Posts tagged with "News"
The idea of ‘banning’ certain foods is nothing new. We all remember when Jamie Oliver famously had Turkey Twizzlers taken off the school-dinner menu, and the E-numbers backlash of the noughties. But these aren’t the only examples. a whole host of foods have been taken off the shelves for a variety of reasons.
Blaming everything from poisonous contents and concerns over genetically modified food, to issues with gravity, governments of the world are getting serious when it comes to what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Here, we explore some of the most unusual (and in some cases dangerous) examples from around the globe.
One of the most unusual examples of a banned food we found was just over the English Channel. In October 2011, French lawmakers agreed to ban ketchup and mayonnaise in primary schools on all but one day each week – and even then, it can only be served when there’s chips on the plate. It comes amid concerns youngsters are losing touch with traditional French cuisine, masking the taste of ‘proper’ food with dollop after dollop of the red stuff.
GM food proves controversial
On the other hand, concerns about genetically modified food were commonplace. More than 90% of soybeans grown in the Unites States are GM; but that didn’t stop much of Europe banning these in 2015, including countries such as Austria, Greece and Hungary. Meanwhile, over in Australia and New Zealand, it’s the genetically modified grains fed to livestock that are problematic. Farmed fish are often fed these when raised in captivity, while salmon are given synthetic astaxanthin across much of the world, to give their meat its bright pink colour. This led to the two countries banning farmed fish altogether.
The importance of hygiene
Hygiene was also a factor for foods cropping up on banned lists. Though seemingly innocent enough to us, black pudding remains banned in the USA with ‘sanitary reasons’ being cited. Over in Somalia a ban on samosas remains in place, after tests showed that the street vendors selling these were frequently giving their customers rotten meat. In contrast, attempts to cleanse meat of bacteria have proved unpopular too – with many countries banning the ‘chlorine-washed’ chicken that’s common in the US and Canada. This remains in place across the EU, but has hit the headlines recently amid fears it could arrive on British shores after Brexit.
Singapore’s famous ban on chewing gum, however, is about nothing more than cleanliness. In the early 90s, the sticky stuff was piling up on pavements, lampposts and public transport. The authorities decided to put a stop to this by taking decisive action, banning gum in its entirety in 1992. The ban mostly remains in place, but has been relaxed slightly to allow for medicinal gums sold by dentists.
Poison off the menu
Perhaps the least surprising of the bans we found are those enacted because the food is, quite literally, poisonous. Fugu fish is a rare delicacy in Japan, but eat the wrong part and certain death will ensue. Chefs attend specialised training courses and must pass a series of qualifications before they’re allowed to prepare it in the country, however many nations have taken the step of banning it all together – including the EU. The fish does cause a handful of deaths in Japan each year, however most of these are untrained novices attempting to prepare the fish at home. Another food banned due to its level of toxins is the Caribbean fruit Ackee. Popular in Jamaica, the U.S. deems its content of hypoglycins A and B to be too high for safe consumption.
Food bans aren’t limited to Earth, either. In space, the absence of gravity means that salt and pepper would hang around in the air once spilled from the shaker, rather than landing on food – resulting in the possibility of the seasoning clogging up air vents or even getting into astronaut’s eyes. Don’t worry though, any astronauts out there can rest easy knowing they’re able to get their daily dose of salt and pepper through infused liquids.
For more food-spiration, be sure to visit our blog which is full of ideas and advice on making the most out of your kitchen. You can also find your perfect kitchen type with Magnet’s kitchenality tool and our extensive range of kitchens.
How to make a feature wall work for your home
Pattern in the home can be a great expression of personal style, but it can seem a little daunting in comparison to solid colours.
There are a number of key points to take into consideration when planning with patterns and we will help you to avoid any print-based faux pas.
