing is blatantly misleading. I’ve been to a Thai restaurant where they had a “vegetarian” section, and I asked if they could prepare anything without fish sauce; the only thing they could do was the plain steamed rice.

  35. MikeHerbst says:

    No sympathy here. Though I’m an omnivore, my wife’s been vegetarian for 16 years (2 years before we met). I learned how to check ingredients labels within the first year of cooking for her. Making any sort of assumption about ingredients is definitely a no-no.

    If you really want something to bitch about, complain about the lack of ingredients and calorie listings for fast food. It took several bad experiences with road-trip french fries before my wife figured out the problem: McDonalds blanches their potatoes in beef tallow. This isn’t widely advertised and for someone who lacks the intestinal flora to digest beef (from not eating it for over a decade), it can be very uncomfortable.

    Now if we’re looking for a drive-through snack while driving up the coast, we know to be a bit more selective!

  36. snwbrder0721 says:

    Being about 90% vegetarian myself (I have a vegetarian girlfriend) I can tell you that it’s a pain to read labels of everything that’s even mildly processed. That said, why is it that food manufacturers can cater to every fad diet that pops up with special “south beach diet” versions of things but they can’t make a vegetarian version?

    Now that the niceties are over, you wanna hear a self-righteous vegetarian @radleyas?

    I don’t only choose to not eat meat because it’s better for me, or because I choose not to support the needless killing of animals. No, I don’t eat meat because of the immense waste and pollution caused by the entire beef / chicken / etc industry. It takes somewhere between 600-1300 gallons of water just to produce a ¼ pound beef pattie (that includes the whole stream from cow to table, 600 is the low beef industry estimate, 1300 is the independent university estimate). Now consider all the grassland, grain feed, and all the manure (releasing methane gas which is worse than CO2 for greenhouse effects) produced along the way. Then consider the burden on our health care system due to lifelong heavy meat eaters and their clogged arteries, etc.
    So no, I’m not choosing be vegetarian because I think I’m better than you. I’m a vegetarian because I’m so freakin’ selfless that I want to try to save your ass from a little bit of the wrath that the meat industry brings upon us all. It’s all I can do to save the ignorant like your self. And I’ll keep on doing it, even if you mock me at every dinner table and supermarket.

    /rant

  37. hc5duke says:

    You don’t win friends with salad!
    You don’t win friends with salad!

  38. rdldr1 says:

    ^^^ hey vegetarians, LOSERS ARENT CHOOSERS.
    At least beer is vegetarian, right?

  39. uricmu says:

    @snwbrder0721: My view is that while most people won’t give up meat completely (myself included, unfortunately), if everyone cut down significantly we’d get the same beneficial effect. I try to avoid meat at home and in meals where it is not necessary (e.g., who needs meat in a noodle dish). If people kept meats for special occasions, and not have it as a daily staple of their diet, everyone would benefit.

  40. uricmu says:

    Honestly, how difficult is it to look at the ingredients list? With the exception of gelatin and that red extract from beetles, most ingredients have a name that relates them to animals.

    And if you can’t find anything, go with food that is Kosher Parve. That means it has no animal products whatsoever (though it could have certain fish byproducts).

  41. asscore says:

    This is rediculous. My brother is a vegitarian and reads labels thoughouly.

    If a product is mass marketed packaged food he pretty much just assumes it has animal products in it and doesn’t buy it. No need to read the ingredients.

    Even if there weren’t meat products in rice-a-roni it still probably wouldn’t be good for you!

    If you are looking for a good vegitarian substitute for a pilaf (rice-a-roni) I would look at the “Near East” line of packaged rice pilafs.

  42. missdona says:

    My husband is vegetarian. If you care that much, make sure you ask if they use chicken stock in any veggie soups at restaurants. More often than not, they do.

  43. [www.conagrafoods.com]
    Banquet’s Honey BBQ Wings

    Oh so delicious…but they contain bacon fat. Oh yes, their chicken has pork in it. All bets are off people. You have to check everything.

    But otherwise this post is funny and that meatloaf recipe was fuckin’ delicious.

  44. Trauma_Hound says:

    @TulstinNative: I’m with you on this one. Please act like an adult, and not a child and actually read the labels.

  45. LilKoko says:

    Jordan should write this off as a learning experience.

    All processed foods must be checked. If you didn’t make it yourself, you can’t assume anything. Also, a lot of vegetarians don’t know the basics — such as many cheeses have rennet. Look it up. Back in the day, it used to be virtually impossible to find cheese without it. Now, thankfully, you can find non-animal cheese coagulants in many places. But you have to read your labels and understand what you’re reading.

    Lots of people have lots of (religious, allergic, ethical) reasons for needing to know what is in their food, but it is up to those people to pay attention. Companies constantly reformulate their products. In this instance, the company didn’t hide what they put in the product; Jordan made assumptions and didn’t read the label. Big no-no.

  46. telarium says:

    …THEIR extremely helpful response.

    I almost became excited that it wasn’t the usual Consumerist transcript, which takes me an afternoon to read, decipher, and ultimately become exhausted with. (Can I end a sentence with a preposition?)

    Quality over quantity, folks.

  47. I find it odd that so many people are assuming Jordan doesn’t eat meat for health reasons. Maybe he just doesn’t like the idea of eating animals.

  48. ADM says:

    this is a missed opportunity. the OP should’ve written in just requesting that they remove chicken fat from the products. the bit about misreading the label allows the manufacturer to use it as an opportunity to correct the consumer, rather than classify it as a request from one its vegetarian customers to change their product to a truly vegetarian product.

    i was at the grocery store just yesterday reading the backs of meals-in-a-bag like these and would’ve bought some had they been made without meat or dairy. it’s true that if you are regularly eating stuff like this you are missing the point of being vegan/vegetarian, but sometimes you just want something quick, easy, and flavorful…without animals in it.

