Every Day Food For Thought
We challenge important issues with all of our collections, using the bold prints as an interesting conversation starter because we want to get people talking and educating one another. In a few of our blog posts we shared more information on the details of the pesticides, air miles and water footprint issues; also discussing small changes you can make in your day to day life to have a positive impact. We wanted to do the same this time with sustainable, plant based eating and everyday changes you can implement in your life to make a difference. We also look at zero waste tips tricks and suggestions because this is an important part of moving towards us being truly sustainable. This is something that is already at the heart of our brand, only using recyclable packaging, producing in small batches and creating accessories using fabric off cuts with the ambition of being totally zero waste. We wanted to encourage you to do the same so in this edition of our more every day centred blogs, we are thinking about food. These are our top tips on helping with your weekly shop, good habits to get into and if you’re a London local, then we’ve even got a guide to eating out.
ZERO WASTE EVERYDAY
When shopping, sometimes we can be left without a lot of choice on whether our produce comes bare or wrapped in plastic. A lot of supermarkets have began to introduce more plastic free options for our fruit and veg, but these huge companies still opt for plastic in a lot of cases to make food last longer and appear more appealing to consumers. For the most plastic free approach, we recommend doing your grocery shop at a farm shop or local market as they tend not to use plastic and you can buy a more specific quantity. They also sell organic and in season veg which have a significantly smaller environmental impact, so you’ll be doing your bit for the air miles cause at the same time. Our second tip is to take your own bags! You can get canvas and tote bags at your supermarket usually, but if you’re looking for something a bit more stylish there’s a huge number of brands that offer their own versions. We’d suggest looking for ones made of organic or recycled fabric and that are fair wear so that you know the person who made your bag was paid a living wage and treated fairly. You can get reusable netted produce bags from a variety of places, especially online, so if you want to separate your fruit and veg and keep them safer without all that plastic, this is definitely a product we’d recommend trying out.
PLANT BASED AT HOME
Nowadays there is a whole host of bloggers and influencers online posting all about eating vegan, various recipes and even shopping list suggestions so there’s some really helpful accessible information that goes into more detail about being zero waste with your eating. We're fortunate enough to know a few of these foodie babes ourselves so we've got a pretty good idea of who you should be checking out. Our previous post ‘foodie wonder babes’ has a link to some of the chefs we worked with in 2019 with links to their Instagram and websites so you can get all of the help and info you need straight from the horses mouth! Below we have some more on books that a few of these amazing ladies have written so you can see what might be right for helping you in your sustainable plant based venture!
@gemswholesomekitchen recently released 'The Self-Care Cookbook' a take on plant based recipes to nourish us through our busy lives. From indulgent chocolate puds to fiery bean stews, Gem has treated us to over 60 of her wholesome and delicious recipes to give ourselves some extra TLC without having to slave in the kitchen.
@bettinas_kitchen has a new book too, titled the 7 day vegan challenge. Aimed at everyone, from full on vegans to those who know it makes more sense to eat more fruit and veg. All her recipes are based around affordable and easy to find ingredients so you can cook tasty food that isn't over complicated. The book also includes everything from weekly shopping lists to meal planners to fit your lifestyle plus handy icons indicating whether something can be batch cooked, how long it will keep in the fridge and if it can be frozen.
Niki Webster's debut book Rebel Recipes, based on her blog as the same name @rebelrecipes, is describe as being all about 'maximum flavour, minimum fuss.' Previously working with brands such as Waitrose and Holland and Barrett, she has compiled all her foodie knowledge to create her indulgent plant based recipes. Her food is good for the soul, and the planet too!
SUSTAINABLE DINING OUT
Eating out is a fun treat, and being plant based definitely doesn't stand in the way of that, if anything we've had the opportunity to try out some incredible fine dining gems that can often get overlooked due to the plant based or sustainable ethos. Although the ones we’ve talked about here are just London based (since we are too) there are definitely some vegan havens in cities up and down the country, so we suggest you do your own digging too, and if you do find something worth raving about please let us know, we love trying new foods, especially on our travels!
