Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The mushroom conspiracy

Once upon a time, I ate meat. I enjoyed hamburgers, bacon, turkey, chicken, ham and the occasional lamb chop. As time went on, though, I found that my body seemed to be rejecting meat. I ate meat in increasingly smaller amounts, but continued to have severe digestion problems.

My problem had a name: Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency. The solution was to stop eating meat. I can tolerate fish a couple of times a month, but no more. I would skip it entirely, except I might die of food-texture-deprivation; besides, I need the Omega 3s.

Being a vegetarian is not that difficult, nor does it require as much imagination as most people think. There are plenty of things to eat and soy is my friend. A typical week at my house includes yogurt, pasta (including tortellini, ravioli, and lasagna), pilafs, eggs, Boca products galore, eggplant, soup, bean dishes, and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I expect just as many choices when I eat out, but I rarely find it. Instead, I am faced with the reality that is The Portobello Mushroom.

I can't stand portobello mushrooms, let me just get that out there. My loathing aside, I still find it frustrating that in the world of The Forgotten Vegetarians, that one, token meatless dish at most restaurants is something featuring these mushrooms. Why? Why can't there be a nice pasta dish or vegetarian soup? I crave those things. Other people crave those things. I can honestly say that never in my life have I felt a hunger pang and thought, "Wow. I could really go for a big slab of fungus on a bun. Or marinated. Or grilled. Or served over rice." Blech.

I believe the portobello mushroom lobby is working in cahoots with the restaurant industry to convince the chefs of the world that vegetarians not only loooove these mushrooms, but they're really the only thing we expect to eat when we're away from home. God knows, I won't eat them at home.

People, we must rise up and fight this fungus proliferation. We must demand more choices. Woman does not live by portobellos and salad alone! Speaking of salad...Have you perused the salad menu lately? Chicken tortilla salad. Cobb salad. Chef salad. Chicken with roasted tomatoes salad. I always thought I could count on salad as a backup meal, but when did chicken become a vegetable? I know chickens are stupid, but they're not vegetables. I would also add that people who eat chicken are not vegetarians.

Let's squash this mistaken belief that vegetarians live on portobello mushrooms. Freedom from the fungus!

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