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Requesting separate boards for Vegan-Vegetarian and Allergic-Intolerant

alergkvegtarian Feb 19, 2012 01:10 PM

It would be nice if you had a separate boards for...
1) Vegan/Vegetarian diets
2) Allergic/Intolerant diets

Why? Its much easier for us to find each other and get or give good answers. Personally, I would even accept one heading for both if you can come up with an appropriate heading.
? Alternate diets
? Special diets

I'm not sure if any of those titles would be considered offensive or not. lol

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    small h RE: alergkvegtarian Feb 19, 2012 01:36 PM

    This has been discussed many times. If you peruse these threads, you'll see why it's not that workable an idea. To sum it up: discussions of restaurants catering to particular diets belong on the regional boards, and cooking threads belong on the Home Cooking board - there are already plenty of threads there about vegetarian food, gluten-free food, etc.


    1. mudaba RE: alergkvegtarian Feb 24, 2012 12:50 PM

      I want to investigate this idea a bit. There is certainly a demand for discussion of "alternate" diets. We just have to figure out how to handle moderation and local board talk. But it's worth an exploration. Thanks for bringing it onto my radar!

      Meredith of CHOW

      52 Replies
      1. re: mudaba
        cowboyardee RE: mudaba Feb 24, 2012 01:02 PM

        Interesting that you guys are considering this. In theory I don't really see this as a whole lot different from having a dedicated kosher board, and that doesn't seem to be a problem for the site. I could envision a vegan/veg/allergy board run pretty much the same way.

        In practice though, vegan, vegetarian, and allergic/intolerant seems to generate a lot more strife. I honestly don't know whether a separate board will keep the strife down or encourage trolling instead.

        1. re: cowboyardee
          rworange RE: cowboyardee Feb 24, 2012 02:59 PM

          i don't think a vegetarian board should be run the same as Kosher. In fact, I think Kosher rules should change.

          when Kosher started, there were only NY boards, so it made sense to put everything kosher there.

          I think a kosher and a vegetarian board should be run the same. if someone wants to post on a local board, go ahead. if someone wants to post on a specific kosher/.veg board instead, go for it.

          Both would be more useful if they also allowed topics that spanned various boards. So people focused on vegetarian or kosher boards could post as much as they wanted ... general topics, recipes, restaurants, food and news.

          The only rule would be that you could not post things that were not kosher or vegetarian on those boards.

          1. re: rworange
            jen kalb RE: rworange Feb 25, 2012 02:54 PM

            I am fine with this type of board but only if posts don't get moved off of other boards. My only real gripe with the current moderation is the moving posts away from the boards where they are posted if responses are likely on rhw original board and they relate to local matters of interest probably mainly on that Board. For example moving local food criticism from a board like Boston or Italy to Food Media, which is basically overwhelmed by US basedtopics like Food TV. Many posters dont follow that board so the topics never attract the discussion and audience they might.

            So, I think this type of Board is something chow could create and allow to grow organically. If it starts to be "the" place to discuss these issues internationally so be it. If not its creation wont kill off discussion of these matters on local boards.

            1. re: jen kalb
              rworange RE: jen kalb Feb 25, 2012 03:15 PM

              Yeah, that's what i meant by crossing board boundries. However, if someone wanted to discuss vegan on the General Board or vegan in Italy or share vegan recipes on home cooking it wouldn't need to be moved to the veg board.

              one of my problems with wine, spirits, beer is that I enjoyed these conversations on those boards. I'm not likely to follow them on their specialized boards. Since hot posts has become so difficult to find, I'm not seeing those topics that way either.

        2. re: mudaba
          HillJ RE: mudaba Feb 24, 2012 03:10 PM

          On one of the food discussion sites we have through work we use Food Lifestyle. Like the Gardening board, a wide-scope board heading covers a good deal of gardening tips from a gammut of experiences and tricks of the trade but also covers the use of herbs, plant foraging, etc.. Our Food Lifestyle board covers every medical-related diet out there, food as healer, vegan, veg, microb, current events as they relate to health and wellness and even a vitamins discussion. Very popular board, btw.

          1. re: HillJ
            mudaba RE: HillJ Feb 24, 2012 03:11 PM

            These are great considerations and examples--thanks guys!


            1. re: mudaba
              HillJ RE: mudaba Feb 26, 2012 10:37 AM

              Here's on example of where a topic has expanded into medical and health references and would serve a whole diff readership if placed in a Board geared for dietary discourse.

