Why do People Think Vegan Food Tastes Bad?

It’s funny when something tastes bad and it happens to be vegan, from that moment on all vegan food is considered “bland”, but when eating a non-vegan item that is also horrible on the palate, then it’s just a brand that doesn’t have good products and so we switch brands. Why do people think vegan food tastes bad? is it because it is considered “extreme”, or because becoming vegan is somehow linked to “giving up” when it really isn’t?

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I can come up with a few causes for this (still) common notion. I already mentioned one culprit in a previous post How to be Vegan in a Small Town, but there are a few others too.

  1. First packaged plant-based substitutes were not as great as today
  2. Most people don’t like vegetables and consider them bland
  3. False portrayal of actors eating vegan food in movies and series

First Packaged Vegan Foods

When those first packaged vegan foods were produced about 20 years or more ago, some people tended to say that they were not so great and tasted pretty bland. I cannot attest to that because twenty years ago I wasn’t vegan yet.

However, Linda McCartney Foods was established in 1991 and has grown into a large and successful company, selling vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes such as burgers, sausages, sausage rolls, meatballs, pastas, and stir-fry dishes.

Whatever those first packages tasted like, I can only attest to their flavor today and in recent years some vegan companies have sprung up with some incredible and delectable foods.

astro-pizza
Astro – vegan bar and bistro in San Jose, Costa Rica. Delicious pizzas!

Beyond Meat has won several awards and is rumored to have fooled many meat eaters into believing that they were eating meat. Yesterday, on an impulse, I bought “chicken” nuggets by Plant Squad and I was pleasantly surprised by its texture and flavor. It was so good!

If someone has a question about ingredients, Plant Squad, for example uses healthy plant-based proteins and no carrageenans. I saw no ingredients with terribly long names that can hardly be pronounced. I’ll definitely buy more Plant Squad products.

vegan bowl
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Most People Find Vegetables Bland and Boring

In a meat diet, vegetables are usually either fried or boiled and used as a side dish with the meat being the main part of the meal that is supposed to fill you up. Vegetables are just a necessity to get at least some healthy food in your bodies. So, yes, that’s a boring way to prepare them, it’s always the same.

Boiled Potatoes Today, Again …?

Then we also have the roasts and casseroles; potato gratin is a delicious version of baked potatoes, but it is smothered in dairy …

So, I guess it is understandable that one can hardly imagine a vegan living of plants, but we obviously do not just boil a few carrots and bean stalks for lunch. If I did that, I would be a walking skeleton by now. We don’t just make the same meals without the meat and we also do not need to replace meat, as it is so often believed.

The much coveted protein is also found in plants. Did you know that pea protein is a complete protein?

When you go on a vegan diet you have to make sure all your nutritional needs are met. The same goes for any other diet you follow too.

singapore genesis
Genesis
Vegan restaurant in Singapore

Veggies are not Boring

A vegan diet makes vegetables exciting and full of flavor, because the way they are prepared is salivating. Have you ever had a cold avocado spinach soup or broccoli cream? You’ll never have to tell your child for the umpteenth time to please eat their broccoli.

Have you ever made banana ice cream? It is super easy and so delicious! Then, there are recipes for cauliflower rice, creamy raw tomato soup, vegetable stir-fry, veggie sandwich, vegan minestrone, hummus, artichoke spread, lentil meatloaf, veggie and seed pâté, stuffed peppers, and much more. As you can see, there are many wonderful ways to prepare vegetables.

 

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False Portrayals of Actors Eating Vegan Food in Movies and Series

I remember that movie “Grown Ups” with Adam Sandler and Salma Hayek. I think it was the first film, but I’m not a 100% sure, it was either part1 or 2. Although I think that Salma Hayek is a great actress, I wasn’t impressed when in a certain scene she ate so-called vegan pancakes and then spit them out, making a face of disgust. Moreover, the vegan girlfriend was portrayed as an aging hippie, which seems to be the norm in some of the older movies.

Not all vegans are hippies

confused

Vegans come from all walks of life, and I know some peace and love people from our local organic market who always preach “blessings to everyone and may the Universe protect all sentient beings” over a burger made from a sentient being.

I always notice that in movies, the silly depiction of “the vegan who walks in sandals or barefoot and makes disgusting food.” As much as we know it is all fiction, those movies and series do influence us in a way.

