Title Translation: BON APPETIT IN SERBIA!
Many people have asked what I, being a pescetarian, have been eating in Serbia so I thought I would write about it. The first few days I was here, it was quite difficult to find vegetarian options on the go, especially since I couldn’t comprehend the Serbian signs listing food and was also unable to ask for meatless items in Serbian. But over the past few weeks I have learned how to say “nay meso?” meaning “no meat?” and have found a few good fast food options that I can pick up on the way to work. For one, I was lucky enough to have a falafel and fries place right down the street from my apartment. I also often eat a spinach and egg pie that reminds me of quiche.
But generally, Serbian food includes a lot of meat as well as a lot of oil. Almost all sandwiches include some form of meat, but even more surprising, it’s often difficult to find a piece of vegetarian pizza. Plain cheese pizza seems to be a hard to find catch. But even though Serbian food focuses so heavily on meat and oil, it at least consists of all organic meat and vegetables. While I haven’t tasted the meat here, I have heard that it is a lot better than ours in America. And I can say from personal experience that the local tomatoes and various fruits and vegetables are full of flavor.
My experience in Belgrade, specifically at the local green market, has made me really think about how many chemical and hormones are injected into us through the food we eat in the U.S. Even if we try to eat healthy by eating fruits and vegetables, we’re still eating chemicals and hormones that simultaneously harm our bodies. And if we decide to purchase organic items in order to avoid such chemicals, it hurts our wallets. It’s quite sad that in order to eat healthy in America we need to spend more money. I really think that it should be the opposite. It should be cheaper to eat healthy – healthy food should be the norm, not the exception. And if we want to “treat” ourselves by eating something unhealthy, we should expect to pay more for it. It should be similar to the concept of taxing cigarettes – we should have increased incentive to eat healthier, rather than greater incentive to save money and thus eat food that causes us harm in the long run.
I just want to end by sharing a clip of the Zeleni Venac City Market, my local green market, as it makes me wish I had something similar back home, without it costing an arm and a leg.
Posted By Simran Sachdev
Posted Jul 3rd, 2009