              1. re: HillJ
                HillJ RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 01:57 PM

                eta: and also by example this specific OP illustrates how a subject heading may offer no indication that it's health-related or dietary in nature.

            2. re: HillJ
              sedimental RE: HillJ Feb 25, 2012 08:15 PM

              I really life the "food lifestyle" idea. At least it might draw more like minded hounds together in a particular thread. Sometimes it seems hard to have an intelligent discussion (without defensiveness) about certain food choices here. The people that only post in order to start some sort of debate...would be outnumbered quickly, and a *real* discussion and sharing of ideas could take place.

              1. re: sedimental
                rworange RE: sedimental Feb 25, 2012 08:46 PM

                >>> The people that only post in order to start some sort of debate...would be outnumbered quickly

                kind of a sad comment on what is happening on the site.

                Maybe the rule on the lifestyle board would be that posts contesting the lifestyle would be removed.

                1. re: rworange
                  sedimental RE: rworange Feb 25, 2012 08:56 PM

                  Yes, that would be a good rule. I don't think people can post arguments about keeping kosher on the kosher board. It is just too much work and too disruptive if that sort of thing is allowed. It would also be nice to have a "safe haven" to discuss lifestyle food choices and ideas without all the shit -stirrers.

                  1. re: sedimental
                    ipsedixit RE: sedimental Feb 25, 2012 09:02 PM

                    There's a difference between being Kosher and being vegetarian (and even more so being allergic or intolerant but we'll put that one aside for now).

                    The former is a religious issue; the latter is purely a lifestyle choice.

                    To critique the former transcends food choices; to critique the latter is part-and-parcel of enjoying and eating food, which is really what Chowhound is about.

                    There is no need for a separate Vegetarian board because I think the larger, overall Chowhound community can benefit from discussions of Vegan or Vegetarian food issues.

                    This is not as true for Kosher foods.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      sedimental RE: ipsedixit Feb 25, 2012 09:09 PM

                      OH, I absolutely do not agree. I know plenty of vegetarians and vegans that choose their food by a moral compass that is often more passionate and meaningful than many folks "religion". It doesn't make a difference anyway as to why it would be beneficial to have a separate board.

                      But the idea is a "lifestyle" food board, that would include any reason for the choice. The concept of a safe haven to discuss and share ideas without immediate attack would be great.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        debbiel RE: ipsedixit Feb 25, 2012 09:25 PM

                        I don't like the idea of a separate veg*n board, but I disagree with your distinction. Vegetarianism is a moral issue for many people, whether for general environmental stewardism or animal rights. I suppose both--kosher and veg--can be seen as lifestyle choices, the decision to live by a certain moral conviction.

                        1. re: debbiel
                          rworange RE: debbiel Feb 26, 2012 08:40 AM

                          Here's the difference

                          I don't ever rememer a post where someone said "if you convert to another religion you don't need to be Kosher. You haven't lived till you tried real bacon. Your restaurant choices and world would expand. And what is wrong with pork anyway?'

                          But there are people who believe they can convert people from vegetarianism to become carnivores.

                          Choose a diet and there are those that will evangilize against it.

                          1. re: rworange
                            debbiel RE: rworange Feb 26, 2012 09:19 AM

                            I don't disagree that folks will evangelize about the wonders of the omnivorous diet; I dealt with it for 20 years. I am simply arguing against ipsedixit's assertion that religious lifestyle choices are somehow different than other ethics-based lifestyle choices. (one is a religion, one is simply a lifestyle choice). I wasn't talking about people's responses to the choices but rather the choices themselves.

                            1. re: debbiel
                              rworange RE: debbiel Feb 26, 2012 01:12 PM

                              Yes, that is true, but one cant create put Kosher on the same level playing field as vegetarianism, etc. It my be a choice in life to follow certain religious teachings which comes with dietary restrictions. That is different from someone who is making eating choices based on other factors.

                              It is akin to posting you are Catholic and want recs for fish restaurants on Fridays. The food isn't the significant factor. It is just something that came with the choice of religion.

                              1. re: rworange
                                debbiel RE: rworange Feb 26, 2012 02:05 PM

                                But why is it different? You are elevating moral frameworks based on religion over other moral frameworks. Why is that justified?

                                I'm not talking about people making dietary choices that are about food only. I'm talking about vegetarians who are so because of moral considerations, be those animal rights or environmental issues. These are the bases for their moral frameworks. Not the food. How are those different?

