The Problem with Packaging


According to the German federal environment agency, around 140 million tonnes of rubbish are currently floating in our oceans (Welt Online), and as such, man-made packaging and the subsequent rubbish cluttering our land and seas is now one of the greatest challenges we face today. 16 million tonnes of packaging are thrown out every year in Germany alone (and Germans are notoriously diligent recyclers!) I won’t even begin to imagine what that same statistic might be for countries that hardly recycle at all.

Kasia and I once attempted a week of grocery shopping without packaging, and let me tell you, it’s ridiculously difficult. Where does one buy flour without the bag? Or milk without a carton? Or salt? Or lentils? Or oil? When you think about it, almost everything in modern supermarkets is packaged these days…to the point where you can get individual ears of corn vacuum packed in little plastic bags. Is this really necessary?

Well, German co-founder and CEO of ‘Original Unverpackt’, Milena Glimbovski, doesn’t think so. Milena recognised this issue and left her career in communications to join the “zero waste” movement, entering the food retail industry to provide an alternative option for consumers looking to buy groceries without unneccessary packaging…

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Gen’s winter Kale, Swiss Chard, and Chickpea Soup with Sunchoke Chips


It’s winter in Germany. Christmas lights are up, the wind is howling, the mittens are out and my immune system’s down. This means any chance to warm up with a bowl full of delicious greens is more than welcome. Luckily my awesome friend Gen runs an incredible blog, Gratitude and Greens, with some amazing recipes…and I really loved this little number. Also sunchoke chips are my new favourite thing right now, I had so many on my little holiday to Istanbul last weekend -sunchokes are everywhere there!

Anyway, here’s how to make this delicious soup. Happy Tuesday!

– Anna

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Lavender soap and a very good cause


Making soap using lye and natural oils is simple and produces a bar of soap that will effectively kill almost all bacteria, and is just as effective as antibacterial soap. One of my closest friends Ilyena is currently living in a small village in Uganda and working at the Engeye clinic, where she is starting a project to improve community sanitation by teaching soap-making using traditional methods. Meanwhile in St Andrews I have started making soap again and am selling it to raise money for her project. Currently I have vegan lavender soap which I made using olive, (RSPO certified sustainable) palm oil and coconut oil. It is £2.50 per bar, with the profits going directly to Ilyena’s soap project. If you’re in the St Andrews area and are interested in buying some, please email and I’ll get back to you. If you’re living further afield and are still interested, I will do my best to post it!

p.s. if you’re interested in making soap, here is a beginners’ guide.

Veg of the Week: Kohlrabi


When my father suggested we eat kohlrabi for dinner last week, I thought it was some kind of Moroccan tajine. It turns out kohlrabi is actually an incredibly versatile, nutritious winter bulb vegetable similar to a cabbage or turnip, that tastes like a sweeter version of a broccoli stem. Not only is it yummy, it’s super cheap. Kohlrabi in Germany costs only about 40 euro cents a piece (that’s about 30 UK pence).

It’s hard to find tasty seasonal veg in the winter, so I was excited to read about all the different ways you can use kohlrabi with just a little creativity to turn this humble, unassuming vegetable into a great side dish, soup, salad, or curry (apparently it’s used a lot in Northern India). In season from November through to March, kohlrabi is rich in vitamins and dietary fiber, especially vitamin C. Usually I would cook the bulb, but you can also eat the leafy stems, which are rich in B-complex vitamins, carotenes, vitamin A and vitamin K

Papa Steinmann likes to make kohlrabi in hollandaise sauce as a side-dish with leeks, but there are heaps of different ways to eat kohlrabi… so here are just a few of the internet’s finest kohlrabi ideas after the jump.

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