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Sustainable Food? How Environmental Friendly Is Your Diet?
Farmer-friendly coffee. Fair trade chocolate. Hand-raised chicken eggs. Gluten-free bread rolls. Organically produced soy beans. The  food hypes are popping up left, right, and center. All of them claim to be a fairer, more sustainable and, in most cases, healthier option. Where the past decades were all about producing as much food as possible at the same time, recent years have shown a tendency towards food options that are, mildly put, somewhat more laborious. What about this food that I'm eating? This does not even take the excessive pricing into account. An organically produced, pesticide-free cucumber for 3 euro. Or coffee made from Guatemalan coffee beans, whose farmers are given a fair price for their produce, but that will cost you 6 euro per cup (medium sized, mind you). All of this has split the Western world’s population in two camps. One of them is fiercely dedicated to only buying and eating ‘raw’ or ‘real’ food, and disapprovingly look on as their family members or friends - who belong to the other camp - exclaim that they still prefer to shop at the local hypermarket.   One of the reasons for these new foods not being commonly accepted, is the major confusion that they still often bring along. It appears that food items that are perfectly healthy the one month, turn out to be devil reincarnated the next. So, should we cook with olive oil or is coconut oil the healthier choice? What about quinoa, soy beans, avocado, matcha?   The variety in diets offered just serves to underline this confusion. Should you opt for a carb-free diet, that cuts bread, pasta, cereal, chips and all kind of baked goods from your life? Or is it better to avoid all dairy products, including milk? (A food group that up to recently was listed as one of the basic food groups.) Perhaps leaving out all and any sugars would be preferable. But the paleo-diet might have a certain appeal as well, that philosophises that we should go back to the food that our ancestral caveman ate - so a lot of animal-based protein and fruits and veggies. And while it is most certainly true that our lack of ‘real’ knowledge regarding the best diet (hint: it does not exist) is limited, we are certainly not helped by the food industry. They are trying their hardest to make the task of keeping track of your daily intake nearly impossible. Food labels that should be listing the exact nutritional value and ingredients are fudged or incomplete, and advertising slogans are used that turn out to be rather misleading. Is it real, organic and sustainable ? So, for instance, we might think that these free-range chicken eggs that we bought do their part in giving chickens a better life. But who does actually verify whether those kind of claims are true? Who verifies whether ‘authentic Italian olive oil’ is in fact from Italy? How can you check whether an organically produced soy bean has been sustainably farmed? The real problem here is the transparency of the food chain. As long as we are not able to trace back specific products ‘to their roots’, it will be next to impossible to determine whether certain high standing claims are true. And while these doubts exist and become increasingly more pressing, customers will - partially thinking with their wallet - refuse to hand over extra money for an, in their eyes, identical item. The real added value of authenticity and sustainability is not clear. Why this doubt hurts the environment It is a double-edged sword. While we continue to consume foods that are harming the environment, the food items that are truly sustainably grown are hindered by this perception. And yet there should be a massive movement towards these more sustainable choices: customers must stand up and demand to know what they are eating and how this was produced.   Supermarkets and grocers must do their part in demanding accountability from their suppliers as well. The law of supply and demand will hold: once becomes known that a certain product is blatantly deceiving, and demand drops as a result of that, supply will automatically adjust accordingly. This can be the start of a beneficial vicious cycle, where food producers are forced to live up to the expectations of an increasingly more critical consumer to stay in business. Greenwashing vs sustainability The true cost of certain food items is hidden under a layer of so-called greenwashing . This is a marketing strategy that actively promotes a company and/or its products as being very sustainable and authentic, while it is in fact far from this. The rise of various labels on packagings is a great example of this: only very few of those claims, like ‘organically certified’ or ‘fair-trade’ are actually certified. The remainder is nothing other than marketing slogans. In order to find out the actual costs, including the burden put on society, it is of crucial importance that the food supply chains become more transparant. Only then can we hold the producers responsible and be able to trust in the authenticity of a certain food stuff. Not only healthier for our body - but healthier for the environment, too. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/general
Farmer-friendly coffee. Fair trade chocolate. Hand-raised chicken eggs. Gluten-free bread rolls. Organically produced soy beans. The  food hypes are popping up left, right, and center. All of them claim to be a fairer, more sustainable and, in most cases, healthier option. Where the past decades were all about producing as much food as possible at the same time, recent years have shown a tendency towards food options that are, mildly put, somewhat more laborious. What about this food that I'm eating? This does not even take the excessive pricing into account. An organically produced, pesticide-free cucumber for 3 euro. Or coffee made from Guatemalan coffee beans, whose farmers are given a fair price for their produce, but that will cost you 6 euro per cup (medium sized, mind you). All of this has split the Western world’s population in two camps. One of them is fiercely dedicated to only buying and eating ‘raw’ or ‘real’ food, and disapprovingly look on as their family members or friends - who belong to the other camp - exclaim that they still prefer to shop at the local hypermarket.   