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  • So You Want To Go Vegan? Here's What You Need To Know.

    15th January 2021

    15th January 2021

    By Shivraj Bassi

    More and more of us are giving a vegan lifestyle a go. Whether it’s for health reasons, environmental reasons or ethical reasons, the case is a compelling one. A University of Oxford study concluded that going vegan is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on the planet, and your increased well-being and benefits to the animals whose products you will no longer be consuming are undeniable. However, going vegan can be an intimidating thing to do if you’ve never done it before, especially if it represents a big lifestyle change. Here’s the Innermost vegan primer of what you need to know before you fill your shopping trolley with nut milk, lentils and veggie burgers. 

    Start gradually - or don’t

    If you have a revelation after eating a pork chop and have a midnight fridge clear out of animal products, or you start eating a vegan lunch every day but still enjoy the odd chicken nugget, there’s no right or wrong way to do things. It’s about what feels achievable and good for you. 

    If as a rule you eat a lot of meat, it could be quite a sudden change to go vegan very suddenly - but if you’re committed, why not take the plunge? A simple way to ease into it is to go vegetarian first and see how you feel. Alternatively, try replacing the products in your diet with vegan ones, step by step. Start with milk, then yogurt, then cheese and work your way down the list. 

    It’s important to note that any steps at all towards eating less meat are great ones. If you can’t or don’t feel like fully committing to being vegan, eating fewer animals overall and making vegan choices on some days but not others is still a great achievement. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Make that slightly self-satisfied social media announcement if you want, but quietly picking up some almond milk instead of cow’s milk at the supermarket still counts. 

    Telling your friends and family

    As veganism is more common than ever, it’s unlikely that you will be the vegan trailblazer of your friend group. It’s probable that even your grandma has tried tofu at least once. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable about your choices, you can gently educate them about why you’re making the decisions you are and treat them with kindness, but you don’t owe anyone apart from your doctor or dietician (and maybe your mum, let’s be honest) an explanation for what you are or aren’t eating. 

    You’re not going to waste away

    It’s a common myth that vegans are deficient in protein, or that it’s hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet. Beans, seeds, nuts and pulses, not to mention vegan meat substitutes and foods such as tofu, are packed with protein. Thankfully, we’ve moved beyond the days of a vegan lunch consisting only of two lettuce leaves and a cherry tomato. If you want to boost your protein intake because you’re working out or simply want to ensure you’re getting enough of the stuff, Innermost has created the best ever vegan protein powder which will fulfil your every need. 

    The same goes for vitamins and minerals - apart from B12. Commonly found in meat, fish and eggs, you’ll feel tired and low energy if you don’t get enough of it. You can take a B12 supplement, or buy dairy alternatives fortified with it. It’s also worth keeping your calcium intake in mind and selecting plant milk enriched with calcium, to ensure you keep your levels where they need to be. 

    It’s not all about the money, baby

    Meat is expensive, and by buying less of it it’s likely that you’ll save money rather than increase your weekly grocery budget. While there are many expensive vegan products out there, from vegan steak to luxury vegan ice cream, the basis of veganism is vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans and grains. You should avoid processed food with the same rationale you would on a non-vegan diet, in that an occasional treat is fine but eating it all day every day isn’t. What’s life without a vegan cocktail sausage, after all?

    Dining out

    Once you’ve mastered veganism in your own kitchen, it’s time to tackle eating elsewhere. As veganism is now so popular, most restaurants, cafes and bars will have at least a couple of options on the menu, if not more. And if they don’t, you can always try that time-honoured forgotten vegan classic of a plate of fries and a side salad (although if you’re also trying to gain muscle mass, it might be worth checking our guide to doing that). 

    Your friends and family love you, so presumably won’t have a problem accommodating your dietary wishes. If they’re nervous about providing for you, however, simply bring your favourite dish with you when you visit so they can see what you've been banging on about for so long. If you weren’t able to warn your host in advance, perhaps consider a quiet word in the kitchen while you express gratitude for the invitation and give a quick update on your new earth-friendly meal plan. 

    But what happens if I catch a whiff of frying bacon?

    It’s likely that you’ve been eating meat for a while - maybe even your whole life. That’s a hard habit to break overnight, and you should never feel bad or guilty for struggling with this. Even if you’re vegan 364 days of the year but have a wobble and scarf down a fish finger on New Year’s Eve, you haven’t failed. 

    There are too many vegan meat products on the market to count, with new ones being released all the time. Why not try pulled pork made from jackfruit, fried chicken made from seitan or a plant-based burger which ‘bleeds’ like real meat?

    Will I lose or gain weight when going vegan?

