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We were named Best Vegan “Meat” at the VegfestUK Awards 2021

We were awarded the Best Vegan “Meat” award at the annual VegFestUK awards this week.

Bringing to the fore the best of the best in the vegan community, the annual VegFestUK awards spanned 21 categories, such as best Vegan “Meat” Alternatives, Vegan Mylks, Media Publications, Vegan Fashion & Footwear and Vegan Community Project all voted on by passionate foodies, vegans, flexitarians, and plant-based eaters from around the UK.

We took just under a quarter of the votes in the hotly contested category from vegan and vegetarian food fans from across the UK. The VegfestUK Awards enter their 15th consecutive year in 2021, spanning an era that has witnessed the explosion of plant-based diets and ethical veganism.

2021 has seen tremendous growth for us, especially after having recently joined forces with other leading vegan food brands Oumph! and LikeMeat as part of the LIVEKINDLY collective.

When announcing the best vegan “meat” substitutes category, VegFestUK founder Tim Barford, said: “The Favourite Vegan “Meat” Category is a hotly contested category to compete in because of the large amount of investment recently in the meat alternative sector.”

Our plant-based meat alternatives are extremely versatile and can be used in a number of vegan recipes. Our range includes our Chicken-style Nuggets, Golden Crumbed Schnitzels, Chicken-Style Strips, Big Fry Burgers, and many more.

We are a family of vegetarians and vegans, and since day one it has been our goal to make great tasting, high protein meat replacements; initially for ourselves, and now our customers all over the world.

VegFestUK has been such a huge part of our journey as a plant-based brand, from our family kitchen in South Africa, to the shelves of some of the biggest supermarkets in the UK, so it’s an honour to be recognised by such a prestigious institution within the vegan community.

This award gives us great motivation to continue our commitment to creating the best tasting, most innovative, ethical, and plant-based meat-alternatives for our customers. 

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Festive Meal Planning Made Plant-based

The festive season is here so it’s time to throw the diet plan out the window, ready the almond milk for Santa’s arrival and start planning your Christmas dinner ideas. Whether you’re plant-based yourself, have vegetarian guests coming or just want some delicious vegetable-based recipes in your festive cooking arsenal, we’ve got you covered with our best meat-free Christmas menu ideas.

There are so many reasons to eat plant-based this festive season. It could be to reduce your carbon footprint, to save animals or for your health. But going plant-based doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on a delicious Christmas dinner. You can recreate what you would normally make, but make it vegan. While meat and dairy are cornerstone ingredients of the traditional feast, your vegan Christmas dinner can include all of your favourites without sacrificing the flavour of the food you love.

Here are our top delicious Festive recipes and tips that will make this season’s eatings full of joy and merriment:

Appetizers:

LEMON AND BROCCOLI SOUP

VEGAN GRILLED LAHMACUN INSPIRED FLATBREADS

For the Main Table:

GARLIC AND SAGE FRY’S SAUSAGES

GLAZED GAME ON

LASAGNE INSPIRED

MEAT FREE LANIERES DE POULET

WARM BUTTERNUT AND SWEET POTATO SALAD

Desserts:

VEGAN CHRISTMAS PUDDING – recipe from The Veg Space

VEGAN MINCE PIES – recipe from A Virtual Vegan

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10 Things You Can Do for the Ocean this World Oceans Day

Looking out for our oceans has never been this important. If you’ve watched the latest Netflix documentary, Seaspiracyyou’ll know that our impact on the ocean is dire. The film brought up everything from animal cruelty to ocean pollution, and it was tough to watch.  

But before we resign to the idea that making the world a better place is impossible, we should take a collective deep breath. There are many small actions that we can take here.  

 Here are 10 simple things you can do every day, because all our contributions matter. 

