[Sca-cooks] menu planning for dietary restrictions

Phil Troy / G.Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Sun Aug 13 15:30:51 PDT 2006

On Aug 13, 2006, at 4:03 PM, Tom Vincent wrote:

> '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.

I won't try to answer for Nicolo (in fact I can't wait to hear from  
him ;-)  ) but so far we seem to have had pretty similar views.

I don't think it has anything to do with hostility to the idea of  
healthier menu planning. One could as easily argue hostility to the  
idea of giving people options, and allowing them to make sensible,  
adult choices. I don't think anybody here is pushing anybody into a  
situation where it's a choice between eating saturated fats or starving.

> 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?

All other things being equal, no. Did anyone suggest such a thing?
> 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?

Possibly, yes.

> You resent (well, find it rude and inconsiderate) that this reality
> could have ramifications for the SCA.

I think that if there's any resentment, it may be in response to a  
perception that we're being called upon to change our work habits to  
solve a problem A) we didn't cause, B) we may not be able to solve by  
changing people's eating habits at one meal a week, C) may sometimes  
create difficult choices for those pursuing a historical model, and  
D) limits the choices of those not affected by the problem while  
seeming to preach at them, the de facto choir.

>   How about SCA policies on
> smoking?  Alcohol?  Juveniles?  Armor standards?  Site fee surcharges?

These are problems that affect us in the very short term, hence the  
decision to solve them in ways that aren't necessarily seamlessly  
integrated into the game we play.

>  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!

Okay. Fair enough. Tell me, in detail, the philosophy you're trying  
to change, with proof that it is widely held.

> 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?

I have never, in 24 years in the SCA, seen anyone smoking at tables.  
The move first to eliminate indoor smoking areas in favor of outdoor  
options, and occasionally, remove them entirely from site is  
comparatively recent. The difference is that you haven't provided  
stats on second-hand fat, or the number of people in the last year  
who have gone into anaphylactic shock because someone ate a piece of  
bacon 20 feet away.

> 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?

Frankly, it really, really, doesn't sound like you're encouraging  
positive alternatives. It sounds like you're fighting pretty hard to  
shoot down anybody's reasoned preference not to work that way, while  
still trying not to exacerbate the problem, which I don't think  
anybody's saying is not real.

> 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.

Then why is this thread still going on?

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

Is that what you think the majority is doing? I think most people who  
responded said they'd like to see people solve this problem by  
providing a range of dishes so people would not be deprived of the  
choice to eat intelligently. That is _anything but_ ignoring health  
implications. It is merely refraining from ramming the choices down  
people's throats.

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

It sounds like an extreme evaluation, if that's indeed what is being  
implied (I must have missed this), but it wouldn't be the first time  
people have reacted badly to what they perceived as attacks on  
freedom of choice. Just ask any horse who isn't thirsty, or anyone  
who's had to vote in an election where someone else has made sure  
there was only one candidate. Maybe people are picking up on the fact  
that this began as you asking a question, people answering honestly  
and, as far as I can tell, mostly respectfully, and you having issues  
with some of the responses. In short, unless you've seriously  
misstated your case, it's very hard to see this as anyone but you  
having an axe to grind, and sometimes people do look askance at  
people carrying axes in mixed company.

This simply an ideological difference, and one which I doubt will see  
too many conversions from among those who don't already agree with  
you that this is the best solution to the problem.


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