Republic of Moreland

March 24, 2010

Practising what we preach

I’m conflicted about vege2go in Lygon Street, Brunswick. The food is okay, the prices are somewhat okay, the place is clean and pleasant. And the folk are very nice and they’re kiddy-friendly and all. But while they preach saving the earth, with Peter Singer sermons plastered over their walls, the place whifs of petrochemical excess. Not only are the chairs and tables plastic, but their smoothies and juices — even ‘eat-in’ versions — are served in plastic cups with plastic lids. Half the cutlery is disposable plastic, too. You may as well be eating at McDonald’s. And much of their produce is out of season, and so would’ve accrued lots of fossil-fuelled food miles. I’ve seen melon & berries in their winter fruit salad, for example. And the pantry stuff on their shelves is all imported.

And when the vege2go folk preach good nutrition, perhaps they might reconsider zapping their food in the microwave. Several studies show significant nutrient loss from food subject to microwaving. And perhaps they should reconsider selling the coloured lolly-water posing as health tonic.

Compare and contrast with Each Peach, just a few shops up. The folk there source local produce, would not at gunpoint even consider microwaving their food, and they sell home-made pantry goods. Their furniture and adornments are reused and recycled stuff. And their walls don’t preach saving the planet. They’re just doing it, in their own delicious way.

Perhaps vege2go just has more mainstream appeal, which is good. Different strokes, I suppose.


  1. You don’t actually sound that conflicted, it sounds like you’ve come to a perfectly reasonable conclusion. I went to vege2go once and was pretty unimpressed with the food, and now with a whiff of added hypocrisy, I can’t see a reason to go back.

    I’ve somehow overlooked Each Peach, so thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to give it a try.

    Comment by Michael C. Harris — March 24, 2010 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  2. It does actually sound like you have convinced yourself already and I am only going to sound “preachy” again, but whatever – where else do we get to preach our opinions if not online (or in our own cafe)?

    The fact is that it takes 10,000 litres of water to produce one kg of beef. The average meat eating Australian consumes 3700 litres of water per day, while the average Australian on a plant-based diet consumes merely 950 litres.

    Animal agriculture is responsible for 1/3 of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than all forms of transport in the world combined.

    Beef, sheep and dairy industries are responsible for 92% of forest clearance and land degradation. 50% of the entire Australian continent is being used for animal grazing – that is usable, arable land.

    You wanna talk about energy use and fossil fuels? If humans switched from a meat-based diet to a plant-based one, the world’s petroleum reserves would last 260 years, as opposed to 13. (From John Robbins’ Diet for a New America”

    98% of all plant products grown in the world are fed to livestock animals. LIVESTOCK. So places such as Each Peach can tell their customers to sit back on their recycled timber chairs and serve their locavore sandwiches to the greenie hipsters who wanna look like they care. In the meantime, the global food shortage has become a paradox. There IS enough food – we’re just feeding it all to pigs and cows and chickens – animals we do NOT need to eat to survive, much less to live healthily and sustainably.

    It may be futile, but I’ll stick to places like Vege2Go, where they know what really counts when it comes to saving the planet.

    I know that you are interested in this issue so I highly recommend you don’t believe a word I say and do your own research. You can start here if you like:

    Comment by Jo — March 26, 2010 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

    • I agree with you Jo.
      I am sick to death of these greenie hipsters who are more concerned about looking like they care rather than putting what they preach into practice!

      Comment by Rosie — June 18, 2010 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

      • I’m always baffled when people make arguments personal (ie: “these greenie hipsters who are more concerned about looking like they care etc”). Where is your evidence of this? Why are you attacking people who would like to do the right thing rather than the issues at hand? (And ‘Rosie’, you have the same URL as ‘Susan’… but ‘Susan’ does have a point: vege2go is immaculate, and I love it for that. The staff are nery lovely too, when they’re not reputation-managing on blogs.)

        Comment by Girl on The Avenue — June 18, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  3. You’re preaching to the converted, Jo. My beef (pardon pun) isn’t with vegetarian eating, which is possibly the most important thing individuals can do to help arrest climate change (more important than giving up the family car, according to New Scientist). My point here is that Each Peach quietly serves local, organic, largely vegetarian fare, without all the petroleum excess practised by vege2go. Don’t get me wrong: I like many aspects of vege2 go; just that, if it preaches good planetary practice, it has someway2go.

    “In 2006, a report published by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” claimed meat production was responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which it added was greater than the impact of transport.” This figure is disputed, though: see

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — March 26, 2010 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  4. i love each peach! 😀

    Comment by nix — April 5, 2010 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

    • Well you have obviously not got sick from each peach food then. Vege2go is miles ahead in taste, value and just being clean.

      Comment by Susan — June 18, 2010 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  5. In vege2go’s defense, you cannot serve juices and smoothies in paper cups. Well, there is a new plastic out there that is more eco-friendly. I just heard it in passing from someone so I don’t know the details. Oh and I love each peach too!

    Comment by Megan — April 9, 2010 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  6. But you can serve the eat-in options in glass.

    And whatever happened to the wax-coated paper cup we used to buy milkshakes in?

    Comment by Kath — April 9, 2010 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  7. Yeah, but you can’t take the glass home =( They should use the wax-coated paper cups. I think there are still some establishments who use them.

    Comment by Ashley — April 15, 2010 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

  8. Wax coated paper cups cannot be recycled.

    Comment by Tania — April 17, 2010 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  9. I know what you mean. There’s something quite sterile about vege2Go. I’ve only been there once and wouldn’t bother going again.

    Comment by Susanne — April 27, 2010 @ 11:51 am | Reply

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