Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Home Lifestyle & Health Vegan chef shortages, overnight oats, and Tube takeovers: A week in vegan...

Vegan chef shortages, overnight oats, and Tube takeovers: A week in vegan news

The vegan world has continued to be rocked by the ranty-Waitrose-editor-gate fiasco, with everyone giving their two cents worth.

Some are outraged that such ‘hilarious’ free speech has been met with a good resignation, while others are simply perplexed as to why an editor for a supermarket would poke fun at a consumer group their company is actively trying to court.

Urgh.

But let’s not allow William Sitwell et al to p*ss all over our bonfire, because there have been lots of good things this week in other vegan news…

Ironically, Waitrose is named best UK supermarket for vegan food

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was created using digital filters) The Waitrose sign is displayed outside a branch of the supermarket on November 18, 2015 in Bristol, England. As the crucial Christmas retail period approaches, all the major supermarkets are becoming increasingly competitive to retain and increase their share of the market. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Ahh, a vegan paradise (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Waitrose has been named the best supermarkets for consumers looking to buy vegan food online, a new study has found.

According to eCommerce analytics platform, E Fundamentals, Ocado has the widest offering of plant-based food products, while Waitrose’s website is the most user-friendly for vegans.

Advertisement
Advertisement

They topped a list which also included Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Iceland, Asda, and Amazon Prime.

In terms of product ranges across retailers, vegan options account for 4% of online retail listings, with vegan milk the highest at 12%. Ocado leads as the retailer with the widest variety of vegan and plant-based ranges on sale, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco also delivering a higher than average proportion of vegan ranges.

The plant-based Gods move in mysterious ways.

PETA takes over the Tube

PETA is taking over Clapham (Picture: PETA)

Sure, PETA isn’t everyone’s favourite charity but they sure do know a thing or two about shock tactics and effective advertising.

This week, the group has blitzed the crustation-chomping commuter belt of Clapham Common with a stack of posters featuring crabs, fish, lobsters and octopuses.

In each ad, an animal appears next to the words, ‘I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the individual. Go Vegan.’ or ‘Sea Life, Not Sea Food’.

‘Just like humans, fish, crabs, lobsters, and octopuses feel pain and fear, have unique personalities, and value their own lives,’ says PETA Director Elisa Allen.

‘PETA’s tube takeover asks everyone to spare these sensitive animals the agony of being boiled to death, eaten alive, or crushed in fishing nets simply by choosing vegan meals. See animals, not ‘seafood’.’

A PETA US investigation of a crustacean abattoir revealed that live lobsters and crabs were impaled, torn apart, and decapitated – even as their legs continued to move.

Chefs typically place live lobsters in pots of boiling water while they’re still conscious – a cruel practice that has been banned in Switzerland – and some cut off live octopuses’ limbs and serve them still writhing to customers. Fish may slowly suffocate or be crushed to death when they’re dragged out of the ocean in huge nets, and the throats and stomachs of those who survive are cut open on the decks of fishing boats.

Advertisement
Advertisement

But increasingly alternative fishy products are becoming popular. Just last month, renowned London fish and chip shop Sutton and Sons converted its Hackney location to an all-vegan menu offering ‘fish’ and chips, ‘scampi’, and ‘prawn cocktail’.

So, over to you, Clapham.

Vegans are accused of causing the world’s suffering

Motivbeschreibung: Avocado, Halbe Avocado, Avocado-Kern, Kern, Gr?n, Green, half avacado Ort: Studio Thema: Avocado
Are our avos really causing the world to burn? (Picture: Getty)

Journo Yasmin Alibhai-Brown accused vegans this week of causing ‘huge amounts of pain around the world’.

She said that demand for soy, quinoa, and avocados was tearing the world apart due to deforestation.

‘Soy has caused deforestation in huge areas,’ she said on the BBC. ‘In parts of India, because the West has now got onto chickpeas, they cost more than chicken, and quinoa and avocados are causing such disruption among the poorest’.

