For four years, Yotam Ottolenghi wrote a strict vegetarian column in The Guardian called “The New Vegetarian.”
He also gave contestants on BBC’s Masterchef cooking show lessons in preparing vegetarian food. Now, Yotam may have redefined what vegetarian eating is.
Vegans and strict vegetarians may not be happy with what they’re about to read.
“You can be vegetarian and eat fish,” he said. “It’s your choice, just say: “I am what I am.” There are no hard core divisions any more.”
Yottam highlights the growing trend of people who would like to call themselves vegetarian or vegan even while eating the occasional piece of meat or animal product. But should they be replacing the word “vegetarian” with “I eat a mostly plant-based diet?”
This Dish Is Vegetarian reviewed the subtypes of vegetarians and found about 12 exist, from the well-established categories like lacto-ovo to vegan. Apparently, now there’s even a name for those “I’m vegetarian but I eat chicken” people–pollo-vegetarian.
In the long run, the vegetarian terms that include people who occasionally eat differently than what the diet has historically meant may draw more people to eating less meat. But let’s hope it doesn’t leave all the traditional vegetarians and vegans fighting to always explain the to wait staff why a turkey sandwich, for them, could never be vegetarian.
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