Being vegan in Norway/Sweden

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Being vegan in Norway/Sweden

Postby bitterpoison » Fri May 05, 2006 9:26 pm

I noticed there are a couple of Norwegian/Swedish members on this board. I am thinking about moving to another country at some point in the future, and Scandinavian countries are appealing to me. I lived in Stockholm for three months years ago, and loved it, especially the vast amounts of nature within half an hour away.

I was vegetarian back then, and I now wonder if it would be possible to live a healthy vegan life in Sweden. Are fruit and vegetables still so extremely expensive (except when berries are in season)? Do you find it challenging? Would it be best to live near a larger city?

I want to stay in Europe, but the thought of extremely cheap fruit in tropical countries almost changes my mind...
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Re: Being vegan in Norway/Sweden

Postby bronco » Fri May 05, 2006 9:50 pm

[quote="bitterpoison"] I was vegetarian back then, and I now wonder if it would be possible to live a healthy vegan life in Sweden. Are fruit and vegetables still so extremely expensive (except when berries are in season)? Do you find it challenging? Would it be best to live near a larger city?

Let first make it clear that its extremely possible to live a healthy vegan life in sweden :D.

About your questions (note that Ive been out of the country for a year and a half, but Im supposing not htat much have changed):
I never noticed fruits and vegs to be extremely expensive, I guess it depends on what you compare with . But probably they are still expensive.

I never found it challenging except in the ways that a vegan lifestyle might be challenging anywhere.

If it would be best to live near a larger city, I guess it depends on your need. If you want to be able to buy as many fancy vegan products as possible over disk you would probably have to live near a larger city. Otherwise I think basic vegan stuff is available even in smaller cities.

Hope this was a little helpful at leasat ;) .
[quote="JP"]Spirulina is a badass crew, and they often just hang around in street corners looking to beat up proteins.

They oftenget confused by the fact that they are almost half protein themselves.
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Postby bitterpoison » Fri May 05, 2006 10:11 pm

Thanks bronco!

I think I may have been too influenced by reading stories from Dutch-Swedish emigrants who somehow all seemed to go to Sweden to become fishermen or something like that.

It would be helpful if someone could post what fruit and vegetables cost, approximately. What do you pay for a kilogram of oranges or apples or spinach? I do not need exact amounts, but it is useful to know approximately what to expect. I almost never buy fancy vegan products, but it would be nice to be able to buy things like tempeh and soybeans and lots of spices, so I guess living near a city would be best.

How do you like Austria, compared to Sweden?
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Postby bronco » Fri May 05, 2006 11:02 pm

[quote="bitterpoison"]It would be helpful if someone could post what fruit and vegetables cost, approximately. What do you pay for a kilogram of oranges or apples or spinach? I do not need exact amounts, but it is useful to know approximately what to expect.

Someone else will have to do that, I dont remember exactly.

[quote]I almost never buy fancy vegan products, but it would be nice to be able to buy things like tempeh and soybeans and lots of spices, so I guess living near a city would be best.

Soybeans and tofu I think are available more or less everywhere, I could be wrong though. Tempeh on the other hand is more tricky.

[quote]How do you like Austria, compared to Sweden?

I think austria is slightly better regarding fancy vegan products :). In general its a quite ok country allthough in general it seems a bit more rightwing than sweden which is not a good thing.
[quote="JP"]Spirulina is a badass crew, and they often just hang around in street corners looking to beat up proteins.

They oftenget confused by the fact that they are almost half protein themselves.
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Postby fredrikw » Sat May 06, 2006 7:21 am

[quote="bitterpoison"]I think I may have been too influenced by reading stories from Dutch-Swedish emigrants who somehow all seemed to go to Sweden to become fishermen or something like that.

really? I've only heard about people going to Scotland and Iceland for the fishing industry, never Sweden. I guess it can be more common on the west coast though.

[quote]It would be helpful if someone could post what fruit and vegetables cost, approximately. What do you pay for a kilogram of oranges or apples or spinach?

hmm, good question. I'd say oranges, apples and bananas all costs about 20SEK/kg during the winter, you can get apples and oranges for about half that price during the summer. Fresh spinach is not too common to eat in Sweden so you often buy it either frozen or fresh in these fancy salad bags, from the top of my head I can't really say how much it is per kilo...

my impression though from being abroad is that there isn't that much difference between for example UK and Sweden when it comes to prices on fruits and vegetables, but I might be wrong here since I'm quite bad at remembering these things.

[quote]I do not need exact amounts, but it is useful to know approximately what to expect. I almost never buy fancy vegan products, but it would be nice to be able to buy things like tempeh and soybeans and lots of spices, so I guess living near a city would be best.

In Sweden it varies a lot what you have access to. The major cities of course has a larger selection, but there are many small towns in Sweden with a surprisingly good selection as well.

