On the 1st of Jan 2020, I started the #VeganuarySG challenge spurred on by popular Vegan/Vegetarian food brand, Quorn.
Disclaimer: I am NOT Vegan, and I do not intend to be entirely Vegan after this experience. I am, however, keen on sharing some tasty-as Vegan-options available (in Singapore), as well as my own home-made Vegan recipes, for anyone who is interested in trying a plant-based diet to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Scroll down quickly and look out for the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) GREEN boxes, if it’s… too long and you didn’t read…
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a UK non-profit organization that encourages people to go Vegan for the month of January (or 31 days) as a way to promote and educate about a vegan lifestyle.
Why Should We All Just Try?
Our planet is experiencing Global Warming on many different levels; most recently and devastatingly, the insane bush-fires consuming Australia.
When I read that we can potentially reduce our foodprint by A QUARTER just by cutting down on red meats such as beef and lamb, I felt that I needed to at least try to spread the message through the Singaporean’s favourite pastime – FOOD!!!
Inspired to research and try more planet-friendly options, through discovering Vegan/Vegan-friendly restaurant locations and home-cooked meals, I truly hope to encourage more people in Singapore to contribute to reducing our carbon impact, one meal at a time.
Being an avid foodie, dairy-allergic home-cook, breaker of all kitchen rules, I aimed to document 3 main things:
Restaurants in SINGAPORE that specialize in Vegan foods / have Vegan-friendly options
Document home-cooked Vegan recipes with reviews
Share some interesting facts as I learn along the way
TL;DR Cait, a Meat-eater, is going Vegan for 31 days – sharing restaurants she discovers, and her own vegan recipes because she hopes you can try being Vegan sometimes for the sake of the environment.
Located in the heart of the city, on level 2 of the new Funan Mall, Fireless Kitchen was started by Chef Sid, who brings with him over 12 years of culinary experience from helming the kitchens of five-star luxury hotels around the world (working for big brands like the Hyatt and Marriott group). He aims to bring his vision of providing high quality food centered around a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, at reasonable prices to his valued customers.
Fireless Kitchen serves up hearty and healthy protein bowls that are prepared without the use of open flames, primarily using sous vide culinary techniques where ingredients are vacuum sealed and cooked in a water bath at a precise temperature to deliver consistently tasty, juicy and nutritious meals.
The first time I ate there I chose from the non-vegan menu, which is great for people who would like to dine with their omnivorous colleagues during lunch-hour. I was surprised when I went back for the Vegan experience, to know that their items are displayed in individual crock-pots, and most of their vegetable options were cooked with OLIVE OIL instead of butter, making them vegan-friendly!
Thank you guys for making Healthy Vegan varieties so accessible!
TL;DR Fireless Kitchen (Funan Mall, Level 2) Started by 5-star luxury hotel Chef Sid, who worked at Hyatt & Marriott Group. Food is delicious, healthy, and if you’re not going for Vegan food, the purple sweet potato mash is TO DIE FOR!
NomVNom Bistro Clarke Quay The Central (Clarke Quay Station), 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-105, Singapore 059817
NomVNom Bistro is hidden in a corner on level 3 of ‘Clarke Quay Central‘, with a 2nd location at 18 Tai Seng Street, and has a lovely range of burgers with local flavours like rendang, and local favourite, vegan creamy sauteed mushroom sauce. They feature 9 vegan patties made of mushrooms, tempeh, soy proteins etc. some of which mimic the texture of real meat, making it easier for any meat-eater to transition into Veganism.
They also have a selection of all sorts of vegan cakes for dessert, but my FAVE without a shadow of a doubt, is the chocolate vegan ice-cream made with soy and coconut milk instead of regular dairy. In fact, my boyfriend and I love it so much we go out of our way some nights to take a lil walk across the street and get individual scoops on their vegan waffle cones!
Through the years, I’ve developed an aversion to ice-cream because dairy gives me acid reflux, which makes this an absolute game-changer for me.
Later than night, as I was reading up on veganism and sustainability, I realized that Avocados are one of the more unsustainable fruits on the vegan list, because apparently:
320 litres of water = to grow 1 Avocado 193 litres of water = produces 1 local chicken egg
So. 1 Local Chicken Egg more sustainable than 1 Avocado?
I have questions.
Also, Mexico supplies around 45% of the world’s Avocados, and because it makes more money than its petroleum, has become a driving force in illegal deforestation to make way for planting more avocado trees. Both these examples, are not considered ecologically responsible practices in food production. So, should the Avocado be allowed into the heavenly kingdom of ‘Sustainability’?
I also discovered that sustainable eating for a better world can be measured by the help of this infographic I found feature on an NUS blog:
Summed up in points, the produce/food item needs to be:
Fair and Accessible
Continuing in my online research, I discovered that, due to demand, the fruit’s price has been pushed up so much that they’ve become unaffordable to those who depend on them in their country of origin; which doesn’t fulfil the 2nd requirement in the chart above – being ‘Fair and Accessible’.
And to top it all off, because Mexico exports Avocados all around the world, the transportation involved in getting them from source to destination greatly adds to the food mile count, and ultimately raises the CO2e (carbon emissions) count on our hipster fruit.
Plantd pleads that Avocados are, after all, still plants. And I guess it’s true, that when you compare it to the 5000 – 20,000 litres of water required to produce 1kg of beef, it significantly pales in comparison.
Also, from the health-conscious perspective, the Avocado is Extremely nutritious because:
It is the only fruit to contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat – good fat!
It is Loaded with powerful antioxidants for optimal eye-health
It contains Lots of fibre
It has more potassium than bananas
So, are they saying that if you’re Vegan for the health benefits, then by all means, eat that Avocado, but if you’re Vegan for the environment, then you should stay away from the deliciously creamy delectable and versatile stone fruit?
The Independent also suggests that sourcing food locally is far better for the environment than any Vegan-friendly produce that took a long-haul flight to reach you.
Since 90% of Singapore’s produce is imported, it is important for Locals considering Veganism (for environmental sustainability) to make sure that what they’re eating comes from within the region.
I guess I still don’t know a lot about what it takes to be a good Vegan. But if I learnt anything from my FIRST DAY of Veganuary, it is that moderation is key especially when it comes to eating these Avocados.
Check back in tomorrow for my homemade Vegan Japanese Curry from DonDonDonki, leftover veggies from my fridge, a Philips air-fryer, and some fishless Quorn fingers!
Keep on the lookout for Vegan restaurant suggestions and recipes for the next 30 days.
I’ll see you tomorrow!
TL;DR Avocados should be eaten in moderation because they’re not the most sustainable fruit. Check back in tomorrow for an easy Vegan recipe you can make at home for you and your family!