Going Veggie Abroad Will it Prevent Food Poisoning?
Traveling to a foreign country is a lot of fun. You can learn enormously interesting things about another culture by first hand experience. Learning another language can broaden your horizons and the sights, sounds, smells and tastes will influence you for the rest of your life. The tastes are especially interesting. A new culture offers all kinds of new foods to try. Depending on where you go, you may even add a little food poisoning to your experience. That takes the romanticism right out of the vacation, doesn’t it? The answer that may jump to your mind is vegetarianism. Will you be able to avoid food poisoning in a third world country, or anywhere for that matter, by sticking to a vegetarian diet?
Your chances of becoming sick by eating the fresh tropical fruits that are available in many vacation destinations are very low. While bugs may be high in number, they can physically be avoided. Just inspect your produce carefully. Fresh fruits are safe because you will often remove the peel and not eat it. Any bacteria that have collected on the outside of the fruit will be discarded. Be more cautious with fruits and vegetables that do not have an easily removable peel. You will be able to get some excellent nutrition at very low cost by choosing some fresh fruits and vegetables. Pineapple, oranges, bananas, mangoes, peas, beans and corn are all examples of food items that you peel. If your options for produce are more limited, careful washing will help protect you from sickness.
Washing Your Produce
Oftentimes, if you are concerned about the food in the country where you are staying you will also be concerned about the water. Drinking unsafe water is not the only danger. Be cautious about accepting drinks that were mixed with water or that contain ice cubes. Washing your fruits and vegetables with contaminated water will not do any good for cleaning the food. Buy plenty of bottled water for any use that will ultimately end up in your mouth.
If you are attempting to stay on a vegetarian diet abroad, you will be alert for complete meal options. Many street vendors will have meats for sale but you will have to look harder for not meat proteins. Corn and beans are inexpensive staples of cooked foods in many third world countries. Potatoes are also relatively easy to find. This is where you will need to exercise extra caution. Beans and potatoes are at the top of the list when it comes to foods that transmit food poisoning. If the cooked foods are not handled properly they become easy breeding grounds for bacteria. You may eat freshly baked breads in place of the potato starch as they are readily available. Replacing both beans and meat with some other protein will be difficult however. Your options come down to cheeses and nuts.
Eating in a third world country may seem intimidating. It would appear that simply adhering to a vegetarian diet will not protect you from food poisoning. Eliminating too much protein from your diet may put you at risk for illness anyway because of the potential for malnourishment. If you are traveling abroad, your best bet will probably be to eat balanced meals at restaurants. They are better equipped than street vendors for safe food handling. Use water wisely and eat plenty of fresh fruit. Just in case you do get sick, bring a few pills to put in your pocket.