  49. Catsmack says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 4 years now, and at this point it’s second nature for me to read the ingredient label of just about anything that isn’t raw fruit or vegetable before buying it.

    I’m guessing Jordan has only recently made the transition and hasn’t picked up this habit yet.

    I’d say just learn from it and move on. There are many low cost vegetarian friendly options out there. The internet is especially good for finding such brands and recipes.

  50. sporks says:

    Okay, seriously. What’s with the vegetarian bashing? Granted, the guy was dumb to expect that something that -looked- vegetarian was vegetarian, but this somehow makes all of us self righteous? Please. Would you call a Jewish or Hindu person self righteous for making the choice to not eat certain foods? Probably not.

    There are better options than rice-a-roni, but it is pretty insane that chicken and other animal fats have to be in absolutely everything. I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly five years now and I check ingredients on everything, including stuff that people consider to be vegetarian friendly. Seasoned green beans often contain bacon, but since I read the label, I know better than to eat it because I’ve learned the hard way- I get sick when I eat meat.

    But sending a meatloaf recipe to a vegetarian? Stupid, stupid stupid. I say this only because sending a meatloaf recipe to anyone is stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s probably just one of the recipes that they send to everyone.

  51. dvsman says:

    So a vegetarian buys something NOT labeled vegetarian and gets pissed after finding chicken fat in the ingredients list?

    Sorry but I don’t feel sympathy for people that blame other people or products when there is clearly no reason to assess such blame.

    “I ASSUMED it’s vegetarian …?”

    You should already be able to see where you went wrong there.

    R.I.F. 4 LIFE!

  52. rdldr1 says:

    Problem solved: All-vegetarian/vegan grocery store.

  53. Framling says:

    @ludwigk: So wait, if Milkig can include fish products, Does that mean products labeled with a circle-U and a D, as mentioned in the letter from Quaker, may include fish? Or does the circle-U D actually mean “Kosher-dairy” instead of “Milkig?”

    @radleyas: Most vegetarians, myself included, really don’t give a rat’s ass what you eat. Just leave us the hell alone about what we eat, okay?

  54. LilKoko says:

    Also, if you have a good health food store you’ll find some decent truly vegetarian options. But, once again, the processed food will cost more (and a lot more than regular stuff you find at your regular supermarket.) That will strain Jordan’s college-student budget.

    If you make your own meals in advance using whole grains, beans and veggies you’ll stay on budget, maintain your vegetarian diet, and probably save money overall in the long run, too. Not to mention Rice-a-Roni ain’t exactly healthy. (The sodium content alone isn’t too good for you.)

  55. snwbrder0721 says:

    @uricmu: exactly

  56. Tzepish says:

    By “it’s not for everyone”, I meant it’s not a beneficial dietary move for everyone, not something elitist like “not everyone can handle something so HARDCORE as being vegetarian!”. Jeez, my comment was the *opposite* of self-righteous, but I suppose some people will hear what they want to hear. Sorry I didn’t scrutinize myself three times over before posting.

  57. suburbancowboy says:

    You are a probably a vegetarian because you care about your health right?
    So why the hell are you buying Rice-A-Roni?
    And why are you not reading the ingredients? If you have specific dietary requirements, then you need to invest the time and energy to read labels. Don’t complain after the fact.
    I don’t buy Rice-A-Roni because (aside from the “Nature’s way” line this customer purchased) the stuff is loaded with MSG.

  58. LupeDeVolga says:

    I’m not a vegetarian any longer but I still don’t get the hostility or mean-spiritedness towards people who don’t eat meat. If it’s because you’ve had a bad experience with someone who was priggish about their vegetarianism, I can’t help but wonder…have you not encountered people who are priggish about other lifestyle choices? I’m honestly just scratching my head why there seems to be this kind of reaction to this particular kind choice some people make.

    That said, I think it’s ridiculous to not read the labels on any processed food – hell, even if you don’t have a single dietary restriction, in this day and age it just seems like a responsible way to eat. If you have the time to write a complaint letter and then forward the results of said complaint letter to a blog, you have the time to read the box in the store.

  59. cmdr.sass says:

    As a vegetarian, I learned long ago to *always* check the label. We’re lucky to have excellent food product labeling requirements. Many, many products contain chicken fat, chicken broth, or pork of some kind to improve the flavor, even things that appear to be vegetarian. I think it’s ridiculous, but that’s the way it is. Of course, you’re not doing your body any favors by eating Rice a Roni anyway. *sodium*

  60. Tzepish says:

    @Tzepish: Sorry, posted in the heat of the moment. I’m just baffled and unhappy that my comment was misunderstood by so many people, and that I didn’t catch it until so many responses afterward. It’s easy to forget that tone and context are lost when writing on the interwebs. My bad.

  61. KarmaChameleon says:

    @sporks: I don’t inherently have a problem with vegetarians or vegetarianism. My ex-girlfriend was a vegetarian, and I made every effort to accommodate her dietary preferences (which were religious, as she’s Hindu). Good on folks who don’t eat meat, for whatever reason, whether it’s nutritional, political or religious. My problem is with douchetarians like the above poster who’s taking it upon hirself to singlehandledly save the planet from us ignorant plebes–and lets us all know it. Or with proselytizing vegetarians (or worse, their asshole fundie vegan cousins) who look their nose down on all meat-eaters. I have severe anemia and a vegetarian diet would kill me, according to all of the many nutritionists I’ve been to. I eat plenty of leafy greens and iron-rich veggies but that simply isn’t enough to compensate for my body’s severe lack of iron.

