Vegetarians often propose a challenge to chefs and restauranteurs alike, but they are not alone in this respect. Here’s a list of 10 other culinary challenges.
Veganism is a natural extension of vegetarianism; it is a choice of lifestyle that avoids using or consuming animal products. Whilst vegetarians choose not to consume meat flesh, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as products such as fur and leather; and in doing so live a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Heaven: Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan
Hell: The sample platter of fresh steak at the end of the slaughterhouse tour
For all intensive purposes pescetarians represent your closet arian – ethically aware enough to eliminate meat from the diet but also conscious of the ridicule that would follow the whole-hearted approach of also removing seafood. Despite this, the diet is both ethically and environmentally enlightened whilst the health benefits are also substantial. In fact, pescetarians are likely to live longer than meat-eaters; whilst can smugly admit that they do not contribute to deforestation and save water. Most importantly, there are significant environmental benefits that follow such as the reduction in carbon emissions, just one of many issues with meat production.
Heaven: Grilled Halibut with peach and pepper salsa
Hell: Being told, “Good for you!” After reciting the many global and personal benefits of the lifestyle
Halal foods are the foods that Muslims are allowed to eat under Islamic Shari’ah – which specifies both what foods are permitted to be eaten and how they must be prepared. Prohibited foods – or haram (meaning forbidden in Arabic) include pork or pork byproducts; animals not slaughtered in the correct manner and in the name of Allah; carnivorous animals; birds of prey; and alcohol. Halal is one of the most humane methods of slaughtering an animal, second only to not slaughtering an animal, with the goal of limiting the pain that must endured (before being eaten). Once completed the blood is allowed to drain from the animal, since Muslims are prohibited from consuming animal blood.
Heaven: Harira (traditional Ramadan soup)
Hell: A subscription to the National Pork Producers Council and a ticket to their World Pork Expo
Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of Kashrut – Jewish dietary law. Essentially; pork; rabbit; eagle; owl; catfish; sturgeon; and any shellfish, insect or reptile are all forbidden, as they are non-kosher. Also, other types of meat and fowl must be slaughtered in the ritualised manner, otherwise are not acceptable, whilst meat and dairy products must be separated at all times, to avoid irony. The only time the rules of kosher can be broken is in a life threatening situation, such as potential starvation.
Heaven: Potential starvation
Hell: Bacon wrapped scallops
Fruitarians will only eat foods that can be harvested without killing or harming the plant. For instance fruit that has fallen naturally from a tree is acceptable; as opposed to a carrot, which would have to be murdered before it could be eaten. However it’s recognised that a pure fruit lifestyle is unhealthy – so as a rule it only consists of about 80% of the diet, with the rest constituting of raw vegetables, such as carrots.
Heaven: Green mango smoothie
Hell: Carrots (80% of the time)
This is the practice of restricting your diet to, as you’ve guessed, raw food. Generally 90% of the diet consists of uncooked produce; raw fruit and vegetables; raw fish; and certain types of prepared meat. The theory goes that this is the natural instinct – after all humans are the only animals who cook their food. It is also said to be one of the best diets in terms of weight loss, due to the extra enzymes aiding with digestion and metabolisation. But really it’s because your essentially just fasting.
Heaven: Crunchy red cabbage and green apple sesame salad
Hell: Anything barbecued
Also known as the Caveman Diet, this is a nutrition plan that centres around the presumed diet habitually consumed during the Paleolithic Era. Foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-fed and free range), seafoods, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts. However, participants will not indulge in dairy products, cereal grains, refined sugars or processed foods.
Heaven: Bacon wrapped scallops
Hell: Continental breakfasts
Breatharians claim that food and water are not necessary to sustain life – in fact it is alleged that it is possible to live off sunlight – and tea – alone. Although the scientific basis would seem intact, a worrying amount of believers have died successfully disproving this particular theory.
Heaven: Living atop a mountain….?
Hell: Living opposite an all-you-can-eat buffet
In the 1930s Horace Fletcher advocated a technique of chewing all foods at least 32 times before consumption, ideally until in a liquified state. Liquids should also be chewed so as to mix with your saliva. It was thought that this process would simultaneously make you stronger and limit what you eat. As they say, “Nature will castigate those who don’t masticate.”
Heaven: Chewing gum
Hell: Competitive eating
Although still a relatively niche market, kangatarians are eco-conscious vegetarians who are against the cruel treatment of animals in the production of meat. However, since kangaroos are wild, vegetarian animals who have had no exposure to chemicals and are still numerous in numbers; why not? Also known as: semi-vegetarians; opportunistic meat eaters; hypocrites.
Heaven: I don’t even know where to start (Kangaroo?)
Hell: Forgetting to lock the door when the policeman turned opportunistic thief walks past