The vegetable diaries are now officially over for me. To be clear, I’ll continue a vegetarian diet, but won’t write anything about it unless it’s really remarkable. At the beginning of this month I set out to:
- Not eat any meat
- Extend my cooking repertoire
- Find out more about nutrition
- Meet like-minded people
- Hear different viewpoints on the concept of being vegetarian
Let’s see how I did.
- Tick; no meat for one month. A few times I thought it would have been convenient to eat meat, like when my flat mate cooked a chicken soup. Instead I steamed some veggies. But all in all I didn’t miss meat much and I do feel better eating only vegetables. I feel a bit guilty for having eaten significantly more seafood to make up for my lack of meat eating.
- Kind of tick; ... I re-learnt how to make hummus, I learnt how to make an acceptable curry. But I was hoping to have the time to learn more recipes. Next I’ll try some of Pam’s recipes.
- Hmm,.. not really tick; I realized how many kinds of minerals, and vitamins and saturated and unsaturated fats and all kinds of other things make up our food. How to balance nutrition or make sure I’m supplied with everything I need I didn’t figure out. I’ll just keep relying on getting it right and somehow surviving, eating the things I eat.
- Kind of tick; I didn’t meet any new vegetarians, but I spent some more time and dinners with old friends and that was nice. Also, I guess I confronted more people with the issue and then engendered some discussion about meat industry, ecology and the idea that meat is just so much more resource intensive.
- Hmm, kind of tick; see 4.
All in all, I realized that my life is too busy and I want to do too many things to be able to focus on nutrition and get into it. Nutrition, and food.. that’s a big topic.
I remember meeting Carlo Petrini in the Navdanya college in India. It was the last day of a workshop held by Fritjof Capra in the wonderful Bijavidjapeeth campus, set up by Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya organization. Carlo Petrini was introduced as the founder of the Slow Food Movement. He spoke about extending the concept of gastronomy to include the entire infrastructure of food production, including transport. We are not simply consumers of food, but through our choices of what we eat, become implicated in the production process. Hence we become Co-producers, or as others say, prosumers.
Each of us makes a difference every day with every little decision we make, even if we are led to believe elsewise.
Like Gandhi said.
It might seem insignificant what you do, but it is extremely important that you do it.
Thanks to Pam for contributing the last days of blog to the vegetable diaries. I’m sure we’ll be posting about it every now and then in the future.
The last vegetarian dish for this diary is Liang Pi, a vegetarian cold dish from Shanxi.
It’s quite delicious and particularly popular in summer.
Mian Jin, a spongy, bready kind of thing made from wheat flour
Mian Pi, a noodely kind of thing made from rice flour or wheat flour
Huang Gua, also known as cucumber
Ji Ma Jiang, more familiar as sesame paste
La Jiao, chili
Bai Tang, white sugar
Bon apetit and