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#Iloveanimals

I’ve always loved animals. As a child I used to go and sit in the arena section of the Dolphinarium in Brighton delighting at ‘Dolly’ and ‘Baby’ as they performed their routines and dreaming of being a dolphin trainer when I was older. I carried a little book around with me entitled Zoology, which I had picked up at a jumble sale for a few pence. I would carefully study the pictures of all the different species between the pages then proudly deliver various facts from the animal kingdom to anyone polite enough to listen.

As children we had various pets, as you do. She She the cat, Rabby the rabbit, Jimmy the tortoise, Budgie the budgerigar and various goldfish, whenever the fair was in town. Our holidays were taken on a dairy farm in Devon where we got to help Mr Drew, the farmer, herd the cows in for milking, feed the chickens, collect their eggs and cuddle the kittens of the farm cat, of which there always seemed an abundance. I really have always loved and been fascinated by animals, a further demonstration of this is through a recent discovery in the loft. I came across a scrapbook I had lovingly put together, at around the age of 10, making good use of my cutting and sticking skills as I sought my favourite pictures of animals from various magazines and, to my parents’ horror, rather expensive books from the family book collection, so I had them all in one place to muse over.

So if my love for animals was so evident as a child and, I would like to think although now have to doubt, as an adult too why have I eaten them and been part of their suffering for nearly 48 years? Why did I not make the connection earlier? Why did I not realise what they had to go through, their sadness, their pain? Why did I profess to love animals but do nothing to prevent the cruelty beset upon them?

Recently, I revisited the Brighton Dolphinarium, which is now the Sealife Centre. When I arrived at the area where I used to sit as a child I was struck at how small and pond like it was. The last dolphins to have been captive at the aquarium were ‘Missy’ and ‘Silver’ who were released in to the Caribbean Sea in 1991 as part of the controversial ‘Into the Blue’ project. I remember the reporting of it at the time and feeling glad they were to experience their natural habitat and no longer perform for their dinner, despite the fact I had enjoyed watching them so much as a child. As I sat that day, in the cold light of adulthood reminiscing about my Saturday mornings as a child, my mind also wandered back to those dairy farm holidays in Devon. I always wondered why the baby calves were kept in a darkened barn away from their mothers. I remember feeling sad and asking why that was but I don’t remember being told they were taken away from their mums so we could have the milk meant for them and their fate, as babies, was to live their short lives in the dark so their meat was pale and tender as this would produce the best veal. I’m not sure I would have believed the truth had I been told then or what I would have done with this information had it been provided but, now I feel at least I would have been told the truth and that seed of truth, whether it germinated then or some years later, was the truth. Its difficult to make decisions on how to live your life when you are not afforded, or trusted with, the truth. If we owe animals anything at all it is this: if we are to consume their lives, their bodies, their being then lets make sure those who do, know the truth of what that consumption involves.

One way in which you can do this, is by joining us at The Udder Truth on Thursday 19th October at Mama Ghanoushe in Hassocks. Due to popular demand this event is a repeat of The Udder Truth that we ran back in September.

Find out more and book your tickets here.

I hope to see you there!

Love Sue x

IMG_8720

 

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#worldcarfreeday

What ever you’re doing today (22nd September) try to do it without the help of your car.

World Car Free Day is celebrated to encourage motorists to give up their cars for the day and join public transport, dig out the bike or, of course, put those feet to good use.

From what I have read observing World Car Free Day can mean different things to different people but, 2 main reasons stand out:

  1. Give the planet a rest; CO2 is estimated to account for approximately two thirds of man-made global warming, of which travel by private car as opposed to public transport emits the greatest level*, and we all know what CO2 emissions contribute towards, GLOBAL WARMING.
  2.  Take time to observe the environment around you; by getting out of your car you’re able to observe and be a part of what actually goes on during the day.

There are now over 1.2bn cars on the road and by 2035 this is predicted to reach 2bn**.

I worked out, on average, each car produces around 12kg of CO2 per day, so just imagine if for 1 day as many people as possible left those cars at home how much CO2 emission would be saved from going into our earth’s atmosphere…

So on World Car Free Day, why not join others and take public transport to work or reach your day’s destination by foot or bike instead?

If you really can’t leave your car at home today try it another day and remember, together we can SOW the seeds for change.

Love Charlotte x

How can you help SOW the seeds for change?

