Seychelles ranks as world’s most vegetarian-friendly nation in new index
Vegetable display which won the first prize in the first agricultural and horticultural show on Praslin in June 2014. (Seychelles Nation)
The rankings were conducted by Oliver’s Travels, an online villa booking website
The index was calculated based on countries’ annual meat consumption per person, the number of vegetarian restaurants and the number of vegetarian restaurants in relation to population size.
Seychelles, an island nation in the western Indian Ocean, came in first ahead of Thailand and Malaysia.
A nutritionist from the Ministry of Health, Stephanie Desnousse, said that Seychelles has raised a lot of awareness on retaining a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet among the population.
“This has no doubt transcended in the food we are eating every day and in the restaurants as well,” said Desnousse.
She said, however, that: “We should be careful with the rating as it is most likely that more travellers are dining in restaurants than the locals.”
Talking about the types of vegetables and fruits available, the nutritionist said that there is a variety, but high prices remain a challenge for local consumers.
One of the hotels promoting healthy living in Seychelles is Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove located at Bel Ombre in the north of Mahe, the main island.
The hotel’s food and beverage manager, Julien Jacquin, said, “We provide a vegetarian option on all our menus and we are also flexible by making a special dish for a guest according to his or her dietary requirement.”
|One of the vegetarian dishes created by chefs of the Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove hotel. (Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove) Photo License: CC-BY|
Jacquin said that “it is really important to promote healthy living. We are offering a salad bar every day and vegetable soup among other things that we do.”
He added that: “Our chef meets up with the guest who has a dietary requirement so they can discuss regarding what they prefer. It is more a personalized service.”
Speaking to SNA, a lover of gastronomy, Sony Antat, said that Seychelles’ fine dining experience varies from one restaurant to another and most of them serve vegetables with almost every meal.
Antat said he loves to go to Chatter Box, a local restaurant, which places a strong emphasis on healthy living and served pre-packed food from South Africa.
The Global Vegetarian Index was done by Oliver’s Travel to find out the most vegetarian countries as October is World Vegetarian Month.