Every day many people eat fast food, what is also called in Spanish “comida chatarra” or grabage food, such as hamburgers, french fries, etc. This is the choice of some of the many visitors to Cusco. Others look for fine restaurants and others prefer not to eat meat.
These last are vegetarians. Some eat this way for health reasons and for others it is a life style allied with ethics. In any case, vegetarians often have difficulty finding a restaurant where vegetarian food is served. When you walk down the streets all you see written on the menu signs are meats and more meats.
In the last decade more and more people are eating fast food, instead of the traditional food of Cuzco. They claim they have little time to make and eat, or money to buy, the traditional food of our city. Life is ever more demanding, fast-paced, and agitated. People also want to follow style and be more modern.
At the same time, more and more are also adopting a vegetarian diet. It is not just tourists who prefer this kind of food. You will see them eating, locals and visitors, in the same restaurant sitting side by side. Vegetarian food has a big advantage in Cusco in that it is generally not all that expensive and can compete easily with fast food for convenience and price.
Eating meat is traditional in our city. It comes down to us from our ancestors. We love cuy (guine pig), adobo (a pork stew), chicharrón (fried pork) and so on. But our culture does not just eat meat. It also has vegetarian options, just as in Holy Week when we avoid meat. There are many Cusco dishes, and riffs on them, that are vegetarian. These include revuelto de vainitas (green bean scramble), the cremes of corn, chuño, papa helada, and more.
Eating meat is not a crime, but eating it in excess and not knowing how to gain good nutrition can bring us harmful consequences over time. Eating grains and seeds can help us keep everything in order. We all should eat more healthily and teach our children about nutrition so that down the road they will not suffer the illnesses that fast food brings, syndromes due to poor nourishment.