Tag Archives: vegan

‘Eat less red meat’, say experts and every newspaper in the UK. ‘Duh!’ say every vegan, vegetarian and raw foodist.

20 Feb

Cows are dancing for joy at the news that the SACN recommends we humans eat less meat...

Today was a good day for vegans, vegtarians, raw foodists and even raw food hypocrites like me.  Every Sunday newspaper in the UK has reported on the ‘advice’ due to be released by The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommending that we eat less meat.  While the equivalent of three rashers of bacon a day still seems like a lot  to me – surely we are merely a stone’s throw from being ‘advised’ to be completely raw…

While the full report will be issued in a few days with the full advice and basis for it – here is the article I’ve copied from today’s Independent.

Britons should cut their consumption of red and processed meat to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, scientific experts are expected to recommend in a report.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) was asked by the Department of Health to review dietary advice on meat consumption as a source of iron.

In a draft report published in June 2009 the committee of independent experts said lower consumption of red and processed meat would probably reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

The committee said: “Although the evidence is not conclusive, as a precaution, it may be advisable for intakes of red and processed meat not to increase above the current average (70g/day) and for high consumers of red and processed meat (100g/day or more) to reduce their intakes.”

A daily total of 70g is equivalent to about three rashers of bacon.

The Sunday Telegraph said the full report, to be published within days, was expected to echo the committee’s draft report.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The DH committee of independent experts on nutrition will shortly publish their final report on iron and health.”

The World Cancer Research Fund already recommends people limit their intake of red meat, including pork, beef, lamb and goat, to 500g a week.

The fund also advises consumers to avoid too much processed meat, including hot dogs, ham, bacon and some sausages and burgers.

The Telegraph goes further to reiterate that ‘links between red meat and cancer, which have been suggested by a series of scientific studies, have provoked long-running controversy.

In 2005, a European study found those who regularly ate 160g (5.6oz) of red meat a day increased their risk of bowel cancer by one third.

High consumption of red and processed meat has also been linked to many other cancers, including that of the breast, bladder, stomach and digestive organs, but the evidence is weaker.’

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Meatloaf is a vegetarian

11 Dec

Knowing my passion for raw food, my clever friend Wybe sent the raw food hypocrite this brilliant image, designed by JWT Kuwait for International Vegan Union. 

I can safely say that if this was a reflection of my body, there would be some chocolate, an espresso, cheese on biscuits and a pizza in there also!

While their website looks pretty bad, the content on it is really interesting and useful.  For example, I found out that there are no vegan organisations in Swaziland, and that Pythagorus, Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Kate Bush, Billy Idol, ‘Weird’ Al Yankovich, Mel C, Prince, Moby, Justin Timberlake and even  Meatloaf are vegetarians.

Jay Rayner doesn’t give a toss about raw food

7 Jul
Jay Rayner's taste buds could with a lot more raw/vegan cruelty

Jay Rayner's taste buds could with a lot more cruelty from vegan food

While at Hay Festival, like the great big nerd I am, I unashamedly queued to have my books signed by both Jay Rayner and Heston Blumenthal (note unashamed name dropping).  In my small moment basking in their celebrity aura, I asked them both the same question; ‘what do you think about raw food?’  While Heston was ‘onto it’, Jay Rayner was, well, less enthusiastic; ‘I don’t give a toss.  If food doesn’t taste nice, it shouldn’t be eaten.’ 

Ignoring the question of ‘what exactly does nice tasting mean?’ – he’s right and I don’t think it’s just because I agree with him.  Raw fruit and vegetable combinations of all sorts are often difficult to swallow, literally.  But I didn’t need to meet him to hear his point of view.  Having read his review of SAF (which I whole-heartedly disagreed with in my own review), he made his point against raw food loudly and clearly in the headline: ‘It’s grim down Saf; vegan cuisine is a non-starter if it’s kind to animals but cruel to the taste buds.’

Jay Rayner is blatantly anti-vegan, anti-vegetarian, anti-raw and having read his recent book; ‘The man who ate the world; In search of the perfect dinner’, which is a kind of Michelin starred, international Super Size Me, he is also clearly anti-healthy food. 

However, I do think he is truly great, not just because he took the time to answer my question honestly, but because he represents the voice from the stomach of just about everyone I know, including the hypocrite in me. He is also really hilarious, completely decadent, down to earth and I happen to know he is extremely generous with his time with charities such as Summer Uni London’s Nang magazine.

Despite the large black rings (swollen liver?) under his bloodshot eyes (adrenal exhaustion?), a sweaty pallor (high blood pressure?) and swollen belly (candida?), Jay’s energy and wit defy a body under nutritional stress. My instinct following my 36 second ‘meeting’ with him was that he is a genuinely happy and successful man and also a genuinely unhealthy one.