In the case of soy, the Union of Concerned Scientists say that 70-75% of the world’s soy ends up as feed for chickens, pigs, cows, and farmed fish.

So I think us tofu eaters can rest easy in our beds with that one.

Cafe Rouge launches a new vegan menu

French cuisine might not be known for being vegan-friendly, but that’s not stopped Cafe Rouge from jumping on the plant-based bandwagon.

Advertisement

The chain says it’s seen a 44% increase in demand in their new vegan autumn dishes in the last month alone.

So it’s now bringing out a special one for Christmas too.

It’ll be offering up a mushroom filo parcel or vegetable Parmentier alongside their existing vegan and gluten-free options such as mushroom and spelt risotto, butternut squash soup and chocolate and chestnut torte.

Vevolution launches this week

(Picture: Sarah Koury / Entirety Labs)

The annual Vevolution fest is back at the BFI this week on 10 November, and is set to be the biggest and best yet.

King Cook Daily, BOSH! Naturally Stefanie, Rachel Ama – all the vegan royalty will be there to deliver up some tasty bites and a whole load of inspo.

‘Around the world, plant-powered people are playing a huge role in shaping culture. Vevolution Festival 2018 is the gathering for the plant-powered generation – it’s all about coming together to help shape a more positive outlook for the future of the planet,’ says co-founder Damien.

Tickets are priced between £45 adn £103.50, which does seem a bit dear but you know, that’s the price you pay for supporting small businesses.

Vegan breakfast company Bexfast is crowdfunding for a new HQ

(Picture: Bex Walker/Instagram)

A while ago, we interviewed Bex Walker who founded an overnight oats company in her kitchen with her young daughter.

Bex came to veganism after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

She’s always been clear that while eating plant-based doesn’t cure CFS, she’s found it to dramatically reduce the symptoms. And like many of us who perhaps come to the movement for health reasons, Bex says that the longer she’s involved in veganism, the more she’s got on board with the ethical side of things.

Advertisement

Her business, thanks largely to Instagram, has gone from strength to strength – so much so that she now desperately needs to move premises if she’s to continue the enterprise.

Bex and her daughter Tyler do everything for Bexfast, from cooking up the batches to oats to sticking the labels on and delivering the pots. And let me tell you, they’re ridiculously delicious (particularly the unicorn flavour).

They’re looking to raise £20,000 by Christmas so that the business can keep growing amid a booming plant-based industry.

The UK is running out of vegan chefs as demand continues to rise

5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
(Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

As if the editor of the Waitrose magazine making all the headlines for a cheap jibe at vegans wasn’t proof we’re well mainstream these days, the Guardian reported this weekend that restaurants cannot keep up with the demand for vegan grub.

A new vegan cookery school (the Vegan Chef Institute) opened in London last week, launching a fast-track course to train more people in the art of plant-based cookery.

Chantal Di Donato, co-founder of the Vegan Chef Institute, told the paper that the scheme was in response to restaurateurs who have to train their own staff.

‘There’s a lot of really good chefs in the industry, but it’s really hard to find enough of them because it’s so new.

‘A lot of the food on offer was uninspired. But vegan food can be more than just a salad or a roasted cauliflower – that’s why we think this is important.’

Oh and ICYMI, one in eight of us are now plant-based

5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
(Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

Waitrose (again?!) published a report last week claiming that one in eight Brits are now vegan or veggie, with a further 21% claiming to be flexitarian.

The report also found that nine in 10 people who saw BBC’s Blue Planet II have changed their behaviour since to be more eco-friendly.

Waitrose managing director Rob Collins says: “Being mindful of how we live and eat has become a priority in today’s world.

‘As we become increasingly mindful of our own health, the wellbeing of our family and that of the planet, we’re reshaping how we shop, cook and eat.

‘Welcome to the era of the mindful consumer.’

Oh, there really is something so gloriously ironic about all of this.

MORE: Single-use, gammon and gaslight make it onto word of the year list

MORE: Elasticated waistbands at the ready, Pret’s Christmas menu is coming

Advertisement
Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here