One of the reasons for these new foods not being commonly accepted, is the major confusion that they still often bring along. It appears that food items that are perfectly healthy the one month, turn out to be devil reincarnated the next. So, should we cook with olive oil or is coconut oil the healthier choice? What about quinoa, soy beans, avocado, matcha?   The variety in diets offered just serves to underline this confusion. Should you opt for a carb-free diet, that cuts bread, pasta, cereal, chips and all kind of baked goods from your life? Or is it better to avoid all dairy products, including milk? (A food group that up to recently was listed as one of the basic food groups.) Perhaps leaving out all and any sugars would be preferable. But the paleo-diet might have a certain appeal as well, that philosophises that we should go back to the food that our ancestral caveman ate - so a lot of animal-based protein and fruits and veggies. And while it is most certainly true that our lack of ‘real’ knowledge regarding the best diet (hint: it does not exist) is limited, we are certainly not helped by the food industry. They are trying their hardest to make the task of keeping track of your daily intake nearly impossible. Food labels that should be listing the exact nutritional value and ingredients are fudged or incomplete, and advertising slogans are used that turn out to be rather misleading. Is it real, organic and sustainable ? So, for instance, we might think that these free-range chicken eggs that we bought do their part in giving chickens a better life. But who does actually verify whether those kind of claims are true? Who verifies whether ‘authentic Italian olive oil’ is in fact from Italy? How can you check whether an organically produced soy bean has been sustainably farmed? The real problem here is the transparency of the food chain. As long as we are not able to trace back specific products ‘to their roots’, it will be next to impossible to determine whether certain high standing claims are true. And while these doubts exist and become increasingly more pressing, customers will - partially thinking with their wallet - refuse to hand over extra money for an, in their eyes, identical item. The real added value of authenticity and sustainability is not clear. Why this doubt hurts the environment It is a double-edged sword. While we continue to consume foods that are harming the environment, the food items that are truly sustainably grown are hindered by this perception. And yet there should be a massive movement towards these more sustainable choices: customers must stand up and demand to know what they are eating and how this was produced.   Supermarkets and grocers must do their part in demanding accountability from their suppliers as well. The law of supply and demand will hold: once becomes known that a certain product is blatantly deceiving, and demand drops as a result of that, supply will automatically adjust accordingly. This can be the start of a beneficial vicious cycle, where food producers are forced to live up to the expectations of an increasingly more critical consumer to stay in business. Greenwashing vs sustainability The true cost of certain food items is hidden under a layer of so-called greenwashing . This is a marketing strategy that actively promotes a company and/or its products as being very sustainable and authentic, while it is in fact far from this. The rise of various labels on packagings is a great example of this: only very few of those claims, like ‘organically certified’ or ‘fair-trade’ are actually certified. The remainder is nothing other than marketing slogans. In order to find out the actual costs, including the burden put on society, it is of crucial importance that the food supply chains become more transparant. Only then can we hold the producers responsible and be able to trust in the authenticity of a certain food stuff. Not only healthier for our body - but healthier for the environment, too. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/general
Sustainable Food? How Environmental Friendly Is Your Diet?
Sustainable Food? How Environmental Friendly Is Your Diet?
Wine unplugged: The Age Of the Bordeaux Wine Snob Is Dead
The age of the Bordeaux drinking wine snob is dead, the wines du moment are unfiltered, untamed and a reflection of their terroir. Read on for an introduction to natural wine. If you are into wine, you’ve probably heard about ‘vins nature’ or ‘natural wine’, the unplugged version of wine as we know it. Whereas conventional wine may use up to 60 different additives (!) to improve the aroma, taste and drinkability, natural wines use none. It is wine made from grapes and only grapes. The revival of natural wine Some people consider natural wine as how wine was once meant to be. Before the industrial revolution all wines were natural wines. About 30 years ago French wine maker Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in the Beaujolais and noticed a big difference in the traditional methods of winemaking within his family compared to what students were taught at the academy. Inspired by Jules Chauvet – a viticultural prophet who in the 1950’s, upon the rise of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, first spoke out for ‘natural wine’, harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais – Lapierre spearheaded the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, a group of four winemakers that called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: old vines in a healthy vineyard, not using synthetic herbicides or pesticides , harvesting late and by hand, rigorously sorting to keep only the healthiest grapes, adding none or minimal doses of sulphur dioxide, and no adding of sugars or acids at all. The methods Lapierre and his gang used were as revolutionary as they were traditional. What began with just this handful of French winemakers is now a global movement, having spread to Italy, Spain and, more recently, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States and even Japan – the latter being one of the biggest markets for natural wine. When local consumption of French natural wine peaked in 2000, Japan was reportedly consuming 75 percent of the total volume produced. If it weren’t for the Japanese demand many small French wineries would not have survived. In Tokyo’s trendiest neighbourhoods natural wine bars were mushrooming – followed by their hipster counterparts in Europe and the USA. Honest and unspoiled Driving forces behind the European success were avant-garde restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and former Hibiscus in London, whose sommeliers were amongst the first to give natural wines a leading role in their funky wine-and- food pairings. Elaborating on his choice not to include the grand lady of the wine world on their menu, Pontus Elofsson, Noma’s former wine director, said: ‘Bordeaux is probably the biggest chemical factory in Europe. They use lots of chemicals in the vineyards and in the cellars, and to do that is to move away from reflecting terroir in an honest, unspoiled way.’ Natural wine is now making waves with a new generation of, mostly young, drinkers who are not prejudiced and can’t be bothered with the big traditional names; they rather drink a pleasurable, unpretentious wine and that, opposed to any mass-produced bottle, has been produced in harmony with nature – chemical-free and with a flavour imparted by the natural environment in which it is produced, including soil, climate and topography. Wines in which the purity of the grape is preserved. No interventions This all may sound simple, yet is anything but. Wine is considered “natural” when it is produced with minimal intervention – nothing added, nothing removed. No chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used on the vines, the grapes are handpicked, there is no manipulation of flavour, no filtering and no colour agents used in the winemaking process. Natural wine extremists believe you should add absolutely nothing at all, yet more ‘liberal’ winemakers believe a tiny bit of sulphite is sometimes needed to make the wine more drinkable; this makes their wines, strictly speaking, not natural. Confusing, isn’t it? The stipulations needed to be certified as ‘organic’ say that no chemicals can be used to grow the grapes, but chemical and technological manipulations are allowed during the winemaking process. Biodynamic winemakers take it even a step further, incorporating lunar cycles, astrological influences and ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem. The grapes are grown following the farming principles of Rudolf Steiner, after which the winemaker may still decide to manipulate the fermentation. Image by: Maja Petric This means that both organic and biodynamic wine can be produced naturally, but don’t have to be. A warning is in place here: today a lot of producers are using the organic or biodynamic stamp as a quality stamp, yet there are a lot of shitty organic and biodynamic wines. The label ‘ organic ’ for a supermarket wine in Europe simply means that a few pesticides have not been used, but the wine may still be (and is often) produced commercially and on a large scale. Passionate winemakers The absence of an official certification and rules for natural wines means that the makers need to rely on their gut feeling, knowledge of the land and years of dedication. Whoever wants to fully control the outcome, better choose a different job. In her book Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally Isabelle Legeron, former sommelier at Hibiscus, writes: ‘Natural wine is a continuum, like ripples on a pond. At the epicentre of these ripples, are growers who produce wines absolutely naturally – nothing added and nothing removed. As you move away from this centre, the additions and manipulations begin, making the wine less and less natural, the further out you go. Eventually, the ripples disappear entirely, blending into the waters of the rest of the pond. At this point the term ‘natural wine’ no longer applies. You have moved into the realm of the conventional.’ Let’s drink! Don’t let yourself be put off by the cloudiness of an unfiltered wine. According to insiders it’s these murky movements at the bottom that illustrate each bottle of natural wine is a living and breathing thing. Neither expect one of those full-bodied, fruity wines that carry the promise of a hangover. The absence of sulphites drastically diminishes your chances of a headache in the morning, and the taste is nothing like conventional wine. Most natural wines have an earthy flavour, are more yeasty than fruity and have a high acidity, which you may like or not. This earthiness pairs well with simple flavours and pure ingredients such as fish and grilled or fermented vegetables. Look for a local wine bar or restaurant serving natural wines and ask the sommelier to advise and surprise you. One thing is for sure: natural wines are as natural as it gets, and a tasty and earth-friendly choice for anyone who is up for something funky. Cover image by: Nacho Dominguez https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
The age of the Bordeaux drinking wine snob is dead, the wines du moment are unfiltered, untamed and a reflection of their terroir. Read on for an introduction to natural wine. If you are into wine, you’ve probably heard about ‘vins nature’ or ‘natural wine’, the unplugged version of wine as we know it. Whereas conventional wine may use up to 60 different additives (!) to improve the aroma, taste and drinkability, natural wines use none. It is wine made from grapes and only grapes. The revival of natural wine Some people consider natural wine as how wine was once meant to be. Before the industrial revolution all wines were natural wines. About 30 years ago French wine maker Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in the Beaujolais and noticed a big difference in the traditional methods of winemaking within his family compared to what students were taught at the academy. Inspired by Jules Chauvet – a viticultural prophet who in the 1950’s, upon the rise of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, first spoke out for ‘natural wine’, harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais – Lapierre spearheaded the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, a group of four winemakers that called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: old vines in a healthy vineyard, not using synthetic herbicides or pesticides , harvesting late and by hand, rigorously sorting to keep only the healthiest grapes, adding none or minimal doses of sulphur dioxide, and no adding of sugars or acids at all. The methods Lapierre and his gang used were as revolutionary as they were traditional. What began with just this handful of French winemakers is now a global movement, having spread to Italy, Spain and, more recently, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States and even Japan – the latter being one of the biggest markets for natural wine. When local consumption of French natural wine peaked in 2000, Japan was reportedly consuming 75 percent of the total volume produced. If it weren’t for the Japanese demand many small French wineries would not have survived. In Tokyo’s trendiest neighbourhoods natural wine bars were mushrooming – followed by their hipster counterparts in Europe and the USA. Honest and unspoiled Driving forces behind the European success were avant-garde restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and former Hibiscus in London, whose sommeliers were amongst the first to give natural wines a leading role in their funky wine-and- food pairings. Elaborating on his choice not to include the grand lady of the wine world on their menu, Pontus Elofsson, Noma’s former wine director, said: ‘Bordeaux is probably the biggest chemical factory in Europe. They use lots of chemicals in the vineyards and in the cellars, and to do that is to move away from reflecting terroir in an honest, unspoiled way.’ Natural wine is now making waves with a new generation of, mostly young, drinkers who are not prejudiced and can’t be bothered with the big traditional names; they rather drink a pleasurable, unpretentious wine and that, opposed to any mass-produced bottle, has been produced in harmony with nature – chemical-free and with a flavour imparted by the natural environment in which it is produced, including soil, climate and topography. Wines in which the purity of the grape is preserved. No interventions This all may sound simple, yet is anything but. Wine is considered “natural” when it is produced with minimal intervention – nothing added, nothing removed. No chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used on the vines, the grapes are handpicked, there is no manipulation of flavour, no filtering and no colour agents used in the winemaking process. Natural wine extremists believe you should add absolutely nothing at all, yet more ‘liberal’ winemakers believe a tiny bit of sulphite is sometimes needed to make the wine more drinkable; this makes their wines, strictly speaking, not natural. Confusing, isn’t it? The stipulations needed to be certified as ‘organic’ say that no chemicals can be used to grow the grapes, but chemical and technological manipulations are allowed during the winemaking process. Biodynamic winemakers take it even a step further, incorporating lunar cycles, astrological influences and ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem. The grapes are grown following the farming principles of Rudolf Steiner, after which the winemaker may still decide to manipulate the fermentation. Image by: Maja Petric This means that both organic and biodynamic wine can be produced naturally, but don’t have to be. A warning is in place here: today a lot of producers are using the organic or biodynamic stamp as a quality stamp, yet there are a lot of shitty organic and biodynamic wines. The label ‘ organic ’ for a supermarket wine in Europe simply means that a few pesticides have not been used, but the wine may still be (and is often) produced commercially and on a large scale. Passionate winemakers The absence of an official certification and rules for natural wines means that the makers need to rely on their gut feeling, knowledge of the land and years of dedication. Whoever wants to fully control the outcome, better choose a different job. In her book Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally Isabelle Legeron, former sommelier at Hibiscus, writes: ‘Natural wine is a continuum, like ripples on a pond. At the epicentre of these ripples, are growers who produce wines absolutely naturally – nothing added and nothing removed. As you move away from this centre, the additions and manipulations begin, making the wine less and less natural, the further out you go. Eventually, the ripples disappear entirely, blending into the waters of the rest of the pond. At this point the term ‘natural wine’ no longer applies. You have moved into the realm of the conventional.’ Let’s drink! Don’t let yourself be put off by the cloudiness of an unfiltered wine. According to insiders it’s these murky movements at the bottom that illustrate each bottle of natural wine is a living and breathing thing. Neither expect one of those full-bodied, fruity wines that carry the promise of a hangover. The absence of sulphites drastically diminishes your chances of a headache in the morning, and the taste is nothing like conventional wine. Most natural wines have an earthy flavour, are more yeasty than fruity and have a high acidity, which you may like or not. This earthiness pairs well with simple flavours and pure ingredients such as fish and grilled or fermented vegetables. Look for a local wine bar or restaurant serving natural wines and ask the sommelier to advise and surprise you. One thing is for sure: natural wines are as natural as it gets, and a tasty and earth-friendly choice for anyone who is up for something funky. Cover image by: Nacho Dominguez https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Wine unplugged: The Age Of the Bordeaux Wine Snob Is Dead
Wine unplugged: The Age Of the Bordeaux Wine Snob Is Dead
Give Vegan Cheese A Try With These 100% Dairy-Free Recipes
Being a vegetarian for almost 20 years, I both care about animal welfare and feel a plant-based diet works best for my health. From the start I have cut out all meat and fish products, and since a couple of years I'm also trying to limit the dairy I consume on a daily base by replacing them by plant-based alternatives such as coconut yoghurt and almond- and oat milk. However, until very recently some of my most beloved foods remained untouched. I love my Gouda sandwich, prefer a French cheese board over a bowl of crisps or popcorn and – not unimportant – eating cheese makes my life as a vegetarian living and eating in Spain much easier. Yet my recent discovery of the fact that the production of cheese accounts for some of the highest emissions of greenhouse gases  ­– more than fresh fish, because for making cheese you need livestock – has put my mind to think. Should I cut down on my cheese intake or at least try some vegan alternatives? As it turns out the options for the latter are plentiful. Below are a few vegan cheese recipes that I’ve tried and tasted, and I recommend them to anyone who would like to give vegan cheese a try.  