Green Eats/Health

    Broadway Vegan Market

    What could be more appropriate than visiting a much-talked about food market on a sunny Saturday in London…? There’s been much hype about this new addition to the foodie scene and no doubt it’ll only get more visitors as the news keeps spreading. I’m talking about London’s first weekly celebration of vegan foods: the Broadway Vegan Market.

    Every Saturday between 10AM and 4PM in the grounds of London fields primary school is a little #vegan market. The weekly vegan market offers a really impressive variety of plant-based food ranging from junk food, to Thai and Indian curries, to jack-fruit stuffed burritos, to Vietnamese inspired salads, to handmade cashew cheeses, plant-based chocolates, donuts-about 20-varieties! scones, cream cakes and more…

    I opted for the Korean BBQ Banh Mi baguette from Eat Chay Club, see picture below that I got from Instagram. Filled with BBQ mock chicken with loads of salads, coriander and sauce.  It was heavenly and I am so cuffed I chose this option.

    My comrades opted for:

    • a BIG V LONDON burger which had a really good taste and included extras such as pickles, burger cheese and sauce
    • a curry from  The Spice Box which included three different curries and a slice of seaweed!
    • a Mexican inspired jack-fruit burrito which I didn’t try but was assured was delicious and was described as “sweet and salty!”

    I really wanted to try  Dough Society London  donuts, but they’d sold out by 1.30PM!! (I was informed more were on their way, but by then we’d made our way to Edgar’s and were enjoying a cocktail. Edgar’s on Broadway incidentally offer a vegan menu too. Veganism and vegan options are certainly on the rise.

    Next time I visit, I will probably try the buckwheat pancakes as they also looked really tasty and healthy. And I will make sure I manage to bag at least one Dough society London before everyone else.

     

     

    Green Eats/Health IN THE GREEN NEWS

    Bulk Market, London

    Lots of naked fruit, veg, bread and cake ready for customer’s to take home without the need for plastic or unnecessary packaging

    Bulk Market is a pop-up set up by Ingrid Caldironi,  in Dalston, London. In her own words, Ingrid says she’s:

    Not a hippie, or treehugger, I’ve never been a hardcore green. Like many others, I used to believe that stuff gets recycled, and there was no other way of living without creating a lot of waste. After reading about a 20-something girl from NY with years of rubbish fitting in a jar, she decided to go zero waste. But companies don’t make it easy for people to avoid waste. Bulk Market® was born to fix this. – Source: bulkmarket.co.uk

    The shop is small and looks a bit like a bakery from the outside. Inside however, it’s got a contemporary industrial feel with exposed bolts and pipes. There are shelves housing minimalist household products, dispensers for oil and jars full of loose teas and spices. You could probably do all your shopping here, with their healthy legumes and nuts and treats like loose white and dark chocolate buttons- although be warned, gravity takes hold when using the upright dispensers and I left with a £5 bag of chocolate buttons  (worse things could happen, right!!)

    Bulk Market was introduced to the vibrant Kingsland Road in the summer and has been a real buzz with mindful Londoner’s and zerowaster’s all over the country, as well as served as a wake-up call for those who’d yet to reflec on our wasteful habits that causes so much plastic pollution and other waste.

    The shop has been written about in numerous publications and newspapers. I guess it’s novel: imagine a supermarket without any packaging? The mind boggles! But in reality this should be the future: lots of small local shops providing nutritious locally sourced items that are #naked, ie, package free.

    A lot of people come back to me and say “what a faff, I haven’t got time to shop like that,” when I relay my own dreams of opening a package free shop. I see where people with this mindset are coming from. I’m busy too and there are some weeks I don’t manage to buy as many naked food items as I would like, yet it is really quite simple, it just involves a period of adapting and crucially an abundance of bulk shops like Bulk Market in every city, town and village in the UK. It’s not a pipe dream, it’s happening already! If they are numerous it will be convenient, at the moment I know that making a special journey to your local bulk shop can be time-consuming for busy people, which is why they need to be akin to all the ‘locals’ and ‘express’s’ we see on every street corner!

    Zerowaste: Refuse, reuse, repair, recycle, rot

    The shop is literally a mecca for those leading or aspiring to lead a zerowaste lifestyle. And while many will furrow their brow if you mention ‘zerowaste’ in conversation, the movement is building up a loyal and committed following in the UK. Around the world, unpackaged shops have been growing for a while, our German cousins have Unpackaged and there are numerous other examples of bulk and package-free shopping across Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada. Sometimes it feels we were a bit late to join the party, but at least we’re getting on board now. Because, there is clearly an enlightened bunch of people, all from different walks of life, uniting together gloabally to tackle our human consumption and wast problem, because we all recognise the rate at which we are producing waste is not sustainable nor kind to our planet.

