17 October 2011

Veg eats go vroom! NASCAR now offering veggie burgers

Just when you thought meatless eating couldn't go any more mainstream, here comes another surprise: NASCAR is now offering race fans food without a face.

That's right. Once the domain of meat-heavy concessions such as deep-fried turkey legs, bacon-covered funnel cakes, and burgers with cardiologist-defying toppings (such as crumbled pork rinds), race tracks are realizing that not every race fan wants to eat like a -- well, how shall we put it? -- like a race fan.

Starting with this month's Sprint Cup 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a new set of healthy dining options will begin appearing at NASCAR events. The initiative comes at the behest of racing superstar Danica Patrick. The sexy speedster's new Fit Fuel menu features lighter fare and several vegetarian options, including veggie burgers, a veggie chopped salad, fruit and veggie cups, trail mix, baked potato chips, and Clif and Luna Bars.

Patrick has already changed her sport's culture by proving that women can succeed at the highest-level in the uber-macho milieu of professional racing. Can she also make a dent in the sport's meat- and grease-laden cuisine? If it seems implausible, don't forget that Bill "pass-the-chili-cheese-dog" Clinton, the most famous junk-food junkie president in U.S. history, is now a self-professed vegan. 

And why would't citizens of NASCAR Nation want to eat the healthy stuff? After all, it's hard to cheer for your favorite driver flying down the backstretch while you're stretched flat on your own back -- undergoing a triple bypass. 

Elizabeth Gordon | Facebook
Elizabeth is an Asian-Appalachian writer, activist, and college professor living in north central Massachusetts. Once an avowed carnivore, she was a vegetarian for 15 years before making the conversion to veganism. She is passionate about trying to live a life that lessens, rather than contributes to, the amount of cruelty and suffering in this world. Follow Elizabeth on her Vegosphere blog and Facebook page.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/flc