Friday, June 5, 2009

Root vegetables get chop from in-flight meals

By Lee Wen-yi

Monday, Jun 01, 2009,

In line with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) new policy on special meals, starting today, the nation’s airlines will not include root vegetables in their in-flight Asian vegetarian meals.

According to new standards for in-flight dining set by IATA, airlines will no longer be allowed to include root vegetables such as potatoes and yams in such meals.

Liu Tsan-hsiung (劉燦雄), a chef for EVA Airways, said that airlines have set their own standards for special in-flight meals, and this was the first time that IATA had conducted a major overhaul of standard ingredients to be used in special meals.

Although the guidelines are not mandatory, each airline generally follows standards provided by IATA.

Liu said he did not understand why root vegetables had been prohibited from standard Asian vegetarian meals.

It is possible that the measure was intended to cater for Jains.

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion whose followers are strict vegetarians and are also forbidden from eating root vegetables.

Liu said that without root vegetables, “the traditional Taiwanese meal would lose its flavor.”

He said he would observe reaction to the new vegetarian meals to decide if he should recommend that IATA change its policy.

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