We were curious how an organic farm is run here in the Pacific Northwest, so we asked Andrew Stout, founder and general manager of Full Circle Farm, a few questions.
How did you become interested in farming?
I started farming with my wife Wendy and my good friend John in the mid 90’s. We all felt drawn to the noble occupation of growing good honest food for our community in an environmentally responsible way. We were only a few years out of college and were looking for a meaningful career that challenged us mentally and physically while allowing our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive. If farming didn’t work out, I wanted to be a teacher. As it turned out I have the privilege of doing both – educating young and old, about the merits of organic farming, the importance of good food, the satisfaction of a hard day’s work and best of all the delights of a delicious shared meal. Read more
Vegan burger at McDonalds! Yes, you heard me right. We said “Vegan burger at McDonald’s.” Some of us thought we’d never see the day when McDonald’s would serve up a vegan burger. But, the fact that that day has come shows just how much the plant-based diet is catching on.
The new vegan burger is debuting at their headquarters in Chicago Illinois. They’ve put it front and center. The new burger is called the McAloo Tikki and consists of a toasted bun filled with a veggie patty made with potatoes, pea, and seasoning reminiscent of samosas; topped with fresh red onions, tomato slices, and an eggless creamy tomato mayo (this still has some dairy though). Read more
Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, brought meaningful and thought-provoking science fiction to “think, question, and challenge the status quo” to audiences across the globe, with the intention of creating “a brighter future”. In 2010, Gene’s son Rod established the Roddenberry Foundation to build on his father’s legacy and philosophy of inclusion, diversity, and respect for life.
As part of the annual Roddenberry Prize grant, which this year focuses on innovative approaches to Climate Change, the foundation recently awarded $250,000 to the vegan startup Green Monday for converting 1.6 million Hong Kong residents to a plant-based diet. Read more
Under pressure from the dairy industry, the government is trying make it so that plant-based alternatives to dairy can’t use the terms “milk”, “butter” or “cheese” on their product labels. The excuse is that the consumer can’t tell the difference between dairy milk and soy milk, and so may be confused. It doesn’t take a PhD to know that almonds, coconuts, rice and cashews don’t come from a cow! Read more
The Great British Bake off is a popular British TV show featuring a group of amateur bakers who are challenged to bake three different creations each week in a limited amount of time. At the end of each week, the judges eliminate one contestant, until the winner of the Great British Bake Off emerges.
This week, the challenges are all focused around using non-dairy products, so it’s been labelled “vegan week”. Some regular viewers are horrified, thinking that baking can’t be done without dairy products, but the show is calculated to appeal to a younger audience, in a country where a significant percentage of the younger population are transitioning to veganism.
The episode kicks-off, as ever, with the signature challenge which will see the bakers tasked with preparing eight savory tartlets – four with one filling and four with another – with a short crust pastry. For their showstopper, the bakers must whip up a vegan celebration cake that is “inventive and visually exciting”. There aren’t any stipulations – the cake can look however the contestants want – but it must be made from plant-based ingredients. It sounds like many contestants may be taking quick lessons about how to use aquafaba – the water left after cooking beans – as the base for vegan meringues!
Look out for the vegan Great British Bake Off (Series 2 Episode 7) when they release the latest season on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, PBS and other TV options.
Oh, yes! Starbucks just added a new vegan cold beverage to its permanent menu. The Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte is now a permanent offering. This vegan espresso beverage will keep you going all year long.
The new beverage is part of their commitment to serving more plant-based options. This demonstrates that Starbucks has confidence in the growing plant-based trend. Starbucks has made significant strides in better catering to its vegan customers. In recent months, it has added vegan macadamia cookies, 3D popsicles, protein-packed cold brews, packaged savory wraps, and coffee smoothies in select locations. The company has also expanded its snack range, offering vegan Hippeas packs, and Justin’s peanut and almond butter cups.
Other coffee companies have also gotten into the act. For instance, Peet’s Coffee has vegan whipped cream. It also has a “Coffee Meets Coconut” summer menu which included 3 vegan-friendly beverages made with the new whip.
Let’s hope all the coffee shops continue to increase their plant-based options.