Yorica, the first all vegan ice cream parlour in London, has just announced they will be opening a second location! And guess where? In Notting Hill on the corner of Kensington Park Road & Blenheim Cresent near Notting Hill Bookshop! Is West London becoming super vegan friendly or what!! I am overly excited about this! (And I am sure everyone GreenBay team member is too) Currently planning how to make a little escape there on my lunch breaks!
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Yorica is not only 100% vegan, but they are also gluten free and nut free. There's also rumours of them working on going soya free, meaning that people with all lifestyles and allergies/intolerance will be able to enjoy their ice creams, fro-yo, milkshakes and waffles!!!
Have you watched the new documentary ‘What the Health’ by the producers of Cowspiracy yet? We were lucky enough to be invited to the UK press premiere last night by our lovely friends at Vevolution. The event was co-hosted by them and LUSH Life at the new LUSH Media HQ in London. It was a very exciting night being able to watch the documentary surrounded by like-minded people (and on a big screen!), as well as meeting new people, including Kip Andersen himself. At the end of the screening, there was a live Q&A with a panel consisting of Director Kip Andersen, Assistant Editor Ali Tabrizi, Co-founder of Vevolution Damien Clarkson, vegan chef Day Radley and chaired by Hilary Jones, Ethics Director at Lush.
Not only was the evening very exciting, but also very informative, as we can say that we left the venue feeling very inspired, as well as educated and armed with a whole bunch of new information and facts.
We would like to give the organisers a big thank you for inviting us (and for the free food and drinks), as well as a huge congratulations for putting on such a successful night, and we hope that the public screening this afternoon is just as successful. Last but not least, thank you to the event sponsors for the products in the goody bag, we are enjoying them all!
If you still haven’t seen the documentary, it is available to watch online, just click here
There is no denying that veganism is growing rapidly, with reports claiming it has risen by 360% in the last 10 years in the UK alone, and this rise has been driven mainly by the younger generations, with over 40% of vegans being aged between 15 and 34. Without the need of looking at reports or statistics, those that have been vegan or even vegetarian for more than a couple of years would have noticed the growing number of products available in supermarkets, vegan meals added to restaurants chains, as well new vegan eateries popping up what seems like almost monthly, especially across London. In 2017 so far, we are aware of more than 5 different vegan eateries that have opened in different parts of London, with 3 of them having opened within the first three weeks of the year: Sanctuaryin West London, Without Café in South London and Temple of Hackney (previously a pop-up) in East London. Five or six new places in such a big city in less than a month perhaps doesn’t seem like much or like a big deal, but when you think about the vegan community only accounting for around 1% of the British population, then you realise it is actually a huge deal. Also makes you wonder, how many more vegan eateries will be open by the end of 2017. Then there's also THREE places across the UK that have turned fully vegan in the last few weeks; one of them being Picky Wops, which is just down the road from us at GreenBay.
There’s also Veganuary; a charity that aims to encourage people to try veganism for the month of January. This was only their fourth year running but they saw their campaign grow by a whopping 260% this year, with almost 60000 sign ups, compared to 23000 in 2016, 12000 in 2015 and only 3000 in 2014. Of course the big difference in the amount of people signing up in 2014 compared to 2015 is without a doubt mainly to it being a brand new charity and campaign, but it is also pretty hard to ignore that the amount of people signing up is due to something greater than just a campaign’s publicity: more and more people are becoming aware of veganism, and have either been inspired to go vegan, or at least reduce the amount of animal products they consume, and that is clearly reflected on the amount of people signing up each year.
Different chains have also seen an increase in sells after launching vegan options. One big example was the opening of a temporary pop up from Pret A Manger in the summer, called Veggie Pret. Unlike all of their other shops, this one only sells vegetarian and vegan products. As mentioned, this was to be for a month only, and they expected their sales to drop. However, the response they received not only from vegetarians and vegans, but also from meat eaters was overwhelming, that they decided to keep it open for the rest of the summer, and ultimately, to keep it open permanently. After months of talks about a new branch, one recentlyopened in Shoreditch. Zizzi’s has also said that during the month of January 2017, they had an increase of 150% in sales from their vegan menu, which was in special offer for those taking part in Veganuary. Because of this, last March they added even more vegan options to the menu, including a sticky chocolate & praline torte. Another chain that took part in Veganuary was All Bar One, who launched a vegan menu and was only to be available for the month of January, but due to high demand, it has been extended for an extra month, and all we can hope for, is that they follow the steps of Veggie Pret and make it permanent, because drunk and hungry vegans are around all year long, and it would be nice to be able to enjoy a few drinks with friends, family and colleagues with other than a side or two.
Finding vegan food on the go, such as sandwiches has perhaps been of the things supermarkets have been lacking in, as most veggie options available would either contain eggs and diary, or both! Some places do offer some vegan options, all which seem to revolve around falafel. And whilst I’m sure that many vegans and meat eaters alike love falafels, it can be sickening after a while when that’s the only option you can find. But fear not! Mark and Spencer finally listened to the cries of vegans, and last year announced that they would be launching some vegan options to enjoy on the go, which include not one, but two vegan sandwiches, and NO falafel in them. Pret A Manger also keeps adding more and more products, with the introduction of two new vegan items at the beginning of the year.
