Very Vegan- What’s It All About?

 

Here at Portlebay we are particularly proud of our vegan products, and understand the importance of these in a world where veganism is a increasingly popular lifestyle choice.  Currently three out of our six flavours are vegan friendly, these being the delicious Chilli & Lime,  Sweet & Salty and Lightly Sea Salted. Unfortunately some of our wonderful popcorn relies on ingredients such as milk (our seasonal flavours; Cinnamon swirl 1st October- 31st March and Lemon Sherbet 1st April-30th September) and bacon (in  our Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup), however even these flavours are carefully hand-popped using completely natural ingredients and as always no palm oil!

For those of you who are completely new to the vegan world, veganism can be defined as the decision to abstain from the use of animal products and the belief in excluding all forms of exploitation or harm to animals for the use of food, clothing or any other purpose.

People choose to become vegan for many different reasons including dieting, compassion, health and environmental reasons. We decided to interview some young and vibrant vegans who go by the names of Elena, Imogen, Emmy and Naomi, to learn a bit more about the world of veganism and how it affects them on a day-to-day basis.

Each of these four lovely ladies are at a different stage of their vegan journey and are happy to give us a little insight into their vegan lives:

Emmy– A year and a half into the journey!

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Elena– One month into the journey!

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Imogen- 6 months into the journey!

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Naomi- 10 months into the journey!

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1. What Are The Main Struggles You Face With Being Vegan? 

Naomi: Definitely the lack of choices when going out to eat!

Elena: I’d say sometimes helping people understand why I’ve made this choice is difficult, particularly with older generations.

Imogen: Alcohol is a huge struggle. A lot are filtered through fish bladders, so finding vegan ones at the bar is difficult unless your vegan alcohol knowledge is faultless. Also, I hate how products can be marketed as vegan just as an excuse for it to be priced ridiculously.

Emmy: The main struggles I face being vegan is to know what’s vegan when you travel, especially abroad. Many places don’t cater for vegans, or don’t make it easy to identify which products are vegan or not. But I think many places in the UK are becoming increasingly better at this, and you can find some vegan options both from the shop ‘on the go’, or in restaurants. Also, I find it really annoying how almost all product have some sort of milk-powder or dried egg, even though there shouldn’t be a reason for it.

2. What Do You Tend To Look For With Vegan Friendly Products? 

Imogen: I look for fresh ingredients that are written in plain English (not chemistry compounds), no preservatives or artificial additives, it being organic is a bonus, it has to be dairy-free of course, and depending on the product I might see if it’s recyclable and what the brand’s ethics are, oh and the protein content.

Elena: Ingredients that I recognise and aren’t just full of loads of long weird chemical compound sounding names are a must. Otherwise I feel I’m back to square one. And yeah, it has to be macro-nutrient. The fact that Portlebay use natural ingredients as well as being vegan is a great bonus to me!

Emmy:  I look for ingredients and nutritional value in vegan products, and try to avoid stuff which has palm oil, high levels of saturated fats and sugar. I also try to find food with high protein levels, and fewer ingredients.

3. What Made You Decide to Become Vegan?  

Elena: I disagree with the meat and dairy industries ethically, the meat industry is one of the biggest contributors to the planet’s pollution problem, I don’t believe humans need animal-based products and in fact believe they are detrimental to our health. I just want to eat food that I know is good for me and leaves me feeling guilt free. This is a recent decision for me so I’m still learning and am transitioning my products and clothes slowly.

Imogen: environmental reasons, ethical reasons of course, so many of our British farm animals and homeless cats and dogs are put down it makes me so angry! Also, weight management and religious reasons too (the Hindu holy book, The Bhagavad Gita, states to not harm any living things which is interpreted by some Hindus as going vegan whilst others opt for vegetarianism). I also feel so much more energised on a vegan diet. I just like making sure what I put in my body is healthy and wholesome it makes all the difference mentally too.

Naomi: You guys put that perfectly, I’m literally exactly the same!

Emmy: I became vegetarian first for environmental reasons, but then got more engaged with ethical and animal welfare arguments, as well as the health benefits of a vegan diet.

4.What Do You Wish People That Aren’t Vegan Knew About The Vegan Lifestyle? 

Naomi:  People always assume it’s really expensive and you don’t get your ‘protein’ when actually there is so much more protein in beans, nuts and vegetables than there is in meat. A lot of people don’t realise the cruelty that happens behind closed doors especially in the dairy industry, I had no idea until I actually properly researched it! I feel like if everyone knew what meat and dairy products were actually made from and the process in which they are made a lot more people would become vegan, also people just don’t hear about the possible side effects of eating meat such as cancers, bowel problems and weight gain.