What I love about Netflix is that it has many eye-opening vegan documentaries, and in some of their series vegans are depicted positively, but there is one series I am watching right now and in several episodes the characters made negative remarks about vegan food, how “horrible” it tasted and “please, nothing vegan for me”. In Netflix’s defense, the series was not created by them 😉

I probably notice it because I am vegan. When you drive a certain car – let’s say a Renault – you will automatically start noticing more Renault drivers on the roads.

vegan transition course

Final Thoughts

I can only say, don’t listen to others, try it out for yourself and then you’ll know. Don’t take Adam Sandler’s word for it 😉 Check out one of the documentaries on Netflix. Cowspiracy is a good one, so are The Game Changers, and What the Health (which was produced by Joaquin Phoenix). Feel free to check out my website and others for some easy and yummy veggie recipes. There are so many wonderful ways to make vegetables exciting and your kids will love it.

If you have questions, please let me know in the comments below.

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12 thoughts on “Why do People Think Vegan Food Tastes Bad?”

  1. Thanks for the article my guy! Ya know what, I honestly have no clue why people would begin to think this. I mean, while vegan food does compromise some traditional flavor that normal food would have, I think it’s worth it if it means saving more animals from the torture of being turned into food. If anything, more people should turn vegan! 

    Reply
  2. Hi, this is a great post and I think you have some very valid points as to why people think vegan food tastes bad!

    But I do however think you are missing one important culprit to the common notion. I still believe, even today, that being vegan or vegetarian is in effect having a label or a brand and therefore if one gets an impression of that label then all things associated with that label are tarred with the same brush.

    If someone visits Mcdonalds for the first time and as a Cheeseburger that doesn’t taste nice, they will automatically label Mcdonalds food as ‘not nice’. It doesn’t matter that it could have been the chef in that particular branch or that the chicken burgers are far better than the cheeseburger they tried.

    If someone buys an Apple Phone after being used to android phones and struggle to operate it, once more they will automatically label all Apple products as useless and unusable!

    I’m sure you get my point and all too often this is a natural reaction of people that often shows our ignorance. First impressions last!

    Reply
  3. Hi Christine

    I think it comes from a total lack of understanding about what you can do with vegetables. From time to time I go totally plant-based and find some super-tasty recipes. Having said that, I’m not sure I could live without eggs and cheese on a full-time basis.

    There are some really good meat substitutes (I am a fan of Linda McCartney sausages and sausage rolls)

    As a vegetarian (pescetarian actually) I find that people tend to think I will eat nut roast at Christmas! I have never eaten a nut roast but maybe I will give it a try.

    Off to read ‘How to be a vegan in a small town’ – that sounds interesting!

    Best,

    Jean

    Reply
    • Hi Jean,

      I agree, it comes from a lack of understanding about what you can do with vegetables and not realizing how versatile vegetables are. One can be so creative with them, right?
      I have actually tried nut roast and I liked it 🙂 I recently also had lentil loaf which was made by local chef Maria Amore, and it tasted absolutely divine!
      Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  4. I love vegan food! To me it doesn’t taste any different and there are always spices to ad too! Thank you for sharing all these great ideas!! I’m going to checkout some of your recipes and the netflix shows you suggested. Best wishes for a happy holiday!

    Reply
  5. Hi Christine,

    Thanks again for another informative piece on vegan food. As you probably know by now from my other comments on your blogs, I am not a vegetarian let alone a vegan but I like good food and I have eaten some good vegan food/sides.

    But I must confess:) that I’m one of those folks who used to think vegan food must be ‘bland’ lol. Looking back, I think it’s largely ignorance and what you grow up with; some of us can’t imagine a delicious meal without animal products.

    You have shared some interesting options like the avocado spinach soup, and banana ice cream that I would be discussing with my other half. I will let you know if/when we (and the kids) get round to trying them.

    Cheers
    Femi

    Reply
    • Hi Femi,

      A long time ago before I was vegan I used to think so too. I am guilty as well, lol. Then I discovered vegan food and I was sold 🙂
      The banana ice cream is really good and what I love about it is that you can add any flavor you like, for example peanut butter or you could also add fruits or berries for more flavor.

      Reply

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