Shopping Vegan Shopping List: A Guide to Shopping Vegan & Where to Buy From

Being vegan in Australia has never been so popular, and the market for vegan products is booming. But what does it mean to shop vegan? This guide will explain how to shop vegan, including what to look for and where to shop. Don’t miss the convenient vegan shopping list at the bottom of the guide.

What Does it Mean to Shop Vegan?

Vegan products are items that do not include any animal products or byproducts. There are a whole slew of reasons why people choose to lead a vegan lifestyle, from personal health to animal welfare.

Veganism is often confused with vegetarianism, but the two are not the same. While vegetarians still eat dairy, vegans do not. Generally, any goods that have potentially harmed animals in the making are not consumed by vegans.

When shopping vegan, there’s more to think about than simply what you can and can’t eat. Once you start paying close attention to what everyday products are made of, you’ll see that animal products make frequent appearances.

Shopping vegan is about looking at labels on your food, shampoo, makeup, cleaning products, clothing and more. As you learn which products are vegan-friendly and which aren’t, you’ll probably develop a suite of go-to brands you can trust.

When you shop vegan, don’t be afraid to ask questions about a product, so you know where it comes from and what it’s made of. Vegan products may not be the same as what you’re used to, but it is possible to get high-quality products that don’t come from animal sources.


 

Vegan Food

Diet is probably the first thing you think of when the word ‘vegan’ comes up. If you’re used to a non-vegan diet, it may seem like there is very little you can eat as a vegan. Once you cut out meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, butter, and ice cream, what’s left?

The answer? Plenty. A vegan diet shouldn’t focus on what you’re missing, but rather on exploring new dietary possibilities. It’s important to maintain a good balance of nutrients when eating vegan, which means seeking out new sources of food.

With the recent explosion of vegan products on the market, you’ll have a range of pre-packaged food to choose from; do so cautiously as these products may not be as ‘healthy’ as they seem. Processed foods are generally packed with salt and sugar, whether or not they’re vegan.

Vegan food comes in all forms. There are meat substitutes on the market, designed to replicate the look, taste, and texture of meat. For some people, this is off-putting, but for others it satisfies a craving.

Here are some vegan foods to stock up on.

Nutritional yeast

First, disregard everything you know about the word ‘yeast’. Nutritional yeast isn’t the stuff that’s used to make beer or bread; it’s inactive and has no leavening powers. In fact, it’s harvested from molasses of all things.

Nutritional yeast has a yellow colour and nutty taste; it’s often used as a substitute for cheese. Sprinkle it on your pasta, toast, salads—basically anywhere you’d use cheese. As a bonus, nutritional yeast is often fortified with B12, an essential vitamin that does not naturally occur in plants.

Where to buy: The Source Bulk Foods, Go Vita, Local health food stores

Tofu

Tofu has received a bad rap over the years, and undeservedly so. These compressed blocks of soy milk are highly versatile and can take on the flavour of surrounding ingredients. Tofu can be fried and mixed into stir-frys, crumbled and used in place of eggs, or even eaten raw in soup.

Where to buy: Your local Coles or Woolworths, Health food stores

Tempeh

Tempeh is also made from soybean, but it has a different texture and nutritional profile. Tempeh is the product of fermented soybean, and results in a firm patty. It’s got more fibre and protein than tofu, but is just as versatile. Tempeh is popular in Indonesian dishes.

Where to buy: Your local Coles or Woolworths, Health food stores

Seitan

Seitan is actually wheat gluten, so if you’re gluten-free this won’t work for you. It’s popular as a meat substitute and packs in more protein than both tofu and tempeh. Seitan can be purchased ready-made or as a powder, making it easy to use.

Use seitan to make vegan versions of anything from chicken wings (really!) to Sunday roast.

Where to buy: Online at Vegan Online, Health food stores

Flax seed

Ground up flax seeds can be used as a binding agent in place of eggs. They’re great for veggie patties, holding together the ingredients for a firm, tasty result. To make one flax ‘egg,’ combine one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with three tablespoons of water, then set aside for ten minutes.

Where to buy: The Source Bulk Foods, Go Vita Local health food stores

Plant-based milk

Plant-based milk has never been more popular, and you have a range of options to choose from. These include almond, soy, coconut, macadamia, oat, and cashew. It’s really up to your personal preference, and plant-based milks can typically be used as a milk substitute in most recipes.

However, it is worth mentioning that plant-based milks can be hard on the environment, as they require large amounts of water to produce.

Where to buy: Coles or Woolworths


 

Vegan Clothing & Accessories

Can clothing be vegan? Absolutely. For vegans, products like leather, snakeskin, and even wool are off the table. Fortunately, there are many high-quality alternatives to choose from. When shopping for vegan clothing, consider whether the garments are ethically made.

Vegan leather

Synthetic leather is often made from plastic-based materials, though in recent years vegan leather has expanded to include natural materials like cork or kelp. It may not be as durable or breathable as animal-based leather, but it is usually cheaper.

However, fake leather is not the shiny, false-looking product it once was. Vegan leather is now used to make beautiful shoes, handbags, and wallets.

Where to buy: Stella McCartney, Flora and Fauna, Urban Originals, Vegan Leather Co.

Other vegan materials

When on the hunt for cruelty-free vegan clothing, you can also keep an eye out for the following materials:

  • Cotton
  • Flannel
  • Polyester fleece
  • Synthetic wool
  • Vegan suede

Many vegan-friendly materials will be marked as vegan or man-made on the tag, but at the very least should identify the material used.

Where to buy: Banana Republic, The Love Child, Velvety

 

Vegan Makeup & Beauty Products

If you wear makeup, take care to look for vegan products. With makeup and beauty products it’s a double-edged sword: products may either contain animal materials or be tested on animals.

Products labeled as cruelty-free are not necessarily vegan and may include animal-based substances like lanolin (wool oil), tallow, or gelatin.

Vegan leather

Synthetic leather is often made from plastic-based materials, though in recent years vegan leather has expanded to include natural materials like cork or kelp. It may not be as durable or breathable as animal-based leather, but it is usually cheaper.

However, fake leather is not the shiny, false-looking product it once was. Vegan leather is now used to make beautiful shoes, handbags, and wallets.

Where to buy: Stella McCartney, Flora and Fauna, Urban Originals, Vegan Leather Co.

Cruelty-free vegan brands
  • Flora and Fauna
  • ECO Minerals
  • Lust Minerals
  • Velvety
  • Planet Eve
  • Vegan Tree Owl


 

Vegan Household Items

By now it’s probably no surprise that animal products are everywhere, including in your household items. Shopping vegan means being mindful of every purchase, including cleaning supplies, rugs, candles, carpet, and furniture.

A good start is to look for items labelled as ‘vegan,’ ‘cruelty-free,’ ‘no animal ingredients,’ and ‘not tested on animals.’ Just as with makeup, many household items either contain animal products or are tested on animals.

The Earth Choice and Ecostore brands sell lines of inexpensive vegan cleaning products and can be purchased at big name supermarkets.

Where to buy: Vegan Online, Biome, The Cruelty Free Shop, Coles and Woolworths

 

Vegan Clothing & Accessories



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