Popularity of meat-free eating prompts Sri Lanka standards

Sri Lankan woman at organic farm produce market in Sri LankaSri Lanka is to introduce national standards for vegetarian food to reflect the growing popularity of meat-free eating in the country.

The Sri Lanka Standards Institution said it was taking the step to safeguard the rights of increasing numbers of people who are choosing to eat less or no meat.

The move was instigated by the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress and a forum was held last week for members of the pubic and religious organisations to discuss the plans, which would see rules set on the preparation, serving and selling of meat-free food.

Patali Champika Ranawaka, the technology, research and atomic energy minister, said the “massive feedback” he had received at the meeting showed that meat-free eating was becoming more popular.

“Researchers have found that stress, aggression are caused by the consumption of non-vegetarian food,” he said. “[It] also contributes to obesity, cholesterol, heart disease and cancer [and through its production] to carbon emissions and harmful gases, such as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, which cause environment hazards.

“Furthermore, vegetarian food contributes to healthy and environment friendly lifestyles.”

Ranawaka added that the standards would be introduced beore Poson Poya Day (June full moon), with draft guidelines are available for public viewing at the Standards Institution head office in Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo.