5 myths about a vegan diet

1  It’s expensive
If you stick to mostly whole foods, a plant-based diet can be far cheaper than an omnivorous diet. Beans, lentils, rice, pasta, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are for the most part cheaper than animal-based products, and you can find increasingly inexpensive and delicious meat and dairy alternatives in the supermarket.

2  It’s a lot of work
It can be a bit of work to transition to a plant-based diet, particularly if you’ve had a meat-heavy diet previously. It’s very easy these days to simply make the same meals you’ve always made and replace the meat and dairy with alternatives, but I would recommend making a little more effort at the start, upping your vegetable-only dishes and learning a bit about nutrition – something everyone should do no matter what their diet. Once you can easily spot vegan products in a supermarket and have a few new recipes in your repertoire it’s exactly as easy or difficult to feed your family a plant-based diet as it is to feed them a meat-based diet. Some days you’ll still eat ramen for dinner and some days you’ll eat a beautiful feast.

3  It’s boring
A whole world of pleasure in cooking and eating exists in the plant-based movement. There are amazing ways of using nuts and beans to create creamy sauces, there are dishes from all over the globe that are accidentally vegan and modern vegan cuisine is super exciting, delicious and believe it or not – easy! It’s not at all about deprivation or lettuce-eating – honest!

4  It’s unhealthy for kids
While kids do need extra nutrition, there is no reason that they can’t get everything they need from plants. But what about B12!? B12 actually exists in soil so if you’re eating organic veggies and not washing them you’re fine. These days most people buy their vegetables pre-washed and soil health isn’t what it should be worldwide so it can be necessary to supplement – which is easy and cheap to do. We all know that eating more fruits, vegetables and grains is recommended for kids and adults alike so it’s surprising that many people feel concern for kids who are literally living on fruits, vegetables and grains.

5  It’s strict
Food can be a powerful way to change the world, a daily decision to lessen our impact on the planet and our harm to animals. Food is also about pleasure and community and enjoyment. Some people can switch overnight to plant-eating and encourage their extended communities to do the same, others simply want to eat plant-based one night per week or gradually reduce their meat and dairy intake. Some families will eat vegan at home but share non-vegan celebration foods at family events. And all of that’s okay! There doesn’t have to be strict rules around eating a plant-based diet, it can be an exciting venture into new foods, interesting discussions and healthier living for your family.

Flip Grater is a musician, author and business owner who lives in Christchurch with her husband Youssef and two-year-old daughter Anaïs. She runs Yumbo, a healthy lunchbox delivery service and Grater Goods, NZ’s first plant-based deli, and has an EP of lullabies coming out later this year. yumbo.nz