With the introduction of vegan options in restaurants, supermarkets launching more and more vegan products, the word “vegan” being searched on Google more than ever before, and the vegan community growing at a faster speed than it has in the past, an essay about all the new exciting vegan products and places available could be written, but I’m sure you don’t wanna spend hours reading our blog. But with all that said, while we can all (hopefully) agree that veganism cannot be ignored any longer, 2017 is perhaps unlikely the year of veganism, and unfortunately, realistically speaking, it might not be any time soon. Statistics show that meat eating will only increase, due to a decline in prices in developing countries, and whilst veganism might be growing faster than ever before, it will need far more attention and far more people will need to be educated as to why it is so important. However, it can’t be denied that this movement will just keep growing and growing and it can’t be stopped.
What inspired you to create the 'eat veggies like a rabbit' song?
As a teacher, I did not see many of the children or adults in my school eating healthy. The children would often throw away their fruits and vegetables. So I wanted to create a song to make eating vegetables cool. Also I was fascinated by the variety of fruits and vegetables in a rabbit’s diet.
Who wrote the lyrics of the song they are really clever and catchy?
I am the songwriter. My writer's name is A. Intisar Turner.
Tell us a bit about yourself, the name of your school, your role at the school?
I am a vegan. I teach first grade at the Nathan Hale School in Boston. I am also an author, writer, and poet.
How long have you been a vegan and what brought you to the lifestyle?
I have been vegan for over 3 years. My sister was diagnosed with colon-cancer and I wondered if diet contributed to her illness. I stared reading books on health and vegan diets. I wanted to make the shift to a more healthy lifestyle but didn’t really know how. After educating myself, I decided to take the plunge. Before I became vegan, doctors would tell me to watch out for my blood pressure, as it was getting high. I also wore glasses for my vision for 20+ years, and I was gaining weight that I could not control. After becoming vegan, I was told my blood pressure is fine, I no longer needed glasses, within 2 years of my vegan diet my doctor said I see 20/20 vision, and my weight is no longer a problem. I attribute these changes to the change in my diet and from eating lots of raw fruits and veggies. So I wanted to share my new found happiness with others.
Do you know many vegans, and have you seen an increase in the lifestyle?
I am meeting more and more vegans. At first, it was a very odd and taboo lifestyle for my co-workers and my students. Even my family was very apprehensive. Yet as my health increased, many of my family members started taking on a vegan lifestyle. After doing the video, being vegan or eating veggies is no longer seen as a taboo in our school, and plates are definitely changing and becoming more greener, with time.
How important is it to educate children about the impact their diet has on the environment and their health?
It is very important. But it does not have to come as a lecture. Our school used a song. Each teacher, parent, or friend can approach it different. As a teacher, I will often use healthy fruits and vegetables in my reading and math lessons, then I allow the children to eat the fruit as a snack. Luckily, our first grade reading curriculum, written by Harvard School of Education, provides a social justice component which focuses on animal rights, farmer rights, and environmental impacts of factories and other manufactured goods. Though health is not a unit in the curriculum, it is easy to add within the existing themes on globalization.
You shot the music video at your local school, did you receive a lot of support to produce it?
The music video had great support because everyone was on board with the message. It was easy to get people to buy into the idea of eating more healthy. I believe deep down people wants to eat healthy. Our principal, students, community centers, my family, and even our local police department helped out. A movie director, Allen Redwing, even bought into the idea. He said what sold him on this project was that I brought carrots to our first meeting. By the end of the production, it started to become a heart-felt movement more than a video, even his kids were eating more fruits and vegetables. Post production, the Department of Food and Nutrition Services for Boston Public Schools shared the video with teachers district wide.
What advice do you have for parents who are trying to get their children to eat more fruit and vegetables, and even switch to the vegan/ plant-based diet?
Don’t give up! Make eating healthy cool again. Explore a variety of fruits you never seen or tasted before. You will be surprised, there will be something your child will like. I don’t force my kids to be vegan. I just make healthy vegan food accessible and other junk food harder to get. I always keep a fresh fruit bowl on the table so they can easily grab a snack. At meals, I try to keep their plates colorful, with lots of fresh fruits and veggies options. Also talk to them about why you are making the change to eat more healthy. Start a garden! Sing a song about it! With patience, they too will be eating veggies like a rabbit.
How can people get in touch with you and support the work you are doing?
Help us create an “Eat Veggies Like a Rabbit” Movement! Like us on YouTube and share with your kids and school! Our Youtube link Also purchase our song on iTunes, it will help us get information to schools and help us create more cool videos. Check us out on iTunes
UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury's reports a surge in sales of its new vegan cheese
United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reported that sales of its vegan cheeses surpassed the company’s predictions by 300%. The supermarket launched five vegan coconut milk-based cheeses last year under the brand FreeFrom.
After a comical viral social media campaign that sought to rename all vegan cheeses "Gary" last October, Sainsbury's new vegan cheeses have received widespread media attention.
UK residents also embraced vegan options at the flagship all-vegetarian location of Veggie Pret, which reported a 70% increase in profits since its launch last year.
“The growth in the vegan trade [in the UK] has been astronomical,” said VegfestUK organiser Tim Barford, who has as a result organised a new VegFest Trade Event: “we now need a dedicated trade event where only trade buyers and media can attend, ensuring maximum sales and exposure for vegan businesses in the UK, resulting in added accessibility for vegan consumers nationwide.”
In the last decade, the number of vegans in the UK has increased by 360% according the Vegan Society.