Jack Monroe is a journalist, author, food writer and activist.
Jack is behind the hugely popular blog Cooking on a Bootstrap, which began life as A Girl Called Jack and thrust the non-binary working-class writer into the spotlight. Featuring delicious, simple and incredibly cheap meals for those cooking on a budget, the blog was renamed in December 2015 and its aim is simply to share family meals which cost less than £10 a week. Having lived through poverty as a single parent, Monroe has continued to highlight issues around hunger and struggling to live on benefits or low wages.
Monroe turned vegan after becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the consumption of animal products. Jack took part in Veganuary and reported emotional, mental and physical health benefits following going vegan. Monroe’s blog hosts an ever-expanding number of delicious vegan recipes!
Jack smashed the myth that veganism is expensive in an article for The Guardian after deciding to go plant-based:
In the rubbish old days of scraping by on mismanaged, delayed and suspended benefits, meat and dairy products were often just too expensive, in contrast to their kinder counterparts. I cooked with beans and lentils for protein, always obsessively researching, and got my calcium and iron from bags of frozen spinach and yellow-stickered broccoli.
Monroe has also published a number of recipe books and has also been responsible for numerous columns on food and politics in newspapers including The Guardian, New York Times and The New Yorker. In praising the virtues of vegan cooking, Jack articulates:
“Now I have found my cooking has taken on a whole new life, a veritable riot of colour and flavour and deliciousness. Deep-fried spicy kidney beans sit alongside a mushroom rogan josh, heavy aubergine bhuna and black bean tarkari. Mushroom replaces lamb in my samosas, and a sweet potato rösti rolling around in a hot dhansak sauce is a beautiful thing.
Monroe explained the philosophy behind the popular website, simply stating:
I’m doing my bit to encourage people to try vegan by making vegan food affordable and accessible and absolutely delicious. No hard-to-find ingredients, no complicated recipes, just doing what I’ve always done, but without the cooking bacon.
Monroe’s recipes connect with many vegans who are put off by hard to find and expensive ingredients in many recipes share in Facebook groups and on YouTube videos. Jack has worked hard at promoting the accessibility and inexpensive virtues of veganism.
In 2019, Jack Monroe recorded a video for Veganuary discussing “Is It Expensive To Be Vegan?”