Issue 2? I checked to find impossible to obtain, long sold out.
Then an idea, Ideas on Paper, always back issues.
Out of luck.
Then another idea, Outpost Coffee. I was in luck, not only a copy, they kindly gave me their copy.
ethical food magazine
Afternoon Christmas Day, after Christmas dinner, I settled down to read Om Nom issue 2.
Om Nom is a food magazine, ethical food and lifestyle.
What is ethical?
Veganism is not ethical. It is a lifestyle choice. A lifestyle choice bordering on quasi-religious fundamentalism.
If do not want milk in a cappuccino, fine, but do not expect a quality cappuccino with fake milk. It will look and taste disgusting.
What of soya milk, is it ethical? Where has the soya come from? Plantations where once stood rain forests. Soy can be an allergen. The soy is possibly genetically modified. Soy is bitter and has to have additives to remove the bitterness.
What of almond milk? If California, what of the water used in a state suffering from drought and over extraction of water? Five litres of water for each almond.
If do not like milk, for whatever reason, have single origin V60 pour over.
But if insist on fake milk in a cappuccino, then ask for Oatley not an inferior cheap oat milk, and blend in the pouring jug. It looks and tastes marginally better but is not great.
Yes, we should eat more fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts, less processed food, maybe less meat, but we need to take a whole systems approach, not be the latest bigot in town jumping on the latest fashionable bandwagon, the latest fad.
In many parts of the world, grazing animals is more environmentally sound than growing crops.
There is nothing intrinsically healthy about a vegan diet, especially when highly processed, indeed all the evidence is heavily stacked against.
Organic food heavily processed is still heavily processed food.
Fake milks are highly processed, loaded with sugar. Fake meats heavily processed, laced with additives, just for starters, pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavours, gum Arabic.
Was the demand for vegan sausage rolls from Greggs an indication of how bad their regular sausage rolls?
Then there is the need for supplements, on what is claimed to be a healthy diet.
And what of the environmental cost?
Nitrogen-based fertilisers, pesticides, palm oil, genetic modification, reliance on oil industry, just a few of the issues.
Africa, Europe, Asia, North America was covered in open woodland and grassland, savannah, prairie, across which roamed huge herds of herbivores. Man was a hunter gatherer, ate red meat, ate fat, grains did not form part of our diet.
EAT-Lancet diet for a small planet, almost vegan, good for our health, good for the planet, too good to be true, the wheels fell off within days when subject to proper scientific scrutiny. That promoted by agribusiness should send alarm bells ringing.
Too much fake science. For example a vegan burger compared with a meat burger, the former served with green tea, the latter served with a latte with half a dozens spoons of sugar.
There is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs, social costs, human rights abuse, environmental degradation, climate chaos and animal welfare.
A handful of people eating plants does little to address ethics in food production.
It is not ethical when we praise quality but expensive food, nor when we praise cheap substandard food.
It is not ethical when rich folk enjoy food produced by poor folk who get poorer the harder they work. It is not ethical when the rich get richer peddling junk food to the masses.
It is not ethical when we live in a world where McDonald’s, Starbucks and Costa colonise our towns.
Is it ethical to put a brick through McDonald’s or Starbucks? Or should we create and support alternatives, indie coffee shops, direct trade, serving specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, local restaurants, the Italian osteria, supporting local producers, serving local and regional dishes?
An act of unbelievable crass stupidity when vegan quasi-religious fundamentalists target Hisbe, an ethical food store. Where next, Infinity Foods, a workers cooperative? Maybe not, Infinity Foods bake vegan cakes and where would we be without vegan cakes? Maybe do something useful, target and shut down McDonald’s or a kebab shop.
Use of instagram is not ethical. Owned by facebook, claim ownership rights to your pictures, act as bait to draw into the facebook walled garden, pictures posted via robot to twitter are not visible on twitter, the pictures could be used to promote something you are opposed to, you would not know as they do not ask permission to use your pictures, complicit in teen self-harm and suicide.
Business model of facebook is to steal and abuse personal data, to manipulate. Facebook are part of a lobbying group opposed to CO2 reductions.
Post pictures direct to twitter, post videos to youtube or vimeo, put a link to videos on facebook, drive traffic out of not into facebook.
Instagram is hosting material that is leading young teens to self harm and take their own lives. A shocking account of how one young teenager was led to take her own life by material on Instagram.
Latest evil of Instagram, complicit in eating disorders.
Anyone encouraging use of instagram, is complicit in teen self harm. People and companies must pull the plug on instagram. Or do they wish to be complicit in teen suicides?
Engaging in a partnership with Tesco is not ethical.
To engage in partnership with Big Business is not ethical. It will be business as usual, at best greenwash.
It is ethical to create and support alternatives, build from the ground up, local, cooperative networks, disrupt, build disruptive business models that topple the existing entrenched order, but not aid, breath life into, to let their existence continue.
whole business cycle
We need to look at the entire business cycle, not focus on one aspect.