  1. Leave the car at home for a day
  2. Share this blog post
  3. Post the photo below on your social media with your own message and tag us
  4. Share with us what you’ve done on either Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or all 3 🙂

Photo 22-09-2017, 08 50 15

* http://futuretravel.org.uk/statistics/

** http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1093560_1-2-billion-vehicles-on-worlds-roads-now-2-billion-by-2035-report

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The Udder Truth – Tasting sessions verdicts

On Thursday 7 September, those eager to discover the truth about the dairy industry joined us for an evening of useful bite-sized information alongside taking part in three tasting sessions.

Having spoken to people about ditching dairy we heard repeated concerns around three particular areas:

  1. Only dairy milk could make a decent cup of tea/coffee
  2. There’s no way I could give up cheese
  3. My favourite naughty treats all contain milk

So, we shared a range of dairy alternatives which we believe are worth the switch therefore making the transition into a dairy-free life easier.

The results are below:

Milk

Cashew milk came out top on the night, with most agreeing this dairy milk alternative tastes the most like cow’s milk when used in tea.

Cashew_Milk
Type: Cashew
Brand: Rude Health
Verdict: Not as nutty as you would expect when tried alone and tastes very good in a cup of tea!
Where to buy: All major supermarkets plus independent health stores

Coconut_Milk
Type: Coconut (semi skimmed)
Brand: Rebel Kitchen
Verdict: Better than most coconut milks anyone had tried before
Where to buy: Waitrose mainly

 

Soya_Milk
Type: Soya
Brand: BonSoy
Verdict: Creamy and great in a coffee
Where to buy: Ocado and independant health stores

 

Oat_Milk
Type: Oat
Brand: Rude Health
Verdict: Easily mistaken for almond milk
Where to buy: All major supermarkets plus independent health stores
NB: Another great Oat Milk to try is Oatly

Cheese

The Scheese Wensleydale came out on top, potentially because of the addition of cranberries.

300px_Wensleydale-with-Cranberries
Type: Wensleydale
Brand: Scheese
Verdict: Delicious!
Where to buy: Some Tescos, Holland & Barrett and independent health stores

Strong-Cheddar_Sheese-Blocks
Type: Strong cheddar
Brand: Scheese
Verdict: Tasted smoked
Where to buy: Some Tescos, Holland & Barrett and independent health stores

smoked_gauda
Type: Smoked Gouda
Brand: Follow your heart
Verdict: Not keen on consistency but was tasty
Where to buy: Independent health stores

Red-Cheddar_Sheese-Blocks
Type: Red Cheddar
Brand: Scheese
Verdict: Not keen on consistency or taste
Where to buy: Some Tescos, Holland & Barrett and independent health stores

Smoked-Cheddar_Sheese-Blocks
Type: Smoked Cheddar
Brand: Scheese
Verdict: Not keen on consistency or taste
Where to buy: Some Tescos, Holland & Barrett and independent health stores

Halloumi
Type: Halloumi
Brand: Vegusto
Verdict: Most thought it would taste better cooked, but was still tasty
Where to buy: Independent health stores
NB: Violife halloumi was reported to be a good alternative

Ice cream

There wasn’t a clear winner when it came to the ice cream, but all 4 were loved and therefore no individual verdicts. However I (Charlotte) can safely say that Booja Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate is the best ice cream I have had in my life (dairy free or not!).

hunky_punky
Type: Hunky Punky Chocolate
Brand: Booja Booja
Where to by: Waitrose and independent health stores

almond_dream
Type: Mint chocolate chip
Brand: Almond dream
Where to by: Most major supermarkets

sweedish_glace
Type: Vanilla Sweedish Glace
Brand: Walls
Where to by: Most major supermarkets

caramel_pecan
Type: Caramel Pecan Praline
Brand: Booja Booja
Where to by: Waitrose and independent health stores

Of course we only picked a few of the many available diary alternatives out there! If you have tried something different which you think we should try, please tell us! Either comment on this blog post or email us at hiyasow@gmail.com.

Other relevant blog posts you may find interesting:

What’s your dairy alternative?
Review: Rebel Kitchen Mylk
Mini Tasters’ Taste Test: Episode 2
Mini Tasters’ Thursday Taste Test: Episode 3
Mini Tasters’ Thursday Taste Test: Episode 4

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Mini Tasters’ Thursday Taste Test: Episode 4

This week brings us the last episode in our Mini Tasters’ Taste Test series. This week it’s Hazelnut Milk.

