Tuesday, May 27, 2008

150 Kilometre Meal Big Hit With Diners

There’s a price to pay for every item of food we buy in the supermarket and that price is not just how much it costs in Rials but also the environmental cost involved in transporting that produce. “Food has to travel from where it’s grown, processed, packaged and finally ending up on our supermarket shelves. This process can involve thousands of kilometres and that has a negative impact on our environment,” suggests Ibtisam Al Faruji, PEIE’s Marketing Director, and the woman spearheading the government’s Origin Oman marketing campaign.

In an effort to promote local produce, goods and services and highlight the environmental impact of food kilometres, the Origin Oman campaign, in partnership with the Oman Tourism College (OTC), organized the 150 Kilometre Meal at the OTC campus on Monday and Tuesday evening. Over 120 people were offered the choice of two menus that included: a starter of shourba (wheat soup Omani style), followed by Nizwani smoked goat sausage on white cabbage accompanied by mashed potatoes and roasted onions. For desert, diners were offered Omani date mousse. Menu two consisted of: tomato soup with croutons, followed by a main dish of salted cod fish with slices of onions, tomatoes and lemon juice on Omani khoobs. Dessert was Kabeesa. Both menus were prepared by a team of Omani male and female OTC chefs. “The smoked Nizwani sausage and date mousse were outstanding. The presentation and service were excellent and the OTC staff very attentive. It was a great night that really opened my eyes to the excellence of Omani cuisine.” comments David Rogers, (pictured) Director of Swimming at the British School Muscat (BSM).

The 150 Kilometre Meal has been designed to draw the public’s attention to the wonderful variety and extraordinary possibilities of local fare. “By organizing initiatives like the 150 Kilometre Meal we hope to have a positive impact on where and how people spend their money. The aim is simple, make people think twice when shopping and selecting their purchases,” says PEIE’s Hamida Al Balushi and the 150 Kilometre Meal co-ordinator.

The Origin Oman campaign is important on a number of social, economic and environmental fronts. “Indeed, irrespective of whether you’re a regular consumer or an institutional buyer it’s imperative that we begin to think Omani and consider where we spend our Rials,” remarks Al Balushi.

“By buying local – and using services of Omani origin we are putting money into the local economy, helping create local jobs, making a commitment to our community and without doubt benefiting the environment by reducing the size of our carbon footprint,” comments the BSM Director of Swimming.

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