1 Try To Eat Less Seafood 

Cutting back or eliminating seafood from your diet is a big one. A reduction in seafood as a protein source will have a massively positive impact on the oceans. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a third of commercial fish stocks are being depleted at unsustainable levels. Ninety percent have been fully exploited. As the demand for fish increases, ocean supplies are becoming depleted more quickly and ecosystems are being radically disrupted. An easy solution is to swap out fish for vegetarian versions of your favourite seafood. Our vegan fish alternative, Fry’s Fish-Style Fillets, are a great option, or for another vegan seafood option, try our Battered Prawn-Style Pieces. These are doubly good for the ocean because we’re donating all the proceeds of our vegan seafood range to Sea Shepherd from May till October 2021. 

2 Reduce Your Energy Consumption 

The ocean has absorbed 90% of the excess heat created by burning fossil fuels in the last half-century. Our beautiful blue has been working overtime for us. Sadly though this means that waters are warmer which is affecting where fish swim and their reproduction cycles. It’s also wreaking havoc on our sea levels which in turn creates more natural disasters on land. You can make a change by being conscious of your energy use at home and work; using public transport (or walking or riding your bike to work); switching to fluorescent light bulbs; turning off lights when they’re not needed and unplugging electronics.  

3 Watch Out for Greenwashing 

Some labels are trustworthy and helpful, while others are misleading and are just there to create a false sense of security. For example, on its own, the word “sustainable” means very little and looking for reputable certifications to ensure the food you buy is sustainable is critical. This is true for all food, not just fish. Learn more about how to spot greenwashing here. 

4 Try Going Plant-Based 

A surprising fact is that pigs, chickens and cows are the world’s leading oceanic predators. The waste runoff of livestock operations on land has caused more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones in the oceans. Animal agriculture is also responsible for more greenhouse gasses than the entire transport industry combined. Our appetite for meat is affecting the temperature and cleanliness of our waters.  Buying more sustainable products like plant-based fish or seafood, helps keep them on the shelf, thereby giving others people considering change the option too.  This is a powerful step you can take to be an advocate for change. 

5 Use Less Plastic 

The more plastic we use, the more plastic ends up in the ocean. It is estimated by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Interestingly the main source of ocean plastic pollution is not plastic straws but is actually fishing lines. (See Steps #1 and #4. Plant-based fish alternatives remove the need for fishing lines). As much as possible, reduce and reuse, and then recycle! We’ve been ditching the plastic inners in many of our product boxes and have a plan in action that is moving us towards 96% recyclable or recycled packaging by the end of 2021. 

6 Take Care of the Beach 

Whether you are relaxing on the beach, surfing or diving, always clean up after yourself. Respect the ocean by not interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Participate in or organise local beach clean-ups. Pick up what you find no matter how big or small. Neglected, lightweight debris will be blown into the sea. 

7 Read Labels Carefully and Educate Yourself 

Don’t purchase items that exploit marine life and choose ocean-friendly products. There are many products on the market that harm fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair accessories, cosmetics containing shark squalene and other shark product, as well as fish tank accessories which are often sourced from fragile coastal ecosystems. Don’t buy fish as pets either and take a strong stance against keeping exotic species in captivity.  

8 Support Organisations That Protect the Ocean 

There are many local and global organisations that are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife, like the brave people of Sea Shepherd. Consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on advocacy. We hope to raise about $15 000 for them in the next 6-months through the global sales of our Fish-Style Fillets and Battered Prawn-Style Pieces (both are available through your local retailers). We’ve been working with Sea Shepherd for years, and truly believe that they are ocean warriors and that they will do so much with this money for our beautiful ocean. 

9 Be the Change in Your Community 

One person can make a difference! Start beach cleanups, ask restaurants and supermarkets to offer more plant-based and fish-free options. Speak up if you notice threatened species on the menu or seafood counter. Take some time to research the ocean policies of government officials before casting your vote. An easy way to make a huge difference, is cooking plant-based meals for friends and family to show them how delicious they can be. Have a look at our recipes to get some inspiration. 

10 Share your knowledge with others  

Inspire friends and family to watch Seaspiracy, post plant-based seafood recipes on your own social media pages and share interesting facts.  Be the inspiration for someone else’s change!