When it comes to conscious food choices, is it vegan vs. local?
In an effort to create whole foods recipes that animal product-free and feature locally-grown ingredients, many of us in North America and Europe come up against some difficult questions:
* Maple syrup is vegan and local, but I can't very well use it every single time I want some sweetness in a recipe. So, do I go for locally-produced raw honey from small-scale hives, or agave nectar from Mexico (which I've just recently learned is often processed with an enzyme derived from black mold).
* There's a similar question around fats: when making fruit crumble and biscuits, do we use non-hydrogenated coconut oil or organic butter from a small-scale local farm? This book certainly won't include butter, but for committed locavores that's the only vegetarian solid fat option. Local sunflower oil isn't always appropriate, and as a nutritionist I'm not a fan of canola. (And I don't know of any olives growing in Canada that would produce olive oil.)
* The same questions apply to coconut milk vs. organic cream, and dairy milk vs. rice or almond milk.
Here are some articles I found in some Google searching:
* from Intuitive Kitchen
* Soy vs. Meat on Grist
* Food-related Environmental Tips on Global Stewards
* "Will You Go Vegetarian?" from Wired
* "Is Honey Vegan?"
* "The Great Vegan Honey Debate" from Slate
* honey question answered on VegFamily.com
So I'm asking you now to weigh in on this:
* First: Do you identify as vegan or a locavore? Or both? Maybe you're neither (you just like good recipes or are an all-around whole foodist).
* Then: What would you do if you were writing recipes for a locally-focused vegan cookbook?
* If you're a strict vegan, would you boycott and trash-talk the book if it included honey and maybe beeswax or just avoid the personal use of honey?
I welcome your thoughts, though I ask that you please be kind. Many of us feel very strongly about our food choices, I know, but I'm wanting to open up a discussion here, not gather together a firing squad.