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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Vegetables are better then why not eating them.

by Mufaro Zibanai | 20-02-2020 20:05 Comments 7 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

"Todya muriwo nemapotato", This was a talk of the street. The phrase in English means " eating vegetables and potatoes". The President of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Cde Emerson D Mnangagwa spoke those words when the was addressing people at the national clean up campaign day. The crowd was not in agreement with the president on being vegetarians, to give up meat. The talk inspired me to write something on vegetable eating reaction in Zimbabwe. 

Responding to people’s concerns on high meat prices, Mnangagwa said, “…Ahh! Meat! How about vegetables? Doctors recommend that people should eat vegetables,” he said amid grumblings from the crowd, adding, “doctors want you to eat vegetables so that you will be healthy, meat is not good for you …” ~ Voice of Zimbabwe media. This received mixed reactions among Zimbabweans. The issue here was of consuming food that is environmental sustainable which is plants. 

The food we are consume has a link to the environment.  We should consume food that does not damage the environment. Plants can be grown and they improve the oxygen levels as opposed to animals which increase the methane levels and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere therefore causing the greenhouse effect. We should be environmental responsible to control the climate change through changing our diets also. Furthermore the vegetables are healthy with low fat and high vitamins which help us to keep a healthier body.

On the otherhand people reactions are justified culturally as the Zimbabwe culture suggest that meat means a good lifestyle. People should be fat and that suggests that one is living life and no troubles in one's life. "Idyai nyama mukore", a Shona phrase meaning that one have to eat meat to get fat. People are reluctant and resistant to change their cultural habits as before they were hunters and due to colonization they are reluctant to change as eating vegetables is deemed as foreign culture. 

On this report I want to share a traditional recipe of vegetable meat balls made of pumpkin seeds. I learnt it from my late great-grandmother and remind people that even in our culture we eat vegetables. In this rain reason gather wild vegetables such as edible mushroom, munyevhe and okra so that we are healthy. You can gather them in nearby areas around one and also for free. 

Mabumbe recipe
Mabumbe sounds labour intensive but they are not. First the pumpkin seeds are dried, then roasted a little over a hot fire.  Then they need to be pounded — and of course down home in Mutoko this is all done by hand — into a fine meal and sieved into flour. The pumpkin flour is mixed into hot water and kneaded to get rid of excess oil (which can be kept for cooking). Finally shape into round cakes and cook in boiling water — then finish with onion and tomato cooked into a flavoursome soup. I am definitely going to try them out — but will have to resort to an electric grinder to get the flour in the first place! Packed with nutrition — iron, protein and B vitamins as well as vitamin E — this is clearly a super food.
I also loved the cowpea fritters — made from cow peas soaked and cooked till soft, then mashed and mixed with eggs, onion and salt before being deep fried. Very moreish! 


Jasmine Karki

  • Jasmine Karki says :
    I do hope you are doing great..

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful report!!
    Eagerly waiting for your more reports..

    Green cheers
    Jasmine Karki
    Posted 25-02-2020 02:11

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Mufaro

    Although people around the world are demanding for meats, I have to agree that there are quite a lot of advantages of eating vegetables. Obviously there are some cultural understandings of meat, but vegetables can make people's health and environment much more sustainable than before. I really enjoyed reading your recipe, and hope to try the food one day!
    Posted 23-02-2020 15:57

Rachu Khanal

  • Rachu Khanal says :
    Thanks for the report
    Posted 22-02-2020 19:24

Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hey Mufaro!
    This is your mentor Lisa.

    I am very surprised by the speech of your country's leader. I think it was very brave of him to stand up for what he believes is right and persuade people to joining him. Although it would take some time before people can steer their traditions and cultures into a slightly different directions, I am sure that the official statement given by a country's leader will have a positive influence on people's thoughts. People in Korea, especially the old ones tend to believe that meat is a real healthy diet for people and that this is how we can get our energies. It is true but most of the environmental vegetarian movements are not about abandoning the entire meat consumption. Rather they focus on balancing our diet that is now too overweight to the side of meat. In other words, we are not just eating meat but we are overtly and excessively eating it and often times more than we need to!

    It's great how you suggested some nice vegetarian recipes that could drive people into pursuing the more environmentally sustainable diet.
    Thank you for your report dear:)

    Posted 21-02-2020 17:20

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Mufaro,

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Vegetables are better then why not eating them.

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 21-02-2020 10:24

Shradha Shenoy

  • Shradha Shenoy says :
    Hey Mufaro,
    Thank you so much for this well informative report. People often look down upon vegetarian meal options and I never understood why. Me being a vegetarian my whole life, I've had friends say that I'm 'missing out' or they often pose concerns on 'how I will survive in foreign land where the main food options are mostly non vegetarian'. Although I have no cultural obligations to be a veggie I chose to do so solely because of environmental reasons.
    People often fail to understand how their food choices immensely effect the environment.
    Thank you again for addressing this issue in your report, as this is something that should be talked about more.
    Also, Thank you so much for sharing a traditional recipe. I've never had Zimbabwian cuisine before, So I look forward on trying it!
    Green Cheers!
    Posted 21-02-2020 01:03

Muhammad Fajhriyadi

  • Muhammad Fajhriyadi says :
    Thanks for your recomended to eat that food...
    Posted 21-02-2020 00:30

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