Category Archives: news

Seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year, study shows

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with dozens of particles becoming embedded in tissues, scientists have warned, in findings described as ‘sobering’ by the Prince of Wales. Researchers from the University of Ghent in Belgium believe that microplastics accumulate in the body over time and could be a long term health risk. And they say the amount of plastic absorbed will only get worse as pollution in the oceans increases, a finding described by the Prince of Wales as ‘sobering.’  The Prince has previously described micro-particles as ‘grey goo.’ Dr Colin Janssen, who led the research, said the presence of plastic particles in the body was ‘a concern’. “Now we’ve established that they do enter our body and can stay there for quite a while, we do need to know the fate of the plastics,” he told Sky News to coincide with the launch of Sky’s new environmental campaign Sky Ocean Rescue. “Where do they go? Are they encapsulated by tissue and forgotten about by the body, or are they causing inflammation or doing other things? “Are chemicals leaching out of these plastics and then causing toxicity? We don’t know and actually we do need to know.”

A larval perch that has ingested microplastic particles 
A larval perch that has ingested microplastic particles  CREDIT: OONA LONNSTEDT

The study is the first comprehensive risk assessment of its kind. Scientists calculated that more than 99 per cent  of the microplastics pass through the human body – but the rest are taken up by body tissues.

Mussels feed by filtering around 20 litres of seawater a day, ingesting microplastics by accident.

Most are excreted, but on average each mussel contains one tiny fragment lodged in its body tissue. As plastic pollution builds up in the ocean that will increase.

If current trends continue, by the end of the century people who regularly eat seafood could be consuming 780,000 pieces of plastic a year, absorbing 4,000 of them from their digestive systems.

The Prince of Wales said: “I find it sobering to think that almost all the plastic ever produced is still here somewhere on the planet in one form or another and will remain here for centuries to come, possibly thousands of years.”

Prince Charles said the report was sobering 
Prince Charles said the report was sobering 

There are more than five trillion pieces of microplastic in the world’s oceans and the equivalent of one rubbish truck of plastic waste is being added to the sea every minute.

By 2050 that will increase to four trucks every minute. The plastic in the ocean will take decades or even centuries to break down into small pieces, but many scientists believe it will never completely disappear.

Dr Janssen added: “The next generation or two generations might say they left us a rotten plastic legacy because now we are suffering in various ways from that legacy.

“We have to do something about it.”

Sky Ocean Rescue launches today with the campaign, initially led by Sky News, aiming to educate and inspire people to change their behaviour to help protect our oceans and dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste produced every day that end up in them.

Visit the campaign’s website at www.skyoceanrescue.com. To discover the scale of the damage caused by plastic disposed in oceans, watch A Plastic Tide on Sky Atlantic at 8pm on Tuesday January 24th or on Sky News at 8pm on Wednesday January 25th.

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Starbucks adds a new vegan option

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Pop Sugar (and about one hundred other blogs) announced that 600 Starbucks locations across New York have rolled out a new vegan menu item; overnight grains. The parfait-like breakfast item blends steel cut oats, quinoa, and chia seeds together with coconut milk, shaved coconut and almonds. Served in the cold case section of the store, it’s basically a jazzed up version of the internet’s beloved overnight oats, for those who don’t have the forethought to prepare breakfast before bed.

Go Vegan World will be the first vegan campaign to feature at an international sporting event

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Flaxseed eggs, sources of protein and cruelty-free makeup – veganism even made its way onto Newsnight last week. But what people tend to forget is, that behind all of this talk the movement is about animal rights. Go Vegan World, the world’s largest public awareness campaign around animal rights issues is already successfully bringing veganism to the mainstream. You may have seen Go Vegan World’s thought-provoking billboards and posters plastered across UK cities and along the M6.

OMG! Breyers Secretly Introduces New Almond Milk Ice Cream

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We’ve just confirmed reports that a new Breyers nondairy frozen almond milk dessert has hit shelves in various Meijer stores in the Midwest. There’s no mention of the new product on Breyers’ website, and we’re not sure if the company is just testing out the new flavor or rolling it out nationwide. But one thing is certain: We’re stoked! The new flavor is Cookies & Cream, and the packaging says that it’s “suitable for a vegan diet.”

