As being vegan is becoming more mainstream and access to great food is becoming easier for those on a plant-based diet, it is surprising that there are some ideas about being vegan which don’t seem to disappear not matter how accepted veganism is.

How many of these do you come across when talking to people and what else would you add?

Vegan diets cost more

There is an assumption that to be vegan you must invest in fancy foods from those beautiful organic chains that exist in very middle-class areas. Foods like quinoa, spirulina, bee pollen and chia are all now considered staples of the eat-clean revolution that is sweeping up the vegan brand. While it is great that this is all helping to make vegan mainstream, most of us don’t actually eat like this. Neither do the omnivores with those glossy, hardback celebrity chef cookbooks on their shelves. No one really needs several different types of flour, oil and vinegar to make tasty meals, especially not vegans. While the shops still sell chickpeas, tomatoes and lentils for less than a quid, we are still able to make healthy, balanced and more importantly, flavoursome meals without the need for trendy superfood additions. We are vegan, we think all plant food is super.

Vegan food takes longer to prepare

This is a long-standing myth that to be vegan you need to put more forethought and preparation into your meals that if you were bunging a joint into the oven. Aside from the wonderful array of ‘things on toast’ that are perfectly vegan (avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach), other common quick meals include stir-fry, simple pasta dishes, or a tofu spanish ‘omlette’. All of which take less than  15 minutes to make, all of which would feed a hungry family after a long and busy day.

It is impossible to eat out with a vegan in the group

Long gone are the days of not being able to find something vegan on the menu, unless of course you are unfortunate enough to have selfish friends requesting to go to a surf and turf which refuses to cater for plant-eaters. Otherwise, there are enough chain restaurants offering vegan menus. Granted some of these menus are the normal vegetarian options minus the dairy but it is the little steps which have brought us this far. Carluccios, Wetherspoons, Pizza Express to name a few offer vegan menus. Others are listing what is vegan-friendly and most places will cater for you if given a quick call in advance. Even country pubs.

The vegan diet is a health fad

This is a myth which is perpetuated by the media hopping onto any celebrity-goes-vegan story and then puts what they eat down to how much weight they have or have not lost. Like any diet, being vegan can be both healthy and unhealthy depending on what you choose to eat. There is an abundance of vegan junk food out there; pretty much all your favourite childhood chocolate bars have been veganised in one way or another. There is no shortage of vegan cake, chocolate and sweets. Sheffield has its first vegan burger bar with huge portions, London has VX, Cookies and Scream, Ms Cupcake and that’s not even scratching the surface and Manchester has the excellent V Revolution. None of these places are health food stores and they are all damn tasty.

I have a vegan coming for dinner, I have no idea what to feed them

This along with ‘well, what do you eat?’ are possibly the most infuriating things a vegan gets asked. You can veganise anything and if you are not sure, you can look it up on the internet. It is full of great vegan recipes and simple things to make. We are people after all, we will be just as grateful for our meal as anyone else you invite over.