Startup of the Week: Changing eating habits for a healthy life

Updated 18 November 2019

Startup of the Week: Changing eating habits for a healthy life

  • The vegan diet provides the full amount of protein, and the nine essential amino acids that the body needs

The Vegan Dinosaur is a weekly cooked vegan meal plan service, established by a 26-year-old Saudi entrepreneur Mansour Barri.
“My goal is to show people that vegan food is not boring, it is actually delicious,” Barri told Arab News.
“We try to use whole foods in our dishes as much as possible, such as homemade peanut butter and plant-based milks. In addition, we love to experiment with mock meats such as seitan, which tastes exactly like meat when seasoned correctly, and we will be adding homemade tofu and tempeh to our menu soon.”
Barri became a vegetarian when he was studying in Ireland three years ago. “The reason behind this choice was because I had anxiety and panic attack issues at the time. When I spoke to a friend about this, he suggested a plant-based diet.
“After some research, it appeared much healthier than the regular food I was eating at the time. After that conversation, I became a pescatarian for a year, and then shifted to vegetarianism and now to veganism. Since then, my life has changed a lot; I became more aware of my body and its needs, my mind is clearer and I became more aware of the environment and its issues.”
When he returned to Jeddah, he faced problems eating since there were not many vegan options available.
“I tried to subscribe to different meal prep food providers, their vegan options were not that nutritious nor tasty. Therefore, I started cooking for myself; sometimes I would bring food to work or cook for my friends.”
The feedback he received encouraged him to start his own business. “This encouraged me and had me experimenting with different recipes. I tried to combine different foods from different cultures such Italian, Indian, Thai, West African and Portuguese. I also tried to ‘veganize’ some of the meat recipes, such as the pasta bolognese, and turn it vegan by adding lentils instead of meat.”
Barri said the number of vegans has increased in the Kingdom over recent years.
“I believe there has been a huge shift in the Saudi perspective, especially among the new generation regarding the environment and environmental awareness.
“The vegan diet provides the full amount of protein, and the nine essential amino acids that the body needs. This can be done by combining grains such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat with beans such as black beans, red kidney beans and different types of lentils.
“The body needs only 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. Eating two servings of rice, two servings of beans and one serving of oats is more than enough to meet the daily required amount of protein that the body needs.”
The healthy vegan diet contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, “and because of that, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber, and are also low in cholesterol and saturated fats.”
Customers can reach out on Instagram (@the.vegan.dinosaur) for orders. Their current weekly plan includes two meals and two snacks a day, and can be delivered anywhere in Jeddah.


Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

Updated 12 August 2020

Notice setting date for Saudi international flights ‘is bogus’

  • Aviation chiefs issue official denial after fake circular says passengers can fly to and from Kingdom from October

RIYADH: A fake circular suggesting Saudi Arabia will resume international flights in October has been condemned as “completely baseless and fabricated” by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
Rumors that international flights will shortly return have been circulating on social media in recent weeks without any official statement from GACA.
On Tuesday, the authority denied announcing the resumption of international flights and said information being circulated was fabricated.
Saudi Arabia suspended international flights from March 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since domestic flights restarted on May 31, rumors have been circulating regarding the return of international flights. On Monday, the bogus GACA circular was shared on various social media platforms suggesting flights into and out of Saudi Arabia would resume in October. It sparked a flurry of speculation.
The circular, titled “No flights till October 2020,” said: “An employee of the GACA has stated in a recent interview that all international flights to and from the Kingdom are to remain suspended till the month of October.” Quoting a GACA official, the circular said that the decision was subject to the number of coronavirus cases, which must “come down to three digits.”
GACA official spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News the circular “is completely baseless and fabricated.”
He shared a tweet from the authority’s public relations department describing the circular as incorrect.
The civil aviation authority has previously said there is no specific date for the resumption of international flights, he added.
All international flights remain suspended until further notice.
However, exceptions have been made for humanitarian assistance and emergency cases, medical evacuation flights and repatriation of stranded citizens and expatriates wanting to return home.