Eco-living – we were the first!

Vegetarians were among the first eco-warriors – committed to living a lifestyle of compassion and sustainability for our world. Over 65 years ago, in 1951, Vegetarian Living NZ magazine published the New Earth Chapter, and its a marvellously modern statement!

‘We submit that without fair play to earth we cannot live physically; without fair play to neighbour, we cannot live socially; without fair play to better self, we cannot live individually.

Pumpkin‘We believe in the development of a fuller understanding of the true relationship between all forms of life in an endeavour to maintain a natural balance between minerals, vegetation and mankind, man being primarily dependent on the vegetation of the earth for both food and clothing.

‘In order to get food, clothes and shelter to enable us to live our bodily life on this earth we must take care of the earth and, especially, not meddle wantonly with the natural circulation of water, which meddling has been the cause of great loss of soil all over the glove, and we must rightly return to earth the waste of whatever we take from the earth.

Fenced-mountain- stream

‘We submit that water must be a basic consideration in all our national and earth-wide forest programmes; streams and rivers must be restored to their natural motion, and floods and droughts must be eliminated.

‘Forests and woodlands are intimately linked with biological, social and spiritual well-being. The minimum tree cover for safety in Australia, the United States and Canada is 25 per cent of every catchment area with the right constitution of mixed species, including broad-leaf trees – monoculture in any form being injurious to the land.

‘We believe in the traditional ideal that our fields should be “fields of the woods”, by which is meant landscape farming of every valley and plain, with woodlands in high places, shelter belts, orchards of mixed species and hedgerows everywhere.’

“The Men of the Trees”, The Gate, Abbotsbury, Dorset.

The Vegetarian Society works tirelessly to promote vegetarian living and prevention of farmed animal cruelty. It can be reached here – annual fees are only $40 and include the magazine.






Vegan Food Fair 2016 – Auckland

For the very first time, The Vegan Food Fair hits ASB Showgrounds on Sunday 10th April 10am – 5pm, showcasing delightful vegan food from around the country.

The vegan movement is growing in popularity, with many people embracing vegan food as part of their diet for ethical and health reasons. All are welcome at the Vegan Food Fair, from long-time vegans, vegetarians, and those who are curious about the lifestyle.

Come and enjoy a huge range of stalls serving delicious plant-based food and beverages, as well as music and entertainment for the whole family. Treat your taste buds, educate yourself, and discover New Zealand’s best vegan food.

The delectable range of treats and stalls is here

Vegan Food Fair

10% of kiwis are vegetarian or nearly so

Lacto-vegWe’re in increasingly good company! – increasing being the operative word –

More than one in 10 Kiwis now say they are always or mostly vegetarian, up two percentage points from 2011.

The figure comes from a poll carried out by Roy Morgan Research, which also found a much higher rate of vegetarianism in the North Island than the South Island.

The poll, carried out among people aged 14 or older, found 10.3 per cent of New Zealanders overall described themselves as mostly or always vegetarian. That was up from 8.1 per cent in 2011.

In the North Island the figure was 11.1 per cent, up from 8.4 per cent, while in the South Island it was 7.8 per cent, up from 6.9 per cent.

More details here

Takapuna’s Cafe Mimosa is worth a visit

Mimosa Cafe

The mimosa flower is a delicate, fragrant pink bloom that heralds spring’s movement into summer. Different cultures ascribe different meanings to the mimosa – delicacy, sensitivity, calming – and in Chinese medicine it’s described as the ‘happiness herb’ because of its ability to open a person’s heart to happiness.

Cafe Mimosa has been on Lake Rd, Takapuna for some time but became wholly vegetarian and mainly vegan just a few months ago. The cafe is also committed to providing gluten free, organic and Fair Trade options.

So – how does Cafe Mimosa rate on the happiness scale?

Matt and I wandered in for a visit on a sunny late spring day. The cafe is bright and busy with a light rustic decor. There’s a blackboard menu which is adapted for summer and winter and a cabinet with snacks and vegan and gluten free cakes made on the premises.

I ordered the Crispy Tofu and Vege Bowl with brown rice, eggplant, vegetables and miso soup ($18). Matt selected the Breakfast Mushrooms with cashew cream and sourdough bread ($17).

