Dining/ General/ Travel

Green Dot: Happy Sign for Lacto-Vegetarians

On a recent trip to India, I was frustrated and thrilled about my food intakes. Traveling there, most foreigners avoid dairy products and any raw foods for fear of bacteria’s and falling seriously ill. That’s the frustrating part.

The thrilling part is amazing! Most packaged food products  have little dots on them which identify the items as vegetarian or not. Some think the little green dot means VEGAN, but that’s not necessary the case. I found after careful research, (walking through the grocery store and reading ingredients) that the item marked with the green dot is actually Lacto-vegetarian – meaning it won’t have eggs but most likely has some milk. Since I’m a lacto-vegetarian, I’m cool with this labeling. One more thing – if you ask some one for vegetarian food in India, they’ll know that you mean with out eggs too. So I got to eat some pretty amazing things care free on the trip – like eggless cake on a flight (that was a standard fare)! Bakeries will also have some eggless items. McDonald’s has some great veggie options, and their fries are veggie-friendly there.  All nice splurges I can’t get in the States.

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  • condekedar (1 comments)
    March 20, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Yes, the green dot is nice, but you really have to read the ingredients (it’s habitual for me anyway, in the US) if you’re vegan. Eggless cakes in India are NOT vegan, nor are they a tenth as good as the vegan desserts you can get in the US or other Asian countries, but India is rapidly catching up to speed in terms of ingredients and equipment for vegan treats. There’s a vegan coffee drink at a popular cafe chain, Cafe Coffee Day, and other major chains are starting to offer soy milk as an option (it’s growing in popularity there). I do appreciate that even fast food restaurants there have numerous veg*n options. If you’re vegan, you’ll be much better off in South India, where the food is less dependent on cream, butter, yogurt and ghee (clarified butter). In North India, many dishes tend to be pre-mixed with cream in the sauces and curries.

  • Chia (326 comments)
    May 1, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Eating vegetarian in India is easy, since the Indians know what a vegetarian consumes. However, saying well is tricky. Maybe it’s due to the sanitation standards, the spices, or a combination. When I visited India several years ago, I tried my best to stay well, eating only fresh fruit that I washed myself or in restaurants where other foreign travelers recommended to be “safe”… Well, despite my carefulness, eating at the local restaurants made my stomach suffered.

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