In terms of wall pattern, start by doing your research. Whilst we might love to follow fashions, choose a pattern that you won’t tire of and see how it works in your space with swatches and samples. If you’ve kept it around for a while and still love it, you’re ready to make the commitment. Always bear in mind the rules of pattern and how they affect your space, for example smaller prints create a more relaxing feel in the home, whilst larger patterns will demand more attention.
The timeless combination of black and white makes for dramatic patterns that will be on-trend for years to come. The simplicity of monochrome will allow you to co-ordinate any patterned pieces seamlessly into the home.
Be prepared that a pattern will often become the focal point of the room, so consider how your furniture and décor will work around this. For example, the bold citrus colours within this Magnet Gloss Integra White splashback are perfectly complemented by the sleek white units.
If you’re not prepared to commit a wall, floor or furniture to pattern, accessories such as ceramics, artwork and lights are a simple yet effective way to experiment with pattern.
The kitchen is a great place to bring in a statement wall or introduce a splash of colour – it is the perfect location to impress your guests and bring some ‘wow’ factor to your home.
For example, the bold citrus colours of the splashback within this Magnet Integra Fusion White kitchen are perfectly complemented by the sleek gloss units.
From swimming pool to contemporary kitchen
If you’ve ever thought your dream kitchen was impossible, the recent renovation by the Goodall family demonstrates that it might be easier than you think.
Mr & Mrs Goodall had a clear vision for their new kitchen, they were looking for a slick, modern space mixed with a rustic interior, and they came to the right place.
The challenge lay in the fact that this was not simply a renovation, but a complete transformation of space, from a swimming pool to a fully functional kitchen.
The experts at Magnet completely reconfigured the Goodalls’ space to create a brand new, open plan room, accessorised with the latest technology and innovations.
To bring to life the contemporary kitchen that Mr & Mrs Goodall had dreamt of, modern features were added, including an AEG Pyro oven, induction hob, pop up sockets and plinth LED lights. For that extra edge, Magnet’s innovative Plinth Sound Bar was fitted into space below the units, making the kitchen the ultimate room for home entertaining.
The Goodalls chose the epitome of sleek design, combining Integra Astral White and Grey, for a simple, flowing feel, topped with a Designer White Corian worktop. A bronze mirror Decoglaze splashback creates a stunning focal point behind the induction hob.
The new design encapsulates Mr & Mrs Goodall’s vision of a stylish open plan kitchen, showing that kitchen dreams can come true, no matter what the space has looked like previously.
Susan Donnelly wins a Magnet makeover for her family kitchen
Susan Donnelly was the lucky winner of a brand new Magnet kitchen in a competition we ran with House to Home.
Members of the Donnelly family are keen cooks and had the best intentions of spending time getting creative in the kitchen together. However, the badly planned space just wouldn’t allow it. The narrow kitchen had an awkward cooker protruding from one side of the room, and very little worktop space, with most of the surface encompassed by a huge, impractical display unit.
Storage was also sparse, especially due to a broken corner unit that had been out of use for five whole years.
But the family had bigger plans for their kitchen, and with the help of the Magnet experts, knocked down the wall to a seldom used utility and created a whole new space.
After spending years with faded green cupboards, Susan chose the effortlessly stylish Eton Cream, a contemporary update on the much-loved Shaker style and a complete contrast to what the family were used to.
The main aim of the new Donnelly family kitchen was to create a welcoming, family space for everyone to get involved with the cooking. A brand new breakfast bar was the perfect way to encourage the kids to spend time with Mum Susan in the new space, creating a relaxed area that now sees the family spending more time together than ever before.
Storage has increased, with some of Magnet’s most innovative solutions including deep pan drawers with shallow internal drawer units and a smooth moving twin corner unit to replace the broken old one.
Susan was so thrilled with the transformation, saying:
“Going from a small, barely functional kitchen to something that has built in storage, where we can spend more time together as a family, really has transformed our lives!”
Take a look at the full transformation video here.
Tips to make your kitchen greener
As we become more aware of the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, demand is growing for eco-friendly homes.
