Sunday, 14 February 2010

Still on the household products trail

I have sent out a raft of e-mails to various companies on my long list of the products under my kitchen sink that I purchase for cleaning the house etc. I'll log any responses here.

Some of the products I use are made by Proctor & Gamble but they make it very difficult to contact them in writing either by e-mail or letter. I tried going to the individual product websites, where one exists, but they were exactly the same. I did finally find a form to fill in but they wanted all kinds of information like date of birth which isn't relevant to such an enquiry and is powerful information for people who want to steal your identity so I declined to continue on that line of enquiry. I need to make time to telephone them at some point during the day on the number that they give. I'd prefer a written response but needs must.

I'm still using Vecon vegetable stock, which is confirmed as palm oil free. It doesn't seem to be stocked by supermarkets, certainly not Tescos or Sainsbury's. I've been getting it from Holland & Barratt in Cambridge - but we find it a bit salty and as my husband has high blood pressure, we need to keep his sodium intake within sensible limits.

I noticed that Sainsbury's sell "Very Low Salt Vegetable Stock cubes" made by Kallo Foods. I wrote to them last week but I just got a one-liner reply stating "We would like to inform you that this product is made using palm fat". Not even a policy statement on sustainable palm oil! Very disappointing. We'll keep going with the Vecon but have to use it sparingly. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for other palm oil free stock cubes.

Good news on the dumplings front, Atora The Original contains only beef dripping and wheat flour so I can use that instead of the mixes that are based on vegetable fat (and probably therefore palm oil). After a very cold day of being snowed, sleeted and rained on manning my stall at Cambridge Art & Craft market yesterday, I tried some dumplings made using the straightforward recipe on the side of the packet with beef stew and they were delicious! Not very healthy but comforting and warm - an occasional mid-winter treat - a little of what you fancy, does you good :-)

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