                                I'm not trying to be contentious. Clearly we disagree. I'm wanting to understand your perspective and hope you understand mine, whether or not you agree with it.

                                1. re: debbiel
                                  ipsedixit RE: debbiel Feb 27, 2012 06:24 AM

                                  But why is it different? You are elevating moral frameworks based on religion over other moral frameworks. Why is that justified?


                                  Because it is different.

                                  In many ways, religious beliefs are different from moral beliefs. Although they can sometimes share the same nexus of principles, they often diverge.

                                  For example, a person can believe it is morally the right thing to always tell the truth, but not necessarily believe that it is a religious thing.

                                  Conversely, someone might believe in reincarnation -- a religious belief -- but that belief will have on a partial bearing on their moral compass in life.

                                  In other words, there are many moral atheists.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    debbiel RE: ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:00 AM

                                    Okay, but I still do not see why this leads to dietary restrictions based on religion being viewed differently than dietary restrictions based on moral convictions.

                                    You wrote, "To critique the former transcends food choices; to critique the latter is part-and-parcel of enjoying and eating food, which is really what Chowhound is about."

                                    How is critiquing someone's ethical veganism simply about enjoying and eating food? How does a critique of ethical veganism not transcend food choices?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      cowboyardee RE: ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:08 AM

                                      Pragmatically speaking, what difference does that make to chowhound? I.E., why should one set of dietary restrictions have their own board and not another when it seems there would be enough demand to justify a new board?

                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                        HillJ RE: cowboyardee Feb 27, 2012 07:15 AM

                                        And the CH Team will more than likely outline by Sticky Topic what the parameters of any new Board would be beforehand.

                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                          ipsedixit RE: cowboyardee Feb 27, 2012 07:24 AM

                                          One reason why people want a separate veg*n board a la the Kosher board is that the discussions can be free of judgment issues (i.e., eating raw vegetable is no good!)

                                          This is why the difference does have a pragmatic side to it. Questioning why a person cannot have a bacon milkshake because they are Kosher would be above and beyond what Chowhound is about -- because it transcends the quiddity of the act of eating (or consuming) a bacon milkshake. It's purely a religious decision.

                                          Conversely, questioning why a person eschews meat -- even for moral reasons -- is part and parcel of the Chowhound manifesto (as I understand it). Eating veg*n for moral reasons is no different from "eating local" or "eating sustainable" -- both of which have moral underpinnings.

                                          Should we have separate boards for those topics as well?

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            HillJ RE: ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:32 AM

                                            Sure that's one reason but I suspect hardly the only reason or primary benefit. CHOW is also about offering members the space to be CH's and discuss all of the subjects that come along. The benefit of a food lifestyle board is offering a larger forum for subjects that fall under it. The Kosher board, Gardening board and Cookware board allow for getting specific discussion beyond other boards currently avail.

                                            Sheer thread volume sitewide and subject lines that don't always reflect the topic is reason enough (imho) to consider new boards and newcomers.

                                            So, how does offering a new board equate to a difference in how the current boards are used, moderated or valued. The same manifesto applies.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              cowboyardee RE: ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:33 AM

                                              "One reason why people want a separate veg*n board a la the Kosher board is that the discussions can be free of judgment issues"
                                              Well, we agree on that.

                                              "Conversely, questioning why a person eschews meat -- even for moral reasons -- is part and parcel of the Chowhound manifesto (as I understand it)."
                                              Here, not so much. If someone posts a rant-thread about the moral implications of eating meat (maybe in NAF, where I assume we'll still see the occasional debate or rant about moral decisions in dietary choices), then yeah - discussions of those reasons is fair game and on-topic.

                                              OTOH, if someone posts a thread asking for a vegetarian recipe for... whatever... then questioning their dietary choices is just as off-topic and rude as questioning one's dietary choices based on faith out of the blue. The issue isn't that faith is unassailable while moral choices are not. Rather, the problem is that in either case the nature of the thread/posting is being ignored so that someone can get up on their soapbox.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                sedimental RE: ipsedixit Feb 27, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                >>>>>questioning why a person eschews meat -- even for moral reasons -- is part and parcel of the Chowhound manifesto (as I understand it).>>>>

                                                I don't understand where you get this from? It has nothing to do with anything related to chowhound. Food is about personal likes and dislikes, it should be none of your business "why" a person likes or dislikes something. Maybe they think something is cruel, maybe it gives them hives, maybe they think it tastes like crap, maybe they get diarrhea if they eat it- none of anyone's business to challenge why. Accept it and move on. Not hard to do.