    I also resent the idea that many of the more obnoxious vegetarians and vegans I’ve met have put forth, that because I’m an omnivore, I’m necessarily ignorant about the food industry and factory farming. I buy locally whenever possible, no matter what the food is, and all the meat I buy is free range and hormone-free.

    I hate when people paint all vegetarians with the same broad brush, but at the same time, there are vegetarians who need to not react in kind to omnivores, the assholes on this thread notwithstanding. There are jerks of every stripe.

  62. iamme99 says:

    Jordon – STOP eating that Rice-a-roni crap! Get a microwave rice cooker and a 20 lb bag of rice from Costco. Takes me 16 minutes to make a few cups of Balsamic rice which is good for a few days in the fridge.

    I always wondered what a vegetarian would feel if they lived in my apartment? I face the back and am surrounded by maybe 25 other apartments, many of which have barbecue’s going when the weather is even mildly warm. The smells of meat grilling on these various balconies always seems to find their way into my apartment. Would this bother you?

  63. uricmu says:

    @LilKoko: Kosher cheese doesn’t have animal products, so that’s one safe bet to go by, at least if one lives in the Northeast where Kosher food is widely available.

  64. spryte says:

    As a vegetarian, I am very careful to read labels because of things like this, but one problem is that there are a lot of ingredients that are animal-derived (or MIGHT be animal-derived) that you wouldn’t know unless you were a, ummm…foodologist? It’s not always easy to determine if an ingredient is vegetarian and even if you contact the company, they don’t always know. If you go here, a lot of those weird chemical-sounding ingredients can be animal, vegetable or mineral-based, and you may not be able to determine which it is. Frustrating.

    And you know, meat-eaters who act like vegetarians are all annoying/stupid/haughty/whatever…I don’t get that. Sure, maybe some are, but some people act like the mere existence of vegetarians is a humongous annoyance to them. Why? And as for annoyance, how about meat-eaters who have to spend 15 minutes trying to convince me how important it is for us to eat meat? STFU and go eat your poop-filled burger and leave me with my grilled tofu and let’s leave it alone.

  65. uricmu says:

    @Framling:
    Let me offer a quick kosher primer.

    In the US, standard Kosher has the U symbol. Ultra-orthodox people who need to follow special rules (e.g., how the meat is inspected or butchered) will get Glatt or will get special kinds that you wouldn’t really run into in your supermarket.

    Dairy is anything that has a dairy product in it, and that means it has no meat products. Meat means that there is nothing milklike in it. It is marked by F for fleische or M for meat, but usually you’d see the whole word).

    Parve is anything that has neither dairy nor meat products, though it includes eggs, and it can include fish and fish bones (but no other forms of seafood). Parve is a great choice for vegetarians BUT one must check the trans fat content. A lot of things have margarine and shortening instead of fat.

  66. ripple says:

    @sporks: The reason most people think vegetarians are self righteous are because once they become vegetarian the either expect everyone else to join them or try to convert them. Most of them arent satisfied with keeping it to themselves.

  67. bizhart says:

    I assume everything in the grocery store has meat in it until proven otherwise. Being veg means reading labels. That’s a non-brainer.

  68. chiieddy says:

    It’s a bit ironic about getting sent the recipe, yes, but Jordan and any vegetarian really needs consider everything going into their body if they wish to be true to their chosen lifestyle and are not doing it for reasons of fad (I know when I was in college it was often ‘cool’ to be vegetarian). If you’re eating vegetarian because it’s “healthy” you might want to re-consider using any processed foods, such as Rice-a-Roni. These foods are loaded with preservatives and unhealthy amounts of sodium.

    You want to eat healthy? Try avoid shopping the “interior” of your grocery. Your fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy and non-processed meats (for non-vegetarians/vegans) are all along the outside of the store. They lack the dubious preservatives of processed foods mainly found in the aisles and you’ll quickly find yourself eating healthier.

    Plus, you won’t have to worry so much about what some manufacturer used to flavor their rice. Cook your rice from scratch and add vegetable stock (which isn’t difficult to make and store in your freezer). You’ll feel better for it.

  69. MercuryPDX says:

    @uricmu: Glatt Kosher is the one I’ve seen at Waldbaums. Woot! Jew-Fu growing… stronger… :)

    @ripple: And in my experience, ones who are also hardcore into Peta take pleasure in telling you exactly what you’re eating in the grossest terms/way possible, assuring you never eat anything in front of them ever again.

  70. wigglepuppy says:

    @bizhart: agreed 100%–i read the labels of EVERYTHING regardless…a lot of vegetable soups have chicken/chicken fat–just because it says ‘vegetable’, you can’t assume vegetarian… and almost ALL the soup brands carried in major chain grocery stores have MSG. yuck. ya gotta read labels or else god knows what you are putting in your body….

  71. Tzepish says:

    @ripple: I wouldn’t say “most of them” expect everyone to join them or expect to convert them. Some of them definitely do, and they are just as assholish as the non-vegetarians who take offense to the mere existence of vegetarians. Like someone said above: there are assholes of every stripe.

    I think the vegetarians who are out there throwing it in everyone’s face and being self-righteous about it must feel inadequate or something, so they try to use their vegetarianism as a means to feel as though they are superior in some way (they aren’t). Likewise, people who hate vegetarians and go out of their way to claim that all vegetarians have their heads up their asses have either been harassed by too many self-righteous vegetarians, or actually believe in the self-righteous vegetarians’ BS that they are morally superior, and hence feel the need to justify their non-vegetarianism.

    When encountering either of these types, the best thing to do is probably just smile and nod slowly. Their social ineptitude and desire to hate other people is *their* problem, not ours.