Elena: It doesn’t have to be some massive deal when you decide to be vegan and with a bit of research it’s not too difficult!

Imogen:  I wish people knew that it’s not hard to transition when you realise what you were taking wasn’t yours to begin with! So many places are now expanding their vegan range so it’s not as hard to find alternatives. It took me five attempts to become vegan but you get there in the end! Also, nutrients are easy to find in non-meat sources. Omega 3, commonly known for residing in cod liver, is actually in a whole range of things like Chia Seeds for example.

Emmy:  I wish people knew that it is not hard to get enough protein, and it doesn’t need to be more expensive to eat a vegan diet. Also, I wish people understood that when you truly believe in the reasons why one has chosen to become vegan, it’s not hard to avoid animal products.

5. How Has Being Vegan Affected Your Overall Lifestyle? 

Imogen: I’ve been looking after myself better as a result, going to the gym more because I feel great and energised and I am always coming up with new meals in the kitchen now. When I go out for food I am always discovering new flavours and I love that. I’m a little greener now too! Recycling more, growing fruits and veggies, being wary of our declining bee population and that sort of thing.

Naomi: I was vegetarian for four years and then became vegan in September 2018 and have lost over a stone! I also have less spots, my hair is way less greasy, I feel more energised and mentally I’m so much happier as well- so there are just loads of health benefits!

Elena:  I feel more lean already, I feel excited to carry on discovering new foods and am more mindful about what I put into my body and the way my actions affect the environment.

Emmy:  I’ve become more interested in nutrition, changed my cooking habits and experiment more with different ingredients. I probably have become much more aware of environmental sustainability, and may end up preaching ethical consumerism unintentionally at times. Other than that I wouldn’t say it has changed my lifestyle.

6. What Advice Would You Offer To Anyone Wanting To Convert To Vegan? 

Imogen: Listen to your body – you don’t need to go cold turkey vegan right away! Start by reducing meat and dairy and then eliminate over time, I found my body was initially not coping with the sudden change too well so that’s why it took five attempts for me! You shouldn’t do it just because its deemed an Instagram trend, do it for you and never stop educating yourself, get in the kitchen more and browse the web! There are so many vegan recipes out there to begin transitioning!

Elena:  Just don’t be too harsh on yourself, if you slip up just learn from it and don’t quit. Also don’t do it for anyone but yourself, consider it a self investment.

Emmy:  My best advice would probably be to educate oneself about the impacts of animal products on your health and the environment. Watch a few documentaries, read some articles and get familiar with your own reasons for changing your eating habits. Also, I’ve got lots of inspiration from vegan Instagram accounts as well. And lastly, not to be to hard on oneself. As I don’t think everyone has to be vegan for the world to become a better place, as long as everyone raises their awareness of issues related to animal products, and cut down their consumption of these.

Naomi:  My advice would be that any change is going to help, especially for the environment, even cutting down slowly, for instance, having one less meal with meat in a week and slowly making it less and less. Or have a list of companies that test on animals so you know that what you’re buying is cruelty free! Also just experiment with different food especially alternatives like milk, I had to try loads until I found one that I actually like!

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So, we hope this discussion of the vegan world has answered a few questions and maybe even made you consider your life-style choices. We, for one, can’t wait to tuck into one of our delicious vegan friendly flavours!
For more information about veganism visit: https://www.vegansociety.com/

Some of Our Favourite Local Cream Teas!

Today is a very, VERY important day. We’re sure you all know, because it’s just one of the most wonderful days of the year, but just incase you don’t… IT’S NATIONAL CREAM TEA DAY! WOO! Grab the jam, grab the cream, it’s time for a West Country party.

As we are from the home of Cream Tea’s, we decided we best let you all know where to find some of the best spots in Devon, to feast on a traditional Cream Team!

Also, do help us settled the ever ongoing argument of cream or jam first?! It’s certainly a debate here at The Poppery and we need to put it to bed for once and for all! Are you a Devon Cream Tea-er or a Cornish Cream Tea-er? (See the image below to distinguish a Cornish and Devonian scone.)

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Avon Mill

The first spot that we would like to introduce you to is Avon Mill. Avon Mill, is primarily known for being a really rather gorgeous garden centre, with a few little boutique shops, a gallery and a very lovely cafe (that serves a deeeelicious Cream Tea!) This is a great place to visit if your looking to have a mooch around and a munch! Opposite the garden centre is also a gorgeous grassy area with a pretty river- perfect for a sunny visit!

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The Avon Mill Cream Tea!

