Vinsamlega sýnið biðlund

Kyn / Fæðingarár
Karlkyns / 1948

Nánari upplýsingar

UndirskráSpurningaskrár - Svör

Kafli 1 af 6 - Description of diet

Describe your diet in your everyday life. Do you define your diet in a certain way? If so, what does that definition entail?

I am a vegetarian, meaning that I do not eat any meat or fish. I do eat dairy produce and eggs. A fair proportion of my diet happens to be vegan.

For how long have you adhered to this diet?

40+ years

Kafli 2 af 6 - Reasons and experience

What made you change your diet? What are the main reasons behind the decision and why do you stick with it?

I was motivated by concern for the environmental impact and the animal welfare aspect of industrial of meat production. It made no sense to me that increasingly huge resources were being put into producing meat, rather than fruit and vegetables. I could not see the point of growing crops to feed to animals to get back maybe 20% as meat.

I like the very varied diet I have. I do not regard it as giving anything up. I have no inclination to eat meat.

Where did you first hear about this diet? How did the change occur? Suddenly or gradually?

My father was always a vegetarian. I never ate a large amount of meat. I simply decided to not eat it anymore. I stopped eating fish later. It seemed unnecessary.

Has your approach or perspective changed in any way since you started this diet? Can you give an example?

I am aware of the inconsistencies that stem from my diet including dairy produce and eggs. I have become increasingly aware of the food miles involved in my diet and I lean increasingly towards trying to eat locally produced food, or at least food that hasn't been shipped large distances. e.g. I never buy things like green beans or asparagus from Peru or Kenya.

I am also concerned about the distorting effects demand for certain products in the global north-west can have on local agriculture and needs in other parts of the world. e.g. cash crops for export displacing local needs in sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Have you experienced any changes in yourself following a changed diet? For example changes in how you feel (physically or mentally), your sense of taste, your behaviour, interests, or social life? If yes, please describe the changes or give examples.

My diet has been broadly the same for a very long time. I remember when I first gave up eating meat I soon found the smell of it, both uncooked and cooked, quite unpleasant.

When I first moved to Iceland, choices when eating out were very limited. This has changed a lot for the better over the past 10 years or so. I guess in order to satisfy tourist's demands.

Kafli 3 af 6 - Your diet in everyday life

Where do you usually shop for groceries? What determines what goes into your shopping basket? (Does f. ex. pricing matter? The origin of the product? How about marketing and advertisement? The information on the labels and packaging? The layout of the store?)

My local supermarket. What is available of the things I want. Usually what I want is available, because my diet is quite simple. My diet is a good deal less expensive than that of a meat eater, or someone who buys a lot of pre-prepared meals. Origin of the product is a factor. I buy Icelandic grown vegetables where possible. See earlier comments above. I pay little attention to marketing and advertising. I read contents labels and for example try to avoid palm oil in products where the origin is not clear. I go out of my way to buy organic free range eggs. Store layout is not an issue, except when they change it and I have to re-learn where stuff is.

Where you live, how is the access to the food or raw materials you need to be able to follow your diet?

It is not bad. Especially in summer and autumn when I can eat things that I grow myself.

How much interest do you have in food and cooking in general? Is food an important aspect of your life? How much time do you devote to thinking about, making and consuming food? Do you enjoy trying out new recipes, or even coming up with your own?

I like good food and I enjoy cooking, but I do not spend much time on it, except for special occasions.

What characterises good food? (For ex. regarding taste, smell, texture, appearance, or other qualities?)

I like fresh produce. Much of the food I eat is prepared from raw ingredients. I think I am quite good at using various herbs and spices. People who eat my food seem to like it.

What characterises quality food when it comes to your specific diet? Does it matter for instance if the food is fresh or processed or contains additives?

Fresh is best. I steer clear of processed food and additives, but not obsessively.

Is there anything you especially miss from your previous diet? Why?


How often do you cook at home? What needs to be in place in the kitchen for you to be able to follow your diet? (Any specific tools or equipment, a certain amount of space or anything else?)

My wife (who does eat meat and fish) and I share cooking duties roughly equally. She cooks and eats vegetarian meals and eats meals that I prepare. When she has meat or fish, I prepare something else for myself. We have a small kitchen with basic equipment. That is all we need.

How often do you eat out? Where do you prefer to go? Is it easy or difficult to order food that matches your diet in restaurants?