Silo is the world's first entirely zero waste restaurant, which started in Australia and now has branches in a variety of countries, with its UK branch located in Hackney. They have their own flour mill, churn their own butter and when serving meat take on a ‘nose to tail’ approach. What they do is all about respect. Respect for the environment, for the way our food is generated, and for the nourishment it provides or bodies. Everything down to the furniture in the restaurant is up-cycled, any food that is delivered comes in reusable vessels and all food that can’t be eaten is composted to make sure it remains totally zero waste. Their menu is always seasonal, everything is used in its whole form to retain nutrients and ingredients are only bought locally to reduce the need for airmiles. By demonstrating that zero waste dining is possible, works and is also financially viable, they hope to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
Plant Hub is also located in the heart of Hackney, a plant based restaurant aiming to inspire a passion for plants through building a community where people can come and enjoy their food, natural wines and have fun learning more about plants. They are creating an incubator and research centre for plant excellence. Using hyper local seasonal ingredients, supporting local producers and connecting with the community. Their food is not just about the end dish, but educating people on the entire process.
Tredwells is a Marcus Wareing contemporary dining experience. Currently they have produced a consider(eat) menu in conjunction with stop the waste and world food day. For £29 you get three seasonally aligned courses, with plant based options, cuts of meat that are underused and various techniques such as dehydration to create balanced dishes. Chef Patron of Tredwells, Chantelle Nicholson, has created the menu that highlights how she uses surplus food and potential food waste that is innovative and delicious. Chantelle has always been mindful of minimising food waste in order to make a restaurant kitchen function efficiently. At £29 for 3 courses, it is also an approachable way to dine out, sustainably too, in the centre of Covent Garden.
Bonnington Café is a co-operatively run vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the Bonnington Square community centre in Vauxhall. The café is tucked away in the beautiful community gardens and has been around since the early 80’s, when it started as a squat café to provide a good cheap meal for the community. No single person runs the restaurant, it is instead maintained by a collective of member cooks who also contribute to the overall running of the venue. They are all passionate about providing excellent vegetarian home cooking at great prices in a friendly atmosphere. The cooks are from all over the world, so depending on when you go you’ll get to taste the chefs individual style. You can book by texting or emailing, you can check out what chefs will be in when on their website too. And it's bring your own bottle, so you can’t go wrong!
Spring, located at Somerset house, has a menu which changes daily, and is made up entirely of seasonal British produce. Australian Chef Skye Gyngell has turned Spring into one of the city's most remarkable restaurants, not just with her commitment to sustainability but the sheer quality of the food being produced. She has also introduced a scheme centred around eradicating the use of plastic containers in the restaurant, along with all other single use plastics, with the aim of being totally plastic free. The beautiful dining space and heartfelt cooking makes eating out here a truly wonderful experience.
Grow, located in Hackney, is an independent and self organised eco-system of studios and creative spaces with bars and a kitchen created out of an old sausage factory by the river. With a seasonal menu of everything from Middle Eastern tacos to vegan sharing platters and their organic wines, they make eating good food without hurting the planet an easy task. They have important aims that are good for everyone too – paying the London living wage, using eco energy, sourcing locally and working with independent and ethical enterprises. They also put on incredible events, trying to make them free where possible, so that music and art workshops can be shared and enjoyed by the entire community.
Sara, @shisodelicious, is another plant-based foodie blogger who has a recipe book; Bento Power where she makes vegan lunches and quick meals more vibrant and exciting. Her latest book however, An Opinionated Guide To Vegan London, is what you'll need if you're looking to eat out at the most stylish eateries for vegan dining. With beautiful photography too, her book covers everything from junk food and sweet treats to fine dining and superfoods, so it truly has everything you could possibly need to eat vegan in the city!
We hope that telling you about these plant-based superstars has inspired you to do some research of your own, as well as try something new. The world is your oyster (doesn’t mean you have to eat them) so open yourself up to the wonderful world of zero waste, vegan living. If not for your own health, do it for good old Mother Nature!