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Ugly Truth Behind Food Served At Family Attractions Revealed

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Kindergarten school lunch - ham & cheese rolls, nuts, veggie chips, strawberries and kiwi, organic dark chocolate by Melissa via Flickr

Children’s food and drink at UK’s top visitor attractions has been ranked today in a new league table, published by the Soil Association’s ‘Out to Lunch’ campaign.

Working with an army of ‘secret diner’ parents, the Soil Association has uncovered unhealthy pre-packed lunchboxes, dodgy ingredients, and a lack of transparency about food sourcing practices in the UK’s most popular museums, art galleries, zoos, visitor centres, and theme parks, as well as some good food at reasonable prices.

· The survey found children’s lunchboxes lacking in healthy options and overloaded with sugar. A lunchbox at London Zoo included up to 36g of sugar – 189% of a child’s daily sugar allowance.

· Attractions served burgers flavoured with monosodium glutamate (MSG) and meals that included E-numbers linked to negative effects on children’s behaviours (E120, E123, E131, E151).

· 75% of children’s lunchboxes surveyed didn’t include any veg or salad options.

· The British Museum, the most popular attraction in Britain, declined to confirm whether it uses any British produce or local ingredients. Only a minority of attractions said they used British ingredients throughout their menus.

· The Natural History Museum and Brighton Pier scored in joint last place in the league table. The Eden Project scored in first place.

· The survey found cost was no barrier to good food – children’s meals at the five bottom scoring attractions were on average more than £1 more expensive than children’s meals at the five top scoring attractions.

The Out to Lunch campaign has uncovered a lack of healthy choices for children at popular family attractions. 75% of children’s lunchboxes didn’t include any veg or salad options. 50% of attractions offered lunchboxes including muffins, cakes and sweet treats, but no fresh fruit. These findings come weeks after the Government announced new plans to tackle childhood obesity.

Secret diner parents reported that while sugary drinks were readily available, few attractions were prominently providing free fresh drinking water for children. When secret diner parents at 900-acre Alton Towers asked for a glass of tap water, they were refused and told to buy a bottle from the restaurant. Secret diners at Stonehenge commented that free drinking water was available for dogs but not families. At no attractions were healthy drinks the normal option in vending machines.

Millions of families visit the UK’s iconic visitor attractions during the school holidays. Parents say that food on offer isn’t up to scratch – only 14% of parents say that they think that children’s food at popular attractions is good enough.

Rob Percival, Soil Association Policy Officer, said: “Visitor attractions are making life hard for parents who want to enjoy a healthy and happy day out. Lunchboxes loaded with sugar and unimaginative ultra-processed foods are the norm. So long as junk-filled lunchboxes continue to dominate family outings, parents will have a hard time convincing their children that healthy food can be a treat too.”

The Eden Project (1st place) and Chester Zoo (2nd place) topped the league table. Both attractions offered healthier meal choices. Chester Zoo served locally sourced milk and farm assured meat. All meals at the Eden Project were freshly prepared and included locally sourced meat and vegetables.

An interactive league table profiling each attraction can be viewed on the Soil Association website from 19 October 2016: http://www.soilassociation.org/outtolunch

The survey also found:

· A lack of transparency over ingredient provenance and quality, with 50% of attractions failing to come clean about where they sourced their ingredients, including whether they used any British or local produce.
· The Natural History Museum ranked in last place, having declined to disclose information regarding the provenance and environmental sustainability of its food. The Museum declined to comment on whether it serves sustainable fish, seasonal produce, or whether it takes action on food waste. The Museum menu and website make no statements regarding ingredient provenance, seasonality or sustainability.
· Other attractions were found to be serving chips pre-prepared in Holland, chicken nuggets shipped over from Thailand, and potatoes pre-mashed in Belgium.

The Out to Lunch campaign is calling on attractions to take five simple steps to improve the food and experience they offer to children and families:

1. Ensure that all children’s lunchboxes and main meals include a portion of veg or salad
2. Ditch unimaginative ultra-processed foods and focus more on fresh ingredients
3. Protect parents from an over-abundance of sweet treats, which make it harder to enjoy a healthy and happy day out
4. Make free fresh drinking water available to families throughout their visit
5. Support British farmers by buying the best of British produce, including organic

Features

What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Features

Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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