The Two Bridges Hotel

Next on our delicious Cream Tea list is the Two Bridges Hotel. Situated in the breathtaking Dartmoor National Park, the Two bridges Hotel is a very beautiful place to visit. With plenty of magnificent walking routes nearby, you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the scenery and after treating yourself to a well deserved Cream Tea! (Sounds like a perfect plan to us!) Oh and for those of you that like to take a pup with you when you walk, the Two Bridges is also dog friendly and will warmly welcome any four legged friends.

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The Two Bridges Hotel cream Tea!

Dart Marina Spa & Hotel

Another venue that hosts a magical Cream Tea is Dart Marina Spa & Hotel, in Dartmouth. Situated right by the River Dart, the gorgeous Dart Marina Spa & Hotel offers a lovely outdoor space to soak up the sun and watch the boats come and go; the ideal setting to enjoy a very delicious Cream Tea. Dartmouth is certainly the perfect location on a sunny Saturday- explore the town on foot, explore the sea via kayak or take the ferry across the water and experience a very scenic coastal walk- then a Cream  Tea to finish! YUM!

 

We hope you make the most of National Cream Tea Day wherever you are and make sure you let us know whether you eat your scones in the Devonian or Cornish style!

If you enjoyed this post, have a look at our post Vessel Beer Shop- Plymouth!

Behind the scenes- Surfs up!

Wednesday 13th June saw some of the Portlebay team journey down from our modest little Poppery to the beautiful and vast beach at Bigbury-on-sea. We were excited for a hot and sunny day at the beach before being reminded that we live in Devon after being greeted by a heavy sea mist, but this simply couldn’t stop our fun!

Surfer Sarah Ashley and photographer Alex Tucker rocked up in their casually cool surf van full of all the essential bits and bobs for any beach bonanza. We met them in the car park that overlooks this stunning beach armed with heaps of delicious popcorn all eager get get some sand between our toes! After navigating ourselves down the steep rock face to the beach we couldn’t help but be awe struck by this beautiful location! Perfect for long beach strolls, paddle boarding and a quiet day when the sea is flat and a buzzing,  great surf location when there’s a few waves, Bigbury beach seemed to have it all. If you haven’t visited Bigbury-on-sea yet it’s a definite must for coastal lovers in Devon!

The beach provided multiple areas to get some wonderful snaps of both Sarah and the popcorn which was tucked into happily by all of us throughout the afternoon! Both Sarah and Alex particularly enjoyed the Lemon Sherbet flavour and admired this quirky but delicious take on summery popcorn (almost as much as we do!).

Our team really enjoyed gaining tips from Alex’s photography talent and chatting to Sarah about her surfing experience, we are even tempted to try and give it a go ourselves this summer, as long as we know there’s a yummy packet of popcorn waiting for us back on dry land to tuck in to after!

Here are a few behind the scenes photos from our wonderful little afternoon:

Introducing Pretty Local

We are delighted to introduce you to one of our very wonderful stockist, Pretty Local. Based just down the road from us in Kingsbridge, in sunny Devon, you can find the lovely Andrea and the Pretty Local HQ!

Pretty Local provides the option to have your weekly shop delivered right to your door with minimum food miles. The company offers everything from fresh seafood and meat, to fruit, veg, freshly cut flowers and all your cupboard essentials; all from a selection of trusted producers located in South Devon.

So why did Andrea start Pretty Local? “There is an abundance of wonderful food being grown, harvested or caught within a few miles of my home, but no easy way to buy it all at once. I created Pretty Local to provide a one-stop shop supporting the fabulous producers, farmers, fishermen and growers on our doorstep and bringing their produce closer to our community.” Says Andrea – and we utterly adore this idea!

Whilst living in the USA, Andrea unfortunately fell ill with Lyme disease. With no medical care, she decided that eating better would be her road to recovery. Sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy were all eliminated from Andrea’s diet, as she focused on being healthier. This highlighted, to Andrea, the importance of sourcing her food. However, when she returned to Devon, the local produce she was looking for just wasn’t that easy to get a hold of…until now. Pretty Local became the solution to our’s, your’s and Andrea’s food sourcing struggle and we think it’s pretty amazing!

Pretty Local currently deliver to locations within the South Hams, but not to worry if you aren’t quite in the delivery territory, Pretty Local also have multiple collection points for you to pick up your delicious goodies! Have a peek here for further delivery and collection info!

Vessel Beer Shop- Plymouth

Vessel, located just outside the heart of Plymouth’s city centre, is a seriously cool spot for those of you that are looking for a different evening venue. With over 100 varieties of beer, from some of the best breweries around the world and regular events that allow you to experience various beer styles, what’s not to love?! (Just in case you aren’t all about the beer, Vessel do also have a lovely selection of cider, spirits, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee too!)

