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.
Meet John (not his real name). He had a severe case of Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease affecting almost a million Americans. Starting in his late teens and continuing till his early 60’s, John suffered from his intestines swelling and causing pain, along with the unpleasant symptoms one would expect from major disruptions in the intestines. Every day was hard. Even his eyes and throat were affected. Over time he took a long list of suggested medications, and endured the powerful side effects that usually accompany these meds, but none of these is fully able to treat the disease. He also had surgeries, as most Crohn’s patients do, but continued to suffer. Read more
OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.
The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have. Read more
Bodybuilder Karl Bruder went vegan in March 2016. By July 2016, he was on a winning streak, destroying the competition at the WABBA Grand Prix by taking first place in his category of Tall Men up to 180cm. He has also placed sixth at Mr Universe and fourth at PCA Physical Culture.
As a competitive bodybuilder, Karl does have to travel, but this isn’t an issue, it just takes some preparation. “I always make sure I have my own food whilst travelling and that I have access to vegan food where ever I go” he explains. This means he never has to compromise. At home, he manages to cook up interesting food. “I love to cook and experiment with all sorts of plant-based foods and create amazing meals” he says. “I eat a lot of lentils, nuts, beans of all different types and your basic carbohydrates too.” This fuels his training which includes the gym on six days per week. He also looks after his rescue horses which involves physical work, and plenty of walking.
He’s proud of how much he has achieved on a vegan diet:
“I have put on 6kg since I have been vegan in 20 months. I never achieved this amount of muscle prior to being vegan in 6 years in competitive bodybuilding. So when someone says you built most of your muscle on animal based products, I tell them I have made a lot more progress and faster on a plant-based diet. I have never been in such good shape and conditioned all year round as I am now. So the fact is, being vegan has massive benefits to my sport and my health.”
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.
Investors who are interested in supporting forward-thinking alternatives to the current food system are likely to be interested in plant-based investment strategies. Plant-based investing means supporting the transition from animal-based products to plant-based products, through the companies in which one invests.
Just as most vegetarians and vegans would never consider buying meat products, those who can invest have no desire to buy mutual funds that own companies that profit from the exploitation of animals. Fortunately, most sustainable funds steer clear of the worst offenders (like factory farms), but a few do own companies such as fast food chains, which sell a lot of animal products, so investors should look into the details. Another way they can support plant-based investing is by investing in fund companies which are engaged in shareholder advocacy on this topic.
Investors are increasingly recognizing the power and promise of this investment strategy – whether they call it plant-based investing, vegan investing, or cruelty-free investing. If you have a financial advisor or mutual fund company, let them know today that you are looking for vegan investment opportunities. The rest of us, along with the animals, will thank you for it!