Although not said here, this has been her favourite of the 4 milks we have tried. In this video we have used Rude Health’s Hazelnut Milk and unlike other milks we have features we have only found another 2 brands of hazelnut milk which are:

Alpro
Provamel

If anyone has found any other brands we are happy to update this blog post so please let us know!

This may be the last episode in our series but, it isn’t the end in helping you in your search for dairy free alternatives. SOW, what’s next? Join us on 7 September at The Udder Truth where you can taste many of the different dairy alternatives, and not just in the form of milk! Book your ticket here.

Catch up on all of our Mini Tasters’ reviews here:
Episode 1: Soya Milk
Episode 2: Oat Milk
Episode 3: Coconut Milk

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Mini Tasters’ Thursday Taste Test: Episode 3

The search is still on to help you find a dairy alternative that suits your taste. This week the spotlight is on coconut  milk and, once again, our mini tasters have given us their view.

As we’ve said before in a previous blog post, coconut milk may not be for everyone but it’s definitely worth a try! In this video we have used Rebel Kitchen’s new ‘mylks’ but again there are others you can try:

Alpro
Biona
KoKo
Rude health
Tesco own brand
Waitrose milk

Last week our mini tasters put Oatly oat milk to the test. Here it is if you missed it.

Next week our mini tasters will be giving the new Rude Health’s hazelnut milk a try so stay tuned.

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Mini Tasters’ Taste Test: Episode 2

The search is still on to help you find a dairy alternative that suits your taste. This week the spotlight is on oat milk and, once again, our mini tasters have given us their view.

A little boy of few words but we get it, he likes it! In fact, he then asked for it in his porridge the next morning. In this video we have used Oatly’s organic oat milk but again there are others you can try:

Alpro
Oat Dream
Oatly
Privmavena
Provamel
Provitamil
Rude health

Last week our mini tasters put Alpro soya milk to the test. Here it is if you missed it.

Next week our mini tasters will be giving the new Rebel Kitchen mylk a try so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can read our previous blog post where we gave it a review ourselves. Read it here.

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Review: Rebel Kitchen Mylk

Last week saw Rebel Kitchen’s announcement of their new ‘mylks’. SOW, of course we dashed out, to Waitrose to be precise, to get our hands on a few cartons to try.

Rebel Kitchen currently sell a range of tasty products, from yogurts to water, using coconut as their base and when we heard they were bringing out their own milk alternatives, with the aim of looking and tasting like ‘real’ milk, we couldn’t wait to get in on the action.

It took 2 trips to our local Waitrose, one day after the other, before we were successful in tracking some down. A very helpful store assistant ventured out into the stockroom to search for the desired newbies, as we couldn’t find them on the shelf and were quite determined not to return home empty-handed as we had the previous day.

Rebel_Mylk

The taste test:

For those not overly keen on the taste of coconut, it’s probably a no goer and, although this might seem an obvious thing to say considering it is coconut based, we have found other coconut milks slightly subtler.

However, for coconut fans, the whole mylk variety is a definite winner. It’s super creamy and lovely in a latte or your morning porridge. We tried it in porridge adding a dash of water to thin it out a little making the end result creamy and not needing further sweetening, added bonus.

Rebel_Whole Porridge

The semi-skimmed, in our opinion, is perfect for tea as the coconut flavour isn’t overpowering and when we finally get our hands on the Skimmed mylk we imagine it being a good option for cereals, watch this space for an update.

Rebel_Semi

Overall, we think this is a great milk alternative to add to an ever increasing list and a big winner for coconut lovers!

Go on, be a rebel and give them a try!

A major plus, and another reason to love Rebel Kitchen, is what they stand for. They are a certified B corporation, which means they meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency AND they are part of 1% For The Planet, a global network of businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Definitely a company we feel proud to support! You can read more about them here.

Stay tuned for the opinion of our mini tasters on next Thursday’s taste test on this one.

If you still have questions about dairy alternatives or want help in finding the right one for you, why not join us on Thursday 7 September for The Udder Truth, where we will be having our own taste tests for milk alternatives and many other dairy products.

Book your place now whilst tickets are still available: sow-what.com/events

 

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What’s your dairy alternative?

We’ve been told that there are 3 factors, which put people off trying dairy alternatives.

1. My tea/coffee won’t taste the same

2. I can’t live without cheese

3. and what about ice cream?