The asian food store I buy my tofu from (dutch tofu as a matter of fact) costs 23SEK/kg, which is dirt cheap IMO,
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Postby fredrikw » Sat May 06, 2006 7:22 am

btw, a good way of seeing for yourself would be to come to the Vegan Fitness Week in Stockholm 14-18 August :D
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Postby bitterpoison » Wed May 10, 2006 8:23 am

Thanks bronco and frederik!
I find it tricky to pick a country in these times, especially because we will be foreigners there, and current political climate is not very favorable for foreigners.

20SEK per kilo is expensive, compared to what we pay (apples and oranges are usually available for 1EUR/kg (10SEK), except when really not in season), but it is still reasonable enough. You are probably right that it isn't more expensive than the UK, but I remember that as very expensive as well :) But of course we would live in a house with a large garden (a girl can dream...) so that we could grow our own vegetables.

I just read in an immigration book from Dutch-Swedish immigrants that Swedish food is basically meat and potatoes (that was a positive statement), and that Swedes do not eat many vegetables because they believe that they will make you ill...

The fishermen are going to very small communities in Sweden where they actively seek foreigners to come because all the locals are leaving the villages. There are organizations that try to find Dutch people to go to Sweden. If you are not a doctor/veterinarian/dentist and do not have a lot of money, I got the impression your best bet is to become a fisherman or someone working in the fish industry but it could be I mixed up some information about Norway and Sweden.

I'd love to go to the Vegan Fitness week, that must be so inspiring and I saw the great location in the forum thread. Unfortunately, I don't think I can make it :(
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Postby RAZ » Wed May 10, 2006 8:38 am

On the whole the fruit and veg here in Sweden is tastless and crap (with the exception of wild berries and home grown apples). That's one of the things I miss most from NZ is the wonderful fresh fruit and veg.

That aside, Sweden is a great place to live! It's a beautiful country with a friendly and considerate culture. It's not hard to be vegan in the places that I've been to and most people know what vegan means. :D I agree with Fredrik that the UK is a little more expensive, though thier range of vegan products puts Sweden to shame.

Still, if you enjoy preparing food yourself then you don't need all those fancy-schmancy products. I love it here in Sweden and would recomend it to anyone. :D

/Raz
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Postby joelbct » Thu May 11, 2006 2:16 am

Hey RAZ, Fredrik, Bronco- I am Joel, living in Connecticut, US.

This is kind of cool, many of my ancestors were from Sweden on both sides of the family. I've been to Europe but not Sweden, though I have read a bit on the history and one of my uncles (by marriage) is a native-born Swede, nonetheless it is cool to communicate with people in Sweden, and Vegans at that- I will have to make it to that Vegan Fitness week, maybe next year!

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Postby bronco » Thu May 11, 2006 7:19 am

[quote="joelbct"]Hey RAZ, Fredrik, Bronco- I am Joel, living in Connecticut, US.

Hey Joel :) .

[quote]This is kind of cool, many of my ancestors were from Sweden on both sides of the family. I've been to Europe but not Sweden, though I have read a bit on the history and one of my uncles (by marriage) is a native-born Swede, nonetheless it is cool to communicate with people in Sweden, and Vegans at that- I will have to make it to that Vegan Fitness week, maybe next year!

Thats cool :) . But if you want to go to vegan fitness week in sweden you better go this year, cause next year it will be located somewhere else. But of course sweden is allways worth a visit :) .
[quote="JP"]Spirulina is a badass crew, and they often just hang around in street corners looking to beat up proteins.

They oftenget confused by the fact that they are almost half protein themselves.
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Postby bitterpoison » Sun May 14, 2006 10:36 am

Thanks Raz and everybody. It is great to see some positive messages about Sweden. I was reading on a Sweden-emigration board the other day, and everybody seemed quite negative. The days are short, people are not very outgoing, it is hard to start your own company, winter is long, etc. I remembered Sweden as a great country and I stayed there during the winter , but then, that was a while ago, and I was an au-pair, that is probably very different than moving there as a family.

People seemed to be unanimous that Swedes can be quite racist (not officially, but in behaviour). That is a bit of a downer, especially since we have a child and children can be so cruel. On the other hand, I am afraid racism becomes more of a problem everywhere :(

Sorry for not responding sooner. My exercise time has to come from somewhere, and I am afraid it is internet time that has to suffer.
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Postby bronco » Sun May 14, 2006 11:29 am

[quote="bitterpoison"]The days are short, people are not very outgoing, it is hard to start your own company, winter is long, etc.

well, the days are short during winter, but on the other hand they are long during the summer :) .

[quote]People seemed to be unanimous that Swedes can be quite racist (not officially, but in behaviour). That is a bit of a downer, especially since we have a child and children can be so cruel. On the other hand, I am afraid racism becomes more of a problem everywhere :(

I dont deny some swedes can be racist, but I would be surprised if its worse than in other countries.
[quote="JP"]Spirulina is a badass crew, and they often just hang around in street corners looking to beat up proteins.

They oftenget confused by the fact that they are almost half protein themselves.
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