RE: Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
From: Diane or Douglas (ddhleearthlink.net)
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 04:19:01 -0600 (MDT)
I sympathize with your situation. We too have multiple dietary requirements 
to deal with at each meal and we serve five meals per week. Its a complex 
problem and my only suggestion would be to do something to handle the diet 
requirements at meal prep time.

For our community I made a spreadsheet for this. Each member's name is a 
row in the sheet. Across the top, columns are Vegan, Vegetarian, Non-diary, 
etc. Then place an X in each column next to the person's name as 
appropriate. Then at the bottom total the count of X's in each column. This 
will give you guidelines for portions needed for each category. This is 
only one small piece of information but I find that it helps a little. Of 
course you also have to contend with people who are absent from any given 
meal.
We value attending to people's dietary needs and while it isn't easy, I at 
least, appreciate the effort each cook makes to follow that.
If I think of other ideas I'll post again.

Doug Larson
Songaia Cohousing, Bothell, Washington


On Monday, July 02, 2001 10:01 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org 
[SMTP:cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org] wrote:
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| Today's Topics:
|
|    1. Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements (Sharon Villines)
|    2. Re: Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements (Elizabeth 
Stevenson)
|    3. Re: Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements (Mary E. Faccioli)
|    4. Re: Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements (Elizabeth 
Stevenson)
|    5. Re:Common House: Woulda Coulda Shoulda (Judy Baxter)
|
| --__--__--
|
| Message: 1
| Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 09:16:01 -0400
| From: Sharon Villines <sharonvillines [at] prodigy.net>
| To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
| Subject: [C-L]_Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
| Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
|
| We are just getting our meal program going and I have some questions 
about
| how you handle all the diet stuff.
|
| I have diabetes that is diet controlled except when I eat commonhouse 
meals.
| Then I go over the top with all the high-glycemic-index food and it takes
| several days to get back on track.  Starch seems to be the order of the
| day--starch over starch with salad on the side followed by sugar.
|
| No one  is forcing me to eat the absolutely delicious food, mind you, but
| when faced with another meal where the only thing I _should_ eat is 
salad, I
| can see I need to do something differently.
|
| THEN when I think of cooking for the group I start with a menu, 
calculating
| amounts and logistics, thinking about how delicious this meal will be, 
etc.,
| and run right into restrictions -- wheat-sensitive, lactose-intolerant,
| vegan, vegetarian, meat necessary, no "junk", child friendly, no hot 
spices.
|
| I know perfectly well how to cook for all these preferences/restrictions
| (and have been on one or the other of these diets myself at one time or
| another) but the complexity of cooking for all of them at the same time
| takes all the anticipated fun out of it for me. You become a short order
| cook.
|
| Commonhouse meals were one of the things I was looking forward to most 
but
| they have become a booby-trap. How do you all handle this?
|
| Sharon
| --
| Sharon Villines
| Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
| http://www.takomavillage.org
|
|
|
| --__--__--
|
| Message: 2
| Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 07:49:20 +0000
| Subject: Re: [C-L]_Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
| From: "Elizabeth Stevenson" <tamgoddess [at] home.com>
| To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
| Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
|
| The most important thing that our community does that makes the process
| easier is that we have semi-permanent cook teams. We only change partners
| every six months, and many teams choose to stay together for years. What
| this means is that you can have a repertoire of meals that you know 
everyone
| can and will eat, and you don't have to, as they say, reinvent the wheel
| every mealtime. I've been a vocal opponent of changing who you cook with 
for
| every meal, but for some reason new groups tend to prefer this. I think 
it's
| a misguided romantic notion of getting to know everyone. It means alot 
more
| work for every meal, so groups end up disenfranchising those with special
| diets. Another benefit of stable groups: you can tailor your cook times 
to
| when it is convenient for everyone on the team. We have a member who
| belonged to a group that had no teams, and she thinks our system is 
vastly
| better.
|
| Surprisingly enough, I don't think we have any people who are 
diabetic(yet).
| If they are, they are closeted. We have vegans, vegetarians, and a couple 
of
| wheat free. We also have lactose-intolerant, but they get by with 
lact-aid
| pills. My son is allergic to dairy, and we just have to eat the vegan 
food
| when the meal is based on cheese. We usually just skip those meals.
|
| We have people's diet preferences listed on the sign-up sheet, so that we
| know who needs to be accommodated for each meal. Sometimes, we don't need 
to
| cook a vegan alternative or whatever. Many cook teams get by the problem 
by
| cooking all vegan meals, or having an entree that is easily cooked
| separately, liked baked chicken and baked tofu, made with the same 
marinade.
| And it's just as easy to throw TVP into one pot of stew and ground turkey
| into another.
|
| We also indicate if there will be a kid-friendly substitute on the meal
| sign-up. So if we're having spicy Thai food, there might be fish sticks,
| too. The kids food is often very simple frozen food. I'd say that gets 
the
| older kids to be more adventurous and eat more adult food.
|
| As a person whose child has special dietary needs, it can get frustrating
| that there isn't always something they cook that he's willing to eat. But
| the alternative is to make separate meals for everyone.
|
| We have found a balance, although precarious at times. Most folks have 
come
| to understand that we do our best to accommodate most people, and that 
some
| meals will just not be for everyone.
|
|
| --
| Liz Stevenson
| Southside Park Cohousing
| Sacramento, California
|
| tamgoddess [at] home.com
| http://members.home.net/southsideparkcohousing
|
| ----------
| >From: Sharon Villines <sharonvillines [at] prodigy.net>
