Do vegans eat whole wheat bread?
(San Francisco, California)
I bought some whole wheat sourdough bread today and the ingredients were: whole wheat flour, unbleached wheat flour, water, sea salt, barley malt, vitamin C (in trace amounts)
I hear many vegans say they don't eat even whole wheat bread. I called the number on package and asked the manufacturer if it was vegan and they said it was. If so, why do vegans refrain from whole wheat bread??? It is vegan... right? I'm newly vegan and I've been trying to figure lots of stuff out so I realize I haven't been most knowledgeable as of late :/ But this site has really helped me out. It's great!!! Thank you :)
Congratulations on making the change to veganism. You ask a very good question, and one that I think a lot of people wonder about. If something is vegan, but vegans say they don't eat it, what gives?
For something to be vegan, it can't have any animal products. Vegans will always stay away from anything with meat, dairy, eggs, or byproducts of animal products. One common byproduct of animals that you'll find in bread is honey. So, perhaps the vegans you've heard this from are referring to some byproduct like honey, or even whey or butter.
If, however, they are talking directly about a bread that they know to be vegan and they still say they aren't going to eat it, you might be talking to someone who prefers to stay away from bread in general.
Many vegans also choose to eat healthier foods in addition to following the lifestyle simply for ethical reasons. There are now so many junk food products that are made without animal products that you could subsist on an entirely unhealthy diet and still be vegan. And, some people do, and even then I would probably say their bodies are better off than if they were eating the meat equivalents. I've heard of someone who lost tons of weight entirely by switching from regular hamburgers to veggie burgers, and so on with all his old fast foods.
In the past, that wasn't really the case. People who chose to be vegan for ethical reasons often ended up eating healthier foods because of the lack of vegan ice creams, cheeses, faux meats, chips, cookies, and cakes in stores, and the amazing recipes to make any of the above at home. We are now lucky enough to be able to eat virtually anything we want, but that doesn't mean that all vegans will eat that stuff.
Many of us still try to stick to healthier, more macrobiotic diets. I personally advocate a diet based on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. That's not to say that I never eat junk, because I do, but I feel much better when I eat the way my body likes best.
So, what I think is happening when you hear of vegans saying they don't eat whole wheat bread is that they might be trying to eat more actual grains, such as quinoa, rice, barley, teff, millet, etc, rather than eating a bunch of baked goods made from flour, even if it is whole wheat. And plenty of people completely avoid wheat itself, regardless of whether it's in its whole form or not.
If you like to bake at all, you might enjoy my ebook, The Vegan Bread Box, which is filled with bread recipes. There are a few that are made with totally whole grains, and you can easily adjust to make things gluten-free, sugar-free, or put in add-ins to suit your taste.
I hope this helps!