I hadn’t realised that vegan living was quite as layered as it actually is.
I mean, I have a complicated enough life but hey, don’t we all, balancing kids, work, wine, but when it comes to ensuring that only the foodstuffs I want to pass my lips do, there are simple and obvious changes I can implement.
“Don’t eat meat” doesn’t take a lot of thinking about but as with my earlier post about shellac on apples and citrus fruits, who’d have thought they’d be plastered in dead bug juice?
To make my life a bit easier by taking some of the mystery out of it, I favour shopping in purely vegan venues but unfortunately, they are almost as hard to find as an honest Tory. There is, however, a cracking shop in Exeter called Seasons which takes about an hour to get to in our little electric star buggy and it is the only place I can fill up a basket without the irksome necessity of having to reach for my reading glasses.
I’m not sure how, but for a simple building of bricks and mortar, Seasons has a remarkably calm vibe and a slow, green heartbeat running through it. Chris, the bloke who runs it, is lovely and very knowledgeable despite the fact that he self-confesses to not doing a great deal of cooking. If you ask him nicely, he’ll probably get his sample boxes out packed with chunks of non-dairy cheese and chocolate.
However, back in my frequent world of busy, I have to seek out my store cupboard essentials like everyone else from a variety of vendors and occasionally, I visit the supermarket.
It is becoming a little easier now, I’m starting to remember where common foodstuffs are shelved in the big shops, but it’s well worth taking the time to have a more leisurely stroll around as more and more vegan products are being introduced.
One tool that makes things a bit easier but at the price of making you look like a right geek, is an app for your mobile device called Is It Vegan? It’s free to download and once you’ve sorted out a couple of personal settings, you’re off. Just point your camera-come-scanner at a product barcode and before you know it, you’ll have a full Quincy diagnosis on what went into that pot, jar, tin, bag or bottle. It’s marvellous.
The only risk you run is having the damned device dig so deep into the provenance of your food, that you might be shocked by the results. I guess that’s fine really if you are a committed vegan – if potentially a little inconvenient on time, if you haven’t got much of it to find an alternative ingredient for a particular menu you were planning.
To be honest, once you get over the initial shock of thinking vegan food is incredibly limiting (which is isn’t at all) you’ll soon come to realise there is a wealth of fresh foods and flavours you haven’t even discovered yet, all waiting to be licked off the plate and burped at.
Happy vegan shopping days people and remember, it’s a bit like sex; you’ll get so much more enjoyment from it, if you don’t rush…