Does traveling as a vegan sound challenging? Do you wonder what vegans can eat on the go? During my recent move I decided to challenge myself and see what vegan food I could find in a random gas station in the middle of Podunk Florida.
One of the main concerns I hear from new vegans, or even long-time vegans, is how to stay vegan on the road. Traveling can be a daunting task for vegans, especially when we are in not-so-vegan-friendly areas. But more and more, it’s easy to find vegan options no matter where you are. And while I personally always pack my own food to ensure healthy options, there are plenty of things to chose from when you’re “in a pinch.” So, to show how easy it is to find vegan food on the go, I decided to challenge myself while on my recent move from Florida to Massachusetts. I picked a random gas station and took you along with me to see what vegan options were available.
Be sure to check out the video at the top of this post for the play-by-play commentary and some serious Ooby cuteness :) but here is a rundown of the vegan food I found at this gas station in Podunk, Florida. Seriously, this was in the middle of farmland and steakhouses. And just a note, this wasn’t all the vegan options–I didn’t want to overstay my welcome!
Also, some of these contain added sugar—likely sugar that’s been filtered with bone char (meaning the charred bones of cows.) See this post for more information about bone char. So be aware but don’t sweat the small stuff if you’re out and about. I say in my sugar video that once we stop slaughtering animals for food, we won’t be finding nifty ways to utilize their byproducts, like filtering sugar through their bones. So cut out the meat, dairy, eggs, and honey, and you’re hitting them at the source. The rest is up to you.
The best way to quickly assess is at the bottom of the ingredients they have to list allergens so it will say “contains milk, soy, wheat, etc” so you can always see if dairy is involved. However, still look through the ingredients because some will have honey as an ingredient and some things like chips can have pig or cow fat listed. I show you how to look for this in the video above.
So here it is:
Note: these are affiliate links, so if you purchase anything on Amazon through them, a small portion goes to Bite Size Vegan. Alternatively, you can select Bite Size Vegan as your chosen charity through Amazon Smile.
- Smuckers Squeeze Jelly
- Jif Peanut Butter
- Dole Peaches
- Sahale Maple Pecans
- Sahale Pomegranate Pistachios
- Bigs Sunflower Seeds
- Bigs Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds (couldn’t find these on Amazon, so this isn’t an affiliate link)
- Bigs Dill Pickle Sunflower Seeds
- The Daily Crave Veggie Sticks
- The Daily Crave Veggie Chips
- Garden Veggie Straws
- Cinnamon Apple Straws
- Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips
- Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips
- Pretzel Crisps Original
- Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels
- Snyder’s of Hanover Sourdough Pretzels
- Nature Valley Crunch Peanut Butter Bar
- Nature Valley Fruit and Nut Bar
- Clif Bars (Check each flavor–some aren’t vegan)
- Bare Simply Toasted Coconut Chips
- Snak Club Fancy Trail Mix
- True North Almond Pecan Crunch
- Cape Cod Sweet Mesquite BBQ Chips*
- Cape Cod Sea Salt Chips
- Lays BBQ Chips*
- Lance Peanut Snacks
- Tostitos Salsa
- Bugles Original
- Gordettos Special Request Garlic Rye Chips
- Lenny and Larry’s The Complete Cookies
- Utz Natural Kettle Cooked Chips
- Zapp’s Potato Chips New Orleans Voodoo Style
- True Fruit Cherry Medley
- Van Holten’s Dill Pickles
- Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Chips
- And FRUIT!
*Strangely, many barbeque chips are vegan while others are not, so be sure to check the ingredients. Cape Cod is vegan, as are the original and sea salt of course. But here you’ll see milk listed as an ingredient on the Lay’s kettle cooked barbeque. Lay’s regular barbeque are vegan, but Lay’s sweet southern heat barbeque are not.
So, I’d say that that was very successful gas station trip. I was actually really surprised at the amount of vegan options this gas station had. This just goes to show you that it’s really not that complicated or that difficult to be vegan, even on the road even when you’re on the go. Of course, the options there were probably not the healthiest, but it’s gas station food.
I think a lot of the times when people think it’s really hard to be vegan, it’s really just a mental thing, it can be our own beliefs that we have about what it means to be vegan, that it’s going to be difficult. But it really isn’t.
As we just saw with this example, within a random gas station in a very non-vegan place, there were a slew of vegan snack options, even some specialized vegan cookies which I was even really surprised by!
The manager was pretty cool. At first, I think the staff thought I was a competitor sizing up the inventory but once I told them that I was doing this to show you guys how to eat vegan on the road they were very helpful and very receptive. The manager was asking a lot of questions about veganism so I gave him my card so he can watch the videos and learn more. Initially his reaction was the same as a lot of people’s is, that “oh… I could never do that because it’s so hard to be vegan.” But it really isn’t—just in his gas station I found a good number of vegan options.
I hope this was helpful for you and showed some real life vegan options. If you’re into this, I was thinking I could do more series about how to eat vegan, at specific places, like restaurants and places that might encounter in your everyday life. Let me know if you like that idea and what you thought of my gas station challenge. I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
— Emily Moran Barwick