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Stories from Thailand: Our Food is Guaranteed Not To Cause Pregnancy

June 29, 2009

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Bangkok is justly world-famous for many things, including exotic, bold-flavored foods and drinks, gracious people, membership in the group of Asian Tiger nations remaking the world’s economy, and open-mindedness about sexuality.

Our focus on a recent visit was food and drink and health, including a large international public health conference focused on the powerful benefits of managing sweetness.  The healthful conference meals and breaks were built on a bountiful presence of Thailand’s amazing range of fruits, vegetables and seafood, presented with flourishes of great culinary skill.

One night for dinner we opted for the famous restaurant called Cabbages and Condoms, founded and run by Thailand’s Population and Community Development Association, whose founder, former Thai senator Mechai Viravaidya, believes “birth control should be as cheap as vegetables” – hence the restaurant’s name.  It’s motto?  “Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy.”

The overwhelming presence of free condoms as a key element of the décor is a shock – colorful artworks with condoms as the medium, great big bowls of condoms (instead of mints), tall statues of men and women wearing clothes made of condoms – you get the picture.  It’s the only restaurant I know where the bill arrive at the table not withg mints, but with brightly colored packs of condoms!

condom

The food?  Really terrific.  We had spicy shrimp soup, perfect Pad Thai, yummy Tom Yum, slices of fresh mango for dessert, all with crisp Thai Singha beer.

PadThai

shrimp

It was quite the experience!

– Dun

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