Creamy almond cheese This cheese is great as a replacement for white cheese in a salad or as a topping for pasta. The flavour and texture are different than normal cheese, but tasty. What you need 160 g unroasted almonds, soaked overnight and drained 160 ml water 2.5 tbs of lemon juice 0.5 clove of garlic 3 tbs of olive oil 1.25 tsp of salt How to make it Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. If it is too thick and not blending add more water. Remove the mixture from the blender and put into a small sieve lined with fine cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a pan to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight, which will allow the flavours to merge. The next morning you carefully remove the cheesecloth. Put the drained cheese onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 180˚C for 30-40 minutes for a crumbly yet creamy cheese, or at 165˚C for 25-30 minutes for a spreadable cheese. Let the vegan cheese cool down and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Image by: Tetiana Bykovets, Unsplash Vegan cheese with nutritional yeast Because of its richness in B-complex vitamins and its strong flavour that can be described as cheesy, nutty or creamy, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan cheeses. Basically it is a deactivated yeast which is sold in the form of a yellow powder or as flakes, which can be used as a key ingredient in cheese substitutes ( personally I like it most as an alternative to parmesan). You can find nutritional yeast in most natural food shops. What you need 4 tbsp nutritional yeast 75 ml water 200 ml coconut- or almond milk 1.5 tsp paprika powder 1.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp black pepper 0.25 tsp kurkuma 1 pack of agar agar (a plant based alternative for gelatin) How to make it Put the spices, milk and nutritional yeast in a little pan. When it starts boiling, you add the agar agar and let it simmer for a while. Stir to prevent it from burning. The mixture will get thicker and look like melted cheese. If it is too thick, add a bit of water (max. 75 ml) a let it softly simmer for at least 4 minutes. Take the mixture off the fire and pour it into a baking dish or bowl. Put it away in the fridge for 45 minutes. Turn the solidified cheese upside down and put it on a plate. This vegan cheese is delicious on a pizza or pasta, or in a toasted sandwich. Refrigerated the cheese will last 1 to 1.5 week ­– that is, if you don’t finish it before. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/recipy
Being a vegetarian for almost 20 years, I both care about animal welfare and feel a plant-based diet works best for my health. From the start I have cut out all meat and fish products, and since a couple of years I'm also trying to limit the dairy I consume on a daily base by replacing them by plant-based alternatives such as coconut yoghurt and almond- and oat milk. However, until very recently some of my most beloved foods remained untouched. I love my Gouda sandwich, prefer a French cheese board over a bowl of crisps or popcorn and – not unimportant – eating cheese makes my life as a vegetarian living and eating in Spain much easier. Yet my recent discovery of the fact that the production of cheese accounts for some of the highest emissions of greenhouse gases  ­– more than fresh fish, because for making cheese you need livestock – has put my mind to think. Should I cut down on my cheese intake or at least try some vegan alternatives? As it turns out the options for the latter are plentiful. Below are a few vegan cheese recipes that I’ve tried and tasted, and I recommend them to anyone who would like to give vegan cheese a try.  Creamy almond cheese This cheese is great as a replacement for white cheese in a salad or as a topping for pasta. The flavour and texture are different than normal cheese, but tasty. What you need 160 g unroasted almonds, soaked overnight and drained 160 ml water 2.5 tbs of lemon juice 0.5 clove of garlic 3 tbs of olive oil 1.25 tsp of salt How to make it Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. If it is too thick and not blending add more water. Remove the mixture from the blender and put into a small sieve lined with fine cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a pan to catch the draining water and refrigerate overnight, which will allow the flavours to merge. The next morning you carefully remove the cheesecloth. Put the drained cheese onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 180˚C for 30-40 minutes for a crumbly yet creamy cheese, or at 165˚C for 25-30 minutes for a spreadable cheese. Let the vegan cheese cool down and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Image by: Tetiana Bykovets, Unsplash Vegan cheese with nutritional yeast Because of its richness in B-complex vitamins and its strong flavour that can be described as cheesy, nutty or creamy, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan cheeses. Basically it is a deactivated yeast which is sold in the form of a yellow powder or as flakes, which can be used as a key ingredient in cheese substitutes ( personally I like it most as an alternative to parmesan). You can find nutritional yeast in most natural food shops. What you need 4 tbsp nutritional yeast 75 ml water 200 ml coconut- or almond milk 1.5 tsp paprika powder 1.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp black pepper 0.25 tsp kurkuma 1 pack of agar agar (a plant based alternative for gelatin) How to make it Put the spices, milk and nutritional yeast in a little pan. When it starts boiling, you add the agar agar and let it simmer for a while. Stir to prevent it from burning. The mixture will get thicker and look like melted cheese. If it is too thick, add a bit of water (max. 75 ml) a let it softly simmer for at least 4 minutes. Take the mixture off the fire and pour it into a baking dish or bowl. Put it away in the fridge for 45 minutes. Turn the solidified cheese upside down and put it on a plate. This vegan cheese is delicious on a pizza or pasta, or in a toasted sandwich. Refrigerated the cheese will last 1 to 1.5 week ­– that is, if you don’t finish it before. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/recipy
Give Vegan Cheese A Try With These 100% Dairy-Free Recipes
Give Vegan Cheese A Try With These 100% Dairy-Free Recipes
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
