Show Knoebels there is a demand for vegan options!
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Show Knoebels there is a demand for vegan options!
Hey Knoebels! Ever since I was a child, the highlight of my trip to Knoebels has always been the food! However, for the past 13 years I have been vegan which has cut away a lot of the food options I used to have. Everyone loves a tri-tater, Dole Whip, apple cider slush, fresh roasted peanuts, or pickle on a stick, but I’m sure I speak for all vegans when I say that we would love more vegan options.
A vegan is someone who does not eat or wear animal products. An animal product is anything produced from an animal or insects. To be vegan, you must abstain from all meat (red meat, poultry, fish, etc.), all dairy (milk, cheese, butter, dairy ice cream, etc.), eggs, honey, gelatin, and some lesser known items that appear in ingredient lists like L-cysteine or whey. Most vegans also will not eat items that come from a shared fryer with meat/dairy products.
This is not a complete list, but that’s the main idea. A quick bit of research on google can give you a more exact idea.
Vegans DO eat coconut, tree nuts, gluten, all fruits, all vegetables, and all grains - unless that particular vegan is allergic or intolerant to those things. Bread products are mostly vegan safe but will have to be individually researched to make sure that they don’t contain L-cysteine or other non vegan ingredients.
In our health-conscious society where many people suffer from heart disease and high cholesterol, many people will automatically choose the meatless or cheeseless option full of interesting and delicious vegetables over an option with meat. It’s certainly not uncommon. Many people also suffer from sensitivities to eggs and dairy. Vegans and vegetarians are more and more common every day, which is why we want vegan options!
Many different businesses have amended their menus to take care of vegans with great success. Take Citizens Bank Park in Philly where you can get vegan hot dogs, vegan soft tacos, vegan three-bean chili, pretzels, and vegan cookies while watching a baseball game for example. Even Yankee stadium offers vegan hot dogs and burgers! In fact, in densely populated areas like NY, NJ, and Philly it is almost more uncommon to lack a vegan-friendly menu item than to have one.
Veganism is exploding and it makes sense to cater to it. You can look at the success of Vegfests (vegan festivals) around the country. Towns like Pittsburgh, Philly, Scranton, Lancaster, and the Lehigh Valley are packed with vegan options - from traditional Polish pierogies piled with vegan sour cream, to meat free scrapple, to vegan Philly Cheesesteak pizza. Recently, a restaurant called in Philadelphia, formerly a restaurant with vegan and non-vegan food, has recently announced their menu will be 100% vegan from now on, and the news was received indelibly well.
Some very simple swaps and additions you can make are as follows. If there is a vegetarian item, it should be made vegan when easily possible. Replacing every vegetarian burger options with only vegan burger option, and only having the vegan option available, is a no-brainer, since a vegetarian will never complain about eating a vegan burger, but a vegan will never be able to eat a vegetarian burger. Replacing the burger buns with a vegan bun is also an incredibly simple & uncomplicated swap. That way, people who are sensitive to eggs or dairy will not have to forego the vegetarian burger because it contains those things, too. Maybe the burger can even be served in a lettuce wrap!
Making vegan soft pretzels available (another very easy swap) would be great, especially if the pretzels can be made available with hummus or marinara sauce for dipping.
Another easy route is to ensure the pizza dough at the pizza stand is egg and dairy free (another plus for those who are sensitive) and offering a vegan pie with an assortment of vegetables on top and maybe even vegan cheese. Ensuring the dough is egg and dairy free would be simple, TRADITIONAL, and wouldn’t affect the people who are omnivores and want pizza in any way because they can still get their pies served as they usually would.
Here’s a fun fact: Mrs. T’s Pierogies in the food service pack in Potato & Onion flavor are clearly marked “vegan” on the package. This is only the food service size and none of the smaller sizes. How easy would it be to have vegan pierogies in the freezer, ready to take a deep-fried dip into unshared oil and be ripe for the selling & eating? I would probably go into a pierogi coma in one day.
The brand Field Roast makes vegan hot dogs which could also be a great option to look into. This is what they carry at ballparks and restaurants.
Another easy vegan option could be bean-chili and vegan-safe crackers (perhaps this item could also come with gluten free & vegan crackers to cater to more people). Chili is easy to prepare, lasts in the freezer, and a three bean chili could be appealing to omnivores as a topping on their food or a side as well.
Vegan options should definitely be denoted in the menu with a (V). An advantage that Knoebels has to many other places is the sheer variety of different stands, increasing the types of food available and decreasing the chances of cross contamination due to the sheer volume of different preparation areas.
One of the best things about Knoebels is the ability to picnic with your own food, unlike other amusement parks. This is a major plus, but a large part of the Knoebels experience for me is the nostalgia and FOOD, and I’ve got money in my pocket to spend. Many others do too. Please take our advice to heart, Knoebels!
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