A week ago today, Sam and I flew back from our holiday in Stockholm / Gothenburg in Sweden. We flew with British Airways and one of the ‘perks’ is you get a small meal or snack on the flight. We only travelled economy, but according to their site for Economy a passenger can expect to:
“Enjoy our complimentary food and drinks, perfectly suited to the time of day and length of your flight.”
On our way out to Stockholm we flew over lunch time and as a result we got a cheese savoury wrap. It didn’t come with any crisps or fruit or anything, but it was what I would deem to be a regular size sandwich. Since it was vegetarian, everyone got the same thing.
When we flew home we were similarly flying over lunch time. As the food trolly came down the aisle, I spied the same shaped boxes as on the way out. “Yes!” I thought, “Another wrap.”. As they approached though, I heard the words “Chicken Tikka Wrap” and my heart fell. That meant I was going to get a ‘special’ vegetarian meal.
They reached our aisle and I told them of my dietary requirement. They reached across the trolly to retrieve a small box. Inside was a ‘Pesto Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Tomato’. It was so small, there literally was only a single tomato. Too dismayed, I unfortunately forgot to snap a pic. However, I compared the calorie content against Sam’s wrap: approx 250 kcals to 490 kcals. So for the same meal, vegetarians were deemed to only need essentially half the food. What?!
This has happened to me so many times. On a previous holiday I ordered a vegetarian option from a set menu only to discover it came without absolutely no carbohyrdate component (I had to grovel for some in fear I would otherwise be hungry within 15 minutes of eating!). There is a proportion of the world who seem to labour under the elusion that the following is fact:
Vegetarian = needs less food
I can categorically tell you that is not true! Fortunately it was a short flight because on this occasion I had to make a mad dash to Terminal 5 Arrivals Hall M&S to buy a sushi snack pack for the drive home. In my opinion, BA owe me that £1.15…
So, I appeal to any caterers out there, just because a dish is vegetarian please don’t assume it means vegetarians want to eat less calories. Please don’t assume vegetarians don’t want to eat carbs. And please, please, please, don’t assume we’re eating a vegetarian diet because we’re on a diet. Because, I can assure you, in most cases we’re probably not!