What we eat matters. Better choices in the kitchen help to improve your health and reduce your environmental footprint.   According to figures published by Eurostat the greenhouse gases generated in the EU stood at 4.400 million tonnes in 2015, with households remaining one of its most significant contributors, accounting for 20 to 25% of the European total. On carbonfootprint.com you can calculate your individual carbon footprint by month or by year, and gain insight in your ecological impact. Be warned: after seeing the result you may drastically want to reform your lifestyle to reduce your personal footprint by leaving your car at home and use the public transport more often, use less water in and around the house and switch to alternative sources of energy (solar panels) and more efficient heating and cooling systems. A relatively easy and cost-efficient way to reduce your footprint is by changing the way you eat.  The following diet tweaks will not only improve your health and fitness, but also help to fight global warming and pollution by reducing your carbon ‘foodprint’: the greenhouse gases produced on the farm, in the factory, on the road, in the shop, in your home and at the waste disposal.  1. Cook at home Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal. By cooking at home you’ll eat healthier (because additive-free), get more satisfaction out of your meal, reduce wastage and take control of the food you eat. Plan ahead and choose natural ingredients that you can use for different meals such as lentils, beans, vegetables, fruits and whole-grains. 2. Buy local and organic Did you know around 11% of our carbon foodprint is linked to the transportation of food? Invest in the local economy and the planet by buying your groceries at the local farmer or vegetable shop, and choose merely products that are grown in the vicinity – this will often mean that you buy your fruits and veggies in season, when they are at their best. And if you have the option, opt for fresh and organic produce.  organic farming of crops – which uses natural methods for pest control, soil fertilisation and weed prevention ­– has a lower impact on the environment than conventional farming. Crops are grown in fertile soils that are pesticide-free yet full of healthy nutrients that will end up on your plate. Even though organic livestock farming, without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, is preferred over its conventional counterpart, it is still more polluting than the cultivation of vegetables, wholegrains and fruit. 3. Eat plant-based Did you know that the carbon footprint of a plant-based diet is about half that of a carnivore’s diet? Meat, cheese, eggs and farmed fish generate much more greenhouse gases than fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts – with livestock farming accounting for 20 to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gases while being of the biggest polluters of the air and ground. Replace meat, farmed fish and cheese by plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentils, quorn and vegan milk and yoghurt, and include lots of fresh vegetables, beans and wholegrains. Bonus: this will reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. 4. Reduce  waste Bring your own shopping bag and reusable produce bags for your fruit and vegetables, and try to reuse and recycle plastic containers (for storage) and glass jars (which can make a nice vase or drinking glass) as much as possible. Don’t use plastic water bottles, separate your waste and try to limit the use of plastic packaging. 5. Find inspiration Invest in a few vegan cookbooks and browse magazines and blogs for inspiration about healthy and plant-based eating. Challenge yourself to make a new dish every week, eating vegan is so much more versatile and exciting than you may think. To give you some guidance we have listed 3 types of meals in order of their impact on our health and on the planet. We leave it up to you to separate the winners from the losers...  Healthy and climate-friendly A vegan meal with oven-roasted cauliflower with Indian spices and lentil salad with spinach, mint and tomatoes; dessert: pear, apple and yoghurt.  Healthy yet less climate-friendly A meal with many flown-in products: pasta with snowpeas and long beans, grilled tilapia (olive oil); dessert: papaya, lime and 2 scoops of ice cream. Healthy nor climate-friendly A dinner with many animal products: grilled steak (with butter)' potato gratin with cream, old cheese and bacon; creamed spinach; dessert: a cheeseboard. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
What we eat matters. Better choices in the kitchen help to improve your health and reduce your environmental footprint.   According to figures published by Eurostat the greenhouse gases generated in the EU stood at 4.400 million tonnes in 2015, with households remaining one of its most significant contributors, accounting for 20 to 25% of the European total. On carbonfootprint.com you can calculate your individual carbon footprint by month or by year, and gain insight in your ecological impact. Be warned: after seeing the result you may drastically want to reform your lifestyle to reduce your personal footprint by leaving your car at home and use the public transport more often, use less water in and around the house and switch to alternative sources of energy (solar panels) and more efficient heating and cooling systems. A relatively easy and cost-efficient way to reduce your footprint is by changing the way you eat.  The following diet tweaks will not only improve your health and fitness, but also help to fight global warming and pollution by reducing your carbon ‘foodprint’: the greenhouse gases produced on the farm, in the factory, on the road, in the shop, in your home and at the waste disposal.  1. Cook at home Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal. By cooking at home you’ll eat healthier (because additive-free), get more satisfaction out of your meal, reduce wastage and take control of the food you eat. Plan ahead and choose natural ingredients that you can use for different meals such as lentils, beans, vegetables, fruits and whole-grains. 2. Buy local and organic Did you know around 11% of our carbon foodprint is linked to the transportation of food? Invest in the local economy and the planet by buying your groceries at the local farmer or vegetable shop, and choose merely products that are grown in the vicinity – this will often mean that you buy your fruits and veggies in season, when they are at their best. And if you have the option, opt for fresh and organic produce.  organic farming of crops – which uses natural methods for pest control, soil fertilisation and weed prevention ­– has a lower impact on the environment than conventional farming. Crops are grown in fertile soils that are pesticide-free yet full of healthy nutrients that will end up on your plate. Even though organic livestock farming, without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, is preferred over its conventional counterpart, it is still more polluting than the cultivation of vegetables, wholegrains and fruit. 