We’ve just celebrated our annual Thanksgiving feast in the U.S.; the Christmas and New Year season with many gatherings and parties is ahead. So we don’t balloon up in size, it’s a time to be particularly conscious of our eating choices. But making conscious choices can be more than just looking at the calories we consume.
At the Bali Vegan Festival in October, in the presentation, “Why Veganism is the Best Choice,” Judit Németh-Pach, the Hungarian Ambassador to Indonesia, provided many compelling facts and reasons to become vegan.
One source she sited was EatingOurFuture.com with its compilation of many convincing articles and scientific studies.
Given our anatomy, what foods are best for humans?
“As a group, vegetarians/vegans live longer than meat-eaters. Furthermore, vegetarians/vegans generally enjoy better health:
- having less of the serious chronic diseases than the meat-eaters suffer;
- with less of the associated disability and pain than the meat-eaters suffer; and
- being less of a financial & social burden on their family and friends than are the meat-eaters with their higher rates of chronic degenerative disease.
Being healthier overall, vegetarians have more potential for the freedom & ability to live life to the full and independently for a longer time.”
What food choices are sustainable?Go to: https://eatingourfuture.wordpress.com/
How do food choices affect greenhouse gas emissions?
Yikes! Nooooooo. Low fat, organic cheese is worse than pork in creating greenhouse gases!! (I love good cheeses)!
What about eating fish and seafood? Aren’t they good protein options?
“1/. The United Nations reports: “According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted. The dramatic increase of destructive fishing techniques worldwide destroys marine mammals and entire ecosystems… oceans are cleared at twice the rate of forests…”
2/. “Global marine populations slashed by half since 1970: WWF… Populations of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have dropped by about half in the past four decades, with fish critical to human food suffering some of the greatest declines… “Overfishing, destruction of marine habitats and climate change have dire consequences for the entire human population… The pace of change in the ocean tells us there’s no time to waste,” Lambertini [head of WWF International] said. “These changes are happening in our lifetime. We can and we must correct course now.”…”
3/. “Seafood hit by climate change, Australian study finds… “There will be a species collapse from the top of the food chain down.”… Around 61 per cent of wild fish stocks are “fully fished” and 29 per cent “over-fished”, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Just 10 per cent are under-fished, the organization’s 2014 World Fisheries report said…”
4/. “Rich countries pay zombie fishing boats $5 billion a year to plunder the seas…” – http://qz.com/225432/rich-countries-pay-zombie-fishing-boats-5-billion-a-year-to-plunder-the-seas/
And there is more –
The United Nations “urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet.”
So, what can we eat to be healthy — and have sustainable food sources?
If you give up meat, seafood, and dairy to eat french fries, you will not be healthy. Vegans need to be conscious of their choices too.
So what about me? Have I become a vegan? I’ve been vegetarian since 2003 and that isn’t hard. In fact, it is getting easier all the time with almost all restaurants and even gatherings in homes offering tasty vegetarian options. However, giving up eggs and really good cheeses is a challenge for me. Right now, I’m an aspiring vegan – for my own health and for that of our planet.
What about you? What conscious choices about your food are you or could you be making?
Banner image is of a healthy vegan choice at Paradiso – The World’s First Organic Vegan Cinema – and major sponsor of the Bali Vegan Festival. When you go to Ubud, Bali, be sure to go to Paradiso for daily movie screenings, family afternoons, workshops, thematic festivals, live music shows, art exhibitions, private events, and excellent food. http://www.paradisoubud.com/
“All systems of oppression need to be challenged,” said a speaker at the Bali Vegan Festival in Ubud, Bali last month. Doing just that since 1977, Sea Shepherd, a non-governmental, non-profit environmental organization, has been using direct action tactics [along with lots of media attention] to protect marine life [and to educate consumers].
If you want to volunteer on a Sea Shepherd crew, you will be asked that question, “Are you willing to die for a whale?” The boats carry no guns but use film and public education to achieve incredible change. Their important work continues.
Sea Shepherd claims responsibility for damaging or sinking multiple whaling ships, through sabotage or ramming. The group has attempted to intervene against Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Makah, Faroese, and Japanese whalers in multiple campaigns around the globe. Those actions have included scuttling and disabling commercial whaling vessels at harbor, using limpet mines (a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets) to blow holes in ship hulls, ramming other vessels, throwing glass bottles of butyric acid (stinky rancid butter) on the decks of vessels at sea, boarding of whaling vessels while at sea, and seizing and destroying drift nets at sea. Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson has said that the organization has destroyed millions of dollars worth of equipment. The Sea Shepherd media extravaganzas have highlighted whaling, long-line fishing nets, and shark fining to get people everywhere informed and conscious of the destruction of life in our oceans.
Some shark populations have decreased by 60-70% due to shark fisheries.
