Is café culture inadvertently tackling climate change?

Another brunch, another #vegan added to the pool of 85 million #vegan on Instagram.  Not only has veganism become a lifestyle, but for many millennials it’s become a statement, a trend, an Instagram classic.  By snapping and tagging their brunch, influencers and customers are providing free marketing to their favourite vegan hang-outs, and retailers are capitalising on this growing trend.

 

Gone are the days of dry falafel and bland tofu.  These new vegan cafés are an Instagrammer’s dream; coveting floral walls, neon words of encouragement and an array of edible flowers on exotic dishes.  Some of the most popular places to brunch in London include Dalloway Terrace, Feya and Kalifornia Kitchen.

 

A report by Forbes[1]states that millennials value experiences over possessions.  More and more customers are happy to pay for food at trendy cafés, on the premise that they’ll get an experience, and a photograph out of it.  Due to the perceived increase of social responsibility, many cafés are catering for people with plant-based diets, but appeal to the mass consumer. Neuro-Linguistic Program coach, Rebecca Lockwood argues that social media is one of the main reasons why millennials are splashing their hard-earned cash at these establishments.  She states ‘we see what everyone else is doing, and this can cause the feeling of missing out.’  If your favourite influencer brunches at these pretty cafés, you’re more likely to.

 

Yet this vegan aesthetic may inadvertently tackle climate change. The Vegetarian Society[2]states that boycotting meat for a year is equivalent to taking a small family car off the road for 6 months.  For most, it’s an achievable lifestyle target to meet whilst still living an ordinary life.

 

So if you’re paying for a gourmet Insta-worthy meal, it may as well be plant-based.

[1]https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/01/02/nownership-no-problem-an-updated-look-at-why-millennials-value-experiences-over-owning-things/#61c8e4fb522f

[2]https://www.vegsoc.org/info-hub/why-go-veggie/environment/

 

The G7 Summit: What You Need To Know

Today marks the beginning of this year’s G7 summit, where world leaders meet to discuss shared macroeconomic initiatives.  Hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Biarritz, all leaders have now arrived:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italy’s caretaker Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  These countries make the foundation of the summit, as they have the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, and some of the most powerful democracies.  The Egyptian President, Abdel Fatteh el-Sissi and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera are also invited to the two-day summit as guest countries.

President of the European Council, Donald Tusk has stated it will be an ‘unusually difficult’ meeting of the leaders.  He warns against trade wars, which he believes could lead to a global recession, and the advancement of technology that is developing more quickly than the ability to regulate it.  Tusk summarized by stating that this summit could be the last moment to restore unity among the G7 countries.

The issue at the top of the agenda is climate change.  Tusk has supported Macron’s decision to prioritize the Amazon wildfires, despite Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro promising to take a tough action approach by sending in the military to tackle the flames.  In an introductory speech, Macron stated, ‘we need to help Brazil and other countries put down these fires, and then we need to reinvest in reforestation.’

The discussions continue.

Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies

Don’t worry – these brownies are fudgy, gooey and don’t taste like a root vegetable!

 

To make 16 chocolate-y squares, you’ll need:

IMG_2955

400g sweet potato

140g dark chocolate

80g coconut oil

100g self-raising flour

160g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

 

Boil the sweet potato until it’s soft, then mash together.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil, then pour into the mash.

Add the flour, sugar and salt, and mix together.

Pour into a lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes.

IMG_2959

 

I also like adding more chocolate, fruit or nuts into the mixture!

Squirrel-eating men fined £600

The two men who ate raw squirrel at a vegan food stall have been fined £600.

 

Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29 ate the furry animals at the Vegan Soho Market in Rupert Streey, London on 30 March.

 

Onlookers were upset as they witnessed Khlebnikov and Lagzdins disturbing protest against veganism.  Lagzdins wore a t-shirt saying “Veganism = Malnutrition.”

 

The pair were convicted of public order offences, but denied the disorderly behaviour when on trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court in June.

 

They were found guilty on Monday 22 July 2019.

 

Khlebnikov was fined £200. Lagzdins, who did not attend the hearing, was fined £400.

 

This protest shocked so many onlookers, as squirrels are not generally seen as a normal meat to eat.

 

Andrew Rowan, Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University stated: “the only consistency in the way humans think about animals is inconsistency.”

 

Although justice was served in this case, the protest wouldn’t have had as great of an effect, or gained as much media attention if the pair ate raw bacon, for example.

Restaurant Review: Blanche Bakery – Roath, Cardiff

Oh, bb…

 

Blanche is undoubtedly my favourite vegan hang out in Cardiff, and I’ve visited more times than I can count.

 

Founded by Amy-Rose Hopkins and Remed Aran, Blanche is situated on Mackintosh Place – an area made busy by student life.  Vegan donuts, cakes and plant-based meals are freshly made every morning, and the menu changes depending on the season and ingredients available.

 

Some of my favourite donuts include the Earl Grey Tea, the Peppermint Candy Cane, and the Cereal and Mylk. Prices range from about £2.50 to £3.50, and for an independent business who bake them freshly, I think this is very reasonable.

 

The oat milk flat whites are also exceptional – a light, creamy roast that I could happily sip all day.

 

Blanche is a must-visit for anyone who loves an Instagram-opportunity.  It boasts a neon sign that reads ‘but first coffee’, marble tables, and a scandi-chic aesthetic.

 

Top-tip: check the opening hours on their website, you’ll be disappointed if you miss their dough!

Plant-based milk – who’s drinking it?

I’ve always loved an oat milk flat white, and it turns out a quarter of Britons also favour plant-based milk alternatives too.

 

A study by Mintel, a market research firm has discovered that 16-24 year olds are popularising the plant milk demand more than any other age demographic.

 

From almond to soy to coconut, 33% of 16-24 year olds are drinking and buying them.

 

Of this age group, 37% stated that they chose plant-based milks for their health, while 36% explained that dairy farming isn’t good for the environment.

 

And when you do actually think about where cow’s milk comes from, humans are the only species to drink another animal’s breast milk.

 

However, cow’s milk still dominates the milk market, securing 96% of the sales in 2018.