There are several benefits to engaging a small green initiative in your home, reducing energy consumption will not only help the environment but save money on your bills too.
The kitchen is a great place to start with an eco-friendly approach as there are many ways to begin. From energy efficient food preparation and clever choices in cleaning products, to using environmentally friendly materials.
At Magnet, we work with Shock, one of the leading manufacturers of sinks worldwide. Shock sinks and taps are all made of durable and ecologically sound materials and manufactured to extremely rigorous standards, so a great choice if you are looking to incorporate eco-friendly materials into your home.
There is always potential in the kitchen to use a lot of appliances at once, so an energy efficient cooker is a great investment. The Rangemaster Professional Plus 100 FX is A-rated for energy efficiency and provides dual fuel cooking in four different colour finishes, so you don’t have to compromise on style.
The kitchen is also guilty of generating the most waste of any room in the home, which is why recycling in the kitchen is key. Make recycling easy for yourself with Magnet’s three-part recycling bin, the separate compartments make light work of sorting your rubbish and tucks away neatly out of sight.
Similarly, collecting food waste is an easy, natural way to recycle and create your own compost. There are great ranges of countertop compost bins for food waste that will complement your kitchen, some are so pretty that they’re a recycling incentive in themselves.
Magnet’s Waste Bin sits neatly in the top of an in-drawer dustbin and is a clever compartment to dispose of food waste. Peelings and cuttings can be subtly scooped into the bin, positioned conventionally just under the worktop surface.
Furthermore, re-use and up-cycle glass jars and even tin cans that you might discard when cooking. These can be made into something decorative and useful such as candleholders or cutlery storage and will make for unique personal touches to your kitchen. Take a look at our Pinterest page for some great inspiration.
Magnet kitchen makeover winner’s story
Norma Hornby was the lucky winner of a brand new Magnet kitchen in a recent competition we ran with House to Home.
Charity worker Norma beat thousands of entrants to the prize of a lifetime, and won her dream kitchen in a Magnet makeover. After sending in photographs of her 1980’s time warp kitchen (Norma’s own words), she was selected for an £8,000 overhaul.
Norma went with a great choice of the Nova Cream, a kitchen with a sophisticated cream gloss finish and simple, uncluttered styling that is a polar opposite of her previous kitchen nightmare.
Charity is close to Norma’s heart as she runs Warrington’s Canal Boat Adventure Project and this was to play a key part in the new design. The kitchen also doubles as an office where Norma spends hours on her philanthropic work, so, of course, she deserves somewhere relaxed and stylish to do this.
The Table Plus Innovation was incorporated into the design as somewhere for Norma to concentrate in comfort without compromising on the kitchen’s functionality and style. Doubling up as a sophisticated storage unit, the Table Plus folds down into a space to work and dine from when required.
We asked Norma what she thought of the finished kitchen;
“It’s been an incredible process and I’m absolutely delighted with the finished product, my friends and family are so impressed.”
Watch the transformation for yourself here.
How to update your kitchen for the new season
When a new season begins, many of us start thinking about updating our wardrobes and interiors. Some choose to add new accessories in the living room and refresh the linens in the bedroom and bathroom. Other people might feel the need for a complete overhaul.
If you are considering a new kitchen, Magnet has something to suit every taste and budget, the brand new 2016 styles are perfect for the warmer months.
Pastel colours are synonymous with summer and if there was ever a time to incorporate them into the home, it would be this season. Lustrous deep cream cabinets and beautiful Nebraska Oak worktops are wonderfully complemented by soft pink walls in the new Apollo Cashmere kitchen. The wood of the units and Classic Oak Natural flooring give the room a warm feel that will take it through to colder seasons too.
The new Integra Alpine Oak is refreshingly simple for the summer months and the lighter grain of the units is so versatile that you can match it with almost any colour. Neutrals will bring the light into the kitchen and help achieve that airy feel, or go for bold to get a summer look that is unique to you. The textured cabinets are free from handles, helping everything in this contemporary kitchen flow nice and smoothly.