  72. MercuryPDX says:

    @mercurypdx: *Disclaimer: I also know vegetarians who make no big deal about it in either direction, and are a joy to go to lunch with.

  73. cstmr srvc says:

    @uricmu:
    “Kosher cheese doesn’t have animal products, so that’s one safe bet to go by, at least if one lives in the Northeast where Kosher food is widely available.

    cheese is an amimal product.

  74. Super1984 says:

    @ripple: Wow, that’s not an ridiculous statement.

    I’ve known many vegetarians who don’t even talk about their lack of meat-eating unless asked, and then don’t try to convert anyone.

    Could it be that a few of the vegetarian-haters on this thread view a different lifestyle as a critical judgment on their diets? Folks, people probably care about you less than you think.

  75. humphrmi says:

    @uricmu: Actually, not to split hairs, but Ultra-orthodox Jews would not accept any meat that is merely *marked* Kosher. The strictest interpretation of the laws of Kashrut require that you know the specific religious beliefs of your butcher, you know him personally, and trust his judgment. It’s impossible to know that from pre-packaged marked meats.

    The marked meats (like Aarons and so forth) are largely for the conservative and reform US population who want to buy their meat at supermarkets, rather than butchers. Usually on Saturday :).

    Also, I want to clear up one other Kashrut rule from waaaay above (LUDWIGK) who said that to be kosher, animals must not have split hooves. Actually, the law is very specific: Of the “beasts of the earth” (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. (Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:6). Any land mammal that does not have both of these qualities is forbidden. Pigs have cloven hooves, the problem with them is that they don’t chew their cud. Reform Rabbis have been trying to genetically engineer a cud-chewing pig for centuries :).

  76. Super1984 says:

    @radleyas: Who’s the self-righteous one, again?

  77. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Reading though these comments, I see worse from the omnivores then the vegetarians.

    I’ve been vegetarian for over ten years. I get sick of the people who eat meat pulling the kind of shit I see here on me. I don’t talk about my eating habits unless you ask. If I eat out, yes I’m sorry if I ask questions, but I NEED answers to make a choice on what I can eat.

    Am I perfect? No not likely, but I try. But I don’t go shoving my lifestyle in other’s faces. Funny how all vegetarians ‘shove their lifestyles’ in other’s faces when I see plenty of omnivores doing just that.

    As for reading all packaging, it would HELP if they didn’t use all the bio-chemical names for some of the junk they throw in foods. Though I mostly stick to either frozen vegi/vegan stuff or fresh, I WOULD like to go out and eat from time to time.

    It is absolute BS what they have to put meat in.

  78. wigglepuppy says:

    @cstmr srvc: i think that uricmu meant rennet-free cheese. rennet is not vegetarian (it is the lining (or made from the lining?) of a calve’s stomach), and it is used in almost all cheeses, and has been since cheesemaking began. for cheese to be vegetarian or kosher it ,must be rennet-free.

  79. joellevand says:

    Maybe it’s just my weird-o vegetarian/vegan friends, but they avoid most processed/pre-packaged foods for exactly this reason.

  80. thatgirlinnewyork says:

    Nobody pulled anything on this guy–he didn’t read the label. Even the bio-chemical names can be looked up on the internet. Funny how one can think they’re doing right by their body by eating ANY packaged food, which are almost always stabilized (i.e. made long-living/shelf friendly) by chemicals, animal by-products or even vegetable by-products that are processed in a way that renders them value-free, to say nothing of out-of-control sodium levels. You want to be free of this stuff? Don’t buy packaged/prepared foods. End of rant.

  81. wigglepuppy says:

    @joellevand: yes, and because most veggies/vegans are health-concious and those prepackaged foods are nutritional garbage. i was really surprised, like many others, to read about a veg eating ‘rice a roni’. yuck. if you want rice mix there are lots of varieties available that arent loaded with MSG, chicken fat and chemicals-trader joes sells at least 6 varieties, whole foods sells dozens, and even the regular groceries have plenty of options…

  82. guroth says:

    Is anyone else completely boggled why this is even a consumerist post?

    It would be one thing if the box specifically said “NO MEAT PRODUCTS/ Vegan Friendly!”

    But the box says nothing like that.

    “Dear company that puts meat in their products, I dislike eating products that contain meat, however I enjoy your products that contain meat. Please stop your products from containing meat.”

  83. wigglepuppy says:

    @Firstborn Dragon: it is BS what they put meat in, but as a veggie it is one’s responsibility to be aware of such things. on the bright side, vegetarianism is more common than ever, and its a lot easier now to find meat free foods. at least (most) restaurants dont use lard anymore!

  84. wigglepuppy says:

    @wigglepuppy: here is a recipe for veg/vegan spanish rice:

    1 c. dry rice
    2 c. water or vegetable broth
    1/2 c. salsa
    1 T. vegan butter, butter or olive oil
    combine ingredients in med. saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 mins or until rice is tender.

    it’s no harder to make than rice a roni, and it’s cheap, healthy and yummy!

  85. @wigglepuppy: there’s beef and/or pork lard in hostess fruit pies, jiffy cornbread mix…the list goes on. boo! agreed on the personal responsibility tip (as naturally is the burden of anyone who makes life choices outside from the social common denominator).

    however, yes, i will chime in and say that in 15 years of vegetarianism (and my father is a butcher so no hate for the meaties coming from me) i have been repeatedly verbally assaulted by over-defensive, insecure, judgmental omnivores and meatfans for YEARS. i have never ONCE given an unsolicited opinion on why i eat how i do. and never once would i yell about how meat-eaters are unfriendly, or don’t want to enjoy the life that comes with not eating flesh that has suffered, or whatever is the corollary to all the “but chicken is delicious” a-holes i constantly meet. you know what else is delicious? when you live & let live.

