What is vegan food?

Vegans choose not to eat any foods which are derived from animals. As major ingredients go, this means meat, fish, eggs, milk and honey, and any products made from these, such as cheese. They do not eat by-products or additives that are animal-derived, such as gelatine (made from animal bones and tissues), whey or lactose (both from milk). Foods with animal ingredients added as ‘extras’ are also unsuitable for vegans, such as vegetable soup made with chicken stock or mashed potatoes with margarine or butter added.

By comparison, vegetarians do not eat meat or fish (or their by-products) but they usually do eat milk and eggs. If you are providing food for a guest and are not sure what they eat or don’t eat – ask them beforehand! They will be pleased that you are making the effort for them.

Once you’ve learned a few basic points, providing vegan-friendly food is not difficult. It’s often colourful, tasty and varied, and you might find some new and exciting ideas for your cooking repertoire.


From an early age Rick would rather pick up a carrot than a sausage. Not a vegetarian, but would like people to think he was.

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