Category: Internatonal (Page 1 of 2)

Beyond meat: The end of food as we know it?

We should not feed plants to animals for meat, cheese, milk & eggs … we should use plants to actually make them!

The Giuseppe program from Chile’s Not Company (NotCo) are replicating animal ingredients, but entirely based on plants.

A group of Chilean scientists are on a mission to change the way that we make food and reduce the impact of animal faming on the environment in the process . The researchers have set up a company that uses artificial intelligence to find a way to replicate animal-based products like milk, yoghurt, cheese and mayonnaise, using plant based ingredients.

Listen to this exciting report 18mins40″ in to this Science in Action program from BBC World Service and read more:meet-the-worlds-smartest-food-scientist-guiseppe.

Talk to Al Jazeera – Beyond meat: The end of food as we know it?

Published on Feb 6, 2016

With the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence a whole new concept of food may soon radically change what we eat. And at the same time, some experts believe, it could reduce global warming.
No longer based on animal ingredients, this is a food entirely based on plants – although it looks and tastes like the classic food based on ingredients derived from animals.

This is not a new idea, it has been around for about 10 years.

But the breakthrough has been delayed, perhaps one of the reasons is that many consumers still prefer locally produced food, they want to trust the supply chain, and not simply depend on big manufacturers.

However, a group of young scientists in Chile are working on alternatives for a sustainable and meatless future.

Commercial engineer Matias Muchnick and Harvard research associate Karim Pichara are two of the founders of the Not Company.Together with biochemist Isidora Silva they are developing new plant-based food and are determined to bring it to people in their local market.

Part of what motivates them is what they consider to be the biggest drawback of classic animal farming: It requires massive amounts of land and it affects global warming.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock contributes both directly and indirectly to climate change through the emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

Livestock is also a major driver of deforestation, desertification, as well as the release of carbon from cultivated soils. Overall the livestock sector is contributing 2.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emission according to the UN.

“When you get behind the scenes of the food industry, you don’t like what you see. There is a lot of things that we should be knowing… but we are blindsided by a whole industry that is making it really hard for us to see what we are really eating,” says Matias Muchnick.

The main scientist of the Not Company team is a computer, an artificial intelligence algorithm programmed to become the smartest food scientist in the world.

It uses deep learning parameters to understand food at a molecular level, helping the team to deliver tasty and affordable nutrition while using less water, less land, less energy, and without the need to cultivate harmful bio systems like animals.

It’s a complicated process but it’s designed to understand human perception of taste and texture which allows it to suggest clever recipes for sustainable and tasty plant-based foods. And it even understands the availability and use of resources for every single plant in the company’s database.

“We want people to eat better, but without even knowing, that’s the main objective of the Not Company,” Muchnick says.

But does the new model of food production really work? Will it be popular among consumers? What does it mean for the future of food? Are we at the tipping point of a food revolution?

The team behind the Not Company talks to Al Jazeera to discuss their work, their goals and their vision for the future of the food industry.


Sumac Centre – a future vision

In 1985 Veggies helped establish Nottingham’s Rainbow Centre, later taking on the co-ordination of the running of the space. In 2001 the support generated over the previous decades enabled the purchase of the Sumac Centre, a collectively owned space supporting a wide range of interconnected initiatives, including being the home of Veggies Catering Campaign.

Sumac ImageOn Satuday 8th December 2012 there is to be a discussion on the future of the Sumac Centre noting, amongst other things, its role as “a meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.”

This role hasn’t just happened in isolation.
It is due to Veggies and others being centrally involved in the running of Sumac from 15 years before it even existed. We may feel this role to be carved in stone, and this may well be the case.

However Sumac is simply the sum of its parts so we, as ‘vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners’ must continue to play our part.

If you are free on Saturday 8/12/12 (11am-6pm) please consider supporting the vegan status of the Sumac Centre and its role as a national resource for the animal rights movement.

This Saturday is a Sumac visioning day, a chance for all of you who come to the Sumac Center to bring your excitement, enthusiasm and inspiration in order to help shape the future of the Sumac Centre.

1) Intro

2) Use

– How is the Sumac used?

Meeting place, tat storage, music venue, peoples kitchen, food bank, a base for lots of varied campaigns/alternative cultures, bike project, fundraiser events, information and awareness raising events, film screenings, autonomous DIY infrastructure, ABC letter writing, gardening club.

– Is this the kind of useage we want to continue?

3) Purpose

– What is the current purpose of the Sumac?

A meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.

This will include a conversation about whether the sumac is there to engage with the local geographical community or the activist community. It’s a stable part of infrastructure for ‘our movement’.

– Is this the purpose we want to go forward with?

There will be lunch in the middle and we’ll all have a big ole delicous peoples kitchen at the end.

Hope to see you all there.

