International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1975
Orono, Maine, USA

Thursday, August 28, 1975


Vegetarian Sleight-of-Hand
by Maxwell Wiesenthal
Special to The Washington Post

ORONO, Maine - Ronald Gosselin, chief cook for 1,200 (sic) delegates to the 12-day World Vegetarian Conference (sic) at the University of Maine, says cooking for vegetarians "is almost as difficult as cooking kosher."

Gosselin heads a crew of 13 cooks, five bakers and 60 kitchen help preparing three meals a day for the vegetarians.

"It's much different from what we'ce been used to," said Gosselin, who has been with the University's culinary staff for nine years, the last three as chief cook. "It's time consuming - that's the toughest part."

For example Gosselin said, he's restricted to using fresh vegetables.

"When we cook for the students and we have string beans on the menu we open cans and that's that," he said. "For the vegetarians it means assigning six or seven of my crew to snap 12 or 13 bushels of beans. That takes time."

To compensate for this however, Gosselin said, "We don't have to make time-consuming sauces.

During the school year Gosselin feeds about 1,300 students at Welles Common with the assistance of nine cooks, three bakers and about 40 in kitchen and counter help.

The menus and recipes for the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress which is coming to a close here were provided by Freya Dinshah if Malaga, N.J., author of the "Vegan Kitchen," a cookbook devoted to vegetarian recipes.

Planning the menus for the largest and most comprehensive conference on vegetarians ever held in North America, Mrs. Dinshah explained, was complicated by the fact that not all vegetarians eat the same foods.

While most vegetarians abstain from flesh, fowl or fish, a majority of vegetarians in Western nations use milk, eggs or both. Vegans however, use no milk, eggs or honey; in fact, no food or even clothing, from the animal kingdom.

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Cooking for over 1,200 Vegetarian Appetites

Food reform vegetarians do not use refined flour white sugar or other revitalized foods. Natural hygienists go further and do not use salt, sugar spices or other condiments following specific rules of food combining for best ingestion. Then there are the Jains who do not use food grown below the ground, such as potatoes, carrots or turnips.

In the preparation of the foods, certain guidelines were set to meet the requirements of the delegates with such dietary diversities

All dishes were made without milk or butter, eggs or cheese.Desserts were made without honey. No white flour, sugar or refined foods were used nor were salt, spices and condiments.

As Mrs. Dinshah noted "It's easier to add a flavor than to remove it."

Special ingredients had to be purchased because of the dietary prohibitions. These included rennetless cheese, milk and margarine made from soy beans, dulse, an imported seaweed munchy and carob, a substitute for chocolate.

In addition Gosselin said, special peanut butter was obtained from Vermont and about 1,000 loaves of specially prepared bread were imported from Canada.

To be assured of pure water for cooking and drinking. 200 gallons were trucked in daily from a spring located at Gosselin's home in nearby Stillwater.

Recipes were tested with the help of Mrs. Dinshah and the results served to the kitchen staff and the Students International Meditation Society. It was thoroughly appreciated.

Gosselin said that the soups have made a hit with his staff, especially the Down-East corn chowder, pinto bean soup and Irish stew without lamb.

Norman farmer, Gosselin's principla cooking assistant siad, "The casseroles, vegetables and soups are delicious. This has been quite an experience for me, I've never cooked like this before and I suppose I never will again."

He added "I don't think I'll become a convert to vegetarianism. I like my meat too much."

Among the vegetarians, Gosselin siad big hits are the fruits, nuts and juices.

They're eating us out of house and home on the fruits," he said.

The staff took great care in preparation of the banquet which was served on Saturday.

The menu consisted of celery soup with sesame crackers; summer salad; eggplant salad tree; finger salad; cheese; avocado; beans and zuchini; onions with onion cream sauce; festive nut roast; fruit jell; cake; soygen cream; fruit bowl; nuts and seeds (raw and oven roasted).

One of the delegates favourite snack was pizza. Making it, according to Gosselin took a lot of time but everyone liked it so much that his crew didn't seem to mind.

For dessert, carob pudding and banana and peach ice cream were the odds on

[unfortunately the surviving photcopy of this article was cut off at this point.......]