Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who Cut The (Vegan) Cheese?

Since the beginning of the year, I've focused on eating vegan, for many of the usual reasons, but mostly because I want to.

Many nutritional benefits come from a vegan diet full of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and soy products. Eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent a number of diseases. In addition to good nutrition and disease prevention, eating vegan also provides many physical benefits. The typical American diet not only consists of too much food, it also relies on too much of unnecessary food products or toxins. From helping the environment to avoiding serious bacterial infections, a vegan diet can be a much healthier way to eat. (From

Last couple of days, our son Tazer has gotten interested, mostly because he believes vegans get to eat more good bread than carnivores. Not altogether wrong, but not really right either. Yesterday, when I got home from work, he very seriously came up to me and asked, "Papa, do you REALLY like that vegan cheese?" We'd gone over to Whole Foods and I'd bought some vegan cheeses to try out, to add some familiarity and dimension to my sandwiches. Truth is, vegan cheese is not very good on its own. The two I've had in recent days, both "American" one soy-based, the other rice, taste very plasticky and fake on their own. However, on a bagel, they are just fine.

My ultimate goal is to move away from these highly processed foods to more of a whole foods diet, but it's interesting to see how far, and how little, vegan foods have progressed since I was last seriously vegan 25 or so years ago.

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  1. I think being vegan is great (for you:)), but I'm not too keen on the processed substitutes. The one "cheese" we tasted last night was not very tasty...

  2. Help me understand the thinking behind fake meats and cheeses. They just seem counter-intuitive to me. Fake meat more than fake cheese I guess.

    Maybe im wrong, but the process of creating substitutions smacks of science labs and chemicals to me. And sodium - wben in doubt add salt.


  3. You're right Patrick, in that it's substituting one processed food for another, but the hope is that one is healthier, at least in the short run. It's also more environmentally friendly and, obviously, the animals appreciate it. :)

  4. I have yet to find a vegan cheese that is good! Skinny Bitch lists some suggestions in her cookbook and I still have one I haven't tried, but the others were blech!

  5. I can't stand vegan cheese, and I have tried many kinds! The worst I think was this mock mozarella stuff...yuck!! Cheese is actually the main reason why my family is not vegan. Besides the occasional icecream, it is the only traditional dairy product we eat. We don't eat a lot of it, but we do eat it. Hopefully one day someone will come up with vegan cheese that actually tastes good!!

  6. I assume vegan cheese only exists because we're so used to having cheese products. I was vegan for a month maybe last year. It was tough. I looooove cheese. I do think I need to chill out on eating it so much though. Dairy is an inflammatory food, right? Good luck!

  7. I am not a vegetarian but whenever I see vegan products that are supposed to be like meat but not really, like cheese, but not really I wonder what the point is.
    My food philosophy is to eat foods that our ancestors ate in as close form to natural as possible. So I will eat turkey but won't touch tofurky (is that the name?).


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