Sumac Visioning Poster
The Sumac Centre
0845 458 9595
245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham, NG7 6HX

The Sumac Centre is an independent community and activist resource centre. It is made up of a community cafe, social club, library, exhibition space, veggie catering campaign, filmnights, talks, meeting spaces and the residents. The centre is used by various campaign groups and collectives working towards social change and justice for all. Come and visit us!


Full details of Sumac Events (and more from like-minded groups):

Veggies News:

Zapatista & Freedom for Political Prisoner Calendars

Zapatista Calendar 2012

The Zapatista Calendar 2012 is published jointly by the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group and Kiptik. All proceeds go to health and drinking water projects in Zapatista communites.

These were going for £7+p&p, but are now available for £5 inc delivery.

Buy Now …

If you live in Nottingham you can buy calendars from Veggies at the Sumac Centre.


zapatista calendar


calendar pictures

Freedom for Political Prisoner Calendars

Certain Days Calendar

The proceeds from the Freedom for Political Prisoner Calendar will be divided among the groups shown on the Certain Days website.

These were for £7+p&p, but are now available for £5 inc delivery.

Buy Now …

If you live in Nottingham you can buy calendars from Veggies at the Sumac Centre.

Vegetarian Website Award Winners!

We are delighted to have received the following message:

Subject: Vegetarian Website Award – Congrats!
From: “Vegetarian Awards”
Date: Wed, June 8, 2011 4:23 pm

Dear Veggies,

Vegetarian_Website_AwardWe at are pleased to present you with the Vegetarian Website Award for excellence in vegetarian information!

We understand the value of free, accessible information regarding vegetarian and veganism: great recipes, insightful articles, and tips to make people’s diets that much healthier.

Veggies helps further the vegetarian cause, and we think you should be honored as such.

Thank you for everything Veggies does to increase food awareness – your service is highly valued.

Thanks again for all you do!

Best Regards,

Senior Editor

We are pleased to add the Vegetarian Website Award to our bulging trophy cabinet, which includes:

Vegan Award Certificate

  • Best Vegan Caterer – 3-time Winner – Vegan Society Awards

  • Best Vegan Catering Service – UK Vegan Awards 2010

  • Mahaveer Award (2010)
    Mahaveer Millennium Pledge Award (31st December 1999)

  • Eco Veggie Award Winners

    Best Place To Eat in the 2010 Eco Veggie Awards!
    … and …
    Best Vegan Campaigners in 2008 Vegan Environmental Award
    … and …
    Veggies Burgers : Runner-up in 2007 Vegan Environmental Award

We truly are pleased to be the Award Winning Caterer!

Vegan Society Awards 2011

As we write nominations are invited for The Vegan Society Awards 2011.

Vegan Society TrademarkAs Three Times Winner of the Best Vegan Caterer award we have declined nomination that category – after 27 years we are delighted that there are now many more vegan caterers deserving credit.

However there is a category for Best Vegan Society Trademarked food product … and Veggies famous Veggies Burgers do carry the Vegan Society Trademark …!

The Vegan Society Awards will be made for World Vegan Day, Tuesday 1 November 2011 and all the categories can be found on the Nominations form.

Feed the Hungry – Without Exploiting Animals

According to the radio and TV news today (1 June 2011) Oxfam has warned that the cost of basic foods such as maize will double in 20 years. Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, says that “We are sleepwalking ourselves into ecological disaster.”

The following comment is by HIPPO (Help International Plant Protein Organisation), a British vegetarian charity supporting poor communities throughout Africa.

Hippo Charity“The only thing we disagree with is her time-scale. We know that in Kenya the price of maize has increased by more than 50% since we left at the end of March – two months, never mind two decades. At that time we were paying 2200 Kenyan shillings (about £17) per 90-kilo bag. Now it is 3500 shillings (about £27) and increasing. Beans cost twice as much. Admittedly some of the present increases are due to speculation on the food market but will they come down again? And they come on the top of what had already been a 50% increase in the previous year. Four years ago we could buy maize for less than 1000/- a bag. Imagine how this affects the poor, who already have to spend all the money they have on food. Now they simply haven’t got the money to be able to eat. The rising cost also makes it increasingly difficult for charities like HIPPO to continue to help them.

“Oxfam cites a number of reasons for the impending disaster. The one that they consistently fail to address is the most serious one of all, which is simply that more and more meat is being eaten in the world by more and more people and farm livestock consume about 10 times more food than they produce.

In fact farm animals should not be considered as food-producers at all since they are overwhelmingly net food consumers.

“The world’s people are eating more animal-based foods every year whilst the world’s population is growing rapidly. Meanwhile the remaining wild areas of the world are rapidly being destroyed to feed farm animals, e.g. the vast clearance of the Amazon rainforest to grow soya for feeding to the cattle, pigs and poultry of Europe, leading to changes in the world climate, especially in the patterns of rainfall. Trees are the ‘pumps’ that recycle water back into the atmosphere.

