IKEA is introducing a brand new ‘plant ball’ to its ever-expanding range of sustainable veggie options and apparently it’s meant to taste just as good as proper meatballs.
The Swedish furniture retailer is of course most famous for it’s flat-packed furniture, but its iconic Swedish meatballs come in a very close second.
Many Brits would class it as the best part of a trip to IKEA, really.
In what is sure to be music to the ears of vegans across the UK then, IKEA is launching a new ‘plant ball’ to its menu that apparently tastes just as good as proper meatballs and they’ll be available to try out from 3rd August.
Unlike IKEA’s previous offering up until now – ‘veggie balls’ – these new plant balls are completely vegan.
According to IKEA Food Services, the plant balls are made from yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion, and apple, which might sound a bit odd, we know, but when mashed all together, it apparently manages to offer the same great taste and texture as IKEA’s famous and much-loved Swedish meatballs.
As well as being vegan-friendly, the plant balls are also being promoted as “a more sustainable sibling to the much-loved meatball” as a single plant ball has just 4% of the climate contribution of the usual meatball, meaning that one meatball has the same climate footprint of 24 plant balls.
The plant balls also join IKEA’s ever-expanding veggie range, which now comprises nearly 50% of its menu.
Speaking on the launch of the new plant balls, Hege Sæbjørnsen, Country Sustainability Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland, said: “At IKEA, we are committed to having a positive impact on people and the planet. In order to reduce the climate footprint of the total IKEA business, including our food business, and make climate friendly, delicious food available for everyone, we are making sure meat alternatives are an easy, desireable and affordable choice.”
“With the new plant ball we can now offer meat lovers a great tasting, more sustainable alternative – without compromising on the IKEA meatball experience that is loved by so many.”
If you’re keen to try them out, the new plant balls will be available to get your hands on from IKEA bistros for £1.50 (x8 balls) from 3rd August, and you’ll also be able to buy bags of plant balls from the food market to cook and serve at home, where a 500g bag will be £2.75.
If you’re looking for the IKEA dine-in experience though? Well you’ll just have to wait until 26th October when they’ll be rolled out in restaurants nationwide.
For more information, visit the IKEA UK & Ireland website here.
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.