Tag Archive: 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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Food scraps with Bokashi bran sprinkled on top, in a fermenting bin

Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that relies on inoculated bran to ferment organic material in a tightly closed container.

June 2017 Update: I first posted this on December 26, 2016. Since then. I’ve added food scraps and some other biodegradable materials into my Bokashi bin, let it sit, drain off the liquid—all the things one should do to maintain the fermentation. During this time, I saw a white, fluffy mold grow on the edge of the bin in quarter-sized spots. It never got out of hand, just something I hadn’t expected.

My verdict after 7 months of use: the waste didn’t break down as much as I had hoped. Most of what I’d added remained visibly discernible (I could still tell what was the sweet potatoes, rinds, and other foods). I also need to think about the next stage for this fermented waste, as I don’t have a lawn to bury it into to further decompose. As I learned, this is not something you can add to vermicomposting, as the worms RUN AWAY from the fermented shlosh (I ended up getting worms to add to my GT2 tower). In other words, this might be a good idea for someone who has a backyard, or has gardener friends, but not for someone who lives in apartment. I’ll keep the remainder of my original post for those interested in the basics.

If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll know that part of my green lifestyle involves composting and gardening. I just moved into an apartment without a patio or outdoor space, but I still want to compost and grow some of my food. After doing some research, I decided to get a Bokashi composting bin (this one, if you’re curious) and a Garden Tower 2 (GT2) gardening system. The Bokashi bin helps breakdown food scraps through fermentation, which I then put in the GT2 to finish decomposing and feed my veggies, eliminating the need for a large compost bin and worms.

I’ll make another post about vermicomposting (which I did before I moved and recommend if you can maintain it), and can even talk a little bit more about my gardening plans. Today’s post, however, is really to introduce the concept of Bokashi composting. 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.

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