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<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/a-vegetarians-struggle-for-sustenance-in-the-midwest.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/di...pagewanted=all</a><br><br>
Yikes! Reading this article made me want to run to my nearest Whole Foods and hug all the almond milk cartons <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/bigcry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":cry:"><br><br>
Can anyone living in the Midwest chime in? Are options really that limited there?
 

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It made me want to send that poor guy a care package with boca burgers, dried soups, Earth Balance, non dairy milks, and my home made vegan chocolate truffles.<br><br>
I'm sure in the bigger cities, there's more variety (St. Paul/Mnnpls, Chicago, Milwalkee, Omaha (current home to Isa Mosckowitz, of VPITS,VCTOTW,VCIYCJ, Veganocom, etc), etc.), but the ethnic restaurants in towns (Chinese, Thai, Indian) would also be safe bets. Add to that the number of people who are veg*an for whatever reason (religion, animal rights, environment, etc. or health reasons (I read on these boards where someone couldn't eat meat because of cancer surgery), someone, somewhere, is going to figure out there's $$$ in them there veggies.
 

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Restaurant wise, yes, it can be limited. We are lucky to have a new coffee shop/cafe that focuses on organic, fair trade, and cruelty free, and thus has a lot of veg*n options. But I can identify with searching the menu at a steakhouse for something that could be modified to be veg, because none of it is by default.<br><br>
But we do have a local natural foods store and plenty of options available at Meijer, Kroger, and Walmart.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kari</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3078465"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
... I can identify with searching the menu at a steakhouse for something that could be modified to be veg, because none of it is by default.</div>
</div>
<br>
I went to one of the smalltown Indiana places once where meat was all that was on the menu, except for a "relish tray" plate; you know, carrot and celery sticks. Not much of a dinner, but I ordered it, and it came with a bowl of ground beef to dip them in.<br><br>
Then there are places some people live where there's no food at all other than endless acres of corn and soy and soy and corn, unless they drive after it. Also small cities where there's one Walmart and one other big box grocery next to each other out on the highway, and yet there is a liquor store or two in every neighborhood, and possibly a burger stand.<br>
Yes, the answer is indeed; the farther into the country you are, the more ironically you find a food desert. Even worse for the poor. Yeah, certainly is rough out here.
 

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I'm very glad to live where I do (right outside chicago). I'm within 30 minutes of 5 whole foods, 3 trader joes, and four or five vegan restaurants. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the midwest.
 

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I live in "small town Indiana"...just outside the Louisville metro though, which helps. Even 20 miles north of here though, Walmart still sells tofu, Yves products, soyrizo, and the usual Morningstar, Gardenburger, and Boca. Walmart here also sells Amys...not sure if they have those farther north too or not, I haven't looked. So while restaurants can be a challenge, I don't think the grocery stores are too bad.
 

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Outside of metro/suburban areas in Illinois, good luck finding much. It's scary out there. I love Chicagoland.
 

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oh I can relate. I just moved from Vancouver, a town full of former hippies and littered with veg*n restaurants, boutiques, and loads of natural food stores, to a small town in the Rockies. No daiya, no vital wheat gluten to be found anywhere. Oh I <3 online shopping.
 

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This article is annoying.<br><br>
He described a lot of restaurant options available to him.<br><br>
Doesn't seem like he tried much with cooking for himself either, its easy, cheaper and usually healthier
 

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Yeah dead on on the restaurant problems, small towns in the middle of nowhere don't have enough veg*ns to cater to to make it worth their while to offer veg dishes. But eating veg at home is no problem no mater where one lives. Local grocery stores will always have fruits/veggies. As far as grains/dried beans etc. I stock up when I hit a bigger town and/or find that the internet is my friend.
 

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I live not in the midwest but central California where there aren't any veg resturaunts let alone vegan ones. It's taught me to cook. So while I can see his gripe it's not the end of the world. I mean I live in a small town where if I want to go to a store that carries things like tofu it's 30-45mins away. Being unable to drive it takes planning but I feel it's doable. I still have to order stuff online because there isn't a Whole foods within 125 miles of me so getting things like vital wheat gluten is an online project and this is where the planning comes in again. So not as easy as when I lived in San Frincisco absolutely but impossible deffinetly not.<br><br>
Audrey
 

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Restaurants here arent great for options. But every supermarket has a plethora of stuff to cook. If I was in his position I just wouldnt eat out.
 

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College towns in Indiana and Ohio are generally pretty good. Asheville, North Carolina is also great for vegan food. Haven't been too many other places in the midwest.
 

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I live in the midwest (middle of corn, soybean and horshradish country) and have never had a hard time finding veggie options on menus. When I let the waitress/waiter know I am a veg*an, they usually bend over backwards to help me find veggie options or make sure the cook removes the meat from the dish I would like. A friendly attitude goes a long way with the wait staff.<br><br>
The exceptions are some of the chain restaurants like Red Lobster, Applebees, etc or mom and pop meat and potato places.<br><br>
I do get tired of the pasta alfredo/salad/bread option only at the non veg friendly restaurants and try to avoid if at all possible.<br><br>
ETA: Ruby Tuesday's is one chain restaurant that does have many veggie options. I was pleasantly suprised.
 

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Cooking can be tough sometimes depending on lifestyle. It's crazy to me that you can't just get something simple like beans and rice for lunch cheaply on the go; they should have that downtown instead of hot dog carts. Or a couple cafeterias instead of all pizza parlors. And not all groceries do have the same options. Chain stores in the upper class neighborhoods of Indianapolis have health sections, but the same chain carries very little at their locations elsewhere in town.
 

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<p>It depends on where you live, but for the author to be complaining about living in KC is ridiculous!  I live just to the north of KC, in a burg of about 10,500 or so (with an extra 7,200 students), and have no problems finding vegetarian food here, for pete's sake -- and KC is awash with vegetarian options.  Eating vegan may be more challenging, but vegetarianism is easy even in rural MO.</p>
 

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<p>From the article:</p>
<p>"Even though the region boasts some of the finest farmland in the world, there is a startling lack of fresh produce here."<br>
 </p>
<p>This is what startles me the most, living in southeast Michigan. I suppose the urban sprawl has grown so wide now that there are only a few farms within 100 miles of Detroit. The produce here is terrible, which is why I am looking to get out as soon as I can. But the article is not lying, food options here are severely limited. Eating lots of meat and dairy are a big part of the culture here and throughout the Midwest.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Take plums, for instance. I have never in my entire life been able to find a ripe plum around here.</p>
 
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