So today I took the plunge and attempted a real vegan food shopping adventure. Since I still get meat and dairy from my farm share, for the rest of my family, I can basically bask in total veganism with my weekly shopping. So in I walk, all bright and shiny with my new vegan self and start looking for stuff. Previously, I spent quite a bit of time working my way through several vegan cookbooks to plan a week's menu and from there a shopping list. Normally when I do this, I find myself at the store wondering what I needed a particular ingredient for and was it really necessary? This happens during my second phase of sticker shock. The first phase is always, WTF! Are they Fing kidding me? What's in this shit anyway? But in person I tend not to speak text. No, going vegan did not clean up my language, but it is early there is still hope.
Anyway, I promised myself, in order to give myself the very best start, I would buy what was on the list. This meant actually spending five dollars for a small jar of vegan mayo, even though I didn't really eat mayo much in my pre-vegan existence. Well, I must need it for something right? And of course I had to buy organic. Most vegan products seem to be soy based. Soy is a market that is rife with GMO's which means supporting Monsanto. Since I swore off Monsanto long before I swore off meat, I need to buy organic soy, or products that are specifically marked non-gmo. I did post on Facebook a list of products that are non-gmo but I am freakish enough at the grocery store without Googling every single product to see if is is GMO. ( By the way, if you have an app for that, I'll take it. Specifically, if a product it is GMO or not.) The third phase of sticker shock is, "hmm, maybe I can just skip this ingredient."
If the highlight of my shopping trip was finding everything, I think, on my list, (except for Braggs Amino Acid, what is that anyway?) the lowlight was walking past the cheese. And if you shop at Whole Foods or any other store that really has an extensive cheese selection, you understand how truly sad this moment was. I did buy some vegan cheddar but I really am not holding out too much hope for this. And I almost broke out into full blown sobbing when I walked by the brie en croute. I LOVE brie. To make myself feel better, I grabbed some fresh guacamole, something I wouldn't usually buy because it is too expensive, and it goes black after it is opened for a time. And of course then there was the moment at the check out when the super pleasant and friendly register person (obviously I was at Whole Foods), held up one of my many bulk items I had forgotten to label and asked me what it was. Hmm, not a clue. I literally had no idea what was in the the little green baggy. The little brown circular suckers could have been anything. Which brings me to another problem. If you ever decide to go vegetarian or vegan, bring an experienced shopper with you. I wish I would have done this, but the only two or three I know were not available. Okay, and honestly I felt like a total loser saying, "Hey, could you help me go shopping? I have absolutely not idea what half of this stuff is, let alone where to find it. " But really, it is very good advice for any normal person who is thinking about adopting this life style. Bring a veteran. You will save yourself time, probably money, and funky exchanges at the register about the mystery product in the little green baggy. Sesame seeds. Those little suckers were sesame seeds.
Which brings me to my final thought. Here I sit with ten or so bags of vegan groceries overflowing in my kitchen shelves, fridge and somewhat in my freezer. (There aren't many frozen items for vegans, it seems). I have the food and the recipes. Now who is going to teach me how to cook?
So I feel I need to add that the links I added very much represent my own views. Except for the guacamole. That just is what it is.