RE: eating/cooking in cohousing
From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 94 20:53:53 PDT
Judy baxter writes:

>Does anyone have any experience to share on dealing with various food 
allergies
>and requirements?

1. Some people will not eat community dinner. So it may be less of a problem.
2. Dealing with more than 1 variation/ limitation within cooking for 
dinner is  troublesome in my experience (we currently do dinners for 20).
3. In our community, people with extra special dietary needs  tend not 
to do community dinner much. In general there is a sentiment, perhaps 
unfair, but that extreme dietary restrictions are a burden on the 
majority. Creating wheatless, soyless, dairyless, meatless meals is 
possible, but we don;t do it much.  However we don't eat red meat more 
than once a year and salads, fruit and vegetables are commonly offered. 
 When dishes are made which contain red meat, there is always a 
non-meat alternative. (Typically the dishes with meat don't get eaten 
much so we have not had one for several months that I can recall).
4. It is very likely that our typical community dinner fare has 
filtered out some marobiotic vegans from joining our community. That is 
ok. Food is one of the many filters which determine whether a place is 
right.  Personally I find the whole politicalizing of food preferences 
to be annoying.  People who get very righteous, almost religous about 
their food choices and demand that it is the only way are folks I don't 
usually get along with much anyway.
5. Food choices in our community have changed over time.  Due to the 
interest of a minority, (my wife and I being ringleaders) There is much 
more use of whole grains, fresh vegetables, and interesting salad 
greens and herbs in community dinner.  A small group started cooking 
this way and others have followed. We also buy a lot of whole grain 
food in bulk, which makes it readily available to everyone. For example 
we get really excellent, whole grain and spinach pasta at a fraction of 
the cost of white flour store bought pasta.
6. Our community garden gives us some good fresh food on a year round 
basis. There is a goal to expand our garden someday and even get some 
chickens to raise for eggs and meat.  If this happens, we will have 
even more fresh, organic food in our dinners.

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