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News Report Page 6 of 11
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Ask the Local Expert - Megafauna's Owner Ben Takes The Hot Seat!

....Please note that the item below is a sponsored feature....

THIS week we get Ben Chew who is the owner of Megafauna, a unique vegan cafe within the heart of Southport Town Centre, on Wesley Street, to take the hot seat. We had so many questions we found it hard to knock it down to 6, so Ben kindly took time out to reply to more of them. We are taking a week out this week, but will bring you our next expert's name and information ion our next issue. These are some of your questions and Ben's answers:-

"As a vegan can I eat from the same area that is used to cook meat if it is washed 1st?" - Chloe Williams, from Southport.

Ben's response:- "That is entirely up to you and your vegan practice. In the transitioning phase it may be something that isn't worth really focusing on, as you progress you may decide that you don't want to work with utensils or in an area that is used to prepare meat. Ultimately as long as it's hygienic there is no problem."

"Can you eat artificial colouring and sweetener as a vegan or vegetarian?" - Connor, from Southport.

Ben's response:- "Artificial colouring in it's nature is made in a lab from chemicals. Inherently there are no animal products in it so from a vegan or vegetarian point of view it should be fine. That being said, it's always good practice as a vegan to check ingredients labels as companies like to sneak animal products into it's ingredients. The same can be said for sweeteners."

"Why do some vegetarians eat eggs and not others?" Alfie Smith, from Old Swan, Liverpool

Ben's response:- "Each persons vegetarian or vegan diet is their own. There are of course general characteristics for a vegetarian or vegan but how they implement that diet still comes down to them. I suppose egg eating vegetarians feel that as a chicken is not killed in the process of egg laying then they are absolved of any ethical guilt. Some may keep their own chickens, or neighbours with someone who has chickens (possible rescued from battery farms) or live near a farm where the chickens are free to roam and thus feel some form of justification t eat the eggs."

"What do you think about meat grown in a lab? Is it ok to eat or not as a vegan, or even as a vegetarian?" - Charlie, from Southport

Ben's response:- "Personally I think it's very clever and could eventually lead to some solutions to problems that are already beginning to present themselves. Ultimately veganism is about not harming another animal for you own benefit. If meat can be grown in a lab without harming an animal, depleteing natural resources and polluting the earth then I am all for it."

"Do you agree with eating bugs and fish?" - Isaac, from St Helens

Ben's response:- "I personally do not eat bugs or fish. Fish especially are extremely important to the ecosystem of the ocean which is currently extremely fragile due to over fishing, chemical pollution and global warming. The ocean is a key ecosystem in the environmental stability of human life on Earth."

"What can you use if you can't use milk, as I'm told some vegetarians use milk and others don't?" - Scarlett Collins, from Formby

Ben's response:- "As vegan, there are several plant based alternatives. Soya has been in use the longest. Others include oat, rice, almond, coconut, hemp, cashew. At Megafauna we use oat milk as it has more neutral taste and creates a stable microfoam for our coffees. Predominantly vegetarians won't eat an animal but will eat animal products, eggs and dairy. This is because the animal is not killed in the extraction process."

"I want to become a vegan, but worried that I will not get all the vitamins I require. Is this a problem getting all the vitamins you need?" - Elizabeth, from Mossley Hill

Ben's response:- "I believe that there is no greater risk to being deficient in any vitamin between a plant based and meat based diets. I know many people that aren't vegan who have very poor diets and will likely experience some form of deficiency in their lifetime. Similarly I have known vegans and vegetarians that have had deficiencies in their diet. A vegan diet will encourage you to have a varied and colourful diet which will naturally contain more vitamins in it than just a chicken sandwich, or steak and chips for example. However you nn still just as easily eat vegan food with a poor nutritional content and suffer as a result. In the end supplements are readily available and relatively cheap so any vitamin can be easily topped up with a mulitvit quite easily."

"Can you get fat being a vegan or vegetarian?" - Charlotte Phillips, from Crosby

Ben's response:- "If you approach any diet without care you are in danger of both gaining weight and losing weight to a level that may negatively impact your health."

