Restaurant Challenge to Vegetarian/Vegan Diet

A common situation for people on a strict plant-based diet, with or without dairy, is finding nourishment among fast-food establishments. Subway does the best job because you see the ingredients and talk the preparer through the creation of the meal. In this way, Subway, Chipotle, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and similar venues where you guide meal prep produce a perfect result.

Outside of this however, you take a chance of receiving a ruined meal. Many restaurants will take a custom order such as a meat-based meal without meat or without meat and cheese. The same restaurants will sometimes send you home with a meal completely opposite what you requested. If your constitution is like mine, you ignore the bad parts and focus on the good. Whether meal or experience. If you are planning on a plant-based diet and you don’t have the facilities for cooking, the following will prepare you a bit for what is in store.

Pasta, tomato sauce, and broccoli may be what you asked for, but you may arrive at home to find out you got chicken, bacon, cheese as well. Or, you ordered a greek salad. You get home. Yes, it is a greek salad but with one slice of ham stuck to the side of the plastic bowl or a small bacon bit strategically placed. A ruined, contaminated meal from vegetarian/vegan standpoint. The same restaurant may have done so well many times before only to fail this time or every so often. You either lose another hour driving back for a replacement, waiting for resolution, or run around again to get another meal elsewhere depending on the extent of contamination.

This situation can occur often enough to constrain your instinctive choices. A given place may offer a good deal on a meal but have such a track record of inaccurate food preparation as to discourage getting a meal with the establishment. It can happen often enough to complicate decisions regarding nutrition. Such experiences should not discourage the choice of diet, but is something you should be ready to expect and adapt. Just continue on.

People look at this and ask why bother when people who eat meat have it easier. The choice to abstain from meat and for others, cheese as well, it is about a principle that is undeterred by inconvenience. Some of us have deeply entrenched, none-negotiable reasons for a plant-based diet. On the other hand, fast food is a challenging business to operate. Restaurants are operated by people and like anyone is subject to flaws in execution. Food intentionally or mistakenly contaminated with meat may undermine the value of our time, but never the commitment to a diet of choice.


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