Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sleepy Time

As of April 30th, it will be illegal to place herbal medicines onto the market without a liscence.
This means, that if you want to try and have a good nights sleep, you might have to rely on prescreptive drugs. These drugs have well known-dangerous side effects and withdrawal effects. Also, almost all pills to help sleep work to produce an effect that switches off the adrenilin in your brain. This could make your body less responsive to the natural neurotransmitter GABA or interfere with your body's own GABA production. This means that when you try to get off these drugs, you are likely to develop extreme anxiety and insomnia.
So this new herbal regime is an appauling idea! "You are smashing an industry built on ethics. An industry that is trying to help people to get well" said Sara Novakovic.
Instead, we shoud be turning to herbal help. Pukka night time tea (stocked in our shop) is a great, naturally caffeine free way to get a good nights sleep. Containing organic oat flower to calm and nourish, lavender which soothes and relaxes and limeflower to help settle the mind. Just drink it in the evenings to prepare for a deep and restful sleep.
Also, magnesium is reported to have a great effect on the body, calming the nervous system and reducing insomnia. Magnesium can be found in our new Clearspring roasted seeds and soya.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Not so sweet?

From the 1980s to the 1990s there has been a 35% increase in the consumption of fruit drinks and a 41% increase in the consumption of soft drinks.
In the 1990s the main sugar in most soft drinks changed from glucose to sucrose. Fructose or fruit sugar is perceived as better for you,  now almost all fructose in drinks is derived from 'high-fructose corn syrup'.
High fructose corn syrup is actually 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Sugar (sucrose) is one fructose molecule and one glucose molecule (50:50) therefore, in relation to your body, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are essentially the same thing.
Most people in the western world are consuming 63 pounds of sugar a year most hidden in drinks and foods containing high fructose corn syrup.
Cola drinks however, contain 2 different  ingredients, caffeine which makes you go to the toilet more, and sodium which makes you thirsty. All to make you consume more of their drink.
Fructose sounds like a better sugar to use, because your body cannot use it as an immediate energy source, but fresh fruit, containing fructose also contains fibre, which slows down the the release of fructose, making it difficult to consume too much. This fibre however, is not so common within fruit drinks themselves.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

What is the difference between jam sugar and preserving sugar?

Preserving sugar contains no additives and dissolves slower than regular sugar which reduces the risk of burning. It also allows any impurities to rise to the top for easy skimming, so it gives a clearer set.
Jam sugar on the other hand, contains added pectin and citric acid to ensure a high quality set with minimum boiling.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Stanol or Stenal ester?

The first time many of us heard of plant sterols and plant stanol esters, and their ability to help decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels, was in a margarine commercial. Brands like Benecol and Take Control hit the market by storm a few years ago—and their message came through loud and clear. But here’s the thing: many foods are natural sources of these same phytochemicals. You can find plant sterols and stanol esters in plant foods like these:
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Legumes
  • Rye bread
  • Whole wheat (in the wheat bran and wheat germ)
  • Sunflower and sesame seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia
  • Peanuts
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Olive oil
And here’s a health benefit :  some evidence shows that they can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast and prostate. How ever stenal ester does not pass through the gut and gets absorbed by the blood stream some research suggest that this actually increase the risk of hart disease and until proven otherwise is best avoided.
Stanols start out as stenal but are hydrogenated and become stanols which are not absorbed into the blood stream .

Monday, 24 January 2011


Who needs Fairtrade?

Brazil is booming. Its cities are buzzing with people making the most of economic optimism – doing business, spending money and adapting their lifestyles to fit the fast-paced change. Look at countries like India, China and Mexico and you’ll find similarities. So why, you might ask, do these countries need Fairtrade? Brush off the brick dust and you’ll find another side to Brazil. Outside the cities, in rural communities there’s little evidence of the new-found wealth making its way into the hands of those working on the land.

Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), the umbrella organisation of Fairtrade, is responsible for defining the global reach of Fairtrade. The geographical scope is broadly based on a list published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee. It shows the countries which receive overseas development aid from the member countries of the committee – these include the US, Japan, France, the UK and other EU member states.

Within this broad reach, it’s agricultural and commodity producers whom FLO standards are designed to benefit, specifically those producers who are marginalised by the complex supply chains and imbalances of power in conventional trade. In Mexico for example, coffee farmers live in remote mountainous areas where livelihoods are fragile and there is a lack of government investment in infrastructure. This is despite the expansion of coffee houses we’ve seen in almost every high street in the UK, because in real terms, the price of coffee, and therefore the income coffee farmers have to provide for their families, has fallen by more than two thirds in the last 40 years. And India, although rated by the World Bank as a middle-income country, has a yawning divide between the incomes of the crowds joining the newly prosperous urban middle classes and those scraping together a living in farming communities. It’s still a country where almost 30 percent of the population lives in poverty and in every 1,000 under fives, 66 children will not see their sixth birthdays. Compare this to the UK, where the figure falls to just five.

So that means that when it comes to which countries Fairtrade works to benefit the poorest farmers and workers, the scope of Fairtrade encompasses almost all of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania and the poorest countries in Asia. Currently the geographical scope doesn’t include and European countries on the OECD list.

But as we all know, things move fast in the global economy. FLO reviews the list of countries every few years to make sure it still fits the bill when it comes to securing the best deal for disadvantaged farmers and workers.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Marmalade time

Dundee Marmalade, homemade in Bembridge from someone who comes from Dundee,

Now available in the shop!! A tart zesty tasty marmalade made to the original and best recipe from Dundee.

The start of the world famous Keiller's marmalade from Dundee began by chance in 1700. The story goes that a humble Dundee grocer, the young James Keiller, took advantage of a Spanish ship taking refuge from a winter storm in Dundee harbour carrying a large cargo of Seville oranges. These he bought in large quantity, very cheaply, but found that owing to their bitterness he was unable to sell them! His ingenious wife, Janet, not wishing to waste the fruit, used the oranges, instead of her normal quinces, to make some pots of preserve. They proved to be so popular that the Dundee public demanded more and the Keiller's from then on ensured a regular order for Seville oranges. Several generations later, in 1797, another Mrs Keiller and her son James finally felt confident enough to build the world's first marmalade factory.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Spring Is In The Air

Yes, it's still cold out there, but the sun is shining, it's a new year and we're expecting it to be a busy one here at May Contain Nuts.  Having been open nearly a year now it's becoming clearer and clearer what our customers want.  Organic, eco friendly, fair trade, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free. You name it, we've got it and, if we haven't, it's never a problem to source food to fit in with your particular dietary requirements.  We're even expanding our range of cosmetics!  There are plans to paint the outside of the shop in an eye catching colour.  The window has just been cleared allowing light to flood in, and allowing passers by to see inside properly.  The shop is constantly evolving and changing, improving and growing.  Check back here often for updates on new stock and photos.