There are a variety of reasons why people follow alternative diet styles.
For some, it is due to a food sensitivity (such as an allergy or an intolerance), for others, it may be a religious or cultural choice, and for others again, an “ethical” choice based on concern for the welfare of animals and the environmental impact of our diet. As more people are becoming health conscious, eating a more whole-food diet might also be a prescription for improving your health and better managing or reducing the symptoms of chronic health problems.
For others, a diet might be restricted because of a fussy eater.
It’s also not uncommon for people to have more than one food intolerance, or have a diet which is a combination of one or more of these reasons. For example, vegans with food intolerances, or people with more than one food intolerance, or parents of children who are both fussy eaters and have a food intolerance.
Even though the reasons people following alternative diets are different, and the way they need to follow it through is a little different. For example, someone who has a severe allergy can’t have any traces of the food they are allergic to in their kitchen because if they do they could have an anaphylactic reaction, where as a food intolerant person can usually push the food they don’t want to the side of the plate without any immediate serious health consequences (unless they have coeliac disease).
But what we are really talking about here is that the problem this group of people all face is the same: Up until a certain point in time they had to change what they were eating and they had to learn how to recreate tastes and textures that they like without using the foods that are most familiar to them. There is also the added issue of making sure people aren’t at risk of nutrient deficiencies with their restricted diets.
Cooking without ingredients like dairy, gluten containing grains and or meats can pose all kinds of challenges – from sourcing the ingredients so they’re actually in your fridge or pantry to begin with (some of them are somewhat exotic sounding and although more and more are getting sold in local supermarkets, there are still a few you’ll have to find from other more specialty shops) to figuring out how on earth to cook them when you actually do get your hands on them!
It can also mean needing to learn some new cooking skills and techniques.
Eating and enjoying food is so much more than simply nourishing your body with the right nutrients or amount of calories. Since food plays such a big role in social gatherings and special occasions in our society, when you can’t or don’t eat what everyone else does, it is easy to feel left out.
Well, we don’t like leaving people out, so we created the show to help people be inspired about cooking again and feel excited about making, sharing and eating delicious foods. A resource that would allow people to be surprised at the range of options that are still available and help people to stop focussing on what they can’t eat and start seeing the potential in all the foods that are on the can eat list. Most of all, we wanted to help people create new versions of favourite recipes so they can create new fond memories.
And lastly, we wanted to create a place where people who can’t or don’t eat gluten, dairy, soy egg or meat could belong. You’re not alone in this community. We get it.
So welcome to the Alternative Chef Kitchen!