Friday, September 22, 2006

Hot Diggity Dog

Who knew that Winston-Salem's own hottie, Texas Pete, makes a vegetarian chili? Well, my omnivorous friends did, that's who. At morning coffee one day, we got to talking about hot dogs, which led to chili. And then John mentioned that Texas Pete's chili has no meat in it.

But even after I read the ingredient list - on a can procured from the pantry of another meat-loving friend - I was skeptical. It all looks OK … except what is that "natural flavor"? As experienced vegetarians know, "natural flavors"can be just about anything, and often are derived from meat or other animal products. Unless the packaging states that the product is vegetarian or vegan, there is only one way to know: Do a bit of research.

In this case, I asked Texas Pete itself, using a handy "contact us" link right on the chili page. And a few days later, one of Pete's representatives wrote back to let me know that "The natural flavor listed in the ingredients is not derived from meat."

So I stocked up – the sauce is inexpensive, too -- and had my first chili dog in more than 20 years (a veggie dog, naturally). That was good! It’s exciting to find out about a great product, and it just goes to show that you can pick up vegetarian tips anywhere, even talking with meat-eaters about their favorite toppings for hot dogs….

1 Comments:

At 9/26/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger Andy said...

Which reminds me that eating vegetarian does not by definition equal eating healthy. Drown that healthy veggie dog in chili and get a huge sodium hit. Eat a bag of potato chips or french fries with it and follow up with a vegan cookie for dessert and you still get way over the limit in fat and calories for a single meal. I hate it when people say, "Oh you're such a health nut" when they hear I'm vegetarian. We veggies have to watch our nutrition just as much as omnivores. Reading labels more closely just gives us added insight as to what we are actually consuming.

 

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