So, another large vegan launch — this time from supermarket giant Asda.
I still have mixed feelings about Veganuary, and the vegan bandwagon on which we currently find ourselves, and how it is impacting free from and the lives of people with food allergy. Is it offering more options to those with all kinds of dietary restrictions? Or is it muddying the waters of what free from is and isn’t, leading to confusion and frustration?
That argument is for another day. A closer look at some of the products in the Plant Based range — which total over 40 — reveals that quite a few use wheat, and several have other allergens.
That said, there is a small selection of products which tick multiple boxes — including gluten free — that I’ve identified, and there may be others.
Here are the ones I’ve picked out which appear to be either free of all 14 declarable food allergens, or else come very close:
Spicy Mexican Style Rice Bowl (this is also pea free)
Three Bean Chilli & Rice (this contains sulphites; also looks pea free)
Tomato Halloumi Alternative Balls (these contain oat fibre)
Always double check actual labels, though, as I’ve worked via the website to highlight these, and either may have missed some allergens or there’s always a possibility of error online.
Veganism is great, for the environment, for animal welfare and for many people it’s actually healthier to consume less meat. But as someone with a dairy allergy it’s foolhardy to assume that vegan food is freefrom milk. Because the more I read the more I hear that that just isn’t always the case. Though if I was vegan I’m not sure I’d be too happy about that. Vegan should mean it is actually 100% vegan and there should be tests in place, otherwise anyone can say something is vegan but then not actually guarantee that it is.
Thanks for comment, Ruth! I don’t recall seeing any may contain egg or milk in these products when I looked through them, but didn’t check them all. I’m personally not convinced veganism is necessarily or always good for the environment — for instance, with respect to the demand for soya. The definition of what vegan is or should be is a whole other ball game … I’ve written a lot about it before, but might do so again!
I love talking about this subject because people have such varying opinions. I do think that animals and farming contribute to the global warming problems but I’m not an expert. I can’t remember I read something just yesterday about how vegan products don’t need to be guaranteed freefrom milk/egg etc. I’ll try to find the source and share it with you.
No worries. I’ve already covered the vegan / free from angle for Foods Matter and many times on this blog 🙂
You probably saw it on the Vegan Society website – their policy is that vegan need not imply milk / egg / fish allergy safe, and they will trademark products which meet their ‘no intentional animal ingredients’ standards.