The Mylkman delivers nut milk in bottles via bicycle and now electric milk float. That he is using and recycling glass jars from a nearby restaurant is good, also that he is finding uses for the nut waste products, but where do the nuts come from, how are they processed, what happens to the waste?
Cheese comes from the milk of ruminants, they process what we cannot eat, turn it into milk, rare breed cows out on pasture, unpasteurised milk, turned into cheese, a wholesome natural product, without any additives, flavourings, not adulterated in any way. Slow food at its best. Anything else, is not cheese.
If not made from milk, it is not cheese. It is disingenuous to claim threatened when asked to desist on calling a product cheese when it is not cheese.
Chocolate is very strictly defined:
- cocoa solids — sugar
- cocoa solids — cocoa butter — sugar — vanilla
Anything less is not chocolate, at least in the US, in EU 5% vegetables oils is permitted. Which means cheap crap chocolate substitutes vegetable oils for cocoa butter, the really cheap crap palm oil.
If we have standards for what can be called chocolate, it is reasonable to expect standards for what may be called cheese.
The demand for cashew nuts to satisfy vegans, especially for fake cheese, is leading to appalling working conditions for those in the Third World who shell the nuts
Threatened is when vegan fundamentalists and terrorists send pig farmers death threats. Yes the pigs may be reared in inhumane conditions, and yes that should be addressed.
Zero waste is a journey we should all be on.
In nature the concept of waste does not exist either in time or space, the output of one process the input to another.
People walking down the street with coffee cup in hand is a fairly recent phenomena, a recent trend.
Pret a Manger was once part owned by McDonald’s, now 100% owned by German Vulture Capitalists. Pret a Manger even before acquisition dodged tax.
Reusable cups address symptoms not the underlying problem of grab it and go, pointless consumerism.
We need to stop buying stuff we do not need. We buy stuff, own it for six months, a temporary pause from extraction, manufacture, then ownwards to incineration or landfill.
More coffee shops need to follow the example set by Napier Quarter, a coffee shop in Australia that has banned takeaway coffee.
Relax in an indie coffee shop with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, single origin coffee, direct trade not the FairTrade scam, transparency, traced back to origin to the farm where the coffee was grown and the best ripest reddest coffee cherries picked, the farmers paid for quality, a higher price than the FairTrade price which is a tiny premium above the price for commodity coffee.
It is indie coffee shops that have led the way with direct trade, compostable coffee cups, keepcup and ecoffee bamboo clones on sale, discount if bring in own clean barista friendly cup. They are leading the way serving specialty coffee in glass or ceramic.
Ask what do they do with coffee grounds? Ask they put out in a strong paper carrier bag for gardeners to carry home.
Small Batch in Brighton have an arrangement where coffee grounds are collected by a mushroom grower Espresso Mushroom Company and used to grow oyster mushrooms. The cycle is closed when Small Batch sell the mushroom growing kits.
If shop in Waitrose, harangue the staff and management, ask why fresh produce wrapped in plastic, bananas rotting on the shelves, ask are they still in the environmental dark ages? In M&S individual turnips shrink-wrapped in plastic, coconuts with shells hacked off shrink wrapped in plastic.
In Hisbe, all the fresh produce loose, not wrapped in plastic, pick what you want, pop in a paper bag, weigh, label then purchase.
Bad as Waitrose and M&S are for plastic and over packaging, as nothing compared with Hotel Chocolat with their excessive over packaging and obscene use of plastic.
It was not so long ago buying water in a bottle would have seemed a strange choice when it came free at the turn of a tap. Similarly it would have seemed strange to carry milk back from the shop when it was delivered to the door.
I remember being at my grandmother’s when the milk cart passed by early in the morning, I would hear the rattle of the milk bottles, one of the first sounds I would hear of a morning. It may have even been horse drawn.
I also remember how as children we would knock on doors, and ask for their empties, take to the corner shop and claim the deposit.
We recycle stuff, what of people and places?
There are many abandoned and derelict buildings, abandoned land, people thrown on the scrap heap.
ReSpace puts to use empty and abandoned buildings.
The Hive in Dalston hosted conferences, workshops, small businesses, social enterprises, theatre, music.
A derelict shopping centre in Aldershot could have been reused, but no one came forward to take it on.
Nomadic Community Gardens, a spare bit of land, two people toiling away, bringing back into use. They did not ask for volunteers, the community joined in.
Land in London, ethnic communities, amazing variety of vegetables grown.
A large garden, too much work, people who desire a plot to work, join forces, share what is grown.
soft energy paths
The system outlined by Dale Vince of Ecotricty for power distribution is not the way forward as neither green nor ethical. No we do not need large lithium-ion batteries, fields covered in solar panels, crops grown for biofuels. Lithium is scarce, comes from conflict zones.