“HIPPO has been saying this since its foundation in 1999 and some others have been saying it for even longer. But even taken all together we are but a David to the Goliath of the worldwide meat and dairy industry. That is why we are sending you this email, asking you to take its message to heart and to pass it on, please.

“The world as a whole needs to consume less meat. As individuals our best contribution is to eat none at all. We can use the money we save to help the poor!”


Veggies adds:

Since 1984 Veggies has been pleased to support the work of Vegfam in ‘feeding the the hungry without exploiting animals’.

The fragile environment cannot support two populations – humans and their food animals. Vegfam raises funds to eliminate hunger, thirst, malnutrition, and starvation, helping people in over 40 countries, by financing sustainable, self-supporting plant food projects, fruit and nut tree planting, irrigation and water wells.

We have sponsored and distributed Vegfam fliers and raised funds through a premium on the sales of bottled water and donations from our ‘samosas for social change‘ project.

You can help us to help Vegfam by using the Everyclick search facility, to raise funds for Vegfam whilst surfing the web.

Meanwhile, for more information on the work of HIPPO (in comparison to that of Oxfam) see our article Don’t Send A Cow – Plant a Tree!

Hippo Charity

Vegan hotel/conference centre proposal seeks support

A friend of Midlands Vegan Campaigns is trying to set up a vegan hotel and conference centre in Wales, but she needs a little help. Please take a moment to send a short message in support, as explained below.

Hi all vegans & Vegetarians.

I need your help. I want to get 500 testimonials from vegans and vegetarians to say why it is important to have hotels, conference centres that cater purely for vegans and vegetarians and that you support the development of Bryn Corach.

If you feel it is somewhere you would visit either for leisure or business even better (I won’t hold you to it) I want the 500 testimonials by Wednesday.

Please email with your name, town and country and
your comments.

Please post as widely and internationally as possible!!!!

thanks in advance


Bryn Corach is at Sychnant Pass Rd, Conwy, Gwynedd LL32 8AQ (near Llandudno and Conwy Rail Station)

View Larger Map

Food Not Bombs is Appealing

food not bombsFood Not Bombs is an all-volunteer global movement that shares free vegan meals as a way of supporting local communities and promoting social change.

We have been pleased to have hosted to visits to Nottingham by Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs, in the 1990’s and again in January 2010 during the Peace News Gathering. Both visits have boosed our enthusiasm and commitment for “feeding the hungry without exploiting animals” (the byline of Vegfam).

Nottingham Food Not Bombs occasonally share a free meal in Nottingham .

Food Not Bombs in 2011

1/11/11 – Keith Writes:

I headed down to southern Arizona to finish writing a new book about Food Not Bombs. The below zero temperatures in Taos made it too painful to live in my van. My eye lids were freezing to my eyes when I woke so I headed south to warmer weather. Instead of frozen eye lids I woke to news that Representative Gabrielle Gifford and 17 others had been shot just a couple of miles from where I had spent my first evening in Tucson.

Food Not Bombs has been promoting a message of peace and nonviolence since 1980. Our message is more important then ever and I hope you will consider supporting the work of Food Not Bombs in any way you desire.

Thank you everyone for all that you have already done. Many of you donated money and time last year. Your help is needed more then ever in 2011. Nearly a billion are going hungry, tens of thousands become homeless and with food costs increasing we are seeing a new wave food riots.

The most important thing you can do is join or help start a Food Not Bombs chapter in your community. Also Orlando Food Not Bombs is heading to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia the week of February 14th and one way you can help is to organize a vegan meal outside your local federal building or U.S. Embassy. A number of Food Not Bombs groups have been threatened with arrest if they continue to express the view that America would be more secure if it diverted tax dollars from military spending towards healthcare, education and other domestic needs so that our people don’t find themselves homeless and hungry.

Another way to support Food Not Bombs is by bringing “The Change We Knead Now- Bake Goods Not Bank Bailout Tour” and solar baking demonstration to your community. If you are a college student or teacher consider hosting the presentation at your school. We can also speak at cafes, book stores and other venues.

The tour is a great way to inspire your community to participate. The presentation is also a good way to encourage participation in Food Not Bombs. I just returned from working with Food Not Bombs in Africa and have much more to share about their progress.

Love and Peace
Keith McHenry
co-founder of the Food Not Bombs movement

The Change We Knead Now- Bake Goods Not Bank Bailout Tour and solar baking demonstration

Perhaps you can help with the following appeal?

Dear Food Not Bombs supporters,

I was driving to help cook and share food at the large rally in Washington DC when my engine exploded as I was driving past Oklahoma City. I also live in this van and have it packed with cooking equipment, solar oven, rice, beans, banners, folding table and literature for the Food Not Bombs tour. Getting my home back on the road is very important. My first lecture in at American University on October 6th in Washington D.C.

