Take part in new research on vegetarian-friendly omega 3 oils

University College London is testing the effectiveness of omega 3 oils, derived from entirely plant-based sources, in reducing background inflammation in the body. Taking part in the study involves taking capsules every day for three months, and sending two samples of saliva. To get involved contact Robert Pigott: robert.pigott.17{at}ucl.ac.uk

Paul Appleby

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Book review: The Essential Vegan Travel Guide

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide: How to plan your stress-free, meat-free trip by Caitlin Galer-Unti. The Vegan Word, 168pp, ISBN 978-0-9986555-0-5, £11-95

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide is not a travel guide as you know it; it doesn’t provide information on specific locations, but rather provides a wealth of information about how to find vegan restaurants and how to thrive as a vegan away from home. Having trekked across various cities in search of a vegan restaurant that has unfortunately closed down, thanks to a ‘traditional’ guide book, this innovative approach is probably a good thing.

Dedicated to “lost vegans everywhere”, the aim of the book is to remove the stress from finding good vegan food wherever you are in the world. It provides a step-by-step approach to finding vegan-friendly (or vegetarian, raw or gluten-free) fare, and hints for travelling (including with dogs or children), finding somewhere to stay, and cooking basic meals in your hotel room. It also includes useful sections on the best dishes to order, and how to order them, in a variety of non-vegan restaurants, including Burmese, French and Jamaican.

A large portion of the book is dedicated to web-based searches and forums, and there is a helpful list of useful resources and recommendations which is also available on the Vegan Word website (www.theveganword.com). The author recommends Happy Cow (www.happycow.net) as the site where she starts all her searches. She also recommends other directories, blogs and local websites. Some of the tips seem a little basic, since most vegan travellers are likely to have used the internet to search for appropriate eateries. However, there are many search tips and innovative ideas that many people may not have thought of. For instance, did you know that putting ‘related:’ before the URL of a website that you are interested in will provide you with sites offering similar information? You might have used a Doodle poll to organise an event, but have you thought of using it to plan your restaurant and café visits by entering the opening times on the days of your trip?

There are recommendations for finding local vegans who may be willing to offer advice, or even a vegan-friendly place to stay, including social networks such as ‘Meetups’ and ‘Couch surfing’, the latter offering travellers the opportunity to find out about local culture by staying with local people or just meeting for a coffee; advice about staying safe is also provided. The information in this book will date as search mechanisms and media fall in and out of fashion, but the principles and the creative thinking are likely to endure, so you probably don’t need to buy it every year! It starts with some of the myths about travelling as a vegan – that you’ll insult the hosts by refusing to try local cuisine, or will starve because you can’t find anything to eat – but ends with a sense that stress-free vegan travel is possible, whatever your destination.

Anne Orgée

OxVeg

Oxfordshire's local veggie group

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