Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Vegan Spring Fete in Plymouth

No automatic alt text available.

Animal Aid is 40 years old this year and to celebrate this wonderful fact, they have initiated the three week Vegan Festival of Britain.  This isn't just about one event, this is about getting the vegan community to celebrate everything vegan by organizing a series of events during the three week festival, which runs from 20th May to the 10th June.

One such event is taking place this Saturday 27th May just over the Devon border in Plymouth. The Naturally Vegan Plot have organised an Animal Aid sponsored Spring Fete with stalls from a wide range of vegan businesses, animal rights groups and causes, information stalls, and of course lots of vegan food, pasties, and cakes.  Arts and crafts also feature, and please do check out the most beautiful wood turning creations by our mate Andy too. There are even massage tasters on offer and vegan photography to peruse, whilst there is also delicious vegan organic produce on sale from the hosts The Naturally Vegan Plot, so take your shopping baskets with you.

The Fete kicks off at 11am on Saturday at Abbey Hall which is at the rear of St Andrew's Church, Catherine's Street in Plymouth (just off of Royal Parade).  It runs until 5pm but to get in on the vegan cake act, I'd plan to arrive early (we know what you vegans are like with your cake!).

For more information check out The Celebration of Animal Aid - Vegan Spring Fete Facebook Event Page.   There is also more information available on The Naturally Vegan Plot too.

If you really can't get down to these parts (we are after all quite 'out there'!), do check out The Vegan Festival of Britain website for further details of all events taking place all over the country during the next three weeks.  Let's celebrate the very essence of veganism and the hard work that Animal Aid have done over the last 40 years to get us to this vegan turning point.

Friday, 19 May 2017

It's a Wrap

Whoever I.R. in Bollington, UK is, I salute you.  I'm also fairly disgraced by the fact that I didn't think about starting a petition about this very subject; the unnecessary plastic packaging that supermarkets feel the need to wrap around their fruit and vegetables. However, I.R. did, so most importantly, before I go in to my own personal rant about the subject, please do SIGN THIS PETITION if this gets under your skin too. 

So on to the rant.  Yes, we should all grow our own.  Yes, we should be buying from farmers markets, local produce stalls, the bloke (or lady bloke) down the road that grows their own, or order veg boxes. However, realistically we all pop in to the odd Sinsburys, Assda or Tosscos every now and then.  I purposefully try and avoid anything packaged in plastic but infuriatingly most of the organic produce, which I also prefer to choose, is more packaged it seems than the rest of the stuff.  Why should I have to choose between the environmental impact of plastic and the more healthful impact of organic produce?  It winds me up; which can't be good for my health.  Quite often I take so much offence at the amount of packaging on the organic produce that I end up choosing the non-organic.  

Reusable Produce Bags
Regardless of the organic/non-organic packaging dilemma, why the hell does any of it need packaging up so much anyway? It's actually obscene.  As I.R. pointed out, what is wrong with cardboard packaging if it really cannot bear to be sold without some form of excess packaging support?  Or what is wrong with a simple paper bag? Personally we use Onya Produce Bags for produce that really needs keeping together, but quite often we just bung it in the basket as if we were foraging in the forest (we can kid ourselves right?).  

There have also been various campaigns to encourage customers to leave excess packaging at the supermarkets. Doing a search will reveal a few examples, including the Women's Institute.  However, we quite like this one from The Book of Rubbish Ideas.  Much like the idea back in the 80's of emptying bags of McDonald's rubbish back on their own premises (preferably on the food serving counters), this might have quite an impact (obviously our issue wasn't just about packaging). It was pretty good fun too as really it was just returning their own property in a mischievous manner; but I digress.  Of course, none of this would be necessary if the packaging wasn't there in the first place.

Anyway, rant over.  Sign, sign, sign is what we say and let's get behind this petition big time. Campaigning worked for getting rid of the single use carrier bag right?  Meanwhile, if you are in the area and fancy some rocket or fresh herbs (bit early for everything else), we have a profusion in our garden but be warned, there will be trouble if you turn up with a plastic bag!  If your hands aren't good enough, get some Onya bags!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Cornish Vegan Pasty Company

The Cornish Vegan Pasty CompanyWe finally treated ourselves to a couple of proper vegan pasties from The Cornish Vegan Pasty Company today whilst on a visit to our local health food store, Sprout in Newquay.  

Now a vegan pasty is actually reasonably easy to find in Cornwall these days, but the pasties made by The Cornish Vegan Pasty Company are, being palm oil free, that vegan step further.  They are also a step further in taste.  

The two pasties on offer today at Sprout were the Vegan Cheese and Onion Pasty and The Mountain Chilli Pasty, which is also gluten free.  The more traditional Cornish Vegan Pasty, which contains seitan, had unsurprisingly sold out when we arrived on the scene.  We were however not disappointed by our options by any means.  The Cheese and Onion Pasty delivered a creamy cheesy punch with a delicate, non overpowering onion undertone.  The Mountain Chilli Pasty had a delicate and savoury pastry which was more than satisfying for us non gluten intolerant folk.  Some gluten free products can under perform for those that don't need to partake in curbing the gluten, but this was one pastry that certainly didn't. If you have ever had the mountain chilli from Good2Go in Perranporth, the lovely people behind these vegan pasties, you will know what to expect with the filling of this pasty.  It is wholesome, not overbearing in spice heat and satisfyingly filling.  

Now these are not cheap pasties and we admit, the cost had slightly put us off when we first saw them for sale; £4.50 for one pasty is a fair whack.  However, there are two things that counter the price; they are quality flavoursome products, and they are massive!  Indeed if you compare them to pasties made by non vegan companies, it is easy to see the price is more than fair when it comes to quality and size.

In Cornwall, The Cornish Vegan Pasties are available to buy from Good2Go in Perranporth, Sprout in Newquay,  and at both the Truro and Penzance branches of Archie Browns. If you are outside of Cornwall however, never fear, as there are places where you can get yourself a Cornish Vegan Pasty in Devon, Dorset, Wales, Birmingham, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.  There is a full list of stockists on the website (which is bound to increase over the coming months) and you can even get your pasties by post; prepared, packaged, and posted by the Pasty Pixies themselves.

The Cornish Vegan Pasty Company

44 St Pirans Road

Email: pastypixies@thecornishveganpastycompany.com
Phone: 07392 921983