    Unpackaged shopping: back to basic (or a return to the pre-plastic era)

    Shopping in npackaged shops basically involves being prepared with your produce bags and jars in toe. It is akin to taking your bags for life, you just need a few extra things to put what is normally in plastic in your own REUSABLE bags and containers.

    A beautiful display. Just take your reusable bottle for refilling and pots for the spices.

    If you live in London I cannot recommend a visit to Bulk Market enough. It is a refreshing look at what is hopefully the future of food shopping in the UK 🙂

     

     

    Green Beauty Green Earth Green Homes and Interiors

    Save the planet one safety razor at a time

    The other day someon asked me about my razor. They assumed that safety razors where more dangerous than the plastic disposable kind we have grown accustomed to, the PLASTIC kind. I said it wasn’t, that they’re simple to assemble and showed her. Then I decided that perhaps others were on the fence, unsure whether to #DITCHTHEIRDISPOSABLES and reach for the reusable. This video above demonstrates just how SIMPLE it is. Plus don’t you think they’re just so gorgeous?

    Five reasons you need to switch to a reusable razor: 

    1. They’re reusable-it’s a no brainer #reuserevolution
    2. A safety razor will save you money in the long run
    3. They’re completely recyclable
    4. They’re very stylish
    5. It is estimated that in the US alone, 2Billion disposable razors are thrown away every year- which is a lot of plastic in landfill or our waterway

     

     

     

    Green Eats/Health

    Fed by Water, food review

    Today I visited Fed by Water after happening upon it on my way back from my first visit to the pop-up Bulk Market on the Kingsland Road.

    As part of their healthy outlook all customers are offered complimentary purified water

    The idea of healthy, mindful plant-based Italian cuisine struck me as innovative. I’m accustomed to the concept of vegan curries: Thai, Indian and Vietnamese, as well as vegan junk food, such as American style burgers and have tried plant-based hot-dogs. But, this was the first time I discovered vegan Italian food. It sounded comforting and when I looked at their Instagram account, the dishes pictured looked so tempting we went there for lunch today.

    Italian food has long been a staple in the UK and often referenced as the UK’s ‘favourite’ cuisine-and I get why, it’s very homely and moorish. Giving up dairy, one can sometimes feel a bit cut-off from this form of cooking: creamy and rich dishes such as risotto or tagliatelle (NB: I’m a terrible cook so cannot stretch to creamy vegan pasta sauces, yet). The buttery richness makes it the ideal comfort food. That’s why, when I noticed Fed by Water I thought, “will it fill this longing for creamy comfort food I have been craving…?”

    Well, we were not disappointed!Read on to find out more…

    The menu was quite extensive, a double sided A3, with more specials on the boards. Initially, I felt a little overwhelmed by the repetition of tofu on seemingly all their dishes. I’m not a massive fan of tofu unless it’s be deep fried (#nomnom), then I like it. The starters were largely bread based, which I felt would be too heavy to start as we were planning try one pizza and one risotto or pizza main, so opted just for two mains.

    I wonder what method of purification they use 🤔

    The Pizza: PC Sempre Verde (rocket, capers,  black olives, cashew mozzarella and tomatoe base on activated charcoal dough).

    The pizza base was BLACK  as it was made with activated charcoal which is known for its detoxifying properties. It looked and tasted just stunning- I am not exaggerating when I say it is possibly the best pizza I have ever had, this includes the time before I cut out dairy. The combination of flavours was awesome and apart from a hefty scattering of smoked tofu (I would have preferred more olives and capers) the pizza was truly delicious. The cashew based mozzarella was unlike any vegan cheese I’ve had before in the BEST way possible and the tomatoe base was rich with lots and lots and flavour. I reserve all the praise for this amazing black pizza.

    I am not exaggerating when I say it is possibly the best pizza I have ever had

    The Risotto: Risotto di mare (super garluc charged rissotto with sampire and pistachios)

    Again, the risotto was black and came with a samphire  garnish. The rice was al dente and the overall flavour was intensly garlicy, so if you’re no lover of garlic, then perhaps avoid ordering the rissotto. Luckily we love garlic. Again this dish was everything I anticipated: it was creamy, comforting and just really tasty.

    The portions are really generous, which meant we actually ended up bringing the left overs home. And luckily Fed with Water use compostable packaging ✌.

    Desert: Raw Tiramisu

    We finished off the meal with the classic Italian desert,  tiramisu.  Unfortunately it just lacked depth of flavour  and had the cream had a peculiar texture.  It’s a pity as the rest of the meal was EPIC.

    Drinks: Freshly pressed juice

    To drink we had freshly pressed  orange juice as we have been feeling the Autumn vibes around here at the moment. It was delicious and came with an air-dried slice of orange!

