Dietary Restrictions

8:35 AM

There are many reasons why people react to certain foods in a negative way. It could be due to allergies, religous reasons, social concerns, or health restrictions. No matter the reason, it's important to think about these topics when choosing your menu. Of course, it would be difficult to accomodate all yor guests' preferences, however with careful planning and consideration, your guests could enjoy delicious, wholesome meals.

Let's take a look at the names and definitions of the most common dietary restrictions.

1. Gluten Free
Gluten is a protein molecule found in wheat, rye, and barley. Almost 3 million people have celiac disease, which is an inability to tolerate gluten. It’s one of the most common genetic diseases, yet most people don’t know they have it.

2. Vegan
A person who eats no meat, fish, poultry or nay products derived from animals such as milk, cheese, or eggs.

3. Lactose Free
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. It is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase. A lot of people have a mild form of lactose intolerance.

4. Allergies
Millions of people suffer from food allergies. They can result in Anaphylactic Shock, the severest form of an allergeric reation. This is an often acute and sometimes fatal systemic reaction in a susceptible individual upon exposure to a specific food. The most common food allergies are seafood, nuts, chocolate, dairy, wheat, soy, and berries

5. Organic
People all over the world are concerned about the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers used on their fruits and vegetables, so they only eat organic products. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has strict regulations concerning the labeling of foods as organic. In order for products to carry a "100% organic" seal, the USDA requires the product to be grown and manufactured without the use of chemicals. Also the soil in which it was grown must be free from chemicals for at least three years. Processed food with organic labels must contain at least 95% organic materials by weight.

6. Kosher
The Jewish dietary laws based on the Torah or the Pentateuch which are the first five books of the Bible. These laws categorize foods and define basic dietary priniciples. Below are a few of the rules. This is by no means an all inclusive list.

a. Only meats that chew their cud and have split hooves are acceptable. Cattle, goats, deer- yes; Pigs- no!
b. Poultry can be considered kosher, provided it is not a bird of prey and it is slaughtered and butchered according to religious rules. Chicken, duck, turkey- yes. Eagles and hawks- no!
c. Fish must have both scales and gills. No catfish, eel, or shellfish allowed!
d. Meat and dairy foods can't be eaten or cooked together.

7. Halal
Similar to the Jewish dietary laws, are the Muslim dietary laws. These are based on the Qur'an. Halal means "allowed" or "lawful". As with kosher diets, there are many rules regarding halal meats and bi-products of meat, but fish and shellfish are allowed in Muslim diets. Alcohol and pork are strictly prohibted. Halal certification is often denoted by a capital H inside a triangle.

I hope this brief lesson on dietary restrictions helps!

Happy Planning & God Bless!

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