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Food fair urges young people to go vegetarian

Update: September, 10/2012 - 09:41

HCM CITY (VNS) — Eat less meat and seafood, and contribute to environmental protection.

This is a key message that the Green Food Fair 2012, to be held in downtown HCM City from tomorrow to Friday, seeks to impart, particularly to the youth of Viet Nam.

The four-day fair that focuses on health, environment and "expressing gratitude to Mother", will be held at the city's Youth Cultural House.

It aims at raising awareness among the youth about the importance of protecting the environment and different ways of doing it, including reducing meat and seafood consumption.

Nguyen Van Nha, chairman of the Viet Nam Hy Ma Lap Son Company Ltd., which is organising the event, said eating too much meat and seafood could cause many diseases while depleting scarce natural resources.

The Viet Nam Hy Ma Lap Son Company Ltd runs the popular Sai Gon Pho Chay restaurant in District 10. It has several other interests including catering, investment consultancy, trade promotion and travel.

Livestock breeding is a significant generator of greenhouse gases, he said.

The fair, which has 50 food stalls, offers the opportunity for companies producing "green food" to promote their products, Nha said.

At least 120 dishes in Vietnamese, Asian and European cuisine will be offered at 30 stalls by restaurants, pagodas and vegetarian food processing companies in the city.

Since the target of the fair in the youth, the food offered will mostly be fast food items, said Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, general manager of the company.

She said the dishes would include banh bao (dumpling), banh beo (bloating fern-shaped cake) and banh gio (pyramidal rice dumpling) from Viet Nam, Italian pasta and pizza, Indian curry, Japanese sushi and Thailand rice vermicelli.

"Clean food" processing companies like Thao Dien Clean Vegetables, Song Xanh, Hoa Sua Rice and Ohsawa Chan Nguyen will also participate in the fair.

Several kinds of organic rice cultivated without the use of chemical insecticides or weed killers will be displayed at the fair.

This kind of rice requires a long time and more care than normal to cultivate, so they cost two times as much as normal rice, Loan said.

The fair will also have other raw materials needed to cook vegetarian food and beverages.

Doctor Bui Viet Hoang will deliver a talk titled Eating Vegetarian Food, The Things You May Not Know at 3.30pm on the first day.

Ly Sanh, chairman of HCM City's Chefs Association, will be the judge for the competition Cooking with Famous People that will be held at 2pm on the third day.

Besides the stalls, the fair will host several performance activities. A concert will take place at 7.30pm on the first day. Activities during the second day include a vegetarian food cooking class at 2pm; an open platform on trends in modern vegetarian food at 3.30pm; and a music and poem night about Mother at 7.30pm.

Around 300 visitors are expected to join a candle light vigil to express gratitude to mothers at 7.30pm on the third day.

The first two fairs in 2008 and 2010 attracted around 20,000 visitors each, Nha said. — VNS

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