                                                The "don't yuk on my yum" is a more important criteria than why someone doesn't like meat or doesn't like mango's. Unless I ASK for your input about my choices (and sometimes people ask!)- I would expect you would keep your opinion to yourself. It is really entitled behavior to shift the focus of an entire post *requesting a recipe*- to a debate about the OP's morality or health choice or whatever. I see it all the time here and it is discouraging.

                                                As far as eating local or sustainable...sure, many people would adhere to those principals as a "way of eating" or a "food lifestyle" and would be welcome to post on a food lifestyle board. If it were a news story and they wanted to debate the merits of it- then it would likely go on the Food and Media board. If it was about a new local restaurant- on the local board, no diff.

                                            2. re: ipsedixit
                                              Lizard RE: ipsedixit Feb 28, 2012 12:48 AM

                                              Just as an aside here: Jewish dietary laws are laws and while they can be related to beliefs, belief is not necessary. In fact, that is why Jews can be atheists. You don't need to believe, you just need to follow the laws....

                                              Also-- I'm not saying anything below about what people are 'allowed' to do. I just don't understand the phenomenon of non-Jews following Jewish dietary laws. Nor am I certain they are being followed so much as certain elements are embraced.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                    Veggo RE: ipsedixit Feb 26, 2012 04:33 AM

                                    Being Kosher and being vegetarian are both lifestyle choices. Just different rules. Some quick Googleing indicates there are about 5.2 million jews in the U.S.,of which 25-30% keep kosher, so somewhere around 1.5 million kosher American jews. (There are kosher non-jews, also). There are 7.3 million vegetarians in the U.S., and an additional 22.8 million who follow a "vegetarian inclined diet". Numbers-wise, this makes a pretty good case for a vegetarian board.

                                    1. re: Veggo
                                      Lizard RE: Veggo Feb 26, 2012 11:59 AM

                                      Kosher non-Jews? Why? Kosher refers to following a certain set of Jewish dietary laws. Why would someone follow them if not Jewish? And would following them as a whim actually be 'Kosher' or a dietary quirk not unlike other food-based choices? I'd say I'm curious, but frankly, I'll confess that I seriously don't believe anybody not Jewish can follow a Kosher diet and have it be Kosher, rather than just an idiosyncratic diet that happens to follow the laws of Kashrut. 'Kosher non-jews?' I really don't understand that one. (And yes, I am Jewish, hence why I really don't understand this business.)

                                      1. re: Lizard
                                        Veggo RE: Lizard Feb 26, 2012 12:45 PM

                                        Why? Some non-jews feel that kosher connotes superior. There are similarities between kosher and halal certification, and kosher can be a best option if halal is not available. What is your objection to others eating kosher, especially when kosher purveyors are struggling so? Nobody says you can't have corned beef and cabbage because you're not Irish.

                                        1. re: Veggo
                                          Lizard RE: Veggo Feb 26, 2012 01:47 PM

                                          Sorry, still don't follow. Cabbage and corned beef is a dish, not a set of religious/ethnic dietary laws. I appreciate that some might prefer meat that has been slaughtered according to laws of kashrut, but kosher goes much further than selective purchases. As for 'superior', I suppose there I still have to say WTF? Plus, this seems speculation. Are you talking about you?

                                          1. re: Lizard
                                            ratgirlagogo RE: Lizard Feb 26, 2012 02:02 PM

                                            The above discussion is an example of what I was talking about below. You never see these kinds of arguments about keeping Kosher on the Kosher board, i.e., is it a good idea in the first place, who can and can't do it, etc. That's why the Kosher board is a good idea - the arguments are more about whether this or that hechsher is reliable, is that restaurant indeed Kosher and is it any good. And that can get heated enough without having to justify having the discussion in the first place. That's why I'd like to see a vegetarian/vegan board and an allergies board.

                                            1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                              HillJ RE: ratgirlagogo Feb 26, 2012 02:56 PM

                                              I am trying hard to follow what all of you are saying and I'm still unclear why the topic of Kosher comes up on this OP when there is already a Kosher board on CH. I've read threads from the Kosher board and it can get heated and debated but it serves a great purpose. But this topic was to create a new board, not already served. I hope that message and discussion doesn't get lost in the debate you are discussing.