    Free H20: Fed offer all their patrons complimentary & purified still or SPARKLING (woop woop) water, which is a bonus!

    Would I return? Yup in a FLASH! Next time I think I’ll try their cabonara or lasagna or… so many tempting options…

    One thing I will say though is, it is a bit on the pricey side, at last for me and for a Monday lunch! It is not a cheap lunch destination, so perhaps save it for special occasion. For example, a main is £12+ and there’s a service charge of £4.75 which I thought was quite high- luckily it’s optional, so you can choose to leave your own tip. 👍 That said, sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for amazing plant-based food such as this.

    Final word: I would happily take a vegan food cynic to Fed by Water as the food is as delicious as any Italian restaurant around.

     

    Green Earth

    Holiday Cottages

    Life can go on standstill when we go on holiday. You might be inclined to switch off the wifi, disconnect yourself from everyday life and retreat into the simple things life has to offer for the duration, especially if you’re immersed in the countryside. And this much I get and wholeheartedly encourage as surely holidays are all about switching off…but: that doesn’t mean we should forget about the environment in the process!

    This year I have stayed in three rural cottages and NONE have provided the facilities to recycle our packaging or food waste- the latter I found  especially shocking as all three holiday cottages had large gardens, which would have made composting food waste really simple.

    I am currently in another such cottage where there is only a general waste bin. We live in an age that has surely taught us that there isn’t anything such as general waste anymore. Waste is categorized and disposed of responsibly these days, and while I am not trying to shift the burden of responsibility to the rural folk, I would have expected those living in the rural areas would have EVEN more inclination to protect our beautiful green spaces that those of us who might be more inclined to live in denial in the concrete jungles.

    Either way, the principles of recycling cannot be denied by or to holidaymakers and therefore, the facilities need to be extended to holidaymakers so they can practically dispose of waste.

    We are holidaymakers relaxing, disconnecting etc etc, but we aren’t disconnecting from our determination to keep our planet in good nick, and do our level best. As a result, we’ve had to find local recycle bins a short walk down the road, and this is great that it’s there, but I do wonder:

    1. how many other holidaymakers staying in this cottage would do this?
    2. Why the holiday cottage industry cannot create a mandate to follow that requires all holiday makers to holiday responsibly?

    Just because w’re on holiday doesn’t mean we enter a state of denial- we are relaxing while recycling! IN fact, recycling makes me feel better- not being able to would really interrupt my holiday!!

     

    I wrote to Organic Cottages UK to see what their stance was on this matter, here’s what they replied:

    Linda Moss response:-

    Green Fashion

    Carbon Neutral Leggings & Slow Fashion

    I recently purchased two pairs of leggings from the UK’s best known ethical brand, People Tree. The leggings are made from organic cotton. Organic cotton has an incredibly positive impact on the planet: the farmers, their land, and consequently the environment and eco-system and ultimately the clothes that they become, simply because the soils traps more CO2 and the lack of #chemicals used.

    In the case of these leggings, they are carbon neutral as a result, as organic farming ‘holds 1.5 tons of CO2 in the soil each year.

    People Tree Tag

    People Tree and Assisi garment tag

    Organic Farming Facts: 

    • -Avoids harmful pesticides
    • -Avoids fertilisers
    • -Better for the soil and subsequent usage as well as the current eco-system and local environment
    • -Prevents the spread of even more harmful chemicals in the environment

    Why is organic farming so important?

    According to this article #organic cotton doesn’t just:

    1. require less water as it

    2. Uses no pesticides, insecticides or herbicides which account for an estimated 20,000 deaths annually in Asia

    3. Protects eco-systems as a result of not using the above

    Sadly, less than 1% of the cotton produced is organic 🙁

    4. Organic cotton is better for us as well, as we won’t end up wearing clothes full of harmful chemicals and the

    5. Farmers, cotton factory workers and garment makers  (the supply chain) are exposed to harmful chemicals each working day-this doesn’t seem necessary or fair

    6. As it is estimated that 10,000 cotton farmers in the USA dies from cancers associated with farming fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides

    Read the article here

    The FULL package:

    In fact the entire bundle I received in the post from People Tree was pretty environmentally friendly: 

    • The outer packaging was made from recycled sources
    • The ‘plastic’ the leggings were in was biodegradable
    • The label was held on with a ribbon instead of plastic
    • The information about the garment was minimal and printed onto paper
    • There wasn’t any additional marketing like flyers or a catalogue

    People Tree was founded by Safia Minney over 25-years ago. It has since earned itself an international reputation, recognised as an affordable and ethical brand on our high street today (although they don’t have physical shops, they are in smaller boutiques but still largely mail order).

