This week (15th – 21st May) is Vegetarian Week! And Infinity Foods has been a proud, committed vegetarian food shop since its inception in 1971, you may not be surprised to find out that we may be responsible for why the vegetarian diet is so popular today.
Why we are vegetarian?
The story of Infinity Foods begins in the Moroccan villages in the Ourika Valley & Glastonbury Festival.
Peter Deadman one of our founding members was living the hippie dream travelling around Morocco and living a life of sex, drugs and rock & roll. Until his travels were cut short when he, unfortunately, caught a nasty bought of hepatitis. While on his sick bed looking for a more natural cure he began reading books on wholefood diet and macrobiotics.
Upon returning to the UK, with a new lease on life and real energy for everything health, harmony and whole foods, Peter responded to an advert at Sussex Uni.
In the summer of 1970 looking for partners to open a wholefood restaurant at the University of Sussex. Peter met Ian Loeffler (another founding member). Thanks to passionate campaigning, the Students’ Union eventually agreed to let Peter & Ian hire a big basement restaurant, and in 1970 they opened Biting Through. A macrobiotic restaurant and the namesake of our blog.
The restaurant was a big hit due to its huge portions, low prices & bizarre ingredients, like short-grain brown rice, seaweeds and unyeasted bread.
It wasn’t long before the demand for the ingredients grew as these were unavailable in shops in the 70s and it became clear that the vegetarian movement was growing.
So, after a busy year, Peter and his friends needed the cash to set up a shop, and catering for the first Glastonbury festival was the answer. Infinity Foods spread the vegetarian message of cheap, healthy and plentiful food, cooking up vats of lentil daal and rice and turning out meals by the thousand.
The idea of simple natural foods, particularly whole grains and vegetables, was in the air at the time. Still, in the UK at least, basic foodstuffs such as brown rice were only found in tiny and expensive packets in health food shops, otherwise dominated by pills, potions and cosmetics. And thus a different kind of supermarket was needed, Infinity Foods.
Why Be Vegetarian?
There are so many diets out there, and it is hard to know whether you are eating the best foods. However time and time again the wholefoods vegetarian lifestyle keeps being awarded the top prize.
An estimated 70% of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Livestock produces more greenhouse gases than the entire wolds transport system, which includes flights.
The farming of these animals uses large amounts of fresh water and land. The land and water used to grow the food for the livestock could be used to feed us.
We have known this for many years which is why Infinity Foods has been a vegetarian shop since its inception. Eating a vegetarian diet is the simplest way to stay healthy and look after the planet so that future generations can enjoy travelling or going to the Glastonbury festival.
Read the Biting Through Blog for recipe ideas, like pizza, fennel cassolette and much more.