There’s a Japanese flavour to the serving style at the table and this is reflected in some of the menu. The Crispy Tofu was quite a charming dish, and to my delight turned out to be a true macrobiotic meal (macrobiotics originated from traditional Japanese cooking). It was served in a wide glazed pottery bowl and came with a mug of white (shiro) miso soup; this is a light miso appropriate for summertime.

The short grain brown rice is my favourite and, when cooked well as this was, releases its slightly nutty flavour as you chew. The tofu and veges – eggplant, asparagus, mushrooms – had a light sauce to bind them, but not so much as to drown the flavour of the rice – in face my only wish is that there was a little more of the sauce. There was even a sprinkling of fine nori seaweed strips and saffron for garnish. The miso soup, garnished with watercress, added a welcome sweet/salty balance to the meal.

Matt’s mushrooms looked attractive but he found them to be a little overwhelmed by the sage, as was the cashew cream.

The main meals all looked to be nutrient dense, which is a pleasure to see in a vegetarian cafe and suggests a real understanding of sound vegan nutrition. Even the mushrooms were served with a protein, the cashew cream. That suggests a real understanding of nutritional principles, as so often mushrooms are served just with toast and there’s no substance in that at all.  mimosa-flower

In January I returned for a quick lunch from the cabinet.

Falafel rolls are frequently strongly flavoured and quite dry, needing more sauce than is usually provided; happily, Cafe Mimosa’s version ($7) is light, gently flavoured and definitely not dry – most enjoyable on a very warm summer day. I followed this with a slice of vegan, gluten free chocolate orange tart. The combination of rich dark chocolate and orange flavour with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds was packed with flavour, and was every bit as rich as you’d expect.

In February Matt and I found ourselves at Takapuna Beach again for lunch. This time Matt had the Crispy Tofu and Vege Bowl, which he enjoyed, though he also would have liked more of the sauce. I ordered the slightly smaller Mimosa Bowl of brown rice, mixed herby beans, olives, avo, coriander, mustard and sour cream ($14). (There would have been cheddar cheese but the staff were unable to confirm that it was a vegetarian cheese i.e. that it had vegetable rather than animal rennet.) It was well seasoned and satisfying.

The staff have always been most friendly and helpful. Cafe Mimosa is a welcome and distinctive addition to the region’s vegetarian cafes. I’ll be more than happy to return any time I’m in the area.

New Hastings stockist of Guide to VegeCafesNZ

Cornucopia Organics

Summertime travellers through Hawke’s Bay rejoice!

Cornucopia Organics at 221A Heretaunga St, St Leonards, Hastings is now stocking the Guide to VegeCafes in NZ

With your copy in hand, you’ll know immediately where to go for vegetarian and vegan food anywhere in New Zealand – not only where to find them but exactly what to expect from each cafe – food style & ethnicity, plus whether gluten free and/or organic; opening hours, parking, disability access, and more.

Touring around NZ this summer …

???????????????????????????????Whether you’re vegetarian or not, if you’re travelling to or through unfamiliar territory – or even the well-travelled routes – it’s always useful to know where to go for a good quick meal.

We’ve done the research for you! The Guide to Vegetarian Cafes shows you where to find 60 cafes from Whangarei to Dunedin.

You can be confident that you’ll get a good meal – vegetarian cafes are usually a reliable choice for tasteful, healthy food.

It tells you whether they provide Kiwi style food, or Indian or Asian meals; whether their menu caters for vegetarians or vegans, and is gluten free and/or organic; what days and hours they’re open; whether there is disabled access and facilities; where to find parking.

So don’t leave home until you have your Guide to Vegetarian Cafes!

Where to find them? There’s a list of stockists here or you can buy direct through this site Buy the Guide


Golden Bay Organics, Takaka is our new stockist

If you’re travelling around the Top of the South this summer, do call in for supplies at our newest stockist Golden Bay Organics in Takaka.

‘GB organics is a funky shop on the main St of Takaka in Golden Bay. We stock a wide range of Organic food and products including bodycare and herbs. We are a vegetarian store and proud of it! We endeavor to stock as much local fruit and vege as possible.’


47 Commercial Street
Takaka, New Zealand, 7110

Get Driving Directions


Work 03 525 8677
Fax 03 525 8608

Store Hours

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 2pm