Gary Stokes, Asia Director for Sea Shepherd, has spent the past 10 years on documenting, investigating, and exposing the shark fin trade. He was a guest speaker at the Bali Vegan Festival in Ubud last month. Indonesia is the #1 exporter of shark fins; Spain #2.
There is much economic pressure to ignore the international bans on shark finning.
Fishermen often choose to keep just the shark fins—only one to five percent of a shark’s weight—and throw the rest of the shark away rather than have the less valuable parts take up space on the boat. The finned sharks are often thrown back alive into the ocean, where unable to swim properly and bleeding profusely, they suffocate or die of blood loss. Shark meat sold to restaurants and markets is often used in seafood curries and stews.
Gary says that now 60% of the fish and seafood in our oceans are in terrible condition. Global fishing fleets are now at 2.5 times the sustainable level. Just one poaching boat, the “Lafayette” which works the waters off Chili and Peru around the Faroe Islands processes 1,500 tons of fish a day!! Much of that is Chilean tooth fish; in restaurants, it’s called “Chilean Sea Bass.” 😦 Much of caught sea food goes to animal feed.
A result of Sea Shepherd and other activists groups like Greenpeace and loud voices, many people now know to make conscious choices.
According to a National Geographic article, we now know to “look for the blue eco-label of the Marine Stewardship Council, or ask where in the world the fish comes from. . .[to] help you find the best and avoid the rest”
Stokes reports that forty percent of the tuna that comes into the U.S. is from illegal, unreported fisheries in Thailand. And forty percent of all fish caught is used for animal feed. 😦 If the world continues to consume and destroy marine life at the current rates, Stokes says that by 1948 there will be no fish!
Recently, Sea Shepherd Asia had a hiatus, a year off, when Japan temporarily halted whale hunting. Gary and his team got to go after other notorious pirate fishing vessels. For 110 days, a Sea Shepherd ship chased the “Thunder” – #1 on the Interpol list of pirate fishing vessels. Finally, the captain of the “Thunder” sunk his own ship rather than be caught with the incriminating evidence of illegal fishing!! But while part of the Sea Shepherd crew was saving the “Thunder” crew, other Sea Shepherd volunteers entered the sinking ship in time to collect computers and other evidence that has the captain and crew serving time in a Nigerian jail. [It would seem the owners of the pirate ships should be in jail too]. The photo above shows what has happened to other illegal fishing boats that Sea Shepherd has targeted.
Gary says of the ocean marine life, “We are losing everything.” We must all learn and act.
So why was Gary invited to speak at the Vegan Fest? The people who volunteer for the Sea Shepherd crews are ardent animal activists. Many are vegans. Since 2002, all Sea Shepherd vessels serve only vegan meals. It would be hypocritical, says Gary, to eat meat while chasing people who are killing marine life. Gary has been a vegetarian since 1980. When he first started going out on Sea Shepherd missions, Gary was more worried about what he would get to eat than about the possible confrontations the crew would meet. But, he has learned that the vegan meals are delicious, healthy, and accommodate everyone on board, and all religions.
The Sea Shepherd logo – a pirate to protect marine life:
Watch the following documentaries; you will likely cry, cheer, and laugh.
Paul Watson: The Whale Warrior: A Pirate for the Sea
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist – a full documentary film
Seafood Watch has a free app for iPhone and Android that’s updated as recommendations change.
Please be ocean-friendly when you shop for seafood. Even better, eat vegetarian/vegan. Think about it. And tell your friends. Do what you can do.
Remember that ardent animal rights Sea Shepherd crews don’t have guns. Gary Stokes says that even one pissed off vegan is a force to be reckoned with.
Full steam ahead, Sea Shepherd. We need you now more than ever.
Snakeskin fruit or salak is new to me. “A native fruit from Indonesia and Malaysia, the snakeskin fruit grow in clusters at the base of the palm. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, like a cross between a crunchy sweet apple and a pineapple, but its texture can vary from very dry and crumbly to moist and crunchy. . .[Here in Bali, the ones I’ve had are moist and crunchy – and delicious.] This palm grows to 10 feet tall, is very thorny, and produces fruits in large clusters. Plants are self pollinating. Likes filtered sunlight.”
Snakeskin fruit are refreshing and very popular in SE Asia.
Image and information from: <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391953973799636953/>.
They are delicious on their own, but adding them to a salad gives an added good flavor and crunch.
Raw Vegan Energy Salad:
3 whole Salak [Snakeskin fruit] -Peel, pitted and cut into strips
1 Avocado – Cut into cube
1 tbsp Goji Berries
1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Pineapple cube
3 pcs Medjool Dates – Pitted, cut into strips
3 leaves Iceberg Lettuce [or your favorite lettuce] – Torn
1/2 pcs Lemon-Squeezed for juice
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
pinch of Natural Sea Salt
Dash Black Pepper
Prepare all the ingredients in salad bowl,
Just before serving. Pour dressing over salad and lightly toss.
