New Vegan Melting Mature and Blue Cheese Launched in U.K.

Vegan cheese fans, Ilchester is launching its Vegan Blue Cheeze and Melting Mature at Tesco.

The makers of the iconic vegan Applewood cheese revealed the new cheeses will be available from 5th of July.

The latest cheesy release comes after the brand saw huge success with its Christmas vegan cheese board, featuring Applewood vegan cheese, Mexicana, Vegan Blue, and Melting Mature.

Moreover, the brand’s award-winning formula for its vegan Applewood has been applied to its latest cheese alternatives.

Ilchester’s latest release will give those who are following a plant-based diet greater choice.

The Ilchester Vegan Blue Cheeze will feature unique blue spirulina veins to mimic the look of blue cheese as well as the same creamy texture and sharp, and salty taste of the dairy version.

This creamy alternative is perfect in salads or on top of crackers with sweet chutney. Alternatively, Ilchester recommends serving Vegan Blue with cranberry and dried cherry sauce.

In addition, the Melting Mature is set to be THE mature vegan cheddar cheese. The Melting Mature shares the same meltability factor as dairy cheeses, something that vegans have often find lacking in other plant-based cheeses.

You can grate Melting Mature on top of a fresh pizza base, slice it up in a vegan burger or even use it in vegan mac ‘n’ cheese for a plant-based cheesy dream.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

Study: A Healthy Plant-based Diet Slashes the Risk of Covid-19 Infection

Veronika Charvátová wrote . . . . . . . . .

The biggest study to date investigating the link between diet and Covid-19 brought incredible results – having a healthy diet cuts the risk of infection but even if you do get infected, it makes you much less likely to suffer severe symptoms!

What did the study find?

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study included almost 600,000 participants, making it the largest to date examining the links between diet and Covid risk.

The results showed that people with the highest quality diet – a healthy plant-based diet – had a nine per cent lower risk of catching Covid and were 41 per cent less likely to suffer severe Covid than those with a poor quality diet. This healthy diet effect was independent of other known risk factors for Covid, such as age, weight and underlying health conditions.

This is major news as we have so far only seen diet lower the risk of severity of the disease – not actually lowering your risk of being infected in the first place.

The diet effect was even stronger in low-income areas – people with a low-quality diet living in impoverished conditions had a 39 per cent higher risk of Covid infection than those on the same diet in affluent areas. The study authors say that this may be, at least in part, caused by stress people in deprived areas face on a daily basis.

What do the researchers recommend?

In a video conference, the study authors discussed a number of things and offered their insights. When it comes to the question of vegan diet, they highlighted that while people on healthy vegan diets were best off, it’s crucial to have a healthy diet – not just vegan. Bear in mind, chips, chocolate and biscuits are vegan but hardly count as healthy! Centering your diet around unprocessed plant foods, such as wholegrains, pulses, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, is the best approach.

These foods are not just nutritious but also rich in fibre and so feed the good gut bacteria. Having the ‘right’ gut bacteria is important because they can support our immune system. On the other hand, ‘bad’ gut bacteria that thrive on a diet full of meat, fat and processed foods can undermine the immune system by making it fight the toxic by-products of these bacteria. You can boost the good gut bacteria by eating fibre-rich and fermented foods, such as plant yoghurt, tempeh, miso, kimchi or sauerkraut.

One of the authors also pointed out that it’s better to get nutrients from foods rather than supplements, as having a healthy diet supports your health much more than supplementing a bad diet with vitamins and minerals.

However, there are exceptions – we should all take vitamin D and B12 supplements as it’s difficult to obtain enough of these from foods or sun (vitamin D) alone. And it may be useful to take algae-based omega-3 supplement – plant foods, such as flaxseed, chia seeds or walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats but our bodies need to convert them into another form to use them. Luckily, there are tiny algae that contain the ‘right’ form of omega-3s that our bodies can use straight away – that’s where fish get their omega-3s from – so many omega-3 supplements are now made from them and widely available.

Has there been any other research to support this?

Yes! Another study came out just three weeks ago showing that a healthy plant-based diet can slash the risk of severe Covid symptoms by a massive 73 per cent.

At the same time, the study also found that people who ate low-carb, high-protein diets typically high in meat, eggs and fats, had an increased risk of severe Covid-19 symptoms. Compared to the plant-based people, they were almost four times more likely to have a moderate-to-severe form of the disease!

Moderate-to-severe symptoms mean breathing problems, fever, cough, low oxygen in the body and the need of medical help.

Is this all new information?

While the ZOE COVID Symptom Study is the first one to show that a healthy vegan diet can lower your risk of infection with Covid-19, we’ve known for a while that a healthy diet can protect us from the severe form of the disease.

Viva!’s Slash the Risk campaign has been drawing attention to the major role a healthy vegan diet can play in the Covid fight since last year.

Vegans have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer – all of which are the main risk factors making Covid-19 more likely to result in severe, life-threatening disease.

This new study shows how powerful our diet and lifestyle can be – eating plants, avoiding ultra-processed foods and managing our stress levels makes us more resilient, healthier and stronger against infections!

Source: Viva!

What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Set Meal at VegeCafe Lotus in Toyohashi, Japan

The main dish is Barley & Millet Hamburger Steak.

When, Where Was the First Case of COVID-19?

The first case of COVID-19 may have occurred in China weeks earlier than previously thought, a new study claims.

The first officially identified case occurred in early December 2019, but increasing evidence suggests the original case may have emerged earlier.

In this study, British researchers conducted a new analysis and concluded that the first case of COVID-19 arose between early October and mid-November of 2019 in China, with the most likely date of origin being Nov. 17.

“The method we used was originally developed by me and a colleague to date extinctions, however, here we use it to date the origination and spread of COVID-19,” said study author David Roberts, from the University of Kent, in the United Kingdom.

“This novel application within the field of epidemiology offers a new opportunity to understand the emergence and spread of diseases as it only requires a small amount of data,” Roberts explained.

For the study, his team repurposed a mathematical model originally developed by conservation scientists to determine the date of extinction of a species, based on recorded sightings of the species.

They reversed the method to determine the date when COVID-19 most likely originated, based on when some of the earliest known cases occurred in 203 countries.

Along with pushing back the likely date of the first case, the findings suggest that the pandemic spread more quickly than what’s officially accepted, the study authors added.

For example, the new analysis estimates that the first case outside of China occurred in Japan on Jan. 3, 2020, the first case in Europe occurred in Spain on Jan. 12, 2020, and the first case in North America occurred in the United States on Jan. 16, 2020.

The findings were published online in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Learning more about of the origins of COVID-19 could improve understanding of its continued spread, Roberts said in a journal news release.

The approach used in this study could be applied to better understand the spread of other infectious diseases in the future, he added.

Source: HealthDay

Broccoli Nicoise


2-3 lb broccoli
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 oz black olives, pitted and sliced
8 anchovy fillets, desalted by soaking in a little milk
3 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper
1 cup good red wine, preferably Burgundy type


  1. Wash the broccoli and cut into flowerets.
  2. Put 1/4 of the broccoli in a flameproof casserole (preferably earthenware) with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 the onion, a few slices of olive, and a few pieces of anchovy.
  3. Add another laver of broccoli to the casserole and sprinkle generously with 1/2 the grated cheese.
  4. Add another tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Repeat layers once more, then pour over the wine.
  6. Cover, and cook very slowly on top of the stove or in a moderate oven (350°F) for 1 hour, or until the broccoli is tender and has absorbed most of the cooking juices. Serve in the cooking dish.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Cook’s Book

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