Yesterday the Vegan Fest in London was packed as usual. The talk got under way at 1pm, introduced by Sagar. After some historical remarks about hemp, we then got to the core of the issue, nutrition. Samples of many products were at this point handed out, including the very packs seen to the left - these also came in chocolate and plain. Nutiva had kindly sent these all the way from California, and a Canadian company, Vega, also sent in supplies. No one went hungry, but there were a few unhappy souls who did not quite take kindly to us spilling the beans on soya, which was a feature in the Ecologist. As is often the case, there are people who ask inane questions about the facts, but refuse to read or listen. The Ecologist had also given us a supply of their magazines, which the diehard soya lovers refused to read! Most, however, were happy to have such a good magazine in their hands. A small point made by one of the audience members was that the Good Oil packs had salmon recipes on them, yes, that was just the way Good Oil is, and the owner, Henry Braham, who lives a short walk away from the fest, did not bother to show up - he was off in his 4x4! Not quite the way to go for anyone in the hemp business. We have been trying for years to convince him not to use defoliants on the leaves when he harvests, but he is not one for answering emails or returning calls. Oh well. I can recommend here Hemp Foods for You instead, run by Paul Dean in Glastonbury. He presses his seeds 24 hours before delivery and uses a cold stone. And needless to say, 4x4s are not his means of transport.
But getting back to the controversy, it looks like it upset not just the soya fans at a vegan fest, but the bigwigs in the soya industry are upset too, and are pulling strings behind the scenes to keep other journalists off the story. This is where the Ecologist really shines, it does not have ads for 4x4s and it does not give in to such pressure. Sadly, the press is mostly just a whore for the rich 4x4 driving types, and the little that filters through is but a fraction of the crucial information we need to be getting. The soya issue is one of the most important stories that can be printed, yet it may get lost due to journalistic cowardice. We may see a press blackout on this issue, so it is good to be able to shine some light on this while we can.