Get our best content directly in your inbox
Sign up

Welcome from the editor: taking responsibility

woman smiling
3 min read
AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli
close-up of a sumatran orangutan

Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend.

How do you know that someone is vegan? Because they’ll tell you. And I have told you that I am a few times before. The reason why I’m bringing this up again is because I’ve been thinking about the concept of taking responsibility and actioning one’s ethics. Moaning achieves nothing.

When I decided to become vegan I knew very well I’d have to give up quite a bit – some types of food of course, but also clothing (vegans wear nothing derived from animals, not even wool), skincare, makeup, cleaning products, and I also avoid visiting some countries, attractions and hotels where animal exploitation is involved. Unfortunately animal derivates are used in a huge amount of stuff. The only thing – unfortunately – that’s out of all vegans’ hands is pharmaceuticals. As much as I avoid taking any medication whatsoever, occasionally I have to pop a pill, and that’s certainly not cruelty-free.

But, living in Europe, I am very fortunate as there is a good choice for those following a vegan lifestyle. I can still eat nutritious, delicious food, buy clothes, skincare, makeup, paint and cleaning products I like and they are all vegan. Is it difficult? Not at all. It’s occasionally a nuisance, but it’s far from impossible.
The point here is that if we disagree with something, we need to take responsibility and take action, we can’t just sit and wait for it to be resolved. We do live in a world run by money and power, and our own power often lives in our wallet. Companies will listen to our money, not our grumbling.

There are many unsustainable ingredients that are ubiquitous and hard to avoid. Sure, businesses have a responsibility, but so do we. Are our ethics strong enough, do we care enough to give up certain foods and products because of their environmentally-unfriendly credentials?

Palm oil is one of the most controversial ingredients on earth and consumers are fairly vocal when it comes to the devastating effects the production of this lipid has on the environment. In this week’s feature we ask Can palm oil ever be truly sustainable?

Some companies do like to align their ethics to their business model, but who’s really making progress? We take a look at 13 most sustainable food companies in the UK.

Cultivated meat is a much talked about subject at the moment. With promises of revolutionising agriculture as we know it, ending farm animal suffering and potentially, eventually, improving food security, cellular agriculture could have a positive impact on the world. But more needs to be done to overcome challenges and scale the industry. Read about it in Cultured meat industry experts call for government funding during Tufts University Cellular Agriculture Innovation Day.

With ingredient shortages and costs weighing on everyone, read how some small businesses are tackling the issues in Spiking energy and ingredient prices: the solutions independent bakers are adopting to stay afloat.

Some of us work a standard 9 to 5(ish), but many others do shift work. Dr Sally Wilson, Principal Research Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies, and Professor Alexandra Johnstone, from The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, join the Food Matters Live podcast to discuss how different eating patterns affect our health in Shift work and nutrition – a marriage of inconvenience.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,



Related content