New To myMercy? Click Here to read our "How To" guide!
To view current volunteer opportunities, Click Here!



I am aware that special diets are not provided for and from what i’ve seen from the few menus i found there seems to be alot of meat om the menu, like every day. It would be interesting to hear if there are any vegetarians onboard and what they/you think of the food. Is there enough to eat if one don’t eat meat, without making it for yourself?



  • Thank you so much for your reply! This helps alot.

    Though i was wondering if this about ”requiring” meat protein is your personal opinion or mercy ships official views?

    It may influence my decision to join mercy ships.

    And because it just isn’t true, nobody requires or need meat protein, most people may want meat but human beings have no need for animal protein. Just ask millions of vegetarians or vegan, there are even lots that point to that vegetable protein is more easy accessible to the body than meat. Plus vegetable based food leads to less strain to the environment, tons of less water use. Less risk of heartdisease, nothing had to die producing it... and so on...

  • Hello Martin,

    "Require" is not a need. Because most of our crew eat meat (their own personal decision) it is required that meat is available as part of the meal. It is their decision whether they eat it or not. But it is a requirement of my job position to provide it. Both to the crew and to the patients. Since I am not a doctor I can not "argue" the healing properties of protein after surgery but it is required that I make it available to those patients who want it.

    SO although it may not be a need, it is a requirement of my department to provide it at meals.

    Personally, what influenced me to come to Mercy Ships was helping provide free healthcare to thousands of the world's poorest people by using my skills and talents to support and serve the mission. This organization is unique in that it supplies the needs of basic living and some of the "wants" as well, which makes it easier to focus on helping the people we came to serve.

  • SarahBurdetteSarahBurdette Posts: 33 ✭✭

    I know this is an old post, but I am a vegetarian on my way to Mercy Ships for service next month and this helped me know the options available. It wouldn't have hindered me from service - I can eat a salad and beans for two weeks if I need to - I don't expect my minority diet to be catered to. I'll just skip the meat. Thanks for clarifying what's available!

  • heatherpetersonheatherpeterson Director of Staffing Posts: 92 admin

    @SarahBurdette - I hope you enjoy your time on board!

  • EmilyHislopEmilyHislop Posts: 8

    My last service was 5 weeks in Cameroon and I got a little bored with soup, salad and rice and beans. I will say that I did lose a little weight being a vegetarian on board. Not that I mind the unintentional dieting, but this time I'm bringing my powdered "Huel" to help supplement. I'd recommend bringing some sort of nutritional supplement if you're vegetarian/vegan and going to be there awhile, even some whey protein powder is easy to pack.

  • Hi Emily, thanks for your input, what is Huel? a protein supplement? I am also vegetarian, although I do eat fish and eggs, I have a lot of dietary intolerences and will likely be on board for 2 months, so it is a good tip

  • Thank you, Tyrone, for your detailed posting. I appreciate and am stunned at the myriad of choices. Very exciting. I am willing to try the local fare, like probably goat or camel? I may revert to pudding and salad, but will always plunge off my comfort platform and try anything. Of course, dropping 10 pounds would also be a bonus. Thanks!

  • EmilyHislopEmilyHislop Posts: 8

    Don't get me wrong, the food on board was very good, especially pancake breakfasts and when the Gurkhas (security guards) made us some traditional Nepalese! YUM! I just got a little bored with the vegetarian options because I'm pretty picky. So I probably wasn't eating a very balanced diet.
    Huel is a nutritionally complete meal in powder form (you add water/ice). Their rival company is Soylent, maybe you've heard of them. It's something I use at home too because it's an easy breakfast and easy to pack for lunch at work. But basically its like a vegan protein powder except with all the macronutrients and 27 vitamins/minerals that you need daily. Keeps me full and its an easy way to know that I'm getting what I need. They have a gluten free version too I believe.

    @VIRGINIASIMMONS I think climbing up and down all the stairs on the ship, day after day, probably helped too! haha

  • TeniahHowellTeniahHowell Posts: 21

    Really appreciate all of these comments. I'm happy with beans and rice! But super interested to look at maybe bringing a supplement with me as I usually eat pretty much whole foods/plant based. Always appreciate hearing what others do and how it works when you are there for longer term. I'm going to take a look at that Huel.

  • IrmaNoortIrmaNoort Posts: 18

    Hi everybody with food-veggie questions!

    I live on the ship for almost 2 years with my husband and 3 children.

    Our kitchen cabinet contains a variety of green powders and seeds we use in breakfast, smoothies and salads. We order those powders frequently plus lots of different seeds, nuts, dried fruit, whole-wheat pasta, brown and black rices, jarred vegetables and whole wheats to bake (bread) with.

    I buy fresh herbs, fruit and veggies that are available locally to use for cooking/ grilling. The vegetables that are easy accessible in the last 2 countries are union, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, avocado, carrot, green peppers, (Yam)potatoes, rettish, ocra and dried boa-bab. Plus different types of leaves I do not recognize.

    All that said, for us it is a real challenge (not to say it is difficult) to eat healthy on board. I know, ideas about 'healthy food' vary widely.. Back home our diet was so varied. We had access to so many different fresh veggies, beans, lentils, bread spreads, grains and whole wheats..

    A large part of the food offered on board, I would not choose to eat at home. Baked goods are mostly made with (lots of) sugar/ sweets and is, including bread white flour based. The served rise is 95% white, frequently fried and pasta's are not whole-grain based either, peanut butter and jams are full of sugar, ready-made sauces for diner mostly are with meat.

    All in all, being vegetarian on board is possible, and maybe not hard at all if you are here short time. We are flexitarian and would like to have a good basic intake of fresh, sugar free- whole-product and that is a real challenge for us.

  • TeniahHowellTeniahHowell Posts: 21

    @IrmaNoort I was just curious if your family will be in Senegal? Thanks for your awesome post.

Sign In or Register to comment.