Vegan 101

Curious about giving veganism a try? Ever wondered, "Why Vegan?" or "How To Be A Vegan?" Looking for some tips and tricks? You've come to the right place! These posts cover all the basics, offering up vital information on the plant-based diet.

Find vegan recipes here and cookbook reviews here.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, 02 April 2013 05:52

Is Palm Oil Vegan?

"If conscientious consumption means we avoid contributiong to suffering, palm is clearly problematic." ~ Mark Hawthorne

 

My vegan lifestyle is a continuous evolution - I'm constantly learning something new about food, nutrition, the environment, ethics, politics, etc. No wonder many people find veganism intimidating - there's a lot to consider! When I first went vegan I looked at it very simply - I didn't eat any products that came from animals and I could verify this by looking at labels, seeking out vegan certifications and avoiding the obvious (meat, dairy, leather, silk, etc). But as I became more passionate about the lifestyle and made it my career to inspire and educate others on the topic, I realized that there's a lot more than meets the eye. Some may find this overwhelming, but I believe that if we take things step by step and strive to be informed, we can each develop a well-rounded perspective on our personal choices. A perfect example is palm oil - in this article I explore this confusing and touchy subject, and offer some suggestions on how you can keep your purchases as ethical as possible

One of the most intimidating and challenging aspects of being vegan is handling conversations with people who aren't vegan. These chats can easily swing from calm and understanding to debate-like, with each person defending their food choices. I spend a lot of time pondering and researching the best ways to handle oneself in these situations, and have offered up my opinion in several videos (see below). Below are are some more tips to help guide yourself through these tête-à-têtes.


On World Vegetarian Day 2011 (October 1st) I attended the San Francisco Veg Festival, which was a really lovely event despite its small size. The highlight was easily a talk by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a well known vegan author, speaker and all around advocate. After all the buzz around her talk at the Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference in Portland, I knew I had to record her SF lecture so I could share it with you. It was about 50 minutes in length, but I went through and edited it down to 3 segments totaling 24 minutes so that it'd be easier to watch. 
 
I get a lot of questions about and requests for me to do videos on cheap and fast vegan meals - so here it is! I was pretty shocked myself when I compared prices at Kroger, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods and found that you can make many meals for $2 or less and spend 15 minutes max preparing it. And that's in San Francisco, which is likely more expensive than most areas of the country/world. Prices depend on whether the ingredients are local, in season or are organic, but you'd be surprised how cheap food can be even if all of the above. 
 
This post goes out to Lauren (aka @misslaurenaR) : )

There are so many non-dairy cheeses on the market these days it's crazy - we vegans are so lucky. When I first went vegan there were barely any options, and now I can't keep track of all of them! Each brand is a little different from the rest, so there's a lot of variety based on your palette and dietary preferences. Don't turn away from these if you're not vegan - many of these are fantastic even if you're used to eating "real cheese" all the time!
 
These are the best vegan cheeses in my opinion, ranked mainly by my favorites to the kinds that I don't know as well. If I've left anything out, let me know! **I've discovered more since this post was written - I'll update it again soon!**
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