Selections for the Vegetarian
Vegetarianism is the voluntary abstinence from eating meat. Vegetarians refrain from eating meat for various reasons, including religious, health, and ethical ones. Lacto-ovo vegetarians supplement their diet with dairy (lactose) products and eggs (ovo). Vegans (pronounced vee-guns) do not eat any animal-derived products at all.
Vegetarianism has been steadily gaining acceptance as an alternative to the meat-and-potatoes bias of the traditional American diet. Several factors contribute to the interest in vegetarianism in the United States. Outbreaks of food poisoning from meat products, as well as increased concern over the additives in meat such as hormones and antibiotics, have led some people and professionals to question meat's safety. There is also an increased awareness of the questionable treatment of farm animals in factory farming.
But the growing health consciousness of Americans is probably the major reason for the surge in interest in vegetarianism. Nutrition experts have built up convincing evidence that there are major problems with the conventional American diet, which is centered on meat products that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat and low in fiber. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, which cause 68 percent of all deaths in America, are all believed to be influenced by this diet.
Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Leo Tolstoy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gandhi, physician Albert Schweitzer, writer George Bernard Shaw, champion tri-athlete Dave Scott, and musicians Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Alanis Morissette, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen.
Thanks to the growing interest in vegetarianism, many meat substitutes are now readily available. Tofu and tempeh are made from soybeans that are high in protein, calcium, and other nutrients. There are "veggieburgers" that can be grilled like hamburgers, and vegetarian substitutes for hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken, turkey, ham, bologna, and sausage with surprisingly authentic textures and taste. At Martha's you'll find a variety of vegetarian foods to choose from, including Worthington, Loma Linda and Amy's Kitchen. Other brands may be stocked upon request.