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Meatless Monday: How to eat vegetarian during the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Though food row at this year’s Elkhart County 4-H fair boasts more than 80 kinds of food, navigating the options can be tricky for people with special dietary needs. 

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair, from July 24 to Aug. 1, will offer beloved fair foods, some new options and even three pop-up restaurants, according to previous Flavor 574 reporting. Eating vegetarian at any of these vendors at the fair is possible, but will take some planning. 

There are also three pop-up restaurants this year, making use of local produce from a garden at the fairgrounds.

Among this year’s offerings, vegetarians can have fried vegetables and fried cheese, pizza, roasted nuts, french fries and any of the fried desserts or candy bars from food vendors.

For vegetarian fairgoers who don’t want to eat a steady diet of funnel cake and fried Oreos for the week, check the menus at the pop-up restaurants, or ask the organizers if modifications can be made to the menu. 

To make the most of this year’s fair, plan a little before going: 

  • Ask vendors about what the food is fried in and if certain foods are fried together. Vegetarians should avoid foods dunked in animal fat, and some strict vegetarians avoid eating food that was fried in the same basket as meat. 
  • Eat a balanced meal before heading to the fair. This will keep the sugar crash from striking after one too many fried treats. 
  • Try a little bit of everything and share with a friend. Portions can be pretty big, so split a treat with someone else or get a few things to share with your family to find what you like best. 

Five vendors will be set up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, handing out free, snack-sized fruits and vegetables for kids, as part of the Snacks in the Garden program, according to previous Flavor 574 reporting.

Most of all, have fun and try new foods during fair week. Be sure to tweet us your pictures with the tag #ecfair or tag us on Instagram @Flavor574

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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