Maybe once or twice a month on average. We go to Himalaya Spice restaurant by the harbour, Mai Thai at Hlemmur, Rosso Pomadoro in Laugarvegur. Other places from time to time. Tese places all have good choices for me. That's why we go back to them.

What are the main obstacles you have met in your daily life when it comes to following your diet? What would make it even easier for you to follow your current diet?

Lack of choice of good quality fresh fruit and veg. in Iceland, but I get on OK with what's available. I have to. I can't think of anything that would make a significant difference.

Kafli 4 af 6 - Home/family, traditions, and gendered perspectives

Describe your household conditions (How many live in your home? Are there children in the home? etc.). Does everyone follow the same diet as you do? If not, how does that affect your eating habits?

It doesn't. When there is something we all like we all eat it. When there s something we don't all like we choose different things to eat.

Do you experience support or criticism from your family, friends, or colleagues/school mates? Does that make a difference for you? Can you give us an example?

Not really. People used to ask me why I don't eat meat. Some clearly thought it was odd that I didn't, but nobody criticised my choices. Diets such as mine are much more common these days and therefore less of a talking point. What other people think or say doesn't really have any effect on my choices, which are none of their business. By the same token, I do not spend time trying to persuade other people to not eat meat, although I am not shy about commenting on what I see as the big problems posed by agribusiness.

Do food traditions matter to you, f. ex. during celebrations? Have you had to adapt food traditions to your diet? How so?

Not particularly, but I do always make a Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies. I make a nut roast to have with all the vegetables in the Christmas dinner, while other people eat meat.

How about dinner parties and gatherings where food is offered? Do you make special arrangements regarding those? What kind of attitudes have you experienced from the hosts or other guests? Please tell us about real-life examples if you have any.

I try to remember to let people know of my dietary choices. These days most people I eat with, already know I am vegetarian. I try to make sure hosts are not inconvenienced by my choices. Mostly people bend over backwards to cater for my choices. Just occasionally they don't understand, for example thinking that chicken is not meat, or thinking it is OK to pick bits of meat out of a dish. This is very rare. I just go with the flow and leave what I don't want to eat.

Have you noticed any specific attitudes or anything else regarding your diet based on your gender? If so, please describe an example.


Kafli 5 af 6 - Information, education, sustainability and health

Where do you mainly look for information, knowledge, recipes, or inspiration for your diet? Please put in links for any websites or social media accounts that you use (if any).

I have recipe books, but rarely use them. I have a simple diet and just make stuff up, using what is available.

Do you find it important to educate others about your diet? Why, and how do you do it? / Why not? Please describe some real-life examples.

See earlier answers.

In your mind, what does sustainability in everyday life entail?

Using all resources sparingly. In the case of food, don't throw it away. For example, if I make a big soup or stew, I eat it over several days. The fridge is my friend. I use my garden to grow food. By the same token, I just have the basic clothes and shoes that I need. I don't need to buy them often. I try to mend stuff rather than replace it. That goes for clothes and also equipment and tools.
I do not own a car anymore. I walk, cycle and use public transport for the majority of my travel needs.

In your mind, what does healthy eating entail? What is healthy food?

Fresh, preferably organic and not from the other side of the world.
Minimum additives and preservatives.
Prepared at home from raw ingredients.
Having said that, I am not obsessive about these things.

Kafli 6 af 6 - Final remarks

Are you planning to continue to follow this diet for the foreseeable future?

Absolutely. I am in good health after the first 40+ years, so I see no need to change. Plus I like my food.

Is there anything you would like to add that has not been covered so far?

I think that some people who adopt vegetarian or vegan diets sometimes don't think through the implications. Just because some food is not meat, doesn't mean that it's environmental impact isn't a negative one.
I absolutely cannot understand the thinking behind manufacturing fake meat products.

What is your occupation?

Arts worker

What is your level of education?

Masters degree in Fine Art

Do you have any remarks or comments on this questionnaire?

It is rather long.

Þetta aðfang er í Þjóðminjasafni Íslands. Safnið varðveitir um 7 milljónir mynda, um 130 þúsund muni og rúmlega 26 þúsund færslur um þjóðhætti. Í húsasafni eru um 60 hús.


Áætlað er að um 80-90 % þessara aðfanga sé komin í stafrænan búning, mismunandi eftir tegundum. Einnig er skráningin mismunandi ítarleg og myndir bara við hluta gagnanna.

Birting gagna í Sarpi er á ábyrgð viðkomandi safns.

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