9 Websites To Help You Shop For Local Food

9 Green Smoothiesv8002

In spite of a strong farming heritage,  40% of Britain’s food is currently brought in from overseas which is both bad for the environment and the economy. Supporting local businesses and producers is one way we can make our money go further, boost local economies and build communities.

Here is a round-up of British websites that will help you source fresh, local, seasonal produce from local farmers’ markets, farm shops, producers and independents. You can use this list for your weekly shopping as well as when you are on holidays.

Local Foods  – nationwide web directory of Farmers’ Markets, Farm Shops, Pick Your Own.

At The Farm Gate – nationwide database linking UK farmers, small holders and related local producers with people who want to buy direct and support the British farming and countryside industry.

Big Barn – nationwide local food website including a  local food map for producers as well as a marketplace of over 500 vendors.

Food Assembly – launched in France, Food Assembly is now in the UK. Choose from a wide range of local products and collect your order from your local Assembly. Producers set their own prices and receive an income that is both fair for them and good for the local economy. Nationwide.

Hubbub – do your weekly shopping from local independents. You can place your orders from different local shops on Hubbub website. Hubbub then consolidates from all the different suppliers and makes one delivery to you. London only.

Hampshire Farmers Markets – not-for-profit, community interest organisation supporting producers of Hampshire.

London Farmers’ Markets – meet London’s farmers, fishermen, growers and bakers who all share a passion for home grown products.

Food Finder SW – supporting West Country’s produce this app (iphone only) lets you search for your favourite West Country food and drink and see how far you are from the nearest retailer.

Fresh N Local – also based in the West Country, this website helps you find local traders and farmer’s  market in the area.

This article was originally published by The Flexitarian

Organic Cotton Underwear – New Value Packs

We have some brand new value packs of organic cotton underwear by Living Crafts for men, women and kids. These everyday basics represent excellent value for money.

Our latest organic cotton underwear collection include:


Living Craft Men Underwear Twin Pack Spring 2015


Living Craft Women Underwear Twin Pack Spring 2015


Living Craft Kids Underwear Twin Pack Spring 2015

Made to the highest ethical standard and free from chemicals Living Crafts  organic cotton underwear is great for sensitive skins.

5 Last Minute Homemade Gifts for Mother’s Day

5 Last Minute Homemade Gifts for Mother's Day

Nothing beats a homemade gift on Mother’s Day. Here are five of my favourite ideas that do not require tons of materials and are easy enough for kids to do (with a little supervision from an adult of course). Happy Mother’s Day!

Rhubarb Muffin  from the Flexitarian
Vegan Rhubarb Muffin from the Flexitarian

Surprise mum on Sunday with a homemade breakfast. These vegan rhubarb muffins from The Flexitarian are delicious and seasonal.

Finger Print Dove
Finger Print Dove

Get paint and paper out! I love this Finger Print Dove by Busy Kids Happy Mom. A piece of art to keep for years to come. Ideal for all ages no matter how big or small your family is. Download this easy tutorial and frame it for Mother’s Day.

Natural Lavender & Rose Bath Salt
Natural Lavender & Rose Bath Salt

You can’t go wrong with pampering! This homemade Natural Lavender & Rose Bath Salt by Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen are very soothing and the perfect excuse for mum to take some time off, soak and relax!

Celtic Heart Knot Necklace
Celtic Heart Knot Necklace

Turn laces, rope or string in a beautiful Celtic Heart Knot Necklace. Full tutorial on Clones & Clowns blog in both French and English!

Mason Jar Sewing Kit
Mason Jar Sewing Kit

This is perfect for the disorganised mum (like me), always chasing after needles, scissors and thread to make all these tiny repairs or finally sew these scouts badges, missing buttons etc..  See how to make it on It All Started With Paint blog.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

Mothers Day 2015- Last orders

There is still time to order some beautiful English Seasonal Flowers for Mother’s Day. Our last order dates are March 12th (for delivery ion March 13th) and March 13th (for Saturday delivery on March 14th. Please note that extra delivery charges apply on Saturday)

We are looking forward to Spring and have just added two beautiful English scented narcissi bouquets to our flower selection: 100 Mixed Scented English Narcissi for £29.95 and 200 Mixed Scented English Narcissi for £45.95. The narcissi are grown in the open air and handpicked by flower farmers on the Isles of Scilly. They are then shipped just 28 miles to the Cornish mainland.  Another seasonal favourite is this colourful Tutti Frutti English Tulips Bouquet.