"I'm still at School and I have been a vegetarian for a few years, but I find it hard to get adults to understand I don't eat meat. My teacher said I'm more at risk of becoming anaemia, is that correct?" - Darcey, from Ainsdale

Ben's response:- "Iron deficient anemia can be a concern for a vegan. This is because sources of iron from plants is trickier for the body to absorb than animal sources. However if you approach your transition with care and research sources of iron that you can easily consume it will not be a concern. If it is a concern for you, you could always take an iron supplement to ensure you maintain a healthy level whilst you learn more about iron sources in a plant based diet."

"Eating at restaurants can be difficult as I'm currently dating. What places would recommend looking at, if a romantic and extravagant fine dining experience?" - Phoebe Wilson, from Kirkby

Ben's recommendations:-

» "Mowgli, Water Street, Liverpool."

» "The Art School, Sugnall Street, Liverpool."

» "Duke Street Market, Duke Street, Liverpool."

» "Allotment, Lloyd Street, Manchester."

» "The Walled Garden, Whalley Range, Manchester, but please note that booking is essential for this venue."

"Are their any vegan and as a vegetarian society in Southport?" - Thomas Murphy, from Ormskirk

Ben's response:- "There are a few groups on Facebook. One group had a monthly meet up for a little while. Other than that I'm not aware of any active groups that meet in person. We have a lovely community at Megafauna and there is always someone there to talk all things vegan."

"What animal products can vegetarians eat?" - Jane from Formby

Ben's response:- "It comes down to a persons own practice really. The definition of vegetarian though, means that they abstain from consuming meat. Therefore eggs, and all dairy can be consumed whilst maintaining a vegetarian diet. This also extends also extends to eating honey. Whether you deem fish to be 'meat' or not us up to you and pescatarians. What it comes down to is, do you know what the source is of the food on your plate. Do you understand and appreciate what process that item has taken to get there. Has a living being suffered its entire life for you to have some cheese or bacon for breakfast."

If you would like to ake part in this feature please email us via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com with contact information, a statement about what you do, your business name and where in the Liverpool City Region you are located!

....Please note that the item above is a sponsored feature....

₤1.6M big to transform Southport has been successful!

SOUTHPORT'S Townscape Heritage Project Team have been celebrating after learning that their bid to secure National Lottery funding of ₤1.6M to transform the seaside town, through heritage led regeneration and complementary activities has been accepted.

The Sefton Council group have been working hard alongside partners at the Southport Business Improvement District (BID) and both have said that:- "We are delighted to announce that we have been successful!"

This new additional funding award will now be added to the Sefton Council's contribution of ₤200,000 into a growing pot, this could eventually amass up to ₤2.5 million for the project which will be used to fund property improvements, skills training and community activities, within the Southport Townscape Heritage Project (STHP).

Cllr Darren Viedman, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said:- "Since our 1st successful bid, a lot of work has been undertaken to fully develop the project including the adoption of the Conservation Area Management Plan, discussions with building owners, building property surveys and valuations, further public consultation and workshops with project partners. This additional funding will go towards our work to enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas. The overall project also aims to increase local knowledge and appreciation of Southport's rich heritage and inspire future generations using specialist educational courses, innovative digital technology and complementary heritage focused activities. We continue to work extremely closely with our partners at Southport BID and the Southport Civic Society, as well as target property owners within the Town, to successfully deliver the scheme."

The STHP seeks to enhance the character and historical identity of Southport, including:-

► The structural repair of historic buildings.

► Reinstatement of authentic architectural features.

► Educational programmes.

► Enhanced use of vacant floor space in historical buildings.

David Renwick, National Lottery Heritage Fund's Director for the North of England, said:- "Many of the nation's collective childhood memories are linked to the British seaside, but in recent years it has been saddening to see some of our coastal towns fall into disrepair. As the UK's largest funder of heritage, here at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we're delighted to award a grant that will go towards reversing that decline in Southport and breathe new life into the buildings found in the Lord Street and Promenade Conservation Areas to be enjoyed all year round."

For more information about the STHP or to get involved please email:- Paul.Crowther@Sefton.Gov.UK or call:- 07971 811753. To keep up to date with the project and find out more information on Southport's Heritage visit:- Sefton.Gov.UK/Townscape.

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