                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                Veggo RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                I think we have given Meredith all the positive feedback ( a Chowhound spring?) she needs to have the engineers proceed with a "Vegetarian and special diets" board.

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                  @J, i think sedimental was just saying it would be nice if, as on the kosher board, those who adhere to special diets felt they had a judgment-free discussion zone here on CH where arguments/debates about the merits of their personal choices wouldn't be tolerated...and then it just devolved into an OT discussion/debate that really had nothing to do with the OP, which is really just shocking, because that kind of thing NEVER happens.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    HillJ RE: goodhealthgourmet Feb 26, 2012 06:38 PM

                                                    Too funny. Actually I was enjoying the discussion sedimental, Veggo and Lizard were having. It just *as usual* confused me because a Kosher board already exists for this type of conversation to take place.

                                                    While this specific OP was tryiing to offer suggestions for a board that doesn't exist (let's hope yet). But then, Lizard confirmed that the Meredith has enough information to go on (ha!).

                                                    I think I got it right, yes. Perhaps I'm just guilty of trying to follow way too many convos at one time...

                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                      Veggo RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 06:47 PM

                                                      C'mon, HJ, it's as easy to follow as a bucket of minnows.

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      sedimental RE: goodhealthgourmet Feb 26, 2012 07:21 PM

                                                      OMG...that is too funny...so correct....and too funny.

                                                2. re: Lizard
                                                  Veggo RE: Lizard Feb 26, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                  My citation is a 2011 study of Kosher statistics in the US by Lubicom. It indicates there are 12.25m kosher consumers in the US, comprising 1.3m kosher jewish, 3.5m muslims and other religions eating kosher, and 7.45m "kosher is better" - their language, not mine.

                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                    BobB RE: Veggo Feb 29, 2012 07:40 AM

                                                    That's an interesting statistic, but I have to wonder whether those 7.45m people are actually keeping kosher (which involves things like keeping separate sets of dishes for meat-based and dairy-based meals, and avoiding a long list of foods besides pork), or simply buying the kosher version of things like hot dogs as a "better" alternative to the "who-knows-what-the-hell-they-put-in-there" products.

                                                    My guess is the vast majority of them fall into the latter category. We can't be sure without seeing the details of the study, but "kosher consumer" can be taken to mean anyone who ever buys kosher products, whether they live a true kosher lifestyle or not.

                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                      Veggo RE: BobB Feb 29, 2012 08:09 AM

                                                      I'm guessing that many are kosher part-timers, as I'm guessing that the 22.8 million with a "vegetarian- inclined diet" (clever term) are probably part timers. Both stats were compiled by trade groups who of course want to see lofty figures. I'm a 7.45er like HillJ but not much of a 22.8er.

                                                    2. re: Veggo
                                                      HillJ RE: Veggo Feb 29, 2012 07:50 AM

                                                      I'll happily cop to my 7.45m, Veggo. That's a preference for buying kosher chickens, annual seder attendance, shopping the "kosher" aisle in the grocery stores and kosher consumption. My love of coconut macroons, parve chocolate lollipops and jellies, homemade chopped liver, kugel, honey cake and one pot chicken soup goes w/out saying. Not that any of it addresses the vegan-veg and allergic intolerant OP..

                                              2. re: Veggo
                                                ipsedixit RE: Veggo Feb 26, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                Numbers-wise, this makes a pretty good case for a vegetarian board.

                                                If that was the criteria, then we should have a Chinese Food Board, or Indian Food Board.

                                                No go.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                  Veggo RE: ipsedixit Feb 26, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                  Vegans and those who follow a "vegetarian inclined diet" comprise 30.1 million Americans, or 10% of the population. Kosher American jews comprise 0.5% of the population. There is a kosher board, but not a board for an audience 20 times that size. That is my case for a vegetarian board.
                                                  Chowhound is a US centric site (yeah, yeah, foreign boards, but it is a US centric site and requires communication in English). The 1.5 billion in China and the 1.2 billion in India don't factor into representation on Chowhound. Chinese-Americans and India-Americans surely do, but they each represent about 1% of the US population and are dwarfed by the 10% figure for the vegetarians and those "inclined". So your 'if-then' is a no go. The vastly higher participation of asians and the discussion of asian cuisines on CH is mitigating to your argument. Interesting topic.