3. Eat plant-based Did you know that the carbon footprint of a plant-based diet is about half that of a carnivore’s diet? Meat, cheese, eggs and farmed fish generate much more greenhouse gases than fruit, vegetables, beans and nuts – with livestock farming accounting for 20 to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gases while being of the biggest polluters of the air and ground. Replace meat, farmed fish and cheese by plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentils, quorn and vegan milk and yoghurt, and include lots of fresh vegetables, beans and wholegrains. Bonus: this will reduce your risk of getting high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. 4. Reduce  waste Bring your own shopping bag and reusable produce bags for your fruit and vegetables, and try to reuse and recycle plastic containers (for storage) and glass jars (which can make a nice vase or drinking glass) as much as possible. Don’t use plastic water bottles, separate your waste and try to limit the use of plastic packaging. 5. Find inspiration Invest in a few vegan cookbooks and browse magazines and blogs for inspiration about healthy and plant-based eating. Challenge yourself to make a new dish every week, eating vegan is so much more versatile and exciting than you may think. To give you some guidance we have listed 3 types of meals in order of their impact on our health and on the planet. We leave it up to you to separate the winners from the losers...  Healthy and climate-friendly A vegan meal with oven-roasted cauliflower with Indian spices and lentil salad with spinach, mint and tomatoes; dessert: pear, apple and yoghurt.  Healthy yet less climate-friendly A meal with many flown-in products: pasta with snowpeas and long beans, grilled tilapia (olive oil); dessert: papaya, lime and 2 scoops of ice cream. Healthy nor climate-friendly A dinner with many animal products: grilled steak (with butter)' potato gratin with cream, old cheese and bacon; creamed spinach; dessert: a cheeseboard. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
Simple diet tweaks for a better planet and a healthier you
New study shows a vegan diet is the best way to reduce your footprint
A vegan diet without any animal products appears to be the first and foremost way to reduce your individual ecological footprint, a new study shows. What we choose to eat and drink are strong determinants of human health, and we become more and more aware of the fact that the foods we choose and consume may significantly affect the environment. I’ve been a fulltime vegetarian for over 20 years and it has only been months that I made the switch to being a part-time vegan. Influenced by news reports on global warming and studies that show a plant-based diet is least harmful for the wellbeing of our planet, I’m now replacing my cheese, eggs and dairy ingredients by plant-based alternatives if available. Image by Edgar Castre One of the latest additions to my list of pro vegan studies is an analysis by researchers at the University of Oxford and the Swiss agricultural research institute Agroscope. This study, which was recently published in the journal Science , shows that cutting all meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce your ecological footprint up to 73 per cent. The researchers found that meat and dairy production are responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s  climate change gas emissions and a vast majority of 83 per cent of used farmland, while the products themselves are providing just 37 per cent of protein levels and a mere 18 per cent of calories worldwide. If everyone would stop eating meat and dairy, global farmland could be reduced by 75 per cent – an area equivalent to the size of the US, Australia, China and the EU combined – and still feed the world! Next to a significant drop of greenhouse gas emissions, it could promote biodiversity and the conservation of endangered animal and plant species.  Multi-folded footprint The study is one of the biggest analyses to date into the damage farming does to the environment: it includes data on nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries, and examines how 40 major foods (90 per cent of all food that is eaten) impact the environment, taking into account the greenhouse gas emissions as well as water pollution (eutrophication), air  polluting (acidification), land use and water consumption. Lead author Joseph Poore from Oxford’s Department of Zoology and the School of Geography and Environment, told The Guardian  that ‘a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on planet Earth. The effect is far bigger than cutting down on your flight or buying an electric car, as these would only reduce greenhouse gases’. As if he could read our minds, the scientist added: ‘Avoiding consumption of all animal products delivers even far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.’ He and his team found that the most sustainable meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental damage than the highest impact cereal, legumes and vegetables growing. To illustrate: sustainable beef is responsible for 6 times more greenhouse gas emissions and 36 times more land than legumes. The researchers also looked into the different techniques used to produce the same foods and found huge differences in environmental impact. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land uses 50 times more land than cows that rear on natural pastures. Image by: Annie Spratt And it’s not just livestock and meat products that increase our environmental impact. Aquaculture, assumed to have relatively low emissions, can emit more methane and therefore create more greenhouse gases than cows. Even rice – which takes up about 12 per cent of the global arable area – produces a lot of methane, for which it has one of the biggest plant carbon footprints.  Action starts with awareness The huge diversity in agricultural foods and processes makes it challenging to find solutions to these environmental issues. Two foods that look similar in the shops can have extremely different impacts on the planet, says Poore. This variability isn’t fully reflected in policies aimed at reducing the ecological impact of farming, and apart from sustainability certifications that give guidance regarding matters such as pesticide-free produce and sustainable fishing, consumers are still being offered very little information about the impact of their food choices. Besides keeping track of the latest news and studies, the best advice we can probably receive is to stay aware of the multi-folded impact of our food choices and – for the above-mentioned reasons – to grant more time to a plant-based diet, even if it’s only a few days a week. Cover image by: Brenda Godin https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
