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'Growing demand for vegetarian food here'

The massive feedback received on draft standards on vegetarian food proves that there is a growing demand for vegetarian food in Sri Lanka, Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka stated.

"This fact came to light at a public forum on vegetarian food held on Wednesday to discuss the introduction of standards on preparation, serving and selling of vegetarian food," the Minister said. He said the move to introduce standards on vegetarian food was initiated on a request by the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress.

Minister Ranawaka observed there is a high inclination in South Asia towards the consumption of vegetarian food. The Minister also said high standard vegetarian food will be introduced in the country with the cooperation of Sri Lanka Standard Institution before Poson Poya Day.

"Researchers have found that stress, aggression are caused by the consumption of non vegetarian food. Non vegetarian food also contributes to obesity, Cholesterol, heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, vegetarian food contributes to healthy and environment friendly life styles," he said.

Public opinion during the forum was that being vegetarian does not affect physical growth and nutrition. Participants were also of the view that vegetables and fruits contain more nutrition than non vegetarian food.

People who participated in the forum also pointed out that the nutrition levels of each food item should be clearly mentioned in the packets to obtain the standard certificate. "Non vegetarian food production also contributes to carbon emissions and harmful gases, such as, CO2, Methane, Nitrous oxide which cause environment hazards.

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