    As long as your diet is well-planned and you’re not existing on Oreos and Frosted Shreddies (both of which are vegan, by the way) it’s unlikely that your weight will change drastically. Being vegan doesn’t mean you’re on a permanently restrictive diet. Listen to your cravings and eat the same food you did before, just the vegan version. While eating enough fruit, vegetables and protein, of course. 

    For vegan recipes and inspiration, check out the food section of our Insight blog

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    Everything You Need To Know About England’s Newly Relaxed Genetically Modified Food Laws
    The latest guidance around genetically modified foods and genetically modified food laws are changing. Farming regulations have been eased, and this means that costs of production and rules around the creation of genetically modified foods have been altered to make the production of these foods easier… and this has major implications for the food market. So far, the relaxation of these rules and regulations only relates to England, but it’s rumoured that these changes are not far behind for the rest of the United Kingdom. Genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom With the recent announcement of the relaxation of genetically modified food laws in England, here at Innermost, we felt it was important to dive into the facts, gain all the information and evaluate what this means for our food produce in the United Kingdom and on our supermarket shelves. These changes have sparked wide-spread debate and discussion around the pros and cons and genetically modified foods, so as a brand that produces our products with non-genetically modified ingredients, our interest in the progression of genetically modified food laws and the pros and cons of genetically modified foods is a key priority. First, let’s get the basics out of the way. What are genetically modified foods, what are the current genetically modified food laws in the UK, and how are they changing? Here we go… What are genetically modified foods? Genetically modified foods are foods that have been defined as those that have had their genetic material (aka, their DNA) altered in a way that natural development would not include. This modification is commonly achieved through the addition of genetic information from another organism (simply, another living thing) and can have drastic consequences for the production and longevity of food products such as fruits and vegetables. What does this mean for food production? Genetically modified foods can lead to greater quantities of production and a reduction in food prices. Not only this, but genetic modification can lead to a greater reliability of high-quality food produce due to the decrease in risk from disease. Winning! The story so far: genetically modified food laws in the United Kingdom The current (pre-relaxed) rules and regulations around genetically modified foods in the United Kingdom are pretty complex, we’re not going to lie. Broken down simply, though, the laws state that any genetically modified foods cannot be farmed without prior approval from regulatory agencies such as The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (or DEFRA, for short). It’s not easy to be approved, either, as since 1992, only 2024 applications have been approved. And after this, any foods that have been approved, that may contain a genetically modified organism (or, as it’s often abbreviated to, a GMO), must be accompanied by written documentation. Not to mention, this process is incredibly expensive, with a £5,000 application fee. As the rules currently stand, thousands of crops have to be thrown away due to their susception to disease such as Blight’s Disease. Whilst genetic modification could easily eradicate this issue and bring thousands more crops to our supermarket shelves, the rules around this method make it so that these foods go unapproved. And therefore, to waste. The proposed genetically modified food law change Whilst a change to these rules looks to be tricky, it’s doable. Scientists are backing the change, with reports stating that a relaxation of these rules would be a welcome change from EU laws, and allow greater, healthier production of crops for our consumption. This change would allow production of GMO foods to be in line with our American counterparts. The pros and cons of genetically modified foods To many, the ideology of genetically modified foods is hailed as fantastic scientific advancement. With the ground-breaking growth in technology that allows us to create a surplus of food to consumers at a low cost, high-yield outcome, many would argue, “why wouldn’t we take advantage of these abilities?” We could go on all day about this debate, but to sum up years of back-and-forth between scientists, farmers, the law and everyday consumers, here’s some of the main arguments towards integrating genetically modified foods into our lives. The pros of genetically modified foods Reduced use of potentially harmful pesticides The creation of drought-resistant foods Accelerated growth speed Better tasting food Less food waste Longer shelf life for food Now, looking at the above list, you’re wondering how anyone can object to the introduction of genetically modified foods. Lower food prices, greater taste, a drop in food waste and a longer shelf life? Sign me up! Well, not everyone feels that way… The cons of genetically modified foods The potential of allergic reactions Genetic modification is a relatively new process The potential for resistance against illness Could lead to the production of harmful toxin Potential loss of nutritional value Summary In light of this proposed relaxation, we thought it was important to mention that all of our products are non-genetically modified, as we prioritise natural, effective ingredients. More information around genetically modified food laws and the current changes are a hot topic at the moment, and something we are keeping a close eye on here at Innermost. We’re big believers in trusting the science. It’s something we’ve always done, are doing, and will continue to do, and keeping you (and ourselves) in the loop when it comes to big changes like this is something we feel super strongly about. Read more
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