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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 4 Jan 2009
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Vegetarian Food?

My girlfriend is coming with on my bike trip down East Africa and she's veggie.

Anyone know if she'll be able to find food?

Thanks

Mike
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Old 4 Jan 2009
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not very constructive but

I bet she isn't by the time you get back !
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Old 4 Jan 2009
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i think she will find it, but it's hard to be a veggy all the time. the people there can't understand it, if you be invited, good luck to explain it.

but: they don't eat so much meet, it's to expensive. so most of them are veggies too, but not of own free will.

i forget all my eating rules, when i'm on the trip, it's often easier.
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Old 9 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
I bet she isn't by the time you get back !


Hi discoenduro,
having been veggie myself for 15 years I can understand your gf's worries about North Africa. I've been mentally planning a trip to Morrocco for a little while now and the prospect of putting my principles to one-side isn't an option. Realise that vegetariansm to most people is almost like a religion [except that we practice what we preach]. I digress - and I am taking any comments in a lighthearted mood . [for now]

I had a chance meeting with an Egyptian doctor in Stourbridge a few weeks ago and we discussed exactly this topic. The worry, I think, stems from shows such as 'Long Way ...' where we see the dynamic duo in the middle of nowhere sharing food with 'the locals', and this invariably means eating goats bollocks, sheep eyes, or some other local favorite. desertquad is absolutely right that these are luxury items to most people in these countries, and the reason we see them eating this on TV is because they are being polite and giving their best food to their guests. Remember these people don't have much money [or other things to trade with] and meat in any form is expensive. So, in a nutshell, there is plenty of meat-free food about. Obviously the usual care needs to be taken to get a balanced diet, but most veggies are used to that [a snickers bar contains at least 3 of the major food groups].

The next, and potentially most awkward, thing then is refusing the offer of meat. Again, this is all taken as advice from the Egyptian doctor, and she says that they won't understand why a 'westerner' doesn't want meat, and they may well think you are being rude. The best advice here is from the start tell them something like its against your religion. They may question you on this. Just tell them your a strict Bhuddist. It'll be an interesting conversation, but I would say you could wing it. I doubt maybe Bhuddists motorbike across Algeria. But I've been wrong before.

Hope that helps, and let me know how you get on.

edit:
just realised the orginal posting date, so I guess you've already been and come back.
How did it go?
and maybe this is good info for someone else.
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Old 10 Feb 2009
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It can be done

We are currently in Mozambique having come down east Africa and I dont think you will have a problem, but she will eat lots of fruit and roasted corn, cassava is plentiful the problem is its all a bit bland.
Can she cook? there is a plentiful supply of good spices and herbs in the local markets.
If you cook for yourselves you will eat well, this from 2 commited but observant carnivores, Pete n Brucella
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Old 10 Feb 2009
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Quote:
The best advice here is from the start tell them something like its against your religion. They may question you on this. Just tell them your a strict Bhuddist. It'll be an interesting conversation, but I would say you could wing it.
LOL...yeah, or you could simply explain the health and/or ethical grounds on which you've made your decision....which you would undoubtedly be doing anyway if debating from a fictional Buddhist stance...
The simplist way is to try to avoid ACCEPTING any invitations to be a guest. I suspect that most offers will be out of courtesy, with the expectation that you will refuse.

On topic, vegetarian food from restaurants of any kind could have been made using sauces that aren't vegetarian, or may simply be portions of a meat-dish with the offending articles removed....you know all this... So it depends on the degree to which she practices her Vegetarianism. If she can absolutely never have any trace of meat; even, for example, food that may have been served using a utensil that might at some point have touched meat (some vegetarians apparently become violently ill if they are exposed to ANY traces of meat), then it could be worth considering taking a Multi-fuel stove (I say this as I'm not sure on the availability of camping gaz) and cooking for herself.

Hopefully someone else will be able to give an better idea of what options are likely to be available.
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