Food & Drink: Gastropod

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Indy Lifestyle Online
WITH his winning smile and stripy blazer, Peter Cox looks like a daytime TV presenter. He is, however, ringleader of a plot to persuade people not to eat meat. In the introduction to his new book, The Realeat Encyclopaedia Of Vegetarian Living (Bloomsbury, pounds 16.99), Cox quotes George Orwell: 'changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty, or even of religion'.

The Gastropod finds the book's polemic indigestible, but thinks the encyclopaedia is admirably comprehensive. It even includes a phonetic guide to saying 'no' to meat in 21 languages. In order to promote this work, Mr Cox, who describes himself as a 'reformed advertising person', has joined forces with the Vegetarian and Vegan societies and is embarking on a six-month tour to spread the message that 'You Don't Need Meat'.

The Paul Cox Crusade is organised by Viva (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals), a charity to be launched in October. Its aim is to demonstrate that 'vegetarianism is a desperately needed first step in saving our suffering planet'. Still in quaint marketing speak, Mr Cox seeks to 'incentivate' existing vegetarians to make at least one new convert each year.

IF YOU are a vegetarian and are struggling not to harm living things in the capital, the Cruelty-Free Guide to London might help you negotiate the city without compromising your principles. Containing listings of vegetarian restaurants and wholefood shops, plus a guide to tourist attractions in London and days out in seven provincial towns, it is available mail order by sending a cheque for pounds 5.60 made payable to CFL at: 18 Jarvis House, Goldsmith Road, London SE15 5SY.

ORGANIC Box Schemes, whereby subscribers pay weekly and in advance to have boxes of assorted, organically grown produce delivered to the door, operate around the the country on a strictly local basis. Now Thoby Young, the enterprising owner of a gourmet mail-order business called The Fresh Food Co, has come up with a plan to supply people all over Britain with environmentally friendly fruit and veg.

He has hooked up with the Eastern Counties Organic Producers, a farmers' co-operative which grows a good range of produce, all of which is certified by the Soil Association. It will pack a selection weighing 15lb into an artfully designed cardboard box and dispatch it by overnight courier for pounds 19.95.

Mr Young will start his scheme as soon as he has enough subscribers. Those wishing to enrol can contact him on 081-969 0351.