All our hand-tied bouquets are created using seasonal flowers and foliage warmed only by the sun. They are sourced ethically and sustainably from Cornwall, ensuring your flowers reach you with the fewest “flower miles” possible.  Here is a gift bound to please anyone questioning where their flowers are coming from and how they are grown.

Click here to view our full selection of English Flower Bouquets




Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ 2015

ewg Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce 2015

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released its annual “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™“, a list of the most (and the least) pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. Even though the data analysed is from the US  I like to refer to it when shopping. It helps me make better choices on what produce I need to buy organic (The Dirty Dozen™) and what produce I can buy non-organic (The Clean 15™).

I try to buy organic as much as my budget allows and tend to be particularly careful with the fruits and vegetables my kids eat most (apples, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and carrots).

Conventional agriculture uses pesticides to grow vegetables and fruits. Pesticides are detrimental to health and have been linked to a number of conditions including headaches, cancer and endocrine disruption. Contrary to popular belief washing or peeling does not always remove pesticides. However, it is good to keep in mind that “pesticides levels typically diminish when food is cooked“.

Interestingly, the EWG’s report points out that even though *leafy greens and hot pepper are not listed in The Dirty Dozens™, they have been found to have high levels of pesticides. So if you eat often, make sure you buy them organic.

Signing up to an organic vegetable box delivery scheme or simply growing your own are easy ways to ensure you limit the amount of pesticides in your food.

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

  • 99 percent of apple samples, 98 percent of peaches, and 97 percent of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
  • A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
  • Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides a piece.

The Dirty Dozen™ 2015 – apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers (+*kale, collard greens, spring greens and hot peppers).

The Clean Fifteen™2015 – asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwis, mangos, onions, papayas, pineapples, sweet corn, frozen sweet peas, sweet potatoes.

Read the full report here and download EWG’s handy shopping guide here.

(this article originally appeared on The Flexitarian)

Valentine’s – Say It With Seasonal English Tulips

All My Love £25

If you’re looking for something a little different but nonetheless spectacular this Valentine’s, look no further than our selection of English flower bouquets.

A great selection bound to please anyone questioning where their flowers are coming from and how they are grown.

Voted amongst the 50 Best UK Florists by the Independent, Tregothnan is a working estate since 1335 where traditional skills and craftsmanship still survive and thrive. The horticultural skills gleaned from generations of gardeners inspires this range of seasonal British flower bouquets.

All bouquets are made with flowers either grown on the estate in Cornwall or sourced from local growers many of them who are tenants on Tregothnan land. Tregothnan is committed to sustainability, minimal flower miles and the seasonality that comes from offering English flowers.

This Valentine’s we have some beautiful tulip arrangements grown right here in the UK and ranging from £25 to £54.25.

You can choose from:

All My Love £25
All My Love £25
Tutti Frutti £33.75
Tutti Frutti £33.75
White Valentine - £54.25
White Valentine – £54.25
Red Valentine £54.25
Red Valentine £54.25

Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives

Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives

(Environmental Working Group) has just released its “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives “.  According to EWG “More than 10,000 additives* are allowed in food.  Some are direct additives that are deliberately formulated into processed food. Others are indirect additives that get into food during processing, storage and packaging”.

The “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives ” aims to help consumers identify food additives with serious health concerns, additives banned or restricted in other countries as well as other substances that should not be in food. Even though they are allowed in food, some additives are linked one way or the other to health concerns such as cancer, allergies, eczema, hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD, reproductive function etc…

The “Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives ” follows in the footsteps of EWG’s yearly Shopper’s Guides to Pesticides in Produce™ (“Dirty Dozen Plus™” and  “Clean Fifteen™“). It gives a detailed description of each additive, including the health risk(s) they are associated with, which types of food they are contained in and how best to avoid them.

