Vegan food shop 101

You walk into the supermarket and are faced with aisles upon aisles of animal products. It’s daunting. You almost hang up your basket and admit defeat.

Hang in there. There’s a knack for it, and it’s not as hard as it first appears.

Tip 11: Know how to navigate a supermarket.

First and foremost you need to know how to read an ingredients list. Here are common things to look out for, besides meat:

  • Milk or milk byproducts, often casein, lactose, and whey. Always highlighted in bold due to it being an allergen, so fairly easy to notice.
    • Side note: If it says may contain milk in the allergens list, that means it is technically suitable for vegans, as it doesn’t contain that product, but it is there to cover the companies back and let people with serious allergies know that it’s made in a factory that handles dairy.
  • Gelatine, or aspic and lard/tallow. Unpleasant ingredients made from various parts of the ‘wastage’ such as tendons, fat, skin, ligaments, etc.
  • Honey or beeswax. Both obtained from bees.
  • Eggs, or albumen/albumin. Again, these are always highlighted in bold due to it being an allergen.
    • Side note: If it says may contain eggs in the allergens list, that means it is technically suitable for vegans, as it doesn’t contain that product, but it is there to cover the companies back and let people with serious allergies know that it’s made in a factory that handles eggs.
  • Isinglass. An odd substance that is included in a lot of alcohol that comes from the bladders of fish.
  • Shellac and carmine. Both from insects.

A lot of supermarkets now though, have made it really easy for people and label their own brand products as vegan, if they are. So that makes life a lot easier.

Tesco

Tesco marks its own brand products as vegan on the packaging. They also have several vegan brands, such as Wicked Kitchen, Tesco Plant Chef, Vivaris, Beyond Meat and Vegetarian Butcher. Despite having dedicated vegan zones in their stores, Tesco also places various meat substitute products in their meat aisle, to promote a cruelty-free, planet-friendly alternative instead.

Morrisons

Morrisons is probably the one supermarket that is slightly lacking with their vegan options, but they do have their own V Taste range. The V Taste range consists of burgers, curries, paella and even cupcakes – which are super yummy.

Asda

Asda are another that clearly mark their own brand products as vegan. Asda are known for their incredible variety of vegan cheese, such as the Applewood smoked cheese. They also have exclusivity over the much anticipated Galaxy and Bounty flavoured non-dairy milkshakes.

Sainsburys

Sainsburys is up there with the greats! The options they have are mind blowing. With brands like Sophie’s Kitchen, Gardein, Love Your Veg!, Uptons Naturals and Lazy Vegan, there will be something to suit everyone. Vegan salmon? They stock it. Vegan ribs? Yep, those too. Everything else is clearly marked whether it is vegan or not.

Waitrose

Waitrose is another supermarket with dedicated vegan sections in their stores, which stock their brand Waitrose Vegan. Carbonara, ravioli and fish cakes, their range is vast and does not disappoint.

That’s not to forget your basic staples in every kitchen, like your veggies, rice, etc. You’ll be surprised at how much you find in the supermarket that IS vegan, a lot of things you will eat often and not even realise that they are vegan.

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