Food technology

27th April 2001 at 01:00
VEGETARIAN NUTRITION - a guide for teachers and students. Video. The Vegetarian Society pound;5 plus pamp;p. Tel: 0161 925 2000.

This 20-minute video provides a comprehensive introduction to vegetarian diets. Although designed to complement the GCSE project pack already available, it could also be used at key stage 3.

The strength of the video lies in the nutritional information provided. This is summarised by a vegetarian "wheel of good health" and would be a useful starting point for designing vegetarian diets. Also explored, albeit briefly, are the reasons why people choose a vegetarian diet, and a history of vegetarianism.

The video includes a glimpse at a range of vegetarian restaurant dishes from around the wrld. However, rather than the "cornucopia of culinary delights" we are promised, the second part of the video, which takes the form of a cookery competition, is disappointing.

The cooks in question take the unimaginative route of adapting three standard dishes; a pizza, stir-fry and spaghetti Bolognese. These are the very dishes that many teenagers themselves would select when faced with a design brief, so there is little to inspire the student or to move them on in their learning, vegetarian or not.

The opportunity to explore interesting ingredients is missed, as is the chance to demonstrate the sort of recipes that make vegetarian food a joy for its own sake rather than a compromise.

Kate Schofield

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