  86. nrwfos says:

    @TulstinNative: Not everything even says that they are made with or from animal fat. Lard (pork) is used in the manufacture of gummy bears. I’ve never seen that on the ingredients statement. But of course it has been a long time since anyone here has been interested in gummy bears.

  87. Shalom says:

    From a lifelong Kosher consumer:

    The circle-U is the most common, but by no means the only, symbol indicating that a product is Kosher: it means it’s under the supervision of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, colloquially known as the OU.

    A bare OU on a product means that there is neither milk nor meat in the product. This is termed “parve” (sometimes spelled “pareve”). Occasionally you will even see the word Pareve printed after the symbol. Note that eggs and fish are considered pareve, so if you can’t eat those for health or conscience reasons, you still need to read the ingredients.

    (A letter P after the symbol does *not* necessarily mean pareve; it usually means kosher for Passover, which is a whole ‘nother topic that I won’t get into here.)

    A letter D following the symbol indicates one of two things: either 1) the presence of milk, other milk products (cream, butter, whey) or a milk derivative such as lactose or sodium caseinate, or that 2) it has no such ingredient, but was produced on equipment also used for products containing 1) above. This might be important for people with milk allergies. (Some of the kosher agencies, although not the OU, will use “DE” for dairy equipment in case #2.)

    There are very few national-brand meat-containing products that are certified Kosher; the Near East brand mentioned above is a rare exception. If you see OU Meat (which is always spelled out, not abbreviated M), then there is some meat derivative in there, such as chicken fat. Generally this will not include beef, which would be marked OU Glatt instead. One product so marked is, or once was, the A&P house brand Bolognese spaghetti sauce. (“Glatt” is a technical term relating specifically to large cattle, indicating that the lungs are smooth and without lesions. If you see the word Glatt applied to anything but beef or bison, it’s meaningless.)

    The importance of this information to people who don’t need to keep kosher is that not everybody knows what all the ingredients really are: for example, how many of you recognised sodium caseinate as a dairy product? Additionally, by law, anything less than 2% of the final product doesn’t have to be listed on the label. A kosher symbol is your guarantee that there aren’t any sub-2% surprises that they don’t have to tell you about.

  88. balthisar says:

    The thing is, there are lots of people you don’t know are vegetarians, because they don’t throw it in your face. Overall my favorite vegetarians are the Janes (certain Asian Indians), because I’ve never met one that ever tried to convert me or make me feel like a savage for eating meat. Well, the Janes, and the ones that I don’t know are vegetarians until it just happens to come up (like, say at lunch).

    I don’t dislike vegetarians, and in fact like a lot of them. I dislike the loudmouth, self-righteous ones, though.

  89. nrwfos says:

    @humphrmi: That made me laugh. I watch a lot of food shows and it’s amazing how many chefs and cooks revere the pig as a wonderful ingredient. So I can see why some people would like to see that variety of pig become fact. It would certainly make life easier for many people! My son currently has refused to include pork products in his diet because pigs are reputed to have the IQ of a human 5 yr. old. I haven’t had the heart to tell him about all the hidden pork products that are in most of the dishes he will eat.

    On a personal note – my family has several members who are very allergic to corn in any form. It is next to impossible to find anything that is handled by man that doesn’t have corn in it. I certainly wish that we corn allergy sufferers could get the food industry
    to refrain from the over-saturation of our food and diets with corn.

  90. nrwfos says:

    @KarmaChameleon: My digestive system does not absorb iron in any form. This is a result of a large amount of my intestines being removed surgically (treatment for an accident). I was in a lot of trouble for a very long time. I almost died from it several times. Then they decided to give me an “infusion” of iron into my bloodstream. It worked. I’ll have to have this done a few times in my lifetime. But it certainly beats the transfusions I’ve endured that only lasted a few weeks. So if you are truly iron-deficient and it is hard for you to absorb iron, this might work for you.

  91. theblackdog says:

    Hello, the OP could use the recipe, but substitute Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) for the meat.

    Don’t get offended, get creative.

  92. fluiddruid says:

    Vegetarian rule #1: check the label. It will almost always have beef fat, beef stock, chicken fat, or chicken stock.

  93. Witera33it says:

    I agree that meat eating should be done with restraint. Support smaller farms and more ethical practices through purchasing choices. I used to be vegetarian, but didn’t have the money or knowledge to eat a healthy diet. I eat meat now because I believe that meat is good for me in small doses. Especially for my skin. Know this vegetarians, watch your diet, your skins suffers without collagen. (I’m a tattoo artist, and vegans and some vegetarians have the thinnest, most papery inelastic skin ever. Tattooing them is a trial.) I have developed a general dislike for them in this regard: The ones with the worst skin are the ones with the loudest, most self righteous opinions.(They often smell bad too.) They are hypocrites to me. The ones with good skin, I don’t even know they’re vegetarian or vegan until they tell me. They are healthy and humble. Jorden, here, belongs to the former group. That response was educational and helpful. Getting a meatloaf recipe on mass produced coupons is funny and ironic.

  94. TulstinNative says:

    @nrwfos: Yeah, but most gummi bears also contain GELATIN (unless they’re specifically veg-friendly gummis), so their lard-assisted creation therefore is a moot point.

  95. AD8BC says:

    What’s the problem? You got the meat by-products for free. It’s a bonus!

  96. loganmo says:

    I literally almost fell off my couch when I read this posting…..and it made me hungry for a meatloaf/cheese/bacon/lobster sandwich-and a milkshake.

