[Sca-cooks] menu planning for dietary restrictions

Tom Vincent Tom.Vincent at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 13 13:03:15 PDT 2006

'mandate', 'passing wagon', 'either pay and eat or not', 'informed 
consent', 'fiduciary responsibility ', 'grown responsible adults', 'rude 
and inconsiderate', 'nutritional extremist group'. 

Just a guess on my part, but by your choice of phrases, it appears that 
you're hostile to the idea of healthier menu planning. 

So I have a few questions:

Do you see your interpretation of a historical recipe lacking 
measurements to have X cups of oil to be superior in historical accuracy 
to mine with, say, X/2 cups of oil?

To a lesser extend, if the historical recipe actually *has* measurements 
and calls for 2 cups of oil plus 12 eggs and I decide to use 1 cup or 
oil plus 6 eggs (with other things added to compensate), do you see me 
as working against the policies of the SCA?  Or, in some other way, 
historically disingenuous?

You resent (well, find it rude and inconsiderate) that this reality 
could have ramifications for the SCA.  How about SCA policies on 
smoking?  Alcohol?  Juveniles?  Armor standards?  Site fee surcharges?  
Any of the other SCA regulations that have been created as a result of 
real-world realities, legal requirements, local statutes or other 
outside changes?  And I'm not even talking about or suggesting SCA 
policy changes!  Just encouraging and promoting a philosophical change 
in priorities that reflects current realities!

Do you see recent trends of obesity as different from the elimination of 
indoor smoking that has happened in the past decade?  How many feasts 
have you been to in the past few years where smoking has been allowed at 
the tables?

Do you believe that the trends of increased obesity that have been 
documented over the past 40 years are a 'passing wagon'?  How about the 
growing child obesity problem?  Same 'passing wagon'?

Who has called for any sort of mandate and who are these 'culture dopes' 
you refer to?  You don't differentiate between encouraging positive 
alternatives and a mandate?

Where is your evidence of some sort of 'nutritional extremist group', 
either in the real world or in the SCA?  Is your implication that I'm 
part of some 'extremist group'?  If so, what one?  Where is your evidence?

Just a few responses:

'You have news for me':  And then you speculate.  That isn't news.

'Pay and eat or not':  More often than not, it seems that the site fee 
includes one or more feasts, so if people attend the event, they've paid 
for the feast and have a right to partake.  The feast isn't mandatory, 
of course, but neither is providing an unhealthy (including more than 
5-6 *daily* teaspoons of total oils, for example, or more than 1 
teaspoon of total sodium *daily*) feast.  Portion sizes matter and 
there's nothing we can do about that, but aiming at 20-35% of total 
calories from fat would help.

It's fine to have a different in perspective, priority, viewpoint.

No one's disputing that.  I'm still looking or waiting for the benefits 
in ignoring the health implications of feast dishes, however.

But I promote healthier feasts, present solid reasons and evidence...and 
you imply I'm some sort of terrorist?  WTF?


grizly wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> I've noticed a couple of trends in this discussion:
> 1. The comparison between low-fat/low-salt cooking and modifications to 
> accommodate vegans, lactose-intolerance, nut/mushroom/etc allergies, and 
> so on.
> 2. The repeated implication that 'flavor', 'tasty' & 'yummy' are 
> incompatible with low-fat/low-salt recipes or recipe modifications.   < < < < < < 
> My observations about the assumptions are thus:
> #1  The other assumption in this line of logic appears to be that not low-fat/low-salt cooking is a problem that needs solving here and everywhere.
> The reality that the suregeon General and any other agency out there describes a growing weight control problem in our culture dopes not equate to a mandate to SCA and other historical cooks to jump on a passing wagon with the band and redesign all the recipes we have (this is exaggeration for effect).  Sure we can, and many do, give a nod to maintaining a variety and balance in the meals we create.  The feast I research, develop, plan and create is ONE MEAL in the lives of people to whom I generally have no other personal or legal obligation.  I am providing them with an OPPORTUNITY to experience what I and my staff percieve as an appropriate meal, done as hstorically accurate as I can achieve given the many circumstances we live with today.  You can either pay and eat, or not pay and eat.  I provide far more than adequate documentation for informed consent, and will not take any further responsibility beyond good hospitality.
> If 60% of the audience is allergic to nuts, the two things come into play.  First and foremost, 60% of the people had better be d at mned sure they know what is going into the dishes and take careful action to protect themselves and their personal medical conditions.  Second, I need to consider my philosophy of hospitality and committment thereto when developing my menu and provide very clear and careful informed consent.  I abjectly REFUSE to let your 60% of the people deprive the other 40% of an experience with the idea that ". . . . it would really be crazy to include nuts in just about *any* feast dish. . . ".  I will take precautions to assure no undue risk to those with health risks who are taking on themselves the responsibilities for thier medical conditions.  There is also the fiduciary responsibility I have to the local group and SCA, Inc. in presenting afeast at a sanctioned event. . . . see discussion of clear and readily available documentation of all recipes and in
>  gredient
>   lists.
> About #2: Your whole commentary in the latest email seems on my end of the email computer terminal, while considered and poterntially rational, to be founded/motivated almost entirely on my interprestation of your premise one . . . .that SCA and historical cooks.  If grown responsible adults are managing their lifestyles and nutritional habits, then Saturday night feasts or occasional other meals experienced responsibly and in moderation appropriate totheir overall lifestyle needs, then whatever is presented is sufficient.  This goes for people who have the manage allergies, fat, sodium, cholesterol or their brown glop intake levels.
> The direction the thread is taking is really appearing to me to be along ideological lines.  They are lines that transcend SCA cookery and move tothe culture at large:  where the primary responsibility and action locus belongs in managing health and dietary conditions and needs.  My personal sensibilities and hospitality call for me to make general concessions for general sensibilities.  I will also do my best to provide options for peoople who contact me personally to ask for such consideration.  I post this willingness publicly in event advertising in print and on the web.  In my 15 years working in feast kitchens I was contacted by agrand total of 12 people asking for dietary considerations.  7 of those people, on reading my menu and ingredients lists found their dietary needs addressed, and they enjoyed the feast to give me word fame for years.
> Given that my personal committment is to such considerations (and my peers in cookery around our state and area are very similar) I find it personally especially rude and inconsiderate for this sort of activism to occur in our hobby.  I have news for your and any <<insert nutritional extremist group here>>> out there . . . when the cusine and recipes of today become extinct, there will be a reinactment movement in the future to revive that cuisine to see what it was like and what it had to offer.  Our cookbooks of today will then be historical research texts that people set up email groups to discuss.  As a matter my belief . . . in an generally low salt, low fat society, there will rise up another counter-movement to extoll the luxury of saltier and fattier options.  It is the ebb and flow of culture and life.
> niccolo difrancesco
> (the Vikings didn't have the same technology we do to preserve our way of life when or if another climatic change begins to develop)
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Tom Vincent
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

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