January 5th, 2011
I’m currently reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and I’m learning a lot. This statistic alone (from the UN) makes me think I should focus more on vegetarian- and vegan-friendly travel on my blog: “Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change.” (p. 42)
Photo by ksbuehler
So, to start, I was curious about what the most veg-friendly destinations would be. I looked at lists from Happy Cow and Matador, and these are the cities that made it onto both lists: Singapore, Chiang Mai, Taipei, London, San Francisco, Portland, and New York.
Yum. This definitely intensifies my desire to go to Singapore and Taiwan.
What do you think? What are the best places in the world to eat vegetarian or vegan?
November 26th, 2010
I lived in Massachusetts for 20 years and never knew the beauty of the Berkshires until I went on a travel writing assignment for Trazzler this past week. It had never occurred to me to visit the area before, but I loved it. Here’s why.
Spirit of cooperation. There is a dearth of chain stores and a plethora of small, independent businesses. Almost everywhere I went I noticed that the small businesses—inns, shops, restaurants, farms, galleries—actively promoted each other and sold local products. It’s a sustainable, friendly model that I would be glad to support as a tourist or resident.
Seasonal, local food. An innkeeper told me that the farm-to-table dining movement originated in the Berkshires. And beyond restaurants, there are plenty of opportunities to visit farms and see directly where your food comes from.
Outdoor activities. Hiking trails, scenic views, and natural wonders abound.
Olivia's Overlook. Photo by Joanna Eng.
Creative culture. My trip was filled with an eclectic mix of galleries, museums, public art, and live music. Even when I wasn’t looking for art, I found it everywhere, including town recycling bins.
Brain food. At every stop, there was something to learn: how my beer was brewed, why this area of woods has fewer trees, the political history behind the song they’re about to sing, the origin of the marble in that fireplace.
November 9th, 2010
“Vegetables Are the New Meat,” declares this week’s New York magazine, describing vegetables as the latest craze in gourmet food. While it’s obvious to me (I’ve been mostly vegetarian for eight years), I’m glad that more professional chefs and influential foodies are acknowledging that a huge hunk of meat doesn’t always make for the most exciting meal.
I’ll take this moment to recount some of my most memorable fruit and veggie traveling experiences:
- In Beijing, eating corn and pine nuts, a common dish of northern China, opened my eyes to the extreme diversity of food traditions within the country.
- In Nicaragua, I didn’t get too many vegetables on my plate (which was usually filled with rice, beans, eggs, and tortillas), so when I had some sliced avocado—straight from the tree in the courtyard—I finally learned to love the mushy vegetable/fruit.
Photo by sean dreilinger
- In Kauai, a few minutes after walking by some taro fields in Hanapepe, I stopped by a taro chips factory that was run out of a dimly-lit kitchen in a run-down house. When I walked in, the owner seemed almost confused to see a customer—and then was elated when he found out that I had come all the way from New York, where it was snowing at the time! I bought a bag, and the chips were a little too oily for my taste, but I’ll never forget that humble little operation.
- In Cape May, New Jersey, I loved the veggie polenta cakes at the otherwise unexciting Bella Vida Garden Cafe. Perhaps it was because I had been biking all day and waiting crankily outside on a bench until the restaurant opened for its early-bird special, but that was one satisfying meal.