Tell Your Friends London

My favourite thing about eating at Vegan restaurants is that you don’t waste time searching for the vegan options on the menu – you can order anything.

At TYF, their curated menu offers ethically sourced seasonal produce, and everything is plated beautifully. Also, their crockery is gorgeous.

I can’t ignore a brunch menu, and on Saturdays, it’s extended until 4pm! We ordered the French toast with bananas, berries and custard, and the chocolate and hazelnut pancakes. They were delicious, and at £9.50 each, standard London pricing for a great meal.

TYF’s vibe is cool too – there’s pink neon signing, shelving covered with plants and a plush pink sofa.

The staff were lovely and friendly, and made sure we were enjoying our time there.

The table next to us ordered the mac’n’cheese, so that’s what I’ll order next time I visit.

If you go on a weekday, check out what offers they have on, because you might get a pretty sweet deal.

TYF are also on Deliveroo – massive bonus!

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Refarm’d: transforming Dairy Farms into Animal Sanctuaries

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Veganism is a movement. It’s political, it’s economic, and it’s growing.

As with most social movements, ideas initially appear to be radical. They go against opinions held by the collective, as these new ideas equate to rejecting or reforming old ones.

In order to survive, humans ate the food that grew on the land they lived. They began to plant seeds, harvest their crop and work together as those first communities settled to swap and share what they grew, for what their neighbours grew.

They kept animals, and small holdings, and became self-sufficient.

Our ancestors ate meat, but in 2020, we don’t need to eat animals to survive. We have supermarkets full of vegan alternatives, and ready meals free from animal products. For many of us, our main objective is not to eat to survive.  We have transformed into a culture where taste matters. We cook what we enjoy, we dine out, and we indulge.

So when meat eaters argue that they eat meat because they like the taste of it, what it translates as is that they like the taste that they’ve been conditioned to like; cooked meat, seasoned meat, flavoured meat. We don’t kill the animal ourselves, rip the skin or feathers off, and eat it raw like our ancestors did to survive. This ‘keeping up traditions’ argument is flawed. Our ancestors didn’t fly in planes, or use smartphones, but we do because technology has adapted. And food technology has adapted too.

Farming, as a practice, has been passed on through generations. Although lots of farms claim that they treat their animals well and give them a good life, I never think killing a sentient being is moral; there is no dignity in death. But for farmers, abandoning a business that has taken a lifetime’s work, for a social movement that they may not agree with, is difficult.

That’s where Refarm’d come in. They’re a new social venture who want to help dairy farmers transform their businesses. By turning current dairy farms into animals sanctuaries, they offer farmers the help they need to stop abusing and killing the animals they own. Instead, their farm becomes a safe haven for animals, whose bodies will not be valued by their flesh. Refarm’d also support the farmer with their new income source, by selling plant-based milk. Buying the ingredients directly from a local producer means the farmer can make the fresh plant-based milk on their farm. This allows the farmers to have a quick and easy transition into their new lifestyle, as the animals can stay on the farmland, and they don’t need to worry about whether the land would be suitable for growing plants.

Highlighting a problem of modern society, is of course, crucial for our need to progress, but offering a solution is vital. Our consumption of meat and dairy products is driving us to self-destruction. The Vegan Society state that the world’s population has doubled since the 1960s, but the world’s meat production has quadrupled. This pattern will continue to contribute to climate change, deforestation, widespread pollution, water scarcity and species extinction. More forest fires will burn, like we’ve seen in recent months in South America and Australia.

But by transforming dairy farms in sanctuaries, the planet’s Carbon Dioxide emissions will slowly but surely decrease, and also increase the plant-milk market; which is accelerating at such a rate, that in Spring 2018, New York had run out of oat milk. According to the Dairy Farmers of America, milk sales have dropped by $1 billion, while plant-based alternatives continue to surge.

If you’d like to nominate a farm that you think could benefit from a transformation by Refarm’d (for free) you can contact them here.

Have a browse of their Instagram too, and make yourself an Oat flat white incase we have another shortage!

Vegan Skincare: Belenos Skin Botanique

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I love skincare. Working in the beauty industry, the last 6 months have been an induction into how to keep my skin looking youthful and glowing. Eye creams, neck creams, hand creams… I’ve learnt the difference between what I need to nourish and protect my skin, and what not to waste my money on. I now have a perfectly curated and effective routine that works for my lifestyle, and I love it.

As with most facets of my lifestyle, I opt for vegan alternatives where possible, avoid brands that endorse animal cruelty, and aim to shop locally.

As a New Year’s resolution for myself, I vowed to use up my existing collection of skincare products that are slowly taking over my bathroom. But then I got a DM.

It was Rhi, the founder of Belenos Skin Botanique who offered to send a couple of products for me to try.* Of course I said yes, I’m not one to turn down skincare as lovely as this.

Belenos Skin Botanique is a brand that adheres to all of my shopping goals. I discovered their Instagram account last year and followed with interest. Their ethos ‘every ingredient has a purpose’ resonated with me; I loved the transparency, and the fact that the products were vegan and palm oil free.

Rhi sent me the Cucumber Cleanser and the Repair Serum.

The cleanser is oil-based, with 6 active ingredients. I’m used to a water-based cleanser, but the weight of this cleanser was so light and surprisingly moisturising, that I’m seriously thinking of making the permanent swap. It smelt like freshly cut cucumber, and hydrated my skin wonderfully.

I didn’t know what to expect with the Repair Serum. I have tried so many serums that claim to make my skin glow and look its best. I often find that serums feel great on my skin before bed, but when I wake up, I can’t see or feel the difference. I have naturally good skin; I don’t have acne and drink enough water throughout the day, but I want to make it look like I’m energised and have had a lot more sleep than I actually have.

At £14, the Repair Serum is extremely reasonably priced. As soon as I opened the bottle (made from glass, not plastic of course) I could smell the Neroli, and I knew that we’d get on. This serum is a beautiful elixir of luxurious oils. My skin felt nourished and hydrated as it drank the potion in, as I was providing it with all the vitamins it needed (A, C and E).

I’m excited to continue using these products, and look forward to my skin looking and feeling even more pampered.

(I may have to invest in some more storage!)

*Items gifted, all views are my own.

To check out these products for yourself, head to: https://belenosskinbotanique.com/

 

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:

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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.

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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.