Ben & Jerry’s just sneakily launched two new vegan flavours made with almond milk

An employee of Ben & Jerry's scoops ice cream into a cone outside Union Station in Washington on June 18, 2013.     AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Delicious ice cream made with almond milk? With chunks of brownie, swirls of caramel, and biscuits? We’re so on board. But if there’s one thing more exciting than a vegan ice cream announcement, it’s the sneaky arrival of two new vegan ice cream flavours, without a word of warning or build-up. Ben & Jerry’s haven’t officially announced their new vegan flavours in any way. But recently, two snazzy flavours have been popping up in stores: non-dairy Cherry Garcia, and non-dairy Coconut Seven Layer Bar (that’s a coconut base with fudge chunks, walnuts, and swirls of graham crackers and caramel.

COFFEE-MATE RELEASES NEW VEGAN CREAMERS AND YOU’LL BE THRILLED TO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE MADE OF!

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Marking the brand’s introduction into the dairy alternative category, the creamy plant-based creamers are available in four new offerings: Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, Hazelnut Almond Milk and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk.

THE NEW COFFEE CREAMERS ARE MADE WITH REAL SIMPLE INGREDIENTS LIKE

real almonds, coconuts from Sumatra, vanilla from Madagascar and pure cane sugar to offer consumers an all-natural alternative to traditional dairy creamers. Made with no GMO ingredients, natural bliss® Almond Milk and Coconut Milk creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy and offer a new way to add a hint of flavor and touch of sweetness to provide a great tasting cup of coffee.

vegan coffee creamers coffee mate

“COFFEE-MATE REMAINS A LEADER IN THE COFFEE CREAMER CATEGORY FOR ONE IMPORTANT REASON –

we are relentlessly focused on quality and innovation to expand our product portfolio while meeting changing consumer demands and lifestyles,” said COFFEE-MATE Brand Director, Daniel Jhung. “We know the increasing popularity of plant-based, non-dairy creamers is not just a trend, but a consumer preference that is here to stay. Using just a few simple ingredients not only expands our natural bliss offerings, but delivers a delicious, creamy and flavorful option that COFFEE-MATE natural bliss is known to provide.”

THE NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH WILL BE SUPPORTED BY A TV,

digital and social media advertising campaign launching on March 13 including two fifteen second commercials in both English and Spanish. A national in-store shopper marketing effort and PR campaign will also highlight the product’s launch.

COFFEE-MATE® NATURAL BLISS® ALMOND MILK AND COCONUT MILK CREAMERS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

at retailers nationwide in 16oz bottles in the refrigerated coffee creamer aisle for a suggested retail price of $2.79. The Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer will be sold exclusively at Target retail stores. COFFEE-MATE® natural bliss® Almond Milk and Coconut Milk creamers join the brand’s full line of all-natural coffee creamers made from real dairy.

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Holland & Barrett have just started selling vegan eggs made from algae

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The chicken and egg conundrum has long been a question pondered in pubs and philosophy classes around the world. And the answer to which came first, if we’re talking about the eggs at Holland & Barrett, is neither.

That’s because they’ve just launched a ‘faker’s dozen’ made from agal flour – an ingredient derived from water-dwelling algae.

Vegan Egg comes in the standard cardboard packing but rather than containing six of the standard, easily crack-able eggs, there’s a packet of powdered substitute instead.

In fact, it’s probably easier to make scrambled eggs with this stuff than it is with genuine eggs.

Easier to whisk up a quick omelette.

Better to make a load of delicious breakfast frittatas.

One box makes the equivalent of a dozen eggs and contains 4.4g of fiber per serving, as well as being high in lipids and amino acids.

‘Eggs are a valuable source of essential Omegas and amino acids, but, because they are derived from chickens they are not suitable for those following a vegan diet,’ says Carl Copson, Category Manager for Special Diets at Holland & Barrett.

‘Vegan Egg has been specially developed to ensure that vegans can enjoy the versatility that eggs can add to meal planning and, because they contain algae, they can help to ensure that you can meet your fibre and essential amino acid needs without compromising a vegan diet.’