  97. [Expletive Deleted] says:

    @Super1984:

    Could it be that a few of the vegetarian-haters on this thread view a different lifestyle as a critical judgment on their diets?

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

  98. KarmaChameleon says:

    @nrwfos: Wow, I didn’t even know that was possible. I’ll have to do some research into that.

  99. humphrmi says:

    @loganmo: I think they sell that sandwich at Hardees / Carl Jr’s. :)

  100. Is anyone else completely boggled why this is even a consumerist post?

    @guroth: Nope.

    Sending a meatloaf recipe to a vegetarian, that is some delicious irony right there.

  101. calldrdave says:

    @ludwigk:

    Actually Egg is Parve. So Vegans have to watch out for that fact. I checked the label of that product and chicken fat is pretty prominent, but this guy may be new to being a vegetarian. Even if it doesn’t say it on the label, a certain amount of any product is allowed in as “natural flavor”. Point in fact, Carmine: [en.wikipedia.org]

    The suggestion by Rice-A-Roni was very helpful because Kosher products have higher requirements regarding ingredient contents. The meat loaf recipe on the surface is funny, but just because he is a vegetarian doesn’t mean he may have guests that aren’t. I often cook meals that I wouldn’t eat because of dietary requirements, while I want my guests to enjoy them.

  102. clocker says:

    @ludwigk: “Food manufactures will inject beef into a donut if it’ll makes people eat more of it.”
    “Hi, Ludwig?
    Dunkin Donuts here…”

  103. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Super1984:

    That’d be the vegetarians. That goes double for the vegans.

  104. GoldenRatio? (aka -girl11) says:

    @Jasmo: “If you are a vegetarian and still eating processed crap like rice-a-roni, you’re missing the point.”

    No, the point is to not eat meat if you are a vegetarian. There are environmental, animal rights (gasp yes!), social justice AND health reasons not to eat meat. I don’t eat meat for all of these reasons, but I still have been known to eat fast food french fries, even though I try to be healthy, and I am glad to know that Burger King fries are vegetarian. Plenty of people who eat meat try to eat healthy diets and still will eat Pasta-Roni (ew) or fries at some point.

    Why he didn’t read the label is beyond me. Any vegetarian knows random foods like Starbursts and even many brands of Vegetable Soup contain meat byproducts and that you always have to check the label. He should have just asked them to remove the chicken fat, but it sounds like they have their “Near East” line of products to serve as the more veggie-friendly option.

    @KarmaChameleon: Why bother starting a post saying you don’t have a problem with vegetarians when you go on to list all the reasons you do have problems with them? Please don’t insult vegans the way you do either. Plenty of them have much healthier diets than we could even dream of. Not eating milk and eggs does not make one a crazy fundamentalist!

  105. humorbot says:

    @balthisar: “The Janes.” Like some army of vegan brunette housewives. That’s kinda cute. It’s spelled Jain.

  106. BuriedCaesar says:

    Eat whatever you want, folks. It’s your body.

  107. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    I feel bad that Rice A Roni responded with a meatloaf recipe, but Jordan really should have been reading labels much more carefully. If the box was labeled “vegetarian”, then it would be a different issue. There’s no reason to assume that any product is vegetarian-friendly unless it specifically states so on the label. I’m allergic to wheat and gluten, and I religiously read every label on every food item I put into my mouth, even weird things that one wouldn’t think there would be anything in, like sour cream. At least Jordan’s vegetarianism doesn’t trigger a medical issue. If it means that much to him/her, he/she needs to step it up when it comes to policiing what he/she eats. My two cents.

  108. evslin says:

    @ludwigk: Food manufactures will inject beef into a donut if it’ll makes people eat more of it.

    Mmmm… beef-flavored donuts…

  109. clickable says:

    @sporks:

    I think the bashing is because of the self-righteous tone he takes with the manufacturer, when the fault lies with him for not having taken the time to read the labels. The company wasn’t deceptive. It has product lines aimed at vegetarians, but this product is not one of them. This is an ordinary grocery product and its ingredients aren’t unusual, and while they are all listed on the back, they don’t need to be highlighted on the front because the target market isn’t freaking out about the presence of ordinary ingredients like salt, fat, chicken broth, wheat, eggs, nut oil, etc. Individuals who need to avoid certain ingredients will look at labels carefully to make sure the forbidden ingredient isn’t there.

    Jason did not look at the label at all, apparently, and it’s pretty sanctimonious of him to preach afterwards how he can’t “in good moral conscience” keep eating Rice-a-Roni. They sent him a very personalized, thoughtful response that clearly showed someone had read his letter and considered his remarks, which goes above and beyond most corporations’ letters of this nature, and it’s even more impressive when you think how smug he was in his letter to them. If their preprinted list of recipes had one that was not vegetarian-appropriate, well, really, should they have ordered a new print run of promotional brochures just for this whiner?

  110. sixsnowflakes says:

    The letter is excellent and should help Jordan make better informed choices in the future; the incident with the recipe is unfortunate but should not be taken personally.

    I do have a suggestion for the student who doesn’t want to haul around a backpack of wilted leaves for sustenance: lentils (especially red), bulgur, spices. Also useful for backpackers, these foods are lightweight and require minimal cooking time. Add boiling water (electric teapot) to bulgur, and 7 minutes later you can throw in some spices and chopped veggies to have a tasty meal. Quick, cheap, and with protein and fiber you won’t find in rice-a-roni.

  111. Jesse in Japan says:

    I have to agree. I think Jordan is just be self-righteous and self-absorbed. First he outright demands that the company change their recipe just for his sake (because he couldn’t in good moral conscience continue to be a customer as long as they had meat in their products) and then, after receiving the meatloaf recipe, acts like his “lifestyle choice” as a vegetarian has been attacked. This sounds like one of those people who, short of having meat outlawed, would insist that a picture of the animal who was slaughtered for your meal be plastered across the front of any product that contained meat.

