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Thoughts from category: ethics

a sustainable diet - Caroline

This is Caroline (aka as Caz). She works in our People Team and was our first guinea pig for the WWF's Livewell diet.

Caroline
Caz keep a food diary for her week on the Livewell diet.

Her overall thoughts for the week were

"I found that having controlled portions of each specific food can make you obsessed with it and ultimately I ended up eating more or really craving stuff I wasn't allowed"

"I also found that planning your meals is cheaper than randomly buying stuff - I spent way less than I normally would and I also ate more healthily as I added less oil and sauces to stuff, less crisps/chocolate etc".

And here's her weekly record.

Monday

  • breakfast: granary toast with butter and marmite
  • lunch: burger with wholemeal bread roll, bbq sauce, lettuce and tomatoes
  • dinner: pasta with 1/4 red pepper, 3 mushrooms, tomato & basil sauce, chilli, 50g cheese
  • snacks: 1 banana, 1 bottle of OJ, 2 chocolate fingers, strawberries with 0% fat greek yoghurt

"Already eaten beef quota within first half day of diet... struggling to not think about food, what I can/can't eat. Sauces are difficult to work out as load of extras added to them - ended up using a Lloyd sauce I've had for a while as needed using. Mayo, butter, honey - trying to reduce, but tough..."

Tuesday

  • breakfast: granary toast with butter and marmite
  • lunch: 1/2 bag of rocket salad with 1 avocado, 1 tomato, half a carrot, 170g spicy chicken, tiny bit of oil
  • dinner: pasta with 1/4 red pepper, 3 mushrooms, tomato & basil sauce, chilli, 50g cheese
  • snacks: 4 chocolate fingers, 1 bottle of OJ, box of raspberries

"Can I have avocado? Feel like this is a low-fat diet currently... good to fill up on whole foods though. Managed to turn down cake & crisps so far which is unheard of. Already feel like I've shifted my mind set though, buying only in quantities I need, checking where food is from, and eating leftovers."

Caroline - Avocado
Wednesday

  • breakfast: granary toast with peanut butter
  • lunch: 1/4 bag rocket salad with 1 tomato, 170g spicy chicken, tiny bit of oil
  • dinner: chips, mayo, olives, tiny piece of scampi & whitebait
  • snacks: a cereal bar, half a chocolate bar

"not sure if I am allowed peanut butter but had it this morning in a rush as there was no butter... i think I have gone over my oil quota"

Thursday

  • breakfast: granary toast with butter and marmite
  • lunch: sandwich on white bread (1/2 egg, a little pork, avocado, lettuce, aubergine, goats cheese & pesto)
  • dinner: innocent Mexican veg pot
  • late night eating (oh dear...) double cheese burger and chips
  • snacks: 1 banana, slice of granary bread with butter

"got offered delicious free sandwiches and salad today for lunch and couldn't refuse an offer like that.. even though loaded with oils and cheeses. I did avoid the meat based ones though. The McDonald's on the way home was an act of rebellion..."

Friday (had dinner with best friend after work)

  • breakfast: 2 slices granary toast with butter and marmite
  • lunch: salad, tomato, avocado & cream cheese on toast, little bit of oil
  • dinner: noodle soup with tofu, mushroom and chilli chicken broth, summer rolls with prawns and fish crackers
  • snacks: 1 packet crisps, 1/2 big cookie

Saturday (big BBQ at our house then friend's birthday)

  • brunch: bagel with cream cheese
  • dinner: sausage in a roll with chilli mayo, pasta salad with cheese and normal salad
  • snacks: 5 malted milk biscuits, small bit of chocolate cake

Sunday (chilling at my house)

Caroline - sleeping in

  • breakfast: sleeping still
  • lunch: leftover pasta salad and normal salad
  • dinner: jacket potato leftover from bbq heated up with tuna mayo and sweetcorn
  • snacks: crisps leftover from bbq

how sustainable is your diet?

We like healthy food (pretty handy when the products you make are all about fruit and veg). We also like sustainable food (so we make sure that the way we make our products has the least possible impact on people and the planet). So when the WWF came up with their Livewell 2020 diet, we thought it was a fab idea.

Worldsandwich

The idea behind Livewell is to develop a way of eating that would not only be healthy and nutritious but that would also reduce the environmental impacts associated with producing food. The 5 Livewell principles are:

  • eat more plants
  • waste less food
  • eat less meat
  • eat less processed food
  • where available, buy food that meets a credible certified standard

As part of the Livewell work the WWF teamed up with nutrition experts from Aberdeen University to design a diet that would be great for the body and the planet. You can download a weekly shopping list and a 7 day menu to try it out - and following the diet means that not only do you get your recommended nutritional intact for the week, but that you also reduce the carbon footprint associated with what you eat by 25%.