    Fair trade is a citizen’s response to correcting the social injustice in a international trading system that is largely dysfunctional, where workers and farmers are not paid a living wage, and where the environment is not considered at all…” 

    People Tree has surely been a driver of the ethical fashion movement and has helped highlight the need to bring much needed awareness to the way in which the clothes we wear are made. And thankfully more and more small fashion houses are popping up with a clear message of transparency in fashion and consideration towards the environment.

    In fact in 2017 and more prominently in the preceding years, the ethics of how exactly the fast fashion we all invest in (and all too regularly) is made, has become a burning issue for many high profile individuals such as  Safia Minney, Vivienne Westwood and Livia Firth to name just a few; as well as everyday consumers and fashion bloggers who are all making their own contribution nu holding fashion brands to account, and adopting  the hashtag #whomademyclothes, in an attempt to find out more about the item of clothing: what were the conditions of the garment worker, their name, their locations. The hashtag also has the capacity to act as push towards more transparency in an already very shadowy industry.

    The plight of garment workers, most of whom are women, has been documented in ‘The True Cost’, a poignant documentary that tells the truth about the people who make our clothes.

    The True Cost is directed and was conceptualised by Andrew Morgan, who uncovers a lot of what most consumers already have some idea about (but the lure of fast fashion is too tempting to resist).

    As viewers of the The True Cost we can only be affected by the information and it could quite possibly be  powerful enough to make us change our shopping habits for good.

    One of the participants, a garment worker in Bangladesh, relays her own poignant story of how her work in Dhaka means she’ll be separated from her daughter Nadia for up to one year. Due to the long hours and working environment, her daughter is safer and better cared for in the village with her grandparents, while her mother Sheema earns a living in the city.

    It’s hard for us to comprehend not seeing our own child for a year because of poverty and entrapmen. Yet this IS the reality for so many parents working in the garment industry, all over the world. When you hear this story that new dress or those new trainers don’t quite have the same allure anymore, do they?

    What would happen if The True Cost was played on loop in every high street store in the UK, the world even, everyday? Wouldn’t the outcome be able to tell us to depth of the problem, which ever way it swung?

    People Tree have demonstrated that fashion can be ethical and kind to the environment while functioning as a successful business. They’re international, popular, appeal to a wide demographic, support their workers and are thoughtful in their choice of packaging (see below- the leggings were wrapped in bio plastic)

    People Tree packaging

    People Tree packaging

    It’s a shame the reality is there are so few like them, and so few current high street shops seem unwilling to change their ways. For example, I took a walk through the high street in Bristol were there are probably 100 high street shops, and not a single-one can claim the credentials of People Tree. It’s sad that even with so much enlightenment and transparency thanks to telling documentaries like The True Cost, more retailers aren’t responsive in bringing about change quicker.

    You can visit the Ethical Fashion Forum to find a long lost of ethical outlets and visit the Soil Association by clicking here, where you’ll find a number of brands that use certified organic cotton.

    Instead of centralised action, tokenism is rife and unsurprisingly quite common these days. Consider H&M’s Conscious Collection or the LOVE range at Monsoon, all of which aren’t making any huge amount of difference to the majority of their employees, and ironically such lines are merely demonstrating garment industries inequalities louder.

    It’s effectively saying, “Hi, welcome to {insert shop name here} on this side of the store you have the garments made by garment employees we don’t give much of a damn about, and over here in this corner is our organic cotton range, where we paid a handful of people a little bit extra to show the world we are doing as much as we can and that deep down, way, way beneath our profit margins, we really do care.”

    POWER to the consumer:

    As consumers we are able to use our voice, our vote, by choosing where we to spend our money, which can transpire to be meaningfully or meaninglessly. To this end, we do have the consumer power to affect positive change. And we can do this by buying less but buying better from retailers who are making a difference.

    Ethical Fashion is already a reality…

    This is not a Utopian ideal for the fashion industry, because People Tree are proof that it is a sustainable business model. Perhaps current high street leaders will make less overall profits, which are generally staggering by the way) but perhaps this is at the heart of the change we need address: simple greed, and with that, **perhaps** those CEO bonuses need to be a little less generous too.

    Documentaries that portray the realities of the garment industry, such as The True Cost are only likely to increase as the world of capitalism and its ugly creation : fashion fashion  is pitted against individuals and companies who are using the internet, their blogs, their social media accounts to expose the ugliness its ugliness and question its exploitative traits, all of which are the direct result of 21st century consumer capitalism: supply and demand.

    Ask yourself this: would you sacrifice rearing your own child for an unknown period of time? No! Then why should mother’s like Sheema? 

    You and I know fast fashion SUCKS the life out of its workers, produces soulless clothes AND ironically makes us poorer because we simply buy more…so STOP SUPPORTING FAST FASHION TODAY and buy ethical brands that use Organic cotton for a healthier, happier world.

    References:

    Soil Association

    Global Organic Textile Standard 

    Huffington Post