  112. erinlynne says:

    i really don’t understand why people seem to have such disdain and (almost) hatred towards vegetarians. i’ve been vegetarian for 5 & 1/2 years now thought i rarely mention it to people because i fear that i’ll get one of those “what the hell is wrong with you?! meat is so delicious & wonderful & amazing!!!!!!” comments. i don’t make fun of you or look down on you because you’ve made a personal choice to eat meat so please don’t do it to me.

  113. zibby says:

    “…I assumed…”

    Oh, look – I think I found the problem.

  114. Erwos says:

    “The strictest interpretation of the laws of Kashrut require that you know the specific religious beliefs of your butcher, you know him personally, and trust his judgment.”

    When I was in a “ultra-Orthodox” (whatever the hell that means) yeshiva, one of my rebbeim was like that – in fact, he slaughtered his own cow, then froze the whole damn thing in his basement and ate it over six months. Believe me, he was the singular example. Everyone else in that place most _certainly_ trusted the local kashrus authority, the OU, or the known-good authorities (kof-k, etc.).

    Anyways, yes, vegetarians, kosher symbols are your friend for spotting dairy and meat products. Just remember that vegetarian != vegan.

  115. floydianslip6 says:

    Soilent Green is people?

  116. ExecutorElassus says:

    @radleyas: really? See, if you do a cursory survey of just this thread, the vast majority of sanctimony and judgment is coming from the peaople opposed to vegetarianism/veganism, rather than from the vegetarians or vegans. Lemme turn around your first post, and see how it sounds in your ears:

    “I’m probably the only one who thinks that his serves that self-righteous carnivore right … Eat vegan. Vegetables gave us humans our big brains. Let us not try to reverse the process.”

    Now imagine that I pop into every Consumerist thread and throw that at you every time there’s a post about meat-eaters getting shortchanged by the food economy (because we know that that happens way more than it does to vegetarians and vegans). Gets tiresome, doesn’t it?

    I stopped eating meat when I was 11; I stopped eating animal products at all when I was 23, which was almost seven years ago. In those almost twenty years, I can count on one hand the times that the response to my revealed dietary choices consisted simply of “oh, good for you,” and nothing more. Not once have I shoved pamphlets in anybody’s face, or gotten self-righteous about my choices. Notice, for example, that in all of this I haven’t once claimed that my diet is somehow superior to yours?

    Now, why don’t you try doing the same, and quite trolling.

  117. That's What She Said says:

    @rdldr1:
    FYI – Beer is not always vegetarian, because some beers use finings in the beer making process, such as:

    isinglass (made from the dried swim bladders of sturgeons, used a bunch in British brewing.); and

    gelatin (made from animal hooves, skin, and connective tissues).

    :(

  118. kimsama says:

    @Plorry: There is actually vegetarian fish sauce made without fish. Better places make their vegetarian food with it — although your place may not.

    Interestingly, in SE Asia, lots of people go on vegetarian kicks (for a day a week, say) to improve their karma. I’ve found that they don’t consider fish sauce to be non-vegetarian (or at least the older generations don’t), and they will eat it during the veg periods. So maybe the restaurant owners think this way, too. Seems like younger people in SE Asia and Americans (of both Asian and non-Asian heritage) are the most common proponents of the truly vegetarian fish sauce.

    @KarmaChameleon: I’m also iron-deficient anemic, and an omnivore (the free-range only kind). But I could definitely see being able to work with a pescetarian diet. For me, I get a balance of heme and non-heme iron sources, which includes lots of natto, miso, lentils, beans, etc. Plus, you can get a lot of heme sources that are, if not vegeatarian friendly, at least pescetarian friendly (mussels, oysters, clams). And of course lots of vitamin C and supplements. And I use an iron skillet (haha, which is probably just a superstition, but it makes me feel like I’m getting more iron, at least!).

    @nrwfos: Wow, and I thought I had it hard. I’m glad that they found something that works for you! Does it increase your body’s stores (in like your marrow or something)? I wonder if it’s only for extreme cases?

  119. fritzo says:

    If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.

  120. Electroqueen says:

    Who actually eats Rice-A-Roni? I’m betting it’s the same people who shop at Best Buy.

  121. IrisMR says:

    I think I’ll go enjoy a big juicy T-bone now.

  122. Rufdawg says:

    @suburbancowboy: MSG is delicious.

  123. ancientsociety says:

    Perhaps Jordan should actually, oh I don’t know, take some personal responsibility and READ INGREDIENT LABELS if you have dietary restrictions!? What a novel idea.

    I’m lactose-intolerant and I NEVER “assume” something is lactose-free. And, even if I do pick something out that has lactose in it, I always think “Duh. That was dumb, now I wasted $X”, not “OMG! Damn you, Company X! I deserve recompense”

  124. Raanne says:

    I dont think people are attacking generic vegitarianism in this thread. I think they are attacking the specific vegitarian, who doesn’t realize that processed food might have meat products in it, and when the company wrote them a very thoughtful letter complained about it.

    Not to mention that the recipe sent to them was printed on a coupon for them to try the vegitarian product.

    There is no basis for complain here – the person who is complaining is being insane, and making other vegitarians look bad.

