March 26, 2005

vegetarian times - feh!

My friend gave me some old magazines because she knows I'll read anything about food -- there were some Food & Wines (including the one I read on a plane and copied out a dozen recipes by hand because I was extra bored and they sounded good), and some Vegetarian Times. Now, I am no vegetarian but I have friends who are, and I can see how it might be appealing for a variety of reasons, so I try not to be a bigot about it. But this magazine SUCKS.

First of all, the nutrition is horrible: a meal of pasta with tomato-eggplant sauce is not "balanced perfectly" by a green salad and breadsticks. A recipe for pad thai has no protein whatsoever, neither eggs nor tofu. A committed vegetarian or vegan is going to need better than this to stay healthy.

Some of the recipes sound okay -- a curried red lentil & coconut milk soup for instance -- but most of them are pathetically boring. A reader-featured recipe is a dish of sauteed onion & red pepper braised with a can of white beans. As if a vegetarian with a week's worth of experience in the kitchen couldn't come up with that one. Please. The best recipes seem to be the ones cribbed from the cookbooks being pimped in "feature" articles.

And finally, the editorial is pretty poor. One article used the phrase "rein in" at least twice, and misspelled it "reign in" both times. That is just bone ignorance, and there are droves of competent copyeditors who would love the chance to work at a magazine; hire one, for heaven's sake. And I do wonder what articles on yoga and living simply have to do with anything about vegetarianism. It's more like this is a pamphlet for earnest crunchy wanna-bes who aren't quite sure how to get started.

When I compare this with the things that I find on vegetarians' blogs, like (which I would link to if the site was up), there's no contest. I didn't even notice Fae was vegetarian until she mentioned it, because all her recipes sounded so yummy. No matter what you eat or don't eat, there is no excuse for crappy food and poor nutrition, and magazines like this one are a scandal.

Posted by foodnerd at March 26, 2005 03:23 PM
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