Wasnâ€™t that long ago that ballpark food was strictly a blue-collar thing. Hot dogs, chips, soda, beer, snow cones, and Red Vines were your staples.
But, in recent years, ballpark food has moved from this standard fare into a broad array of food offerings.
Along with the change in food at the ballpark has come a change in dieting, and for many, social awareness when it came to eating something that could look you in the eyes before being hauled off to market.
With that, ballparks have begun tapping into the â€śvegetarian demoâ€ť.
Today, PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) released their Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks list. Hereâ€™s the list, plus honorable mentions. By the way, you never know what high profile baseball writer might be a vegetarian. This author is neither high-profile, nor vegetarian, so keep guessing.
In addition to old standbys such as peanuts and popcorn, baseball fans are enjoying options such as fresh-grilled veggie dogs, veggie burgers, and faux chicken as well as burritos, vegetable wraps, and regional foods. According to PeTA, "Not only are these choices full of flavor, they're also 100 percent cruelty- and cholesterol-freeâ€”talk about a triple play!"
PETA is pleased to announce the Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks for 2009. (Be sure to check out PETA's animal-friendly minor league counterparts too.) Click on each ballpark below to learn more about its vegetarian options. And the winners are â€¦
- Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)
- AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants)
- Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
- Turner Field (Atlanta Braves)
- Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)
- PETCO Park (San Diego Padres)
- Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)
- U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
- (tie) Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)
(tie) Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
According to PeTA, "Fortunately, these aren't the only ballparks that have stepped up to the plate to serve delicious vegetarian options. Here's a list of ballparks that received honorable mention and a rundown of the meat-free items on their menus!"
- Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers): Veggie burgers, veggie dogs, California and cucumber rolls, fresh fruit skewers, roasted sweet corn, assorted salads, Healthy Kids meals (PB&J, juice box, and fruits and veggies)
- Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays): Veggie burgers, bowtie and penne pasta, black beans and rice, assorted salads, vegetarian action stations with pasta, risotto, black bean cakes, and quinoa cakes (available in the Batter's Eye)
- Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals): Fire-roasted vegetable burritos with rice and beans, Asian vegetable stir-fry, garden-fresh salads, fresh vegetable plates
- PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates): Veggie burgers, vegetable wraps, veggie pierogies, fresh fruit smoothies
- Dolphin Stadium (Florida Marlins): Veggie burgers, made-to-order salad station, fruit cups, potato latkes, vegetables cruditĂ©s
- Nationals Park (Washington Nationals): Veggie burgers, hummus and vegetables, fresh fruit salads, pear and walnut salads with lemon vinaigrette, Healthy Kids meals (PB&J, juice box, and fruits and veggies)
- Oaklandâ€“Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland Athletics): Veggie dogs, chipotle black bean burgers, assorted salads, baked potatoes
Kudos to the Brewers making the Top 10, and the Dodgers making Honorable Mention. Now, you'll excuse me, I need to watch the Sausage Race while eating a Dodger Dog.Â
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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