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Thoughts from author: hannah as

in training

Last week the pupils at All Saints' School in Putney ran a smoothie workshop, to learn more about different fruits and nutrition. They tasted a few of our recipes, and had to guess what ingredients were in each of them.

Those with untrained tastebuds can find this a bit challenging, but one bright spark managed to identify guava in one of our Superfood smoothie recipes.

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You might see these two on here one day.

recycle week 2008

As you may know, this week is Recycle Week 2008, and our friends over at Tetra Pak are doing their best to raise the campaign's awareness. We use Tetra Pak's cartons for our big smoothies, so we're obviously very keen to get as many people reycling them as possible.

Tetra Pak are hoping to get as many people as they can to reycle the cartons and you can even pledge to do this on their website. Most councils in the UK will now recycle cartons, so it's really just about raising awareness.

If you'd like to find out more about the the project, you could have a look on Tetra Pak's website. This video of cartons being recycled in Brazil is also pretty interesting.

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Very neatly squashed Tetra Paks

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A bundle of Tetra Paks

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We used to be a Tetra Pak

crisp anyone?

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Sometimes bad news can be swiftly followed by good. Our Ailana has decided to leave us and set up her own little PR agency. Tomorrow is her last day at Fruit Towers and she asked one of her new clients to send in a few crisps for her leaving do. And he duly did so.

So thanks to Jonty at Burts we think we'll have enough crisps to get us through at least a week. And he's promised to send a box of crisps to the person that guesses correctly how many packets are in this pile. Your favourite flavour and everything. Answers on a postcard (or as a comment below) by midday on Friday 23rd.

No more time to write, we've got lots of potatoes to get through. PS if we get more than one correct answer, we'll draw the winner out of a hat.

smoothies are twice as good as we thought

It isn't often that smoothies hit the front pages of the national newspapers. So we were very excited to see some research that we'd been involved with appearing on the front pages of the Telegraph today. A very sensible and clever nutritionist called Dr Carrie Ruxton has done some extensive research into the world of smoothies. And it is her view that the government should review its guidelines and declare them as two portions. Hence the twice as good headline.

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We won't copy out her full research paper here because it's quite long, but here are some of her conclusions. All of which seem very sensible to us.

"The steady growth of smoothies in the chilled juice market creates an opportunity to help more consumers achieve the 5-a-day target. This could be made easier if smoothies were designated as two portions of fruit, rather than being lumped together with juices as just one portion. Smoothies are significantly higher in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants than juices and meet the criteria to make a labelling claim for fibre content. Smoothie recipes contain at least one 80g portion of mashed fruit plus a portion of juice, and are nutritionally equivalent to two portions of fruit.The sugar content of smoothies is no greater than the fruit in its original form. In conclusion, the nutritional benefits offered by smoothies far outweigh any risks, and a re-evaluation of the 5-a-day criteria is justified."

Dr Shilpee has been in to see the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency a few times, and hopefully this latest research will help them to review the current guidelines and help more people hit their five a day target.

questionnaire competition: the winners

the innocent AGM

A few weeks ago we asked you to fill in one of our highly technical AGM questionnaires, and upload the finshed version to Flickr (or fill in the online version). It was also a bit of a competition, and now we're very excited to announce the lucky winners.

Best fruit drawing

Sandra

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This should really be drawings, as Sandra took this part quite seriously. As well as suggesting lots of great new stuff for us, she annotated each bullet with a different fruit.

Best suggestion

Katy

Katy was the clear winner of this one with her suggestion to get David Tennant on our labels. Just so you know Katy, we've started a petition about this at Fruit Towers, and we'll let you know how it goes. For now, here's a picture.

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Best overall questionnaire

Claire

This prize goes to Claire, on two counts: her answers were brilliant, and she made the questionnaire into the shape of a boat, complete with an avocado flag. We've got a couple of questions for Claire. Who is your friend with the great hat? And is that your boat behind you?

So there you are. We'll be in touch with the winners very soon, and thank you very much to everyone for entering. We really enjoyed reading them all.