                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                    HillJ RE: Veggo Feb 26, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                    Given those figures a more encompassing food lifestyle Board would probably be more feasible (if considered) then. Vegan, Veg, Micob, diets for diabetics, heart health, etc. I hope the idea takes flight. So many of the side speak gems that come out of threads that began in a diff direction get lost by heading right now. And those OP's that have a special diet intent from the start would receive wider exposure.

                                                    At this point the stat that is mind boggling is the sheer volume of posts sitewide. At some point it had to come down to purge or repurpose.

                                              3. re: ipsedixit
                                                davidne1 RE: ipsedixit Mar 5, 2012 05:15 AM

                                                ""There's a difference between being Kosher and being vegetarian (and even more so being allergic or intolerant but we'll put that one aside for now).

                                                The former is a religious issue; the latter is purely a lifestyle choice.""

                                                I think you'll find that religion is a lifestyle choice

                                                1. re: davidne1
                                                  paulj RE: davidne1 Mar 6, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                  On Chow the real difference between Kosher and vegetarian is that Kosher was 'grandfathered in'. It is, in a sense, a relic of the early New York centered days of the forum.

                                                  The last time there was a major addition of boards, it had to do with reorganizing the regional ones, mainly splitting off certain cities that had come to dominate their regional discussions (e.g. Seattle and Portland off of PNW). I don't think any general topic boards were added. Gardening was the only recent I addition that I can think of.

                                                  I suspect that there are numerous forums that focus on special diets like vegetarian/vegan, low-carb, and paleo, as well as specific allergies (gluten-free, diabetic,etc). Would specialized boards on Chow fill a need that these don't? Or does Chow unique in giving vegans a chance to rub shoulders with paleos.

                                          2. re: sedimental
                                            HillJ RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 12:27 AM

                                            Right now these discussions are somewhat hidden among threads and for the CH's who really would enjoy talking about these subjects in greater detail and IF CHOW allowed for deeper discussion that doesn't take place now, it might be easier to participate in a focused thread of this nature under the special board heading. Much like Gardening board discussion now. From what I've seen there is an interesting in discussing diet, health & wellness, medical issues with food, etc. Like any of the current Boards, like-minded interest with gravitate. Moderation will cover any issues, natch. But creating a space for these special interests in also good for advertising.

                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              sedimental RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 07:32 AM

                                              That is exactly what I was thinking, HillJ. I think there is plenty of interest in discussing different "ways of eating" but a few people want to debate those ways instead of contributing to the thread. The thread usually dies with only a fraction of the posters actually addressing the subject -or it is all "disjointed" due to moderating the obnoxious posters.

                                              Also, there would be nothing stopping participation of anyone in those threads- as long as their interest is in the food.......not just in arguing with the posters. So, I can't see it as exclusionary in any way.

                                              1. re: sedimental
                                                HillJ RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                Yes, pls forgive my too-early-to-be-writing typos throughout...but you def. follow.

                                        2. re: mudaba
                                          ratgirlagogo RE: mudaba Feb 25, 2012 01:47 PM

                                          I have actually wondered for years why you don't have Vegetarian/Vegan and Allergies as boards. It has always seemed to me that discussions on both these topics have a hard time getting past square one from the veg or allergic point of view. In general it's unusual for anyone to post a challenge to the very idea of keeping Kosher on the Kosher boards, for example (although there used to be more fighting there back in the NYC only days), but in the general boards it's not unusual for someone asking about veg or allergic topics to have to defend their diet choices before they can even get any kind of answer. And of course if someone is asking about, say, traditional cassoulet, a discussion about how to tweak it to leave out meat and potential allergens is going to completely derail the discussion (also happens).

                                          1. re: mudaba
                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: mudaba Feb 26, 2012 12:58 PM

                                            hooray! i'm so glad you guys are willing to consider this request. many of us have been longing for dedicated boards for special diets & health restrictions. i know the theory is far simpler than the execution, but please try...

                                          2. meatme RE: alergkvegtarian Feb 25, 2012 10:31 PM

                                            If you go the way of separatism, I'd also like to see boards for Paleo and Low-Carb diets, which are equally valid lifestyle choices. Otherwise, they'd fit nicely into Alternate or Special diet boards.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: meatme
                                              sedimental RE: meatme Feb 26, 2012 07:38 AM

                                              Absolutely. I think it would be great to have a place where no one needed to defend their food choices in order to ask a question or get new ideas. *Any* alternative diet included. I think there is alot of untapped wisdom out there from people that don't want to get into an internet argument in order to participate in a conversation.

