When it comes to being healthy, what you choose to eat and put on your skin are just as important as anything else. Ghana has a variety of local ingredients that provide a wholesome lifestyle, including ground nut, shea butter, and African black soap. The question is, are we using all of them? I attended VegFest Ghana at the W. E. B. Du Bois Center in Accra to find out. The Vegetarian and Vegan community is growing in Ghana and it was nice to see so many healthy people in one place. In this video, I speak with some of the vendors and organizers, including Sheroes Foundation, Skin Gourmet, VegGhana, Earth Seed, and Wear Ghana, to get a sense of what this community offers and how it has evolved. Enjoy!
I really loved how much community was involved and represented at this event. Initially, I expected to stay for about an hour or so while walking around the vendors, possibly purchasing a few things, and be on my way. Instead, in addition to that, I sat down with a group of wonderful people to eat and chat.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, or a group of people, where you did not notice time passing and you felt as if you solved all the problems of the world during that discussion? I feel that sort of experience can only happen with like-minded people. That doesn’t mean you agree with everything, but your priorities match. I had a lovely conversation at this event. We discussed how Ghana could incorporate more healthy methods in their daily life. For example, all food vendors, from restaurants to kiosks to sellers on the street, serve their meals in plastic or Styrofoam. All of that packaging ends up on the floor, which contributes to the unacceptable trash issue. What if we could use sustainable materials to serve food? Like cassava leaf. Or bags made out of bio-degradable material. Could that work?
This inspired me to think of more ideas. I have been vegetarian for 8 years now and leaned into vegan this past year. This choice really transformed my life, or, at least, it inspired me to continue to transform and evolve. I don’t insist everyone should follow this path, but adding more greens and colors in your meal through vegetables and fruit is a good thing for everyone. In Ghanaian traditional food and original Soul Food, most of the meals are focused on a variety of meat or fish with a starch. Unless you make an effort to have greens or a salad, you can go for days without eating any vegetables or fruit. How can we make healthy choices more of a habit in our lifestyle? If I give you a recipe for vegan kebabs, you might refuse it because it sounds foreign and lacks soul. If I give you a recipe for kebabs that promise you clear skin and a bouncy booty, will you try it immediately?
Distinguishing between the trendy version of being green, which has been hijacked by a certain portion of the population and capitalism, and the historical origins that show how Black people have been eating “green” for centuries is very important. In Ghana, we really should not be importing the majority of produce and food in general. I can feel quite full after eating bambara beans, spinach stew, jollof rice, fried plantains, grilled mixed vegetables, and bofrot. All of that is traditional food and is healthy. Maybe you can try Meatless Monday, where you choose to not eat meat on Monday. Maybe you can try to include mixed vegetables in your meal. The key is to adapt a lifestyle that makes you feel happy and comfortable.
Well, make sure you check out the video above for more details about the Vegan community in Ghana.
What else would you like to know about being vegetarian or vegan? Would you like to hear more about using food, to eat and on your skin or hair, to improve your life? Let me know in the comments.