Hello everyone, this is Ryo, writing to you today.
CICLO is an online web magazine that contributes articles related to sustainability in Japan and abroad, however, I also enjoy cooking vegetarian or vegan food from time to time and introduce it on our social media. See our recent post share on CICLO’s Instagram (@ciclomagazine.jp).
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A close relationship between environmental issues and livestock industry
Reducing our consumption of meat products is a must when thinking about environmental issues. I’m not completely vegetarian myself, but I’m starting to change my lifestyle to try reducing the amount of meat I consume as much as possible, especially beef. If you are interested, you can start with “Meat Free Monday” (proposed by Paul McCartney for the purpose of global environmental protection), a global incentive and movement online promoting not eating meat on Mondays. “Meat Free Monday” is a simple and easy way to start making a small change for the environment, as the meat industry, especially beef production, is the biggest user of carbon and agricultural resources.
In the midst of talking about all these different online movements, today I would like to introduce you to my friend Carla’s vegan SNS project “PekoPeko Vegan” or ペコペコヴィーガン in Japanese.
Vegan food may seem difficult to task to tackle…
First, I would like to start with a brief explanation of the difference between vegetarian and vegan diets. A vegetarian diet avoids some or all animal products, such as meat and eggs, meanwhile a vegan diet is completely vegetarian and avoids all animal products. However, it is not just a diet, but a lifestyle that avoids all animal-based products in areas of food, clothing and daily life.
As the name implies, “PekoPeko Vegan” focuses on vegan food, and introduces easy-to-prepare vegan recipes on Youtube and Instagram. I asked Carla a few questions and received her answers, so I’d like to share them with you below!
There’s not a single vegan recipe that anyone can’t prepare!
Q1. Why did you start this project?
It’s not difficult to realize that being vegan in Japan is not always easy. It’s extremely difficult to find vegan meals in common supermarkets and restaurants. Just after arriving in Japan, I met vegan foreigners that were very frustrated because of that and, in addition, they couldn’t cook. So, I started exchanging easy recipes, made with products that you can find in most Japanese supermarkets, with my friends. It was then that I decided to start PekoPekoVegan and was able to share my recipes with more people. I don’t have a professional kitchen or use expensive ingredients, so the recipes are very student or family-friendly.
Q2. To those who want to start vegan: Are there any tips or recommendations for getting started?
Breathe. Meditate. Hahaha! There’s so much information and new things you’ll learn that it can be overwhelming. Just keep it simple. Eat the 6 main groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and berries, and all the colors (red, orange, yellow, purple, green, brown, ect.). If you eat a nice variety of foods and colors, you’ll be fine. Start with simple one-pot recipes or fried rice/noodles. There’s no need to complicate things.
Q3. Are there any goals or things you want to do in the future?
Food is one of the biggest pleasures in my life so I just want to keep on sharing and enjoying food with my friends and anyone that feels the same way. I’d be happy if I can work as a cook and reach more people. In Japan, there’s still a lot to do and I’d like to make my little contribution to the vegan and non-vegan community, because vegan food is friendly to everyone.
That’s it for this introductory blog! Please make sure to check out “PekoPeko Vegan” Instagram and Youtube page below (@pekopekovegan).
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