A vegan diet without any animal products appears to be the first and foremost way to reduce your individual ecological footprint, a new study shows. What we choose to eat and drink are strong determinants of human health, and we become more and more aware of the fact that the foods we choose and consume may significantly affect the environment. I’ve been a fulltime vegetarian for over 20 years and it has only been months that I made the switch to being a part-time vegan. Influenced by news reports on global warming and studies that show a plant-based diet is least harmful for the wellbeing of our planet, I’m now replacing my cheese, eggs and dairy ingredients by plant-based alternatives if available. Image by Edgar Castre One of the latest additions to my list of pro vegan studies is an analysis by researchers at the University of Oxford and the Swiss agricultural research institute Agroscope. This study, which was recently published in the journal Science , shows that cutting all meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce your ecological footprint up to 73 per cent. The researchers found that meat and dairy production are responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s  climate change gas emissions and a vast majority of 83 per cent of used farmland, while the products themselves are providing just 37 per cent of protein levels and a mere 18 per cent of calories worldwide. If everyone would stop eating meat and dairy, global farmland could be reduced by 75 per cent – an area equivalent to the size of the US, Australia, China and the EU combined – and still feed the world! Next to a significant drop of greenhouse gas emissions, it could promote biodiversity and the conservation of endangered animal and plant species.  Multi-folded footprint The study is one of the biggest analyses to date into the damage farming does to the environment: it includes data on nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries, and examines how 40 major foods (90 per cent of all food that is eaten) impact the environment, taking into account the greenhouse gas emissions as well as water pollution (eutrophication), air  polluting (acidification), land use and water consumption. Lead author Joseph Poore from Oxford’s Department of Zoology and the School of Geography and Environment, told The Guardian  that ‘a vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on planet Earth. The effect is far bigger than cutting down on your flight or buying an electric car, as these would only reduce greenhouse gases’. As if he could read our minds, the scientist added: ‘Avoiding consumption of all animal products delivers even far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.’ He and his team found that the most sustainable meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental damage than the highest impact cereal, legumes and vegetables growing. To illustrate: sustainable beef is responsible for 6 times more greenhouse gas emissions and 36 times more land than legumes. The researchers also looked into the different techniques used to produce the same foods and found huge differences in environmental impact. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land uses 50 times more land than cows that rear on natural pastures. Image by: Annie Spratt And it’s not just livestock and meat products that increase our environmental impact. Aquaculture, assumed to have relatively low emissions, can emit more methane and therefore create more greenhouse gases than cows. Even rice – which takes up about 12 per cent of the global arable area – produces a lot of methane, for which it has one of the biggest plant carbon footprints.  Action starts with awareness The huge diversity in agricultural foods and processes makes it challenging to find solutions to these environmental issues. Two foods that look similar in the shops can have extremely different impacts on the planet, says Poore. This variability isn’t fully reflected in policies aimed at reducing the ecological impact of farming, and apart from sustainability certifications that give guidance regarding matters such as pesticide-free produce and sustainable fishing, consumers are still being offered very little information about the impact of their food choices. Besides keeping track of the latest news and studies, the best advice we can probably receive is to stay aware of the multi-folded impact of our food choices and – for the above-mentioned reasons – to grant more time to a plant-based diet, even if it’s only a few days a week. Cover image by: Brenda Godin https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/vegan
New study shows a vegan diet is the best way to reduce your footprint
New study shows a vegan diet is the best way to reduce your footprint
Food

If there is one subject where is spoken over as long as humanity exists it is: food. Food is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. Historically, humans secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering and agriculture. Today, the majority of the food energy required by the ever increasing population of the world is supplied by the food industry.

Because of the last, people started to address issues such as sustainability, biological diversity, climate change, nutritional economics, population growth, water supply, and access to food. Many people today go in the direction of vegetarian, vegan or diets with less meat  because of the environmental impact of meat production and the often miserable circumstances industrial farmed animals live in.

If there was an urge to come up with sustainable food varieties, healthy diets and responsible environmental produced food and share these topics globally it’s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about food, your wishes, diets, healthy recipes and expectations for the future at home and globally. 

Global Sustainability X-change, that’s what you can do together with WhatsOrb. What's in for me?

 

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