But at what point do we let go of our emotional conditioning around the food we eat and prioritise our health?  And when do we allow ourselves to make choices that are not centred around what our mothers allowed or didn’t allow us to eat? Jay constantly referred to his famous Mother, Clare Rayner, in his book and he’s not alone in making the connection to food and mothering.  We all do it all the time, although mostly subconsciously.  But does eating something  that triggers happy (or sad) memories of childhood, maternal approval or feelings of success taste ‘nicer’ than the real clear-headed-living-in the-present-moment experience of eating fresh, natural, local, ripe,  nutrient-rich, absolutely 100% raw food?

I love Jay’s column and his books and don’t want him to change but I also, selfishly, want him to keep writing about food for a very long time.  I also, as a personal aim, want him to, one day, write about a raw meal in the same way he writes about the ‘Arpege tomato’.

There simply must be a way to embed the same ecstatic ‘nice tasting’ triggers in the experience of eating raw fruit and vegetables in our children, that Jay gets from buttery, garlicky escargots and foie gras and I get from cheddar cheese and gherkins on a freshly baked baguette.

Raw Food on Eurostar

11 May

Compared to carbon-greedy airlines, Eurostar has always struck me as a relatively progressive and eco-friendly brand. So when my friends and I booked our trip to Belgium I was sure they would have healthy food for both someone like me who can easily dabble in cooked food if they have to and someone much nicer who eats raw food 100% of the time.

Fruit salad on the Eurostar

Fruit salad on the Eurostar

If you travel Business Premier or Leisure select you have lots of options however you will need to give notice: 12 hours for vegetarian meals, 24 hours for children’s meals and 36 hours notice for kosher, halal, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low salt and gluten free meals. When I rang the dedicated phone number (01777 77 78 78) and asked about raw food meals this is what happened:

RFH*: Hi, Do you have a raw fruit and vegetable option?
E*: Yes, we offer vegetarian.
RFH: Is that cooked?
E: Yes.
RFH: I’d prefer a meal of fruit and vegetables that is uncooked. Do you offer that?
E: Yes. You can have the vegetarian meal uncooked.
RFH: Will that be raw fruit and vegetables?
E: I’ll check.
Time passes
E: Hello. We cannot do a raw fruit and vegetables option, but you can bring your own.
RH: Thank you.

I wonder what an uncooked vegetarian meal looked like in her mind – raw pasta and tomatoes?? No thanks. 

While no raw fruit and vegetable option is officially available on Eurostar, here is the link to the standard class menu, which offers the raw options ranging from a fruit salad, garden salad, various fruit pieces, to a dried fruit and nut mix.

Needless to say I took their advice and brought my own.

*’RFH’ is me, the raw food hypocrite, and ‘E’ is Eurostar call centre.

Conscious Bars are a Raw Chocolate Treat Deluxe Supreme

1 May
Conscious chocolate bars wrapped in conscious recycled paper

Incredibly amazingly superlatively delicious Conscious Chocolate bars

Okay – I know I said I would stop writing about raw chocolate but I can’t help it. I’ve just had a bar of Conscious Chocolate called Love Potion Number 9. It’s amazing. It’s so amazing it’s beyond amazing and I’ll say that it could even be beyond ‘beyond amazing’. Actually, I’m holding back, it is so good it is nothing short of a culinary epiphany. Sorry –I know I might be going a little bit over the top about this chocolate bar (as I was over the others) but really and truely this is the best. I promise. And yes Vivian, you were right!

The raw ingredients in the few tiny crumbs of chocolate left on my lap are cacao butter, cacao powder, agave nectar, carob, coconut butter, spices, Himalayan salt, maca and essential oil of Otto rose. It’s also sugar free (even good for diabetics), pesticide free, gluten free, raw, vegan, handmade and wrapped in lovely recycled paper.

Based in Kent, Conscious Chocolate was founded in 2006 by vegan chef, Iyengar yoga teacher and chocolatier Emma Jackman for small scale distribution of their 40g chocolate bars only. Only a couple of years later Emma’s stunningly clever and delicious choccie bars are now, unsurprisingly, stocked in more than 50 outlets across the UK, including my local Planet Organic and Wholefoods. And best of all there are several delicious varieties:

Sunny Easter Feast
Yummy Mummy
Berry Christmas
Fruit Fantasy
Chocha Mocha Magic
Nicely Nutty
Best Ever Plain Chocolate
Best Ever Fiery Hazelnut
Best Ever Spiced Up
Fruity Goji and Coconut Delight
Love Potion No. 9
Love Your Heart Superfood
Best Ever Hint of Mint
Best Ever Citrus Zest
Best Ever Chilli Hot
Best Ever Essential Orange.

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

a truely life enhancing chunk of raw cacao

I don’t think I need to preach the benefits of raw cacao to you once again but in case you forgot or missed my post about it – it’s basically an aphrodisiac, serotonin booster, appetite suppressant, a cannibanoid without any side effects, and it’s rich in anti-oxidants, magnesium, zinc, calcium, phosphorus and sulphur (the beauty mineral).

I’m officially addicted and have the long list above to get through.

You can buy it right here.