One would think that the food aspect of Ramaḍān would take up more space than just a post, but I've been collecting what I think is relevant about the month and was surprised to find that it all follows the same few principles.
For those who don't know, I'm a (kind of) vegetarian. I wish there was a more appropriate word for what I am; I only eat meat that I know came from responsibly raised and killed animals. You can imagine how tough it is sometimes to tiptoe through iftar buffets when that's the case.
Things are changing, though. From the UN declaring the importance of a vegetarian lifestyle regarding the environment to it being cheaper than having loads of meat, it's super easy to get through the evenings in Dubai. I have no clue what it'll be like when I get back.
I don't know if anyone remembers, but my parents have gone super healthy this Ramaḍān. Especially my mother, who's on a high from losing numbers of her dress size. This allows us to outnumber the unhealthy family members when we get back >=D
Seriously, though, I'm grateful to the rest of the world for getting the same idea. I found a little article of vegan iftar dishes, which catapulted me into the world of Arabic & Indian vegetarian recipes. None of which I can make, obviously, which is where I beg my aunt and cousin to take pity on me and cook.
Like I said in the last post, my influence (aka subtle nagging) on the family usually includes my brother and me having a back and forth about the food he almost wastes (he ends up eating it all, bless him). A while back, I got a forward that I kept. That's pretty drastic for me, but it hit a chord and it hurt because I knew it was true many times over. Here are some pictures from it:
And then a while after I heard of Ferdinand Dimadura winning the Most Popular Short Film at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival.
Obviously, I'm not going to leave you guys on a sour note. After authorities in the UAE realized that more than 500 tonnes of food is wasted in Ramaḍān, the Environmental Agency in Abu Dhabi (EAD) is launching a "Think Before You Waste Campaign". I'm impressed with how widespread the information is on the net. There's interesting general food waste statistics, and the story from lots and lots and lots of sources.
The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GEA) will be educating and encouraging imams to incorporate the message in their Friday khuṭbas, the UAE Red Crescent Authority will be speaking to hotels and places that host big Ramaḍān gatherings, and Ḥefth Al Neˀma will be taking left over food from hotels.
Other than that, I'd like to remind everyone to (if they can) eat responsibly, including buying fairtrade organically grown local produce and eating free range meat, all of which I'll get into specifics later on.
Here's to peace, love, and food.