International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Airlines Can Lead the Way
A message to the Airline Industry
By Gerry Coffey - from IVU News 2002

In this precarious time of world-wide uncertainty, airlines can help quell some very real public concerns by providing passengers with one less worry: the potential from harm by the food they consume.

By making a few simple changes in the meals they provide, Airlines can address such concerns as: obesity, heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, mad cow disease, etc., all of which affect every age and segment of society.

Airlines can easily accomplish this by introducing animal and dairy-free delectables aboard their flights, all of which could be prepared to consume as finger foods. Aside from requiring less effort for flight attendants and passengers, it would avoid the need for potentially dangerous utensils.

Such a practice would enhance airlines' standing with world health care practitioners, all of whom encourage more consumption of fruits and vegetables. The fringe benefits would be beneficial to all, not the least of which would be the airlines and their passengers. Additionally, the potential volume of such a move could influence all areas of health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, economical and environmental.

The Public Relations value of such a move could also be enormous. Plus, this move would greatly reduce the cost of airline meals for it would eliminate the need for expensive animal and dairy products. And by being a bit creative, as suggested in the dishes below, such a move by the airline industry could help introduce the public to international culinary taste delights that will enhance their health and longevity.

Dishes could consist of the most simple - nature's "fast-food" bounty of fresh whole fruits and veggies, as well as cuisine from the Orient, Mediterranean, European and Western. On the right are some mouth-watering suggestions, all of which I would be happy to assist with instructing. (Note there are also wide varieties of vegetarian/vegan sweets/snacks from which to choose.)

Health-Promoting-Dishes for Airline Passengers:

  • Simple Fare: PB&J: Peanut Butter & Jelly on Whole Grain Bread
  • Honeymoon Sandwich: Lettuce & Tomato w/ No Dressing
  • Stuffed Whole Wheat Pita Bread w/sprouts. Veggies and Salsa
  • Oriental Non Rolls
  • Collard Spring Rolls
  • Sweet & Sour Nut Balls
  • Vegetarian Hoagies
  • Veggie Burros
  • Corn & Bean Burritos
  • Bagel Nachos
  • Mexican Chili Burgers
  • Non Bundles w/ Spicy Peanut Dip
  • Oven Baked Mexi-Fries
  • Spicy Tortilla Chips w/Guacamole
  • Squash & Red Pepper Rolls
  • Italian Stuffed Zucchini
  • Dolphin-Friendly Mock Tuna Rolls
  • Japanese Veggie Sushi
  • Stuffed Oriental Mushrooms
  • Babaganoush w/ Crackers
  • Nacho Chips WI Spinach Dip
  • Greek Dolmas

What's on the Airline Menu

Traveling by air and ordering a vegetarian meal can be like playing Russian roulette. You simply don't know what will appear on your tray. Vegetarians who are planning to travel by plane may wonder what vegetarian food choices are available. We hope to provide answers.

United Airlines
Special meals: call 48 hours in advance.
Asian Vegetarian (includes dairy and eggs)
Indian Vegetarian (includes root vegetables and dairy)
Vegetarian, with dairy
Vegetarian. no dairy
Kosher Vegetarian (with dairy)
Fruit Plate

Singapore Airlines
Special meal: call 24 hours in advance.
Raw Vegetarian Meal
Oriental Vegetarian (with dairy)
Indian Vegetarian (may have daisy)
Strict Indian Vegetarian (may include dairy)
Strict Western Vegetarian Non-Dairy
Vegetarian Meal Lacto-Ovo

British Airways
Special meals: call 48 hours in advance.
Asian Vegetarian (indian)
Vegetarian (Non-dairy)
Vegetarian (Lacto-ovo)






Gerry Coffey -
Health & Nutrition Educator/Councilor/Public Relations
Vegetarian Union of North America
and International Vegetarian Union