Calls and emails seeking support an interest in Food Not Bombs are at an all time high. A homeless mother of three just called for help in starting a local Homes Not Jails squat. We also had emails this week about new groups starting in Hilversum, the Netherlands, Saint Petersburg, Florida and Ruston, Louisiana . A volunteer was arrested in early September in Minsk Belarus framed in the fire bombing of the Russian Embassy. Floods, droughts and speculation are driving up the cost of food and forcing millions into hunger. We are also facing the new “Food Safety and Modernization Act” written by the good people at Monsanto which will cause another increase in the cost of organic food. Before the van’s engine exploded I was speaking and tabling at the Raw Spirit Festival. It was fantastic and we had lots of encouragement. Interest in the work of Food Not Bombs is growing.

We raise most of or funds by speaking at colleges. It has been difficult booking presentations at colleges and acquiring honorariums this fall. I just spoke with another student that said they were having a hard time raising even the minimum $500 for the resentation at their college when last year they provided several thousand to their speakers.

We have a number of very cool projects we are requiring funding including the printing of a short run of our new book “Cooking For Peace – Feeding the hungry and building a sustainable future with Food Not Bombs,” a World Food Not Bombs Gathering in Mexico, the completion of a documentary on Food Not Bombs and responding to the huge increase in requests for support for bulk dry goods.

We generally do not ask for financial support but the death of my engine and the inability of colleges to provide the usual honorariums has put us in an economic bind. We know most people have very little money these days but if you are able to contribute more then the usual dollar we suggest please help.

Thanks so much.

Keith McHenry

Veggies and Food Not Bombs

FNB Book coverThe Food Not Bombs Handbook is available from Veggies Bookstall.

Veggies Networking DirectoryContact Food Not Bombs and their Local Contacts in your area, via Veggies Networking Directory.

See also:

Shark Friendly Nottingham


Shark Friendly Nottingham plans to campaign at restaurants currently selling sharks fin soup and talk to managers/owners etc in the hope that they will adopt a policy not to sell sharks fin soup again in the future, we will also hold demonstrations at restaurants selling the soup to bring awareness to the public about this cruel so called delicacy.

Every second, 3 sharks die at human hands. The vast majority are “finned” so that their fins can be used for shark fin soup. Sharks are becoming extinct and it is affecting all ocean life.

Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water). Shark fins are being “harvested” in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup.

Not only is the finning of sharks barbaric, but their indiscriminate slaughter at an unsustainable rate is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%. Due to the clandestine nature of finning, records are rarely kept of the numbers of sharks and species caught. Estimates are based on declared imports to shark fin markets such as Hong Kong and China.

Sharks have been around for 400 million years. Are we going to let them die out because of ignorance about the origins of what we eat and because of human arrogance? Would this still be going on if the soup was made with tiger paws instead of shark fins? Act now and find out what you can do to help save sharks.

More at Shark Friendly Nottingham website.

The Black Fish

Meanwhile Sumac veteran and Veggies associate, Wietze, announces launch of The Black Fish, a new European ocean conservation project, at recent Nottingham Animal Rights meeting.

The Black Fish is an organisation set on a mission to change attitudes towards our precious oceans and work to protect the unique life within them.

More at Ocean defence activist in Nottingham on Notts Indymedia.

Killing Fields for Cheap Meat

Killing Fields: The True Cost of Cheap Meat

Much of the cheap meat and dairy produce sold in supermarkets is only made possible as a result of serious human rights abuses and environmental damage in one of Latin America’s most impoverished countries. This film, by the Ecologist Film Unit, documents the experiences of some of those caught up in Paraguay’s growing conflict over soy farming.


  • Up to 97% of soy is used as animal feed.
  • Practically all non-organically raised farmed animals, producing meat, eggs and dairy, are fed genetically mutated (GM) animal feed.
  • Ethically sourced soya for direct human consumption rather than wasteful livestock farming, can help the transition to a sustainable vegan diet.
  • The organic soya used for Veggies products is sourced from France.

See also:

British meat and dairy is destroying rainforests
Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Daily Telegraph, 20 July 2010

“More than one million tonnes of soy is imported every year to feed animals in the pig, poultry and dairy sectors with 98 per cent of this coming from South America – where studies have linked the expanding number of soy plantations to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest – as well as the grassland regions of the Brazilian Cerrado, the Atlantic forest and the Chacos region.

“The UK could cut its dependency on imported soy in half by encouraging farmers to switch to home-grown alternative protein crops like oilseed rape meal, lupin, sunflower, linseed, beans and peas.”

– Veggies says: “this dependency could be cut far more if home-grown alternative protein crops were used for direct human consumption, rather than for the second population explosion of farmed animals.”

For more information see the Movement for Compassionate Living.

For more videos follow the links at

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