  125. MrEvil says:

    @snwbrder0721: Just to let you know, your vegetarian diet isn’t innocent in all this either. Do you know how much corn in this country is irrigated? Do you know how much water a corn crop takes? Do you know that alot of corn is irrigated via Center Pivot irrigation which tosses TONS of water into the atmosphere? Do you know how much fuel it takes to plant, harvest, and then process corn, other grains, and vegetables? And unless you buy organic everything (and organic vegetables can be grown with composted manure as fertilizer) Those grains fruits and vegetables have most likely had chemicals applied to them which further uses more water and fuel.

    Unless everything you eat is grown in your own personal garden out back of your house. I’m just going to leave you with “people in glass houses”

  126. CrazyRedd says:

    Meat didn’t give us bigger brains! Shaping tools and the ability to use fire did!

    Here, at Scientific American and also in the Dec 2007 issue.

  127. sumocat says:

    @MrEvil: “Do you know how much corn in this country is irrigated? Do you know how much water a corn crop takes?” — A lot. Of course, most of that (~60%) becomes feedstock and only a single-digit percentage is actually consumed as food. Seems to me most of the environmental problems associated with corn would be eliminated not by cutting out corn from one’s diet but by cutting out meat.

  128. teapartys_over says:

    I was a vegetarian for years, because I never much liked meat. One thing that started to bother me though was the arbitrary where-do-you-draw-the-line nature of vegetarianism (honey? byproducts in small amounts? rennet?) and I realized that I don’t actually care, it just becomes like a game to avoid a trace of a trace of something. When you open your mouth, you may eat a bug! Not that I care if anyone is vegetarian. I have never met an obnoxious vegetarian, but I have read a lot of obnoxious vegetarian magazines and cookbooks. One thing that never seems to be addressed is that there is a spetrum: If people would eat less meat, and buy local, grass-fed organic meat, the planet and animals would be better off, and we would get better nutrition without GMOs and antibiotics.

  129. eggplantparm says:

    @MikeHerbst: Just curious, what intestinal flora are you talking about specifically. I’m not aware of any bacteria that are involved in the breakdown of meat in the human body, wondering if i’m wrong. I think the real problem for vegetarians and eating meat is being able to process all the pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones that come with mass produced meat.
    @snwbrder0721: Your rant is spot on. If the meat industry produced an organic, free range, low environmental impact product I MIGHT consider going back to eating it… but not going to happen. Meh, whatever, my food tastes better.

  130. KJones says:

    @sporks:

    Too right. The only vegetarians who are annoying are the PETAphiles who think they have a right to tell other people what to eat.

    Jordan isn’t that sort, although as some have pointed out, he did make a mistake not reading the label. Besides which, who can’t make their own rice pilaf, stuffing and other like foods? Making vegetarian versions of dishes is easy if one has basic competence in the kitchen.

    No, I am not a vegetarian, though I only eat meat about five days per week. Nor am I giving up meat, either; I eat it when I want it.

  131. MikeHerbst says:

    @eggplantparm:
    Since you asked, I’ll admit that “flora” isn’t really the right term.

    As far as I understand it (not an MD, but have several in the family), there are pancreatic enzymes that break down proteins into various shapes of polypeptides. In a stable digestive system these enzymes only exist in the type and quantity that are typically needed. A sudden anomalous infusion of protein (even vegetable protein, but especially protein molecule shapes not normally encountered) can lead to an imbalance that leads to the presence of un- or partially-converted protein and amino-acid strings that can trigger vomiting or diarrhea.

    The typical recommendation is for a “gradual” conversion whenever adding or changing protein sources. We’re revisiting this in our household because we hope to be pregnant soon, and apparently its recommended during pregnancy to limit soy proteins, which is currently the majority of wifey’s protein intake, aside from fish (which needs to be limited due to other factors).

  132. MikeHerbst says:

    @KJones:
    Too right. The only vegetarians who are annoying are the PETAphiles who think they have a right to tell other people what to eat.

    Round my house, we call these “Militant Vegetarians”.

  133. timsgm1418 says:

    mmmmmm donuts@ludwigk:

  134. KarmaFreeCooking says:

    I know it’s hard, but all of us vegetarians out there need to gain a little appreciation to cook and prepare our own foods… I know that sometimes our lifestyle does not permit for us to cook everything ourselves, but we should encourage cooking ourselves using the freshest products – those without labels, like tomatoes, lettuces, potatoes, broccoli, etc.

    We need to be extremely careful. I just don’t get why people are not forthcoming when us vegetarians ask about how something is prepared… I have learned to ask in a tone demonstrating interest in the cooking and preparation, and most meat-eaters will proudly tell you about the bacon, broths, ham, hamhocks, smoked turkey legs, and other meat ingredients in their dishes.

    I suggest you visit [karmafreecooking.wordpress.com] if any of you’re interested in learning new easy and delicious recipes you can make and avoid all the heart-ache or dealing with meat-eaters who apparently feel threatened by our lifestyle choice.

    I don’t ever try to make anyone vegetarian… so I don’t understand why most meat-eaters want us to eat meat???

  135. axiomatic says:

    Irony… it’s whats for breakfast.

  136. royal72 says:

    “I [ass]umed”

  137. stenk says:

    @SpiderJerusalem:

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen a CRASS symbol!

  138. famboozled says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that all the ‘Vegetarians’ of the world complain that everyone else should conform to their dietary choices and inform them of everything in a box of whatever.

    If you are ingesting crap from a box like RR then how committed to your self-imposed dietary law can you be?

    I view the whole vegetarian thing as more of a political statement coupled with a little ‘look at me'; than about the food anyway: usually backed by the blind acceptance of the sacred words of Guru Gore that Global Warming is caused by man.

    Different strokes for Socialist folks: I can say is I hope that you did not lick that envelope closed when you send your compliant letter. Some poor dead animals bones formed the base of that dry adhesive.

    Bottom line, quoting Arthur Lange, “WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”