Vegetarians are people who don't eat meat, fish or poultry. They differ from vegans, who don't use any animal products: eggs, dairy products, honey. Because vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular, vegetarian fast food is now available at most fast food restaurants. Trying to meet the requirements of public, fast food companies have added many healthy options to their menu. Over 75 fast food chains responded that almost all the menu items in their restaurants are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and the number of low fat and fat free items increases gradually.
In 2001 Burger King introduced its BK Veggie burger. It was considered to be vegan until egg whites were added to it in 2004. The topping includes mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce, onions and ketchup. Today veggie burger is offered in BK restaurants in Britain, Ireland and Europe. Burger King's French fries are now cooked in vegetable fat to reduce the number of unhealthy additives.
Subway's logo is "Five a Day for Better Health". All menu items of the restaurant contain vegetables and are low in fat.
Harvey's can be called a fast food place where vegetarian food is served. Its Veggie burger contains 7-9 grams of fat. It is cooked on a separate part of a grill. Harvey's vegan fries are cooked in hydrogenated canola oil.
Lick's offers its Natureburger, which is cooked on its own grill. It is completely vegan. Except Natureburger new vegetarian fast food items on Lick's menu include veggie Wraps, Chili, Lasagna, and Shepherd's Pie.
The world's largest fast food enterprise McDonald's has recently included a veggie burger on its menu. It is available only in Canada so far. The new burger contains hydrogenated soybean oil and is totally vegan. In addition to the burger McDonald's introduced one vegan and two vegetarian salads. The vegan one is called Mandarin California Greens salad. Among its ingredients are mandarin oranges, lettuce and a fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
The situation is different with Wendy, which is not eager to reject spicy chickens and bacon burgers. So far it offers few options for vegetarians, among which are two vegetarian baked potatoes and salads.
In case vegetarian dishes are not offered on the menus, it is possible to order the dish without some ingredients. Some restaurants specialize in cooking dishes on request. The majority of fast food chains explore the use of ingredients, which will be acceptable to all customers and economical at the same time. Due to large demand, animal fats are now eliminated from cooking methods. At making cheese animal derived enzymes are used, which are more economical and efficient than their animal counterparts. Vegetarians hope that vegan cheese will be available in the near future.
Though many restaurant chains test seriously items, which they add to vegetarian fast food, the vegetarians and vegans must be careful about hidden ingredients as well as preparation methods. Saturated fat is still found in many products. Anyway it is better to ask how this or that dish was cooked. It is also possible to contact fast food restaurants for the information about certain menu items. The ingredient information is now available to customers. The best way to keep vegetarian fast food on the menu lists is to show your support and try it.