When you’ve been out scuba diving all day, you’ll have a healthy appetite. This page details our food policy and covers supply issues as well as give you an idea of what our meals generally looks like.
Generally we try to eat local foods, and try to source all our supplies from the local market. This is because we put an emphasis on reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible, and because we wish to support local commerce and farmers. The climate allows fruit and vegetables to grow all year round, but many things are seasonal.
We buy our meat from the local market. The local farmers typically have a fairly small number of chicken and pigs. These are free-range animals, that walk around freely (you’ll want to watch out if you drive around on a motorbike! Pigs are vicious speed bumps!) The animals eat household leftovers and live non-stressful lives. As such they’re really healthy animals, compared to the overly medicated and poorly treated animals known from industrial farming in Europe and America.
We don’t often cook fish and seafood, but when we do we buy from local fishermen in the nearby village of Lutoban and only purchase from those who adhere to sustainable fishing practises.
While not fanatical, we try to avoid food additives as much as possible.
Some commodities however are totally or seasonally unavailable on the island and these we need to get from surrounding islands.
The Impact of Food Choices
There is no doubt that more people moving away from a meat-based diet would reduce the massive drain on water and other natural resources that meat-production currently causes. At MCP we do not serve a strict vegetarian diet (although we of course cook appropriately for volunteers who are vegetarian or vegan!) We do however try to limit meat to twice a week as well as source it all locally. We very seldom serve seafood, but when we do, we buy directly from local fishermen, who we know are involved in the protection of the local MPAs and assure us that the catch is fished sustainably.
MCP is working towards self-sufficiency. We grow some produce ourselves and we run our own chicken coop for fresh eggs. Additionally the botanical garden compound we live in has many fruit trees and a mango orchard, that provides us with lots of high-quality organic fruits when in season.
If you’re going scuba diving, you’ll need some solid fuel to keep you going all day. Every day – except Sunday, we begin our day with a continental breakfast consisting of cereal and milk, bread, cheese, butter, jam, fresh fruits and of course tea and coffee. Since Sunday is a day off for all staff members, we open the kitchen for you to prepare your own breakfast.
Since many different activities are going on during the day, lunch is generally served from 12 to 2 pm. Lunch is usually a hot meal, but volunteers who participate in activities away from base may prepare a lunchbox or eat at a local market.
At MCP we see the evening meal as a time to talk about highlights of the day, discuss current events, and just as a good time to get to know each other better. Dinner is served around 7pm and everyone eats together. Participation isn´t mandatory, and if you wish to go out and try something else for a change you’re welcome to do so – but please let us know in advance, so we don’t waste food cooking for you.
Our cook prepares and serves a variety of local specialties. A typical evening meal will consist of cooked or barbecued meat and/or fish, vegetables and rice. Occasionally, when supplies allow we serve western meals such as burgers or tortillas or a nice roast. Saturday night we have a barbecue and help eachother in preparing the food.
Should you suffer from any kind of food allergy, we’ll cook suitable replacement meals for you. Please give us notice about any allergies prior to arrival. We do our very best to cook vegetarian meals/sides for vegetarians, and our cook is happy to cook vegan meals too. (Do note though, that a lot of the “replacement” food items, like vegan butter, etc. that you may be able to find in stores abroad is unavailable here. Soy milk and tofu is available though.).