This we had to try. Roll up 7 innocent employee Livewell guinea pigs (just a phrase, we do not support animal testing in any way).

Guinea-pig

Our guinea pigs agreed to try out the Livewell Diet for 7 days and share their experiences of eating a sustainable diet. Some of them thought they were pretty healthy sustainable eaters already, some thought it could be a challenge.

Watch this space to see how they went.

hot and bothered

...that's how some of our indian mangoes have been feeling of late. When it comes to climate change, the majority of conversations still use words like 'when' - when it happens, when the temperature rises, when the seas rise etc. Of course the reality is that our climate is already changing, and more so in some regions than others at this point in time. The Western Gatts of India is one of those regions, and that is where some of our delicious alphonso mangoes come from.

Conventional farm - Mango Harvest (4)

When our indian farmers started talking to us about the problems, we decided it was important to make sure we did our bit to help cool the mangoes down, and keep the farmers in the mango business. Fast forward through many many conversations, and we had a set of recommendations from a local agricultural institute, a consultant and 18 farmers working with our supplier, ready to trial some new techniques in the world of mango growing.

We have just received the first report from the project, and despite only being able to implement 2 of the 5 techniques this season we have seen some great results. Farmers participating in the trial were able to use less agrochemicals on the trees and still managed to have a lower incidence of pest and disease attack than a standard farm (saving them lots of money as well as protecting the environment). Plus, the trial farms also found that they had a higher yield of mangoes per tree.

Conventional farm - Mango Harvest (9)

Next season we will be implementing all 5 of the recommendations, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we get even better results. Needless to say the farmers participating in the project are pretty happy that they can still produce great mango in a changing climate (and save some cash at the same time), and we are thrilled that we still get great tasting mango and have managed to help out in tackling this challenge.

A big thanks to our suppliers, and everyone involved in the project so far. I'm off to grab a mango passionfruit smoothie to celebrate.

a man and his goat

A couple of weeks ago Rozanne and I were in India for work, and we took the opportunity to visit one of the innocent foundation projects with our partner ADD. ADD supports organisations of disabled people to improve their livelihoods. In India, they are working primarily on improving agricultural skills and incomes.

The money provided from the innocent foundation is used to provide loans to disabled people and their families. The local Disabled People Organisation (DPO) consisting of members of the community determines who would benefit most from the loans, and supports the beneficiaries in their endeavours. The money is used for a wide variety of uses, such as buying animals, seeds or farming equipment.

We visited a number of DPO groups and beneficiaries of the loans during our visit.

ADD visit (14)

Please allow us to introduce one of the beneficiaries, Mr Siddagangaiah (on the left).

ADD visit (11)

He suffers from cerebral palsy and as such cannot do manual work. He used his loan to buy this rather fetching looking goat (on the left of Mr Siddagangaiah).

The idea is that the goat will have kids (that's what you call a baby goat) which can be sold for meat if they are boys.. (sorry guys) or for breeding if they are lucky enough to be a girl.

ADD visit (4)

Mr Siddagangaiah already has 2 kids, and he hopes to slowly build a small herd. The money raised from the goats contributes to his family income, and importantly provides him with increased social standing in his community.

Other beneficiaries are using their loans to buy silk worms, grow flowers, and grow vegetables such as potatoes and beans.

Mr Ranganatha from ADD India was lucky enough to be given some fresh beans to take home for dinner.

ADD visit (17)

It was fantastic to meet some of the people who are benefitting from these small loans, and to hear about the difference it makes in their lives. We thank them and ADD for making us so welcome and sharing their time with us.

We wish them well for lots of goat babies, and a bumper bean crop.

emilie in Ethiopia


emilie in ethiopia

After Helen's trip to India, Andrew's in Malawi and JT's in Kenya, on Friday, I'm off to Ethiopia for 2 weeks to work on a honey project with IDE one of the innocent foundation's partners. I am in the marketing team and am going out to help beekeepers in the North of the country with branding and marketing plans for their honey. A nice change from smoothies after nearly 5 years at innocent.

Emilie

At the moment, the honey looks like this:
Amar honey

Is it that important to have the moisture content on the front of the label? This, along with other branding aspects, is one of the areas I'm going to look at. The beekeepers want to start selling their honey in supermarkets in Addis Abeba (and not just local markets in the North) so it's all about making sure the honey pots look as great as possible.