About Vegetarian Food | Malta
Becoming a vegetarian has been an increasingly popular choice in recent years, although the trend is by no means new. Most people nowadays know at least one vegetarian, or have vegetarian/vegan friends and relatives. The popular misconception is that a vegetarian’s diet is limited to just fruit and vegetables; which makes becoming a vegetarian sound both dull and difficult to most people.
In actuality, vegetarians are able to eat an incredibly wide variety of food – and what they are able to eat depends on the type of vegetarian they are.
Types of Vegetarians:
1) Pescatarian: A pescatarian is an individual who does not eat any meat, but does eat fish.
2) Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: This is the most common type of vegetarian: they do not eat meat or fish of any kind, but do eat dairy products (cheese, milk, etc) and eggs. There are also Ovo Vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish or dairy products, but do eat eggs.
3) Vegan: Veganism is a much more restrictive form of vegetarianism that excludes all animal products: this includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatin, honey and any food where an animal byproduct may have been used.
Why do people become vegetarians:
There are a few main reasons for why people choose to become vegetarians (and vegans), including:
1) Health: With the increasing prevalence of food intolerance and allergies in people today, many are considering the effects of their diet on the body and are reverting back to a less processed lifestyle. With the growing concerns over hormone and anti-biotic injected animals, as well as scandals such as the ‘Mad Cow Disease’ scares in the UK, many people are choosing to avoid eating meat and fish, and stick to simpler ingredients that they can trace. There are also several medical conditions that prevent people from processing the proteins and fats in meat properly, and make it simpler for the person to lead a vegetarian lifestyle.
2) Diet: A significant number of people choose to go vegetarian as a way to lose weight, since fruit and vegetables are low calorie foods. However, since vegetarianism allows for a wide variety of high fat desserts and high carb foods, unless a commitment is made to specifically focus on fruit and vegetables, simply cutting out meat won’t usually be a great way to lose weight.
3) Religious: Many religions around the world promote a vegetarian lifestyle and are against the eating of animals. Example: Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism (although not all practitioners follow the vegetarian recommendation)
4) Animal welfare: This reason is the one most linked to vegetarians, and there are indeed a large portion of vegetarians that have given up eating meat in the name of animal welfare. A big reason for this is outrage at how livestock are treated on farms (normally referring to corporate megafarms, not individual farmers). As a form of protest against that type of cruelty to animals, they do not eat meat (or other animal byproducts in the case of vegans).
5) Environmental: As people learn more about the world around them, and about issues like global warming, many have made the choice to go vegetarian in an effort to reduce farming’s harmful effects on the world around them. In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, some will also focus only on locally sourced food that is in season and thus has not needed to be imported (reducing it’s carbon footprint by not requiring shipping, fuel, etc).
What CAN vegetarians eat?
A vegetarian diet has the potential to be a very healthy one, and despite the popular misconception that you need meat for iron, it is a diet that can provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you require. However, it has just as much potential to be incredibly unhealthy, depending on what you choose to eat.
If you are thinking of trying a vegetarian diet in Malta, it is good to know that many of your regular foods don’t have to change, and it is easy to modify traditional meals to become vegetarian.
You should make an effort to include a lot of fruit and vegetables into your diet so that you can be sure that you are getting your recommended daily allowance of Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, etc – but you’re also free to eat lasagna and risottos and many other hearty dishes that people don’t tend to associate with vegetarian food. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s good to know that you can eat just about every dessert out there (unless you are going vegan, in which case you will need to ensure your desserts contain no eggs or dairy). There are also a growing number of meat-substitutes available at the supermarket, including soy/tofu hotdogs, bacon and many more. There is even dairy-free vegan cheese available now!
For more ideas on eating and cooking vegetarian (and vegan) food: click here
Where to buy Vegetarian Food in Malta
You can buy vegetarian food at Park Towers Supermarkets in St Julian’s and St Venera. Park Towers Supermarkets not only stock fresh fruit and vegetables so that you have your bases covered, but also a wide range of food suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. If you’re craving meat-replacements, check out the frozen food section at Park Towers Supermarkets
Park Towers Supermarkets | St Venera | San Giljan Malta
Park Towers Supermarkets | Vegetarian Food on the Map | St Venera | San Giljan Malta
About Park Towers Supermarkets, supplier of Carrefour Products
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