For a kitchen to team with the botanical trends of SS16, Winchester Grey looks unique when paired with a pine green feature wall. The industrial mid-grey palette may not feel immediately summery but when topped with oak timber worktops and paired with green, brings a feeling of the outdoors inside. The sleek, stylish kitchen has a classic edge with the wood grain effect shaker doors.
Broken-plan is the new kitchen trend
Broken-plan is a modern spin on open-plan living, describing a space that still has the flow of well known open-plan, yet has other elements such as different levels and walls to create distinctive zones and areas with privacy.
The new trend is a compromise that allows for the spacious feel of open-plan, yet lets your rooms retain that feeling of having a specific use. This is perfect for homes that want to combine a kitchen with living or dining space for example.
There should be a natural flow from the kitchen to the dining room in your home, and some have a fully open feel across the two, however there may be occasions where the two rooms work best when separate. Sometimes after a particularly difficult recipe you may want to just relax and enjoy your culinary work at the dining table, without the threat of the dishes and cooking aftermath looming over you. A partial wall is a great way to still allow the flow between rooms whilst providing just the right amount of separation.
Magnet’s Hudson Oak kitchen has a spacious feel, with an open arch leading to the sitting area, subtly dividing the space. Other ways to create a broken-plan feel include half walls, glass walls, split levels and mezzanines.
Sliding doors are the perfect way to separate rooms for a broken-plan feel. Magnet has the option of stunning internal oak veneered fold flat doors, or internal white folding doors, with glass panels to allow the flow of light.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate the new interior trend into the home and broken-plan is great news for kitchens, as a room that often shares its space with living and dining areas.
A Home Smoker Of Course
Earlier in the year we told you what the top kitchen gadgets of 2016 are set to be, including a heated ice cream scoop and spiraliser, but there is a latecomer to the list.
According to retailers home-smokers are creeping up the list and will soon take centre stage in your kitchen. There has been a 200% rise in sales compared to the previous year*
As we learn to enjoy our kitchens more and acquire new culinary skills, the smoker is the perfect addition to create new and exciting dishes. From eggs and vegetables, to cheese and meat, the possibilities really are endless.
When attempting to recreate these smoky flavours and effects at home there are a few pointers to watch out for:
- Be prepared for failure as the smoking process is not as simple as putting something in the ove n
- Patience is key as the smoking process is to nurtue the food in question
- Like all small appliances do not leave unattended
Forget the large smokehouse in your garden it is all about what can be cooked on your worktop. Accentuate this smoky wood theme further by adding warm wood features to your kitchen.
*Amazon figures, Daily Mail article 01/02/16
The ‘Control Centre’ Of Your Home
We have covered off kitchen gadgets in recent blog posts, but staple kitchen appliances are due to have a technological makeover this year and you really will wonder how you ever lived without them.
As the kitchen is used as the focal point of many homes it is becoming a control centre for charging stations, coffee machines, blenders and sound systems. Keep the many wires and plugs in check with USB compatible plug sockets or plugs tucked away in drawers and under cabinets.
AEG and Electrolux induction hobs create a less cluttered, modern look in your kitchen and a smoother work surface. They are much more environmentally friendly and cook food quicker – what isn’t there to love?
Magnet’s Cabinet Plus reveals itself from the back of cabinets with just the push of a button, providing extra storage space for utensils, jars or sauces and tucks away again neatly.
As wine coolers and fridges become more of a necessity than a luxury, make use of dead cupboard space and build in a dual temperature twin fridge, the bottle capacity can be your choice.
Finally Magnet’s Sound Bar is a unique audio experience built specifically for use in kitchens and blends so seamlessly into a plinth. The Bluetooth connectivity means you can link the Sound Bar to any device with Bluetooth capability to impress your guests by changing track at the press of a button.