Only thing is, as with a lot of vegan substitutes, it does come with a pretty hefty price tag.

You can get Vegan Eggs now from Holland & Barrett across the country and online for £7.99 – which is rather a lot more than the 89p for six eggs at Tesco.

But can you put a price on morality? No.

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Marks & Spencer launches first ever vegan sandwich range

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MARKS & SPENCER has added two new vegan friendly sandwiches to its range, as it tries to jump on the “Veganuary” food trend. The Veganuary charity encourages people to give up animal products for the month of January, with thousands already signed up for the challenge.

Vegan Cheese Surpasses Expected Sales By 300%

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United Kingdom-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s reported that sales of its vegan cheeses surpassed the company’s predictions by 300%. The supermarket launched five vegan coconut milk-based cheeses last year under the brand FreeFrom.After a comical viral social media campaign that sought to rename all vegan cheeses “Gary” last October, Sainsbury’s new vegan cheeses have received widespread media attention. UK residents also embraced vegan options at the flagship all-vegetarian location of Veggie Pret, which reported a 70% increase in profits since its launch last year.

Universal Cancels Premiere of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

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PETA has called for a boycott of the film after a video surfaced of a German shepherd forced to perform in artificial rapids.

Amid the controversy surrounding a troubling video which revealed a stressed German Shepherd was forced to perform in artificial rapids on the set of the upcoming A Dog’s Purpose, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment have canceled the movie’s premiere, which was to have taken place in Los Angeles this weekend.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called for a boycott of the film and is pushing for further action, calling on the director of the Amblin production, Lasse Hallstrom, and producer Gavin Polone to pledge never to use animals in films again and to rescue the dogs from Birds & Animals Unlimited, the training and handling facility said to be the provider of the canines. (The Hollywood Reporter wrote about alleged federal Animal Welfare Act violations at the company’s Acton, Calif., headquarters on July 11.)

In cancelling the premiere, Universal and Amblin on Thursday issued a statement saying, “Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing, distributor Universal Pictures has decided it is in the best interest of A Dog’s Purpose to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket. Amblin and Universal do not want anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between humans and animals.

“Since the emergence of the footage, Amblin has engaged with many associated with the production of the film, including safety personnel, trainers and stunt coordinators as part of their in-depth review.  While we are all disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress, everyone has assured us that Hercules the German Shepherd was not harmed throughout the filmmaking.”

A Dog’s Purpose is scheduled for wide release on Jan. 27.

Hallstrom did not return a request for comment about PETA’s most recent demand. Polone, however, was forceful in a conversation with THR (for which he regularly writes opinion columns about industry issues). A prominent Hollywood vegan and animal rights activist, he contends “PETA wants to fire up its base and it’s not productive. It’s also kind of crazy — I’m the person they should be strong-arming? This is a movie about promoting the idea of animals as sentient and deserving of empathy and rights.”

Polone went on to note that he’d worked with PETA in the past, but disagreed with its contention that no animals should be used in production. The organization has argued that CGI should solely be employed, but others in the industry insist that such technology would be cost-prohibitive. “It’s naïve and untenable and will never happen — we all know that,” the producer says. “What’s needed is a replacement for the [American Humane Association],” the non-profit monitoring group financed by producers that’s tasked with on-set animal oversight. (It’s known for its “No Animals Were Harmed” accreditation.) He continued, “There’s a person there all the time and clearly they are ineffective. That’s the issue and that’s what needs to be corrected.”

For its part, PETA has written to the AHA to ask for a complete copy of a report that the monitoring group claimed on Wednesday it had initiated as soon as it saw the footage, bringing in an independent investigator to spearhead. (It also placed the on-set AHA safety representative on administrative leave.) “We’re hearing that the monitor did not report [the incident] to her supervisors but the AHA gave the movie an acceptable rating anyway,” says Lange. “We don’t know if that is true, but we’re asking.”

When contacted by THR, the AHA declined to address PETA’s request. In 2013, THR exposed a history of complicity, internal cover-ups and failed investigative work at the monitoring group.

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