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Monday, 16 April 2012

Vegan travels - Cornwall



Just back from a wonderful family holiday in Cornwall,U.K.....so thought I would take the opportunity to post some comments from a traveling Vegans point of view.

If you are considering choosing Cornwall as a holiday destination, I recommend having a look at the blog - http://vegancornwall.wordpress.com/- before you go. It has a comprehensive list of restaurants catering for Vegans in all the major tourist areas and links to their respective websites.

Here are some of my own impressions.....

Eating In
I was somewhat surprised that the major supermarkets in Cornwall were not more clued up when it came to Vegan and Vegetarian diets...after all, most of us think of Cornwall as more of an alternative lifestyle place.

All the major supermarkets I went to - Asda,Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencers and Tesco's, had a small "organic" section mostly catering for those with gluten or lactose allergies but not specifically a Vegan diet. A case in point would be when I asked for Tofu at the Asda in Falmouth.....The very nice and helpful gentleman had absolutely no idea what Tofu was?! Having said that, the Vegan products supermarkets DO stock are labeled very clearly with the Vegan sunflower logo, so you don't have to spend hours reading the ingredients on the back of packets! One must have I found were a brand called "Munchy's Seeds" -http://www.munchyseeds.co.uk/- a selection of seeds perfect for adding to salads, soups or just nibbling on their own.

Most Vegans I know are use to finding the majority of our ingredients in Health food shops. Cornwall has a great chain of Health food shops called "The Natural Store" - http://www.naturalstorecornwall.co.uk/contact.htm. I visited the one in Falmouth and it was an absolute treasure trove! Vegan cheese, varieties of Tofu, plentiful supply of legumes, grains and nuts, organic drinks and lots, lots more. There was also an adjacent homeopathic/beauty supply shop selling amongst others, Faith in Nature products. The staff were super helpful, even digging out their natural remedy books to help me with my circulation problems:)

Although I didn't get a chance to visit, I'm told Archie Brown's in Penzance - http://www.archiebrowns.co.uk - is equally impressive and has a cafe to boot!


Eating Out
This was the first time I had holidayed with my Mum and Dad as a "complete" Vegan, so my Mum very thoughtfully did a lot of research before we arrived:) Like most restaurants, if you tell the kitchen in advance that their is a Vegan in your party when booking they will accommodate you with no problem.

The chef at the Ferry Boat Inn at Helford Passage gave me a choice of Vegan options and prepared me a chill and lime couscous with beetroot and new potato salad and "dairy free" garlic bread - http://thewrightbrothers.co.uk/restaurants/the_ferryboat_inn/

The restaurant at Trelisik also prepared me a special Vegan meal - Stuffed peppers with ratatouille and mushrooms served with butter free veg - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick-garden/

But what about when we were eating on the hoof at didn't have time to call in advance...especially at lunch?

Well, there I had some mixed results........................

The Gylly Beach Cafe in Falmouth had an extremely limited lunchtime menu for Vegans.....In other-words the soup was about it.

The Orangery Cafe, Penzance also really struggled to find me something resulting in a Baked potato with Beetroot and salad. The waitress was really helpful though and pointed me in the direction of Archie Brown's (mentioned above.)

I wasn't expecting a dairy farm to cater for Vegan's but the Roskilly Croust House made me an absolutely fantastic salad with nuts and seeds!

Miss Peabody's Cafe in Falmouth is an absolute haven for Vegans! Fantastic menu, wonderful funky setting and local organic produce. I highly recommend the Ciabatta with Butternut squash puree and mushrooms - scrummy - http://www.misspeapod.co.uk/

Other places that were recommended but I didn't get a chance to try include:-

  • Pea Souk, Falmouth
  • Cafe Cinnamon
  • Potager Cafe and Greenhouse




Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Veganism and the environment

For anyone who is considering adopting a Vegan diet to help the planet, here is some information you need to read.I am Vegan and I am an Environmentalist. At the moment, I am completing a degree in Environmental Studies.My decision to adopt a Vegan diet wasn't initially motivated by how my lifestyle would effect the world I live in, now and in the future, but once I looked at the statistics, it only fueled my impetus to follow a Vegan diet. 

This article is taken from the vegansociety.com website.

How your diet could change the world

World meat production has quadrupled in the past 50 years and farmed animals now outnumber people by more than three to one.1  In other words, the livestock population is expanding faster than the human population and is projected to continue to expand as the Chinese middle classes increasingly adopt meat-centred diets and as the Western taste for meat, eggs and dairy products continues to grow (along with our waistlines).

This trend will contribute to continuing malnourishment in the developing world, global warming, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity and species extinction because more animals mean more crops are needed to feed them: the planet cannot feed both increasing human and farmed animal populations.

So if we are trying to reduce our car use, limit the amount of water we waste, become more ‘energy-efficient’ and generally lessen our environmental impact, we must also examine the most important factor of our personal ecological footprint: what we eat.

Help protect:

The hungry

"Studies indicate that a varied vegan diet requires about a third of the land needed for conventional Western diets.  Quite simply, we do not have enough land to feed everyone on an animal-based diet."  Read more

Fertile lands

"Overgrazing is blamed for 35 per cent of soil degradation, deforestation for 30 per cent and agriculture for 27 per cent.  These main causes are directly or indirectly related to the consumption of animal products."  Read more

Forests

"The expansion of agricultural land accounts for more than 60 per cent of worldwide deforestation.  Most of this land is used to graze beef cattle."  Read more

Biodiversity

"The wholesale destruction of forest environments to provide grazing land for cattle and to grow feed for livestock contributes direct to loss of biodiversity."  Read more

Water

"Although statistics vary, it is safe to say that it takes at least three times the amount of water to feed a meat eater compared with that used to feed a vegan."  Read more

The oceans

"By stopping eating fish – be it farmed or wild-caught – we can reverse the destruction of ocean environments."  Read more

The climate

“The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. This is a higher share than transport.”  Read more

The planet

"The consumption of animal products contributes to global warming, pollution, water scarcity, land degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity – in other words, all the major environmental problems."  Read more

Friday, 6 January 2012

Anabanana restaurant review

Anabanana is Luxembourg city's ONLY strictly Vegan restaurant. It is located on Rue de la tour Jacob next to Maybe Not Bob's (ironically a steak house.)

Run as a small "petite restaurant," Anabanana is located at the bottom of the owners house and has a bright jovial decor (see pictures below) which is warming, light and airy. The food is cooked to order, so you need to book by telephone beforehand - 691 92 52 56 (If you are booking for lunch best to do so before 11am on the day!)

The lunch menu consists of a choice of starter, plat du jour and dessert.....you can have all three or just a starter and main course.  My starter was a homemade Miso soup which was rich, earthy and delicious. Main course was a Cassoulet of Seitan ,aubergine and red beans accompanied by a green salad with alfalfa sprouts and vinaigrette - absolutely moreish and extremely filling (who said Vegan food leaves you hungry!) If you have room for desert (which I unfortunately didn't) decadent fruits are on offer served with "dairy free" sauces.






The owner explained that the evening menu differs slightly from the lunchtime fare offering a more "Nouveau cuisine" form of Vegan cooking - I'll be sure to try it out very soon!

Restaurant Anabanana


117 Rue de la Tour Jacob
L-1831 LUXEMBOURG
Tél: 691 92 52 56

zakat117@hotmail.com

Closed : Saturday lunchtime, Sunday and Monday.   http://www.anabanana.lu/