I have been close to vegan all my life. Growing up vegetarian, I never really enjoyed the taste of animal products but, as I grew up in France, it was very, very hard to avoid the fromage!
When I was 19, I really started to look into commercial farming practises and their environmental consequences; it was then that I decided to make the leap to become fully vegan.
I have never had any problems eating whilst travelling – the Middle East has some amazing bean dips and salads; South America, although being meat heavy, always have lots of salad options in restaurants and lots of amazing fruit; Asia has such an amazing array of vegan dishes that are absolutely delicious.. You get the gist!
In fact the hardest place that I have found to be vegan is, unfortunately, my native France. Having said that, there has been an increase of vegan restaurants and products in the shops so things are definitely looking up!
Food is extremely important to me, not just in cooking and eating it but also in growing it. Everywhere I have lived I have tried to grow vegetables and herbs. Sometimes this was just a small window box, but it made me happy and gave lots of flavour to the food. I like to know where my food has come from so I tend to buy from small scale producers and farmers markets, meaning that both the consumer and the producer are getting a fair deal. This interest in food has also gone into my professional and academic life. Not only do I work with food, I also study food from an anthropological perspective, specifically food taboos, veganism, and food production.