We should be creating community owned and controlled local area networks, fed by renewables paid a fair price, mandatory for every new build to have solar on the roof, consumers pay a fair price, any surplus generation fed to other local grids via a publicly owned National Grid, any monetary surplus either fed back into the local grid or used to fund local community projects.
Biodigesters on farms can power the farm, feed into their local grid, the residual waste put back on the fields.
The so-called smart meters being rolled out across the country are anything but smart, all they do is provide real time indication of the electricity we are using.
A real smart meter would enable remote switching on and off of low grade usage. For example an immersion heater for hot water could be turned off to help reduce peak demands, with an override switch. Electric cars can be charged over night to deliver a base load for wind and wave turbines.
We need heat pumps. All new build should have heat pumps.
Imagine an estate powered by one power station. Build a second estate, conventional thinking is we now need a second power station. No, reduce power consumption of existing estate, build second estate to much higher standards, maybe even a net contributor to the local grid, now not only do we not need a second power station, we have surplus generation from the first, or can be replaced with a more efficient power source, which could be an off-shore wind farm.
We need a Green New Deal. We need a soft energy path, where generation is matched to supply.
Dale Vince owns Forest Green Rovers, a football club he has taken from a village side to the Football League with ambitions to go further.
Classed as the greenest football club in the world. The pitch is chemical free, mowed by a solar-powered, GPS-controlled, robot mower. Real Madrid visited to view the pitch.
A new stadium will be built using wood from sustainable sources, solar power on the roof. Outside the stadium, charging points for electric cars.
Food served is vegan. Fans come from miles around for the food, not because they are vegan, the food is better than typical football club fare.
Veganuary was much hyped, yes a big increase, but a big increase on a small number is still a very small number. The real measure, how many stuck to a vegan diet? A mere 16%, a tiny number on an already small number. Butchers reported no loss of business.
A vegan sausage at Greggs was much hyped. Did sales increase because their sausage rolls were so bad? Bad diet, highly processed junk food, a diet rich in highly processed carbohydrates.
ethics and activism
Was it these bullshit jobs that was the impetuous to do something different, to add meaning to their lives, to make a difference? What they fail to comprehend is that it can no longer be Businesses as Usual, we cannot draw from businesses, we have to implement radical changes, there is no Planet B.
Do you have to be a vegan to be an activist?
Do you have to be an activist to be a vegan?
What is an activist? What is activism?
Signing an online petition. Joining a protest. Occupying Starbucks. Refusing to cross the threshold of Starbucks or McDonald’s. Blocking access to a fracking site. Supporting local coops. Relaxing in an indie coffee shop serving direct trade specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic. Objecting to obscene use of plastic by supermarkets. Lobbying politicians. Buying fresh produce off local markets, dried goods from zero waste stores. Objecting to McDonald’s trashing a local pub.
Activism takes many forms. And no, do not have to be a vegan to be an activist.
myths on meat consumption
If we look at meat consumption, be it per capita or per country, it has risen. It would appear the richer we are, the more meat we consume, no meat or little meat is seen as a poor person’s diet. This level of meat consumption is not sustainable.
In 1961, global meat consuption 22kg per capita, 2007 40kg per capita.
There is though a large disparity between countries. India 3.2kg per capita, for Brits and Americans, 85.8kg and 125.4kg per capita respectively.
One of the driving factors was in the USA, post WWII, increased production was going to lead to a glut, people were urged to eat more meat.
But the figures are highly misleading. Meat consumption has risen, but only because of the increase in poultry consumption. This is for the last century. If we go back two centuries, meat consumption, red meat consumption, has declined. If we look at the the historical record, red meat consumption was much higher.
We should also note that if we go back to 1900, consumption of vegetable oil was near zero, if we compare with today. The exception being olive oil in Greece. The dramatic rise is in use of soybean oil which has risen one thousand fold.
But even in Greece, use of olive oil does not stretch back into antiquity. The use of olive oil was cosmetic not culinary.
The Mediterranean Diet is recent, conferences in Mediterranean locations, good food, favourable reports, get an invite for next year, all floated on an olive oil industry slush fund.
No food magazine is complete without recipes. Om Nom is no exception and has a handful of recipes scattered throughout its pages.
quality print media
They say print is dead. Who they are I do not know. Print is not dead.
What is dead is the rubbish we find in the newsagent, the glossy freebies no one wants, vehicles to peddle crap we do not want, an appalling waste of trees.
Quality print, Om Nom, Ambrosia, Standart, Drift, no advertising, is not dead.
Om Nom available as a digital copy, the price is too high. It should be set at one pound, maximum two pounds, made available on LeanPub, set own download format.
Also make Om Nom available on Issuu to browse on-line.
The name Om Nom, I have absolutely no idea. I have asked wherever found, and everyone admits they do not know either. It has been suggested it may mimic the sound of eating.