| >To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
| >Subject: [C-L]_Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
| >Date: Mon, Jul 2, 2001, 1:16 PM
| >
|
| > We are just getting our meal program going and I have some questions 
about
| > how you handle all the diet stuff.
| >
| > I have diabetes that is diet controlled except when I eat commonhouse 
meals.
| > Then I go over the top with all the high-glycemic-index food and it 
takes
| > several days to get back on track.  Starch seems to be the order of the
| > day--starch over starch with salad on the side followed by sugar.
| >
| > No one  is forcing me to eat the absolutely delicious food, mind you, 
but
| > when faced with another meal where the only thing I _should_ eat is 
salad, I
| > can see I need to do something differently.
| >
| > THEN when I think of cooking for the group I start with a menu, 
calculating
| > amounts and logistics, thinking about how delicious this meal will be, 
etc.,
| > and run right into restrictions -- wheat-sensitive, lactose-intolerant,
| > vegan, vegetarian, meat necessary, no "junk", child friendly, no hot 
spices.
| >
| > I know perfectly well how to cook for all these 
preferences/restrictions
| > (and have been on one or the other of these diets myself at one time or
| > another) but the complexity of cooking for all of them at the same time
| > takes all the anticipated fun out of it for me. You become a short 
order
| > cook.
| >
| > Commonhouse meals were one of the things I was looking forward to most 
but
| > they have become a booby-trap. How do you all handle this?
| >
| > Sharon
| > --
| > Sharon Villines
| > Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
| > http://www.takomavillage.org
| >
| >
| > _______________________________________________
| > Cohousing-L mailing list
| > Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org  Unsubscribe  and other info:
| > http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
|
| --__--__--
|
| Message: 3
| Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 11:10:33 -0400
| From: "Mary E. Faccioli" <LIBMEF [at] langate.gsu.edu>
| To: <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
| Subject: Re: [C-L]_Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
| Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
|
| > The kids food is often very simple frozen food. I'd say that gets the
| older kids to be more adventurous and eat more adult food.
|
| Just curious - is it your experience that the adults experiment more with 
=
| different types of food, too?  Do the meat eaters try the 
vegetarian/vegan =
| food and enjoy it? =20
|
| I am asking because it has been my experience in other volume 
cooking/eatin=
| g situations (not cohousing) that the meat-eaters very often gravitate to 
=
| the vegetarian/vegan selections, much to the dismay of the meal planners 
=
| who have been counting on certain numbers of folks in each category.  I =
| was wondering if the process of cooking meals that accomodate both meat =
| eaters and non might potentially get simpler as meat eaters became 
exposed =
| to decent vegan or vegetarian food.  (Also at ELC we had a first 
run-throug=
| h meal prepared by our most radically "organic-vegetarian" member, and 
one =
| of our most adamant meat eaters commented "If we ate THIS every night I'd 
=
| be converted." )
|
| Mary Beth Faccioli
| East Lake Commons
| Atlanta, GA
|
|
|
| --__--__--
|
| Message: 4
| Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 08:26:47 +0000
| Subject: Re: [C-L]_Meals and Dietary Preferences & Requirements
| From: "Elizabeth Stevenson" <tamgoddess [at] home.com>
| To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
| Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
|
|
| ----------
| > Just curious - is it your experience that the adults experiment more 
with
| > different types of food, too?  Do the meat eaters try the 
vegetarian/vegan
| > food and enjoy it?
|
| Very much so. Most of us "meatatarians" are already more
| vegetarian-food-friendly than the general population. Often, we will make
| nearly equal amounts of meat and veggie versions, even though strict
| vegetarians are much fewer in number than meat-eaters. It goes the other
| way, too. Living here for 8 years, several people have switched sides 
from
| meat to vegetarian or vice versa, some more than once. Many have come to
| realize they are allergic to one thing or another while they lived here. 
It
| is a changing landscape.
|
| Another thing that helps to simplify is to make one version suit more 
than
| one dietary need. For instance, the vegetarian version is also vegan, or
| wheat free or whatever.
|
| Having a repertoire is so helpful for this. I want to stress that for the
| most part, we have excellent meals, not watered down meat dishes. Many in
| our community have extensive and adventurous cooking skills, so we may be
| luckier than most. But practice does count when you're learning to cook 
for
| a crowd.
|
|
| --
| Liz Stevenson
| Southside Park Cohousing
| Sacramento, California
|
| tamgoddess [at] home.com
| http://members.home.net/southsideparkcohousing
|
| --__--__--
|
| Message: 5
| Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 10:34:17 -0500 (CDT)
| From: Judy Baxter <BAXTER [at] epi.umn.edu>
| To: COHOUSING-L [at] COHOUSING.ORG
| Subject: [C-L]_Re:Common House: Woulda Coulda Shoulda
| Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
|
| From:
| Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area, 
Mpls.,MN
| -- e-mail:    baxter [at] epi.umn.edu
| 15 homes - 7 new townhomes plus
|       8 coop apartments       in the Mansion (a rehab Georgian building)
| 22 adults, 9 kids (more or less)
|
| Questions:
| If you had to do your commonhouse over, what would be any areas that 
stand
| out as ones you would like to change?
|       We are retrofit - (most of 2 floors of Mansion) = Common House
|       So, you wouldn't plan it this way.
|       I'd put living room and dining room and kitchen on same floor, , and a
| better  doorbell system, a sprung floor on porch (someday, when we have 
$$), .
| . .
|
| What are the least used areas of your commonhouse?
| Hard to say - K and LR get less use than I had hoped, but we are a small 
group.
| Kitchen (2-3 meals per week plus special events, private events)
| Living room (mostly meetings, large and small,and planned social events)
| New hot tub seems to get little use, but since I don't use it, I wouldn't 
know.
|
| What is the ratio of guest rooms to units?  Does your community have 
enough
| or too many guest rooms.
|
| 2 guest rooms, 15 units, they get sporadic use but are very valued.
|
| Judy
|
|
| --__--__--
|
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