Category: Food



Photo: Chefcola/ Instagram/dresnaps

If you really want to be an ethical vegan, research all your food – even the plants.

Indeed, a great frustration I have with vegans in the global north is the erasure of human exploitation in food systems. Vegans are typically concerned with the wellbeing of charismatic animals and are unbothered about the plight of “less attractive animals” or humans who are impacted by their food choices. And although ethical consumption is all but impossible in an unethical economic system, it is an ideal that global northerners (including myself) nevertheless strive for.

This quest among vegans and non-vegans to ethically consume is frequently done by (re)creating ideas and practices that actually have historical precedent. Even the term veganism, a word coined in the UK in 1940s, is really another way of saying strict vegetarianism, although at many points in history, vegetarianism was by definition “strict.” These new frameworks only come about because we have forgotten their historical predecessors.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these forgotten traditions is plant-based diets among African peoples, the subject of today’s featured article from This Is Africa: African vegans are a return to tradition. The above quote is from the article and said in passing; the central message, in fact, is that of returning to a traditional diet: Continue reading

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At a public meeting, Vallejo Board of Supervisor Erin Hannigan informed us that Safeway had put a deed on their former property. This deed prevented another grocery store from using it for the same purpose. In our recently released Vallejo report, we highlight on page 15 the impact this had on the community, which left the neighborhood and surrounding areas without access to a grocery store.

Please join us in demanding that Safeway/Albertsons eliminate restrictive deeds on their former properties that prevent new grocery stores from replacing them.

Source: Appetite for Justice by Food Empowerment Project: Shame on Safeway


When I started out as a new vegan some years ago, I sometimes would get questions about whether or not I also eat “gluten-free” foods. I knew less than a handful of people with Celiac disease who cannot eat gluten, and they ate a standard American diet as closely as they could without wheat—in other words, they were far from being vegan. Seeing that there are no ethical reasons to avoid wheat (that I know of), I found it peculiar that a plant-based diet would be conflated with eschewing gluten, but thought nothing of it (people also ask if I eat fish, chicken, or pork because of carnists who think “vegan” means someone who eats other animals except cows).

But soon I started seeing gluten-free bagels and toast in the same freezer section as vegan meals, gluten-free baked goods at the farmer’s market, and even “gluten-free” options were popping up on vegan menus. Celiac disease isn’t that common (about 1% of the population), so I knew something was up.

Continue reading


Image of a person rolling lettuce in a dark towel.

Image of a person rolling lettuce in a dark towel.

Almost like milk, plastic is found in all kinds of things. I didn’t realize cans are coated with BPA—I’ll have to start buying dried beans and budget soak time into my cooking (oof!). The produce in towels trick seems clever, too.

Have you tried any of these “life hacks”?


A plate of colorful pasta with vegetables and a cream-like sauce.

A common carnist reaction to a vegan/plant-based diet is to claim that it is expensive, despite the fact that meat is more expensive (in terms of money and energy consumption) than plants and that as incomes increase, so does eating animals. It is possible that this misconception comes from the highly-processed mock meats sold at stores such as Whole Foods (nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” because of its high costs). Attempting to recreate a meat-saturated diet with veg mock-meats will undoubtedly be more expensive in countries such as the US where meat is heavily subsidized.

A recent US study shows that plant-based diets are (logically) quite common among people with lower incomes. Read the full article here: Veg Diets Popular Among Lower Income Populations, Students in the U.S.


Image of workers cleaning and sorting pineapples.

Source: Consumers International

Here’s a quick post on the situation in Costa Rica about pineapple union workers and exploitation they face: Banana Workers’ Strike Highlights Abuses by Corporations in Costa Rica

Consumers International also has a case study on pineapples, which investigates working conditions in the pineapple industry and its impact on communities and the environment in Costa Rica.

As a consumer, what do with this information? Do you choose to continue to financially support exploitation because it’s more convenient? Do you search for alternatives, or give up whatever it is? When you know better, do you do better? Let me know in the comments.

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