Organic vegan food consists of fruits, vegetables, and grains that were grown without the aid of pesticides or other chemicals. Animal products are excluded from a vegan diet completely. This includes meat, fish, and poultry as well as dairy and egg products.
A vegan diet is a very restricted form of the more common vegetarian diet. Vegans refuse to consume any product that has come from animals. In addition to the obvious categories of meat and dairy products, this also includes honey and gelatin. Vegans also refuse to incorporate animal products into other parts of their lives, shunning the use of leather, fur, and wool as well as any other product derived from animals.
The term “vegan” is somewhat flexible in its definition. Some vegans are much stricter than others. Many packaged foods contain animal products, even when these products aren’t the main ingredient. The extent to which an individual will work to screen out any trace of animal product will depend on his individual beliefs in regards to the diet.
Acceptable organic vegan food includes all nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables, provided that they were grown without the use of chemicals. Grains are more difficult to fit into the diet as they cannot be prepared with milk or eggs. Applesauce or a mashed banana can often be used in place of eggs. Soy milk, rice milk, or water can take the place of milk. Vegan options include oatmeal, cereal, tofu pasta, and eggless pastries.
Vegan forms of more common foods are often available. Soy milk and yogurt, for example, can take the place of some dairy products. Tofu can play a big role in vegan menus in the form of tofu burgers, tofu hot dogs, and even scrambled tofu. To adhere to the organic restriction, however, the tofu should be made from soybeans that were grown organically.
Eating a balanced diet while restricting oneself to organic vegan food can be difficult. Protein, fat, and calcium are typically obtained from the animal products in one’s diet. These sources must be replaced with ample amounts of nuts, beans, and calcium-rich vegetables, which are typically dark green and leafy.
Vitamin B12 is another nutrient that is difficult to find in a diet of organic vegan food. Seaweed and miso contain this vitamin in small amounts. The best way to fit this nutrient into an organic vegan diet is with a supplement. While some supplements contain animal products, and are therefore unacceptable for vegans, B12 supplements are also available which do not.
If an organic vegan diet contains a wide range of foods to obtain vitamins and nutrients from as many sources as possible, it can lead to a healthy lifestyle. This type of diet is usually chosen because it does not harm animals or the earth in the process of food preparation. An organic vegan diet will also tend to be low in fat, preservatives, and other chemicals found in traditionally prepared foods.