We all know that reducing the amount of animal products we eat is going to help the planet, right?
It means less greenhouse gasses, more land freed up by less animal agriculture, more grain and safe, clean water that can be used for human consumption, and less deforestation.
I’m not vegan, so I’m not going to preach about how we should all go vegan overnight. Going vegan is great, and definitely something we should all at least consider working towards. My diet is vegetarian though, but it took me a HELL of a long time to get there, so it’s definitely a case of taking baby steps in this household.
Point is, we could all probably reduce our meat and dairy consumption, but the word “vegan” scares people. I think it conjures up ideas of being expensive, health obsessed, inaccessible, too far out of the comfort zone – the same ideas that, just a few years ago, would’ve scared me too!
But, in reality, our kitchens are probably all full of foods that are “accidentally” vegan – i.e. you didn’t go out of your way to buy any special vegan alternatives, they’re just everyday products. Obvious examples are fruit and veg, of course, but there are so many more!
I had the briefest root around my kitchen, grabbed some of the most common products I use all the time and snapped a couple of photos to dispel the negative, scary connotations around vegan food.
“It’s expensive!” – as you can see, a lot of these items are value brand, which is often the cheapest on the shelves. Things like chopped tomatoes, passata and kidney beans cost around 30p, give or take a few pence, and can usually make up a meal for four.
“It’s just healthy food!” – being vegan cuts out a lot of fatty foods, but that doesn’t mean being vegan is always super healthy! I’m sure you’ve noticed the jam, peanut butter, ready salted crisps and french fries in this photo.
“It’s too inaccessible!” – some of it can be. But pretty much everything here can be found in most major supermarkets. Things like tins of soup and tortilla wraps (hidden at the back) are versatile and relatively easy to prepare, cook, eat and use up.
“It’s all too weird and way out of my comfort zone!” – I don’t know about you, but the likes of tomato ketchup, baked beans and dried pasta are very much in my comfort zone!
In this photo you’ll find a packet of crisps, apples, satsumas, passata, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato ketchup, peanut butter, strawberry jam, tomato soup, vegetable soup, tortilla wraps, wholewheat pasta, onion gravy and frozen french fries.
I’m pretty sure there’s loads more in my kitchen – maybe you’ll be surprised how many “accidentally vegan” products are in your own homes. See, they’re not so scary after all!