You might wonder why if they are so bad, those additives are allowed in food? This comes down to loopholes in the legislation. In the US the designation is called GRAS or  “Generally Recognized as Safe”.  Other similar designations are in place in the EU.  This is of course controversial as even though a substance might be linked to health issues it still can be allowed in food if present at “safe levels”.

The Dirty Dozen Guide To Food Additives includes:

  1. Nitrates and nitrites (found in cured meat)
  2. Potassium bromate (found in bread)
  3. Propyl paraben (found in tortillas & muffins)
  4. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) (found in crisps and preserved meat)
  5. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (found in cereals)
  6. Propyl gallate  (found in cured meat)
  7. Theobromine  (found in chocolate)
  8. Secret flavour ingredients (found in processed food)
  9. Artificial colours  (found in processed food)
  10. Diacetyl  (found in yoghurt and cheese)
  11. Phosphates  (found in processed food)
  12. Aluminum additives  (found in processed food)

While it is impossible to avoid these additives entirely, you can limit your exposure by cooking fresh food and avoiding cured meat as well as processed food. Make sure you also read food labels carefully and eat organic food whenever possible.

Additional websites you might want to visit:

  • Food Intolerance Network which provides fact sheets, shopping lists and general information on food additives, preservatives etc..
  • Explore E Numbers where you will find helpful information on good & bad E numbers.

This article was originally published on The Flexitarian

Lunch Ideas For The Lunchbots Bento

The Lunchbots Bento is the ultimate lunchbox. Made of stainless steel and 60% larger than Lunchbots‘ classic containers it is ideal for a large sandwich or salad, a sushi combo, veggie burrito, or other favourite meals to go. Refill it over and over, save money and add zero waste to landfills.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Trio

Only food grade stainless steel comes into contact with your food.  There are no linings and no toxins.

The Lunchbots Bento is suited for larger appetites and available in different combinations: Bento – UnoBento – Duo or Bento – Trio. The compartments enable you to mix and match your lunch options. For children and smaller appetites we recommend Lunchbots‘ classic containers.

LunchBots Bento Stainless Container  - Duo

The Lunchbots Bento is best for dry foods. If you want to add a soup, stew etc.. we recommend the Lunchbots Insulated Jars which have a water tight lid.

Lunchbots Insulated Food Container - Dark Blue

Here are some healthy lunch ideas:

Rainbow Salad Wrap by Jamie Oliver [vegetarian]
Carrot & Houmous Roll-Ups by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Curried Quinoa Wrap by Lunchbox Bunch [vegan]
Creamy Greek Salad Wrap by Kitchen Treaty [vegetarian]
Cool Refried Bean Wrap by Veg Kitchen [vegan]
Rainbows and Butterflies Pasta Salad by Food Network [flexitarian]
Tortellini with Pesto & Broccoli by BBC Good Food [flexitarian]
Broccoli Lemon Pasta by Marin Mama Cooks [flexitarian]
Vegetable Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce by Archana’s Kitchen [vegetarian]
Macaroni Slice by Good Food [flexitarian]
Sweet Lentil Salad & Green by Love & Lentils [vegan]
Lebanese Lemon Parsley Bean Salad by Cookie & Kate [vegan]
Zesty Black-Eyes-Pea Salad by A Dash of Soul [vegan]
Veggie Chilli by Jamie Oliver [vegan]
Vegetable Stew by Woman’s Weekly [vegan]
Green Club Sandwich by BBC Good Food [vegan]
Mediterranean Sandwich by The Flexitarian [vegan]
No-Chicken Coronation Sandwich [vegan]
Better-than-Tuna Salad Sandwich by The Fig Tree [vegetarian]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Avocado, & Feta Sandwich by Tow Peas & Their Pod [vegetarian]
Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies by MOMables [vegan]
Tangy Couscous Salad by BBC Good Food [vegetarian]
Three Grain Grilled Vegetable and Feta Salad by Naturally Ella [vegetarian]
Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine by Food & Wine [vegetarian]
Asian Quinoa Salad by Two Peas and Their Pod [vegan]
Classic Hummus, with variations by VegKitchen [vegan]
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by BBC Food [vegan]
Three Easy Dips for Kids by BBC Food [vegan]
Broccoli Dip by Real Simple [vegetarian]