There you go! The super tasty Raw Delightful Salak Salad !
Look for snakeskin fruit. I think you will love it too.
Salamat Makan, (Enjoy your meal), Renée
Now more aware of the health benefits of coconuts, I’ve been seeing how I can get more of the wonderful power food. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade coconut butter that you might want to try too.
Meagen, the Vegan Food Addict, says, “Coconut butter, sometimes referred to as creamed coconut, is becoming increasingly popular. With its popularity, however, it can be expensive and often difficult to find. The good news though is that you can still enjoy it…just make your own! If you have access to shredded coconut or coconut flakes, you are in luck.
Check out this recipe:
Homemade Coconut Butter
Yields approximately 1 cup
4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5-10 minutes*, or until smooth; stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl.
Store coconut butter in an airtight container at room temperature, in the fridge, or freezer. Coconut butter will begin to solidify after resting.
*Processing time may take more or less time depending on food processor”
Meagen has many more tasty recipes including Tikil Gomen, (Ethiopian Cabbage and Potatoes). Check out her blog.
Coconut Butter and more from Meagen: ttps://veganfoodaddict.wordpress.com
This recipe from Ayu Spicy is loaded with protein and keeps for several days refrigerated – where it just gets better.
Mango & Chickpea Tabouli – Serves 4-6
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tbl. Indian curry powder, toasted in a dry frying pan
- 2/3 cup yogurt (for vegans – substitute soy yogurt or coconut yogurt. See https://reneeriley.wordpress.com/?s=coconut+yogurt)
- 1 tsp. orange zest, grated – just the orange part not the white pith
- 1 cup cooked rice or quinoa
- 1 can (439 g, about 16 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 ripe mango cut into 1 1/2 cm x 1 1/2 cm pieces (under 2 inch cubes)
- 2 Tbl. coriander leaf, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In a medium sized bowl mix the orange and lime juices, the curry powder, yogurt, and the orange zest. When this is well mixed add the cooked rice or quinoa and stir again.
Now add the garbanzo beans and raisins, mixing well. Finally add the mango pieces and the chopped coriander leaf and mix gently.
Set the tabouli aside, covered, for at least an hour for the flavors to mix and mature. When you are ready to eat, turn it onto a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds.
This tabouli keeps well in the fridge. If you plan to have leftovers, don’t sprinkle all the almonds on at once but save some for when it comes ot of the fridge an sprinkle on just before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
“Salamat makan,” Renée
from: “Food Glorious Food” Bali Advertiser, 12-26 Oct. 2016, 45)
This weekend, the second annual Bali Vegan Festival was held in Ubud. It was fabulous – with speakers, classes, talks, movies, music, food, and, of course, ideas.
To show you how wonderful – and easy – making healthy vegan food can be, here’s a recipe from the Bali Vegan Festival program.
The raw, vegan soup is a creation of Chef Arif Springs and his team at Taksu, spa and restaurant and a sponsor of the festival. http://www.taksuspa.com/.
- 2 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 tsp honey (or if you are vegan, substitute agave nectar, coconut nectar, or maple syrup)
- Pinch of diced garlic
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Sea salt to taste
- Zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander for garnish
- Soak cashews in water for two hours.
- Cut a thin slice from a clove of garlic and dice finely.
- Juice lemongrass (strain out the pulp).
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Garnish with pealed zucchini, cucumber and/or coriander. A zucchini flower adds a decorative finish.
Serve at room temperature or refreshingly chilled for a hot day. Recipe for two.
Salamat malam, Renée
Gado gado, a Balinese salad (served with peanut sauce) is a traditional vegetable dish. What makes this healthy salad particularly delicious is, of course, the peanut sauce.
Gado gado is simple and healthy.
This recipe from Payuk Bali: Balinese Cooking Class serves four.
Ingredients for the salad:
– 100 gr (3.53 oz) long beans, cut and blanched
– 1 cup (240 mL) bean sprouts, blanched
– 100 gram (3.53 oz) spinach, blanched
– 1 young carrot, thinly sliced
– 1/4 head of cabbage, chopped and blanched
– 1 piece tempe, deep fried, thinly sliced
– 1 hard boiled egg, cut in wedges (optional for vegetarians)
– 2 tsp. (10 gram) shallots, sliced, fried
– 1/2 cup (120 mL) Balinese peanut sauce (see previous post).
The presentation varies.
Mix the ingredients together as you wish – and serve.
See the previous post for the Balinese peanut sauce recipe.
I think you will love gado gado too.
“Selamat makan” (enjoy your meal),