Vegan Palooza: Plant-Based Diet Okinawa

Well this is fun, what energy. Vegan Palooza in the US is happening right now from August 15-18, 2013.

Do care

It is happening here too in Japan, do get the latest July issue of Veggy with a focus on Okinawa.

OkiNinjaKitty says:

Fresh Produce Please

One of the great things about living on Okinawa is that there is always fresh produce. Whether it comes from the main island of Okinawa or one of its outer islands grocery stores and farmers markets are always stocked with what’s fresh at reasonable prices. This makes the local grocery stores and farmers markets the place to be if you’re a vegetarian. Although there are large supplies of fresh produce available it’s important to consider that being in Japan the selection may be different from what you are familiar with. There will undoubtably have to be a slight change in your diet if your main source of nourishment is vegetables making it more in line with what you can find here.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes the fruits you may be familiar with from back home such as watermelon, berries and applies can come with a hefty price tag. This makes things such as a good old fashioned fruit salad a pretty rare dish for those of us living here on Okinawa.

TIP: Just because you can’t make yourself a bowl of fresh fruit salad doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it once in a while. Some grocery stores sell fruit cups at an affordable price. They are perfect for an “on the go” snack or to put in the fridge and much more affordable than making one yourself. 

Totally Tofu

If you’re the type of vegetarian who really likes tofu you’re going to be in tofu heaven. There are various styles of tofu in all price ranges and sizes at pretty much every grocery store out there. Oh and go ahead and throw what you know about tofu out the window. This is not that nasty flavorless stuff that you can’t stomach unless it’s mixed and seasoned 10 ways to Sunday.

TIP: The best tofu out there is the local stuff which is fresh and delivered multiple times each day to the local grocery stores. Usually you can find a sign showing what times the tofu is delivered each day. If you’re lucky and get there as the shipment arrives you can get tofu that’s so fresh, it’s still warm. This is by far the best tofu I have ever had.

Do check out Green Leaf Okinawa for organic and chemical free vegetables.

Seems people looking for good vegetables in Okinawa have some great opportunities. Here is Kristy at Okinawa Hai:

Here I am, stationed on the island of Okinawa, with commissaries to shop at for produce. When I arrived on island, I did venture off base to a few local grocery stores. I found some smiles growing within me at the opportunities for more selection than just the commissaries. Then I got really excited when I found a few fresh produce markets! But all the labels are marked with odd looking symbols… Oh wait, I’m in Japan! It must be Kanji! And no, I don’t read Kanji. Then I got sad again. I am a little too timid to spend money (more specifically, yen) on produce that I have no clue how to prepare and eat, and even more importantly, what parts of the produce are edible and what parts are not. Toting two children with me (and yes, any trip leaving the house is an adventure with young children!), I wasn’t interested in having my smart phone out and Googling pictures of produce to find out what was what while I was out trying to shop.

Then I found the answer! I don’t remember how I heard about it, but Okinawa Island Produce is run by Cindy, and is the answer to my prayers. In short, she finds local and mostly organic produce from small farms on the island. She gathers it. She delivers it. Life is good! You can also find her on Facebook, too.
Cindy is an American, born and raised in California. Her mother is from Okinawa, and she has returned to her roots to pursue her business endeavors. She speaks English and Japanese. By trade, she is a seasoned teacher, and now she is here to teach us about local Okinawan produce! She works with local and mostly organic farmers to get you the freshest produce available. The selections are seasonal and always changing.

Okinawa Island Produce

Green Leaf Natural & Organic Food Shop

Center for Food Policy

Thanks Damien for recording this interview with Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich. Do support.

You can listen to the 52 minutes interview here:
Elizabeth is the Director of Policy at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) 
and formerly served as Director of Public Affairs 
for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.


Pandabonium said…
The Veganpalooza is a great opportunity to hear informed experts on a wide variety of vegan topics.

Very similar to another great free series that is put on every year (this year it was April 27 to May 5) by John and Ocean Robbins called "The Food Revolution Summit".

Thanks for the good resources for organic food. Nice to see that happening.
Martin J Frid said…
Thanks P, there are a lot of positive, healthy initiatives going on. Food Revolution def. a part of that. I like Guerrilla Gardening too ;)

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