 With so many alternatives to choose from however, we are confident there is one that’s just right for you in overcoming all 3 of the above and, by attending The Udder Truth on 7th September, we will assist you in kick starting your search for the perfect alternative.

However, we won’t make you wait until then to help you in your search. Watch out for our ‘Thursday Taste Test’ with our mini tasters enlisted to get their opinions on 4 different dairy milk alternatives and, as it’s Thursday, here is Episode 1: Soya milk:

In this video we have used Alpro soya milk, but here are others you can try:

Acti leaf
Alpro
Asda own
Bonsoy
Granovita
Holland & Barrett
Morrisons own
Plamil
Provamel
Sainsbury’s own
Silk
Soya Soleil
Soyatoo!
Tesco own
Vitasoy
Waitrose own

Stay tuned for next Thursday where we will be bringing you Episode 2: Oat milk

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Supporting Sewer Systems – Sow what?

Yesterday we visited the Victorian Sewers of Brighton on a tour run by Southern Water. It was so interesting not only to witness the amazing architecture constructed by the Victorians but also to learn how simple changes in our everyday lives can have less of an impact on the environment we live in and on the systems we definitely take for granted.

The tour started by entering a door underneath the pier and as part of a group of 25, we were shown this short video which was very interesting in a small room adorned with pictures of different celebrities who had even made the trip.

With hard hats and green gloves, tour guides will take you through 366 metres of the 48km of sewers, which means we walked from the Brighton Pier, past the Sealife Centre and then emerged through a manhole in the middle of Old Steine Gardens. We did get some funny looks as passers-by all looked confused at the group of 25 people popping up from a whole in the ground with hard hats on.

Once we had walked back to base camp, washed our hands and handed our hard hats back we all walked away with a Southern Water tote (another bag to help say NO to plastic) which included take-away information on how to help protect our sewer systems and free tools to help us start right away. This included disposable bags for sanitary items and a gunk pot to store your oils and fats as they cool down.

Sow, what did we learn and how can you help? Basically anything thing that goes down our toilets and sinks should remain as just human waste and water. Our sewer systmes simply can’t take and are not designed for anything else.

Toilets
Nothing but toilet roll should be going down there and even fancy tripple soft, aloe vera encrusted paper is too much for our system too. Trust us, we’ve seen it! Make sure you stick to a good biodegradable loo roll that’s going to be easy on our systems. We like to recommend Who Gives A Crap 100% recycled loo roll as 50% of profits goes to Water Aid. No sanitary products (not even tampons), no baby wipes, no ‘flushable’ wipes (yes that’s right, anything that says flushable is in fact NOT), no condoms, no dental floss, no cotton wool, no cotton buds…the list could go on so to keep it simple – JUST LOO ROLL.

Remember the 3 Ps:
Poo
Pee
Paper

A good idea is to keep a bin in your bathroom to take away the temptation of flushing and use it for these items instead.

Kitchen sinks
Especially watch out for cooking oils and fats as these shouldn’t be going down there. When these harden, not only will it line your own pipes and eventually cause a blockage, but the hardened lumps also separate from the water in our sewers and line the walls down there. Wait until your fats and oils cool and then bin it instead.

Sow what? Well, all of the above has to end up somewhere and that place is our sewer systems wherever you live. Sewer systems that are only built to deal with human waste and water. Anything else just blocks these systems and pollutes our waterways. Plus, not only will you be making a choice to help protect our environment, you’ll also be making a choice to protect those that work to keep our sewer systems running too. For example things like wipes eventually twist up really tight creating what is essentially a rope and can get caught around the legs of those that are working down there. That’s 2 positive outcomes as a result of 1 change you choose to make! #bethechange

And if all of this isn’t enough for you to want to make these changes today, perhaps the thought of a flood in your own home is enough? Because at the end of the day, that’s what will happen anyway. Your house OR your neighbours.

Thank you for having us Southern Water. It was incredibly informative and if nothing else something different to do on a Wednesday evening.

You can find out more about what we learnt by visiting their website here, as well as booking on to a tour yourselves: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/brighton-sewer-tours

Plus, don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends and neighbours so that we can all start making these changes together and today!

Love SOW x

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Sorry but the next SOW event is now sold out. Make sure you don’t miss out again and let us know that you want to attend by filling in your details below.

Plus, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram where we will be posting, streaming and sharing live from the night.