Watch Out for Carbs and Chemicals During Veggie Festival, HealthMin Warns

A file photo of Tesakan Gin Jay (vegetarian festival).
A file photo of Tesakan Gin Jay (vegetarian festival).

BANGKOK — As the annual vegetarian festival kicks off on Saturday, public health officials have warned citizens not to overindulge in carbs.

Sukhum Kanpimai, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, warned on Friday that vegetarian foods can sometimes be surprisingly high in sugar. He recommends choosing brown over white rice.

He also said that those who can afford to do so should buy organic vegetables and fruits. People should eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables each day, said the permanent secretary.

For those who can’t afford organic, Sukhum recommends immersing produce in water for 15 minutes before washing for two minutes. This method removes 25 to 63 percent of chemicals and pesticides, he said.

He also recommends soaking produce in a mixture using half a tablespoon of baking soda and 10 liters of water. This method apparently removes up to 95 percent of chemicals.

The vegetarian festival was started by Chinese migrants in Thailand as a way to thank the gods for a successful journey.