                                              1. re: sedimental
                                                HillJ RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                I agree with you! Be it patient, professional, new to dietary restrictions or having loved ones going thru illness these discussions and many more like it build a new relationship btwn CH's and the food community at large. Do you recall the post about what to eat while going through chemo? That was one hell of an useful thread.

                                                If Gardening works (and it does!) so can this idea.

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  sedimental RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                  That Chemohounding post is one of the best on this site, IMO. There is a camaraderie there because no one wanted to "challenge" anything or get pedantic- they just wanted to be seriously helpful!! Wow, imagine that.

                                                  1. re: sedimental
                                                    HillJ RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                    Rather than see it as a miracle (ha) encouragement for more of the same sounds like the makings of a "launch party" to me!

                                                    1. re: sedimental
                                                      rworange RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 08:34 AM

                                                      That chemohounding thread was started by Jim Leff who set the tone for Chowhound where great thread like that were the rule.

                                                      1. re: rworange
                                                        sedimental RE: rworange Feb 26, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                        Yes, but I think the difference in the tone of the thread was related to the participants themselves. There were fewer "regulars", fewer OT side conversations, and no flamers on it- and the thread flowed nicely and informatively. No one got all "wiki-research" or all "google- battle" or or stuck on the definition of "is".

                                                        The subject , of course, was exceptionally serious. But it is a sad situation if respect, camaraderie and genuine helpfulness can't be found when discussing anything but the most serious subjects here.

                                                        1. re: sedimental
                                                          HillJ RE: sedimental Feb 26, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                          With or without JL these threads are started and set a nice bar for discourse. I could name a few dozen but it's not necessary to strengthen the idea of a new board aimed at this food sector. Chances are such a Board would attract newcomers and new ideas by existing. And, any need for moderation of threads will always be handled and a part of every Board on CH....I believe at this point in site-history we can assume that much.

                                                2. re: meatme
                                                  ipsedixit RE: meatme Feb 26, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                  Isn't Chowhound itself basically an "alternative lifestyle"?

                                                  Fuck, I bet outside of these boards we're the laughing stock of the general population.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    HillJ RE: ipsedixit Feb 26, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                    ips, I thought the mission appealed to those with a CH mindset? No?
                                                    I never considered being a member of this community a lifestyle choice.
                                                    Does the general population even know what a CH is?

                                                    Or are you just laughing?

                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                      ipsedixit RE: HillJ Feb 26, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                      I'm just laughing.

                                                      But seriously, Chowhounds *are* a minority.

                                                3. e
                                                  escondido123 RE: alergkvegtarian Feb 26, 2012 05:38 PM

                                                  I think having a board for alternate whatever you want to call it would be great. Those who want to bookmark can, others can just ignore it.

                                                  1. d
                                                    Dave_in_PA RE: alergkvegtarian Feb 27, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                    I think the first reply by "small h" says it the best of everything that followed.

                                                    The way the original request is written, it sounds like a request to have a separate place to discuss the "lifestyle" or diet, in contrast to restaurant reviews... am I correct? If so, then why not create the board and see if it draws any followers.

                                                    I personally would want restaurant reviews to continue to be posted in the relevant regional boards.... for the benefit of everyone including carnivores like me who would be interested to try a vegetarian restaurant once in a while.

                                                    The analogy that some people draw with the kosher board is a little strained... I've tried to read it out of curiosity but the very terminology is incomprehensible to a goyim like me. It's so specialized that it needs to be separate, including restaurant reviews.

                                                    1. onceadaylily RE: alergkvegtarian Mar 4, 2012 09:50 PM

                                                      Not to be terribly annoying by bumping this up, but I responded to a similar question a while back with a negative response and have been ever since thinking about this. I have come to come to change my viewpoint a bit. I no longer think that the separation would detract, at least, from the topical boards. I've seen enough contention around lifestyle/allergy diets to wonder if there are those who peek in here and just decide not to invest their time in defense of what they do or don't put in their mouths, and back out without a word, rather than contributing. And I do feel that a board with the proper designation would cut back drastically on the kind of 'We have meat-eating teeth!' and 'It's so annoyingly trendy not to eat gluten/dairy/whatever' talk that speckles threads started by sincere queries. How many people come to CH via a search and see that shite, and never come back? And how many of those people had helpful advice, or wonderful recipes, but decided not to contribute? I've come to wonder.

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