Food stall owners use vegetables in dishes

The Savalalo market management team is keen to promote healthy meals offered by food stall owners at the town market.

Alo Neti Tupa'i, who works for the Samoa Land Corporation and is the market team manager, told Samoa Observer that the policy is in line with a promotion run by Samoa’s health sector.

"We are trying to initiate healthy eating as we all know the market is like a fast food restaurant. People come in the morning and just buy the food and the same goes during lunch breaks,” he said in an interview. “We are trying to get our people to eat healthy but we are not going to force it. For instance, we might have the food made from vegetables on the other side and the no-vegetable food on the other and we will see how it will go.”

A number of food stall owners trialled the use of vegetables in some of their dishes last week and the customer feedback was positive, according to Tupa’i.

The owner of the Honolina take-away shop, Tina Tau, said they have started mixing vegetables with some of their dishes and they are selling out. 

"We started making pork-cake (kekepuaa) using vegetables like carrots and cabbages last Friday, they were all sold out even though it was slow but we still managed to sell them all. We also sold all of them on Saturday. It's a great outcome but it's a little slow compared to the no vegetables food stalls," she added.

But trying to identify customers’ tastes when it comes to food preferences can be difficult, said Ms Tau, hence the tendency by customers to complain.

"I sell fish and chips and chicken and chips, however, I also made a diet meal where I use just a little bit of meat but full of vegetables. But the consumers did not take it well; they complained about too many veggies and not enough meat so I stopped doing it and they came and asked me if I was selling any veggie food. This is why I say people are really hard to understand," she added. 

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