Who are the geniuses behind this beer-illiance? The fabulous Sam and Katie! With a shared passion for beer, their interest in breweries grew, leading them to sample a great amount from across the globe. Now the lovely pair are sharing their beer knowledge with us all through Vessel!

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Not only does Vessel allow you to indulge in delicious drinks in a charming setting, it also offers the option to take your beverages home, to continue enjoying in growlers. A growler is a reusable glass bottle that prevents the air from coming into contact with the contents of the bottle, so your beer can remain fresh up to two weeks!- If you haven’t already drank it all that is!

Our Portlebay team heard all about Vessel when they recently became a stockist of our popcorn (and Sean our Sales Magician also LOVEEES the place and can be found there regularly) and of course, we just had to check it out! We made use of an evening one weekend and a handful of us popcorn lovers took to tasting some beers, gin and cider! We have to admit, we absolutely loved the place! With it’s modern interior and gorgeous display of bottles from around the world and not to mention the incredible drinks, how could we not have had a marvellous evening?!

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The specials menu from the event we attended!

The 10th June 2018, is the next great Vessel event! Sam and Katie recently visited Cascade Brewery whilst they were away in Portland, Oregon and decided it was certainly a brewery worth showcasing! Cascade Brewery specialise in barrel aged sour beers using fruit grown locally in Oregon. Tickets are quite limited for this event so make sure you snap them up and pop it in your diaries! (Here’s the Facebook event for more info!) Also, here’s a clip of Sam tapping one of the Cascade Brewery beers!- just click here!

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Our popcorn making an appearance!

Health Benefits of Popcorn!

If you are a lover of popcorn like us, then this blog post will bring a little bit of extra joy to your day! Here are some wonderful health benefits of munching on popcorn for you to enjoy! Go on, grab a bag of popcorn to nibble on whilst you’re reading!

1. Fibre, Fibre, Fibre!

The American Chemical Society (ACS), recently discovered that popcorn is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. Fibre is found in grain, which can significantly help to lower cholesterol levels, as well as help to control blood sugar levels. Fibre is also great for digestion and can keep bowl movements working properly and functioning on a regular basis!- Keep eating that popcorn!

Dr Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton, recognised that the average person only consumes half a serving of whole grains a day and that popcorn can provide more than 70% of our daily intake of whole grain. The answer to our whole grain shortage- POPCORN- yay!

2.  Antioxidants

The American Chemical Society also reported that popcorn has more of the healthy antioxidants, ‘polyphenols’, than many fruit and veg!- We wouldn’t suggest swapping fruit and veg for popcorn but it is a pretty crazy fact!

3. Calories

Whilst many snacks are calorific, popcorn is actually low in calories!- YES! Our Portlebay Popcorn has roughly 115 calories (115-120) per 25g bags/ per serving and so is a great snack if you are being careful with calories!

Also, as Matt Dustin recognised, if you are watching what you eat, popcorn can be a great snack to add into your diet, as foods that are high in fibre take longer for our bodies to digest and so keep you fuller for longer! -That’s a handy tip!

4. Gluten- Free!

Popcorn is also completely gluten free and so those that struggle to digest gluten can happily indulge in popcorn! Just be sure to check the other ingredients that are often added to the popcorn, as some ingredients that are added for flavour can in some cases contain gluten. Our Portlebay range is completely gluten-free, so all six flavours are Coeliac friendly!

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120325173008.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2012/march/popcorn-the-snack-with-even-higher-antioxidants-levels-than-fruits-and-vegetables.html

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zf_tDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=matt+dustin+Foods+that+are+higher+in+fiber+will+take+longer+to+digest+and+will+generally+keep+you+full+longer&source=bl&ots=VvEOQwV9sI&sig=-QL-50arbGE5IxdC6zP427s_CNk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi26ou4ve7ZAhVlAsAKHetDA1YQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=matt%20dustin%20Foods%20that%20are%20higher%20in%20fiber%20will%20take%20longer%20to%20digest%20and%20will%20generally%20keep%20you%20full%20longer&f=false

A Lidl Bit of News…

Dear readers and popcorn lovers,

We have some exciting news to announce! Come the 3rd May 2018, our bags of 75g popcorn will be available, nation wide, in Lidl stores! Can you give us a whoop whoop?!

The stores will be stocking our four main flavours:

-Lightly Sea Salted

-Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup

-Sweet & Salty

-Chilli & Lime

The stores will be selling our little clouds of loveliness for the very special offer of £1!

We hope this news has brought a little bit of extra happiness and delight to your day! Happy popcorn munching!