What do you do for vegan “emergency food”?

November 25, 2010

Sometimes you find yourself in situations where there’s simply nothing to eat, and while there are times where you know it’s coming, at other spots you can just be caught in a jam, but without jam, because jam would solve that problem and how.  Here are some tips on emergency food of the planned and unplanned variety:

What do you guys do for emergency food?  Is your bag constantly stocked with something?  Share your tips in the comments!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen November 26, 2010 at 11:10 am

I don’t tend to carry emergency food when I’m in Toronto because there’s usually something close enough nearby if I become desperate.

When I’m out of town though I do and it’s usually things that can’t get mashed like apples or energy bars or nuts. That said, I used to have a banana bunker which I’ve lost and it was the shiznit: http://bananabunker.com/
The banana bunker may more properly belong on Vegan Porn but it really works.

Erin November 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

My emergency food is mostly for my daughter, but also for when we are out playing and don’t want to stop to go eat. I keep it in the Ergo baby carrier. I have 2 Primal Strips vegan jerky, a little packet of Justin’s Almond and Maple butter (I like it because it’s in a small pouch and full of protein and fat to fill you up if you are having a rousing day of sledding), a couple packets of seasoned nori (my daughter’s favorite snack), a packet of freeze dried fruit, some homemade fruit leather, and a cliff bar. I have a three pack of the juicebox-sized containers of soymilk in the car along with water. I’m pretty good about replacing things as we eat them, although I’m thinking the cliff bar is gone right now… better get that.

When we travel with my in-laws, I pack almost as much food as clothing. I like to bring a bag of the freeze dried lentil soup that you can get in the bulk containers. You just add hot water and you have a hearty soup that will fill you up. That’s good for diners or hotel eating. I like to bring a pre-seasoned couscous for the same reason. I bring quick cooking oatmeal and dried fruit, or homemade granola. I brought a whole container of dates last time…

I will say that I haven’t had to break out my lentil soup or couscous yet, and I should just give them the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t want my daughter to be hungry- or her caregivers.

Jason November 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Colleen, the banana bunker looks way cooler than the banana guards they sell at St. Lawrence market, but you should plan a trip down to get one anyway.

Erin, I was so frigging excited that we could carry jerky in the baby carrier, but it turns out we have a different model without a pouch. It’s a good thing babies are awesome on their own, because that would have been a huge bummer otherwise :)

(And yes, all future accessory choices will be influenced by the “can it carry jerky” question.)

Mirkat November 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I have an annual work trip where I leave home on a Thursday morning and return Saturday afternoon or evening. Although our meetings manager arranges vegan meals for me through our hotel’s catering department, I never know what I’ll get. So this year, I stocked up on Lara Bars, which turned out to be a great supplement. I also brought soy milk to use in my coffee and I was able to get a fridge in my room.

The breakfast service always had an array of fresh fruit, so I ended up hording some of the fruit for later snacking. That worked out pretty well, too. :)

I think I need a couple of banana bunkers! I’ve taken to freezing a couple of bananas (pre-peeled) just so that they can survive my transporting them to work.

Matt November 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Like Erin, my main concern is making sure I have ample and suitable emergency food packed for my two daughters; since we don’t live in Toronto “everything is made of animals” as my 3 year old likes to say. We find hard fruit, nuts, dried fruit and granola work well. Double all portions as playdates often evolve into meals.
For myself, the only time this is an issue is at work where I can find myself working on an emergency scene for hours–MRE’s are supplied, but obviously non-vegan (like most of my workplace). I find Lara bars for energy and powdered vega in a bottle for rehab are very helpful for such emergencies and keep both in the truck with me at all times.

Jason November 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Mirkat – that reminds me of the time I was at an event and none of the food was vegan except for the big fruit salad bowl. There were a lot of cakes, and the crowd didn’t seem too into the fruit, so I figured I did the caterers a favour by eating 3 heaping dinner plates of fruit salad :)

Matt – doubleplus agree on Vega in a standby bottle – it fills me up and gives me the same kick as a coffee, which is usually a lot of help in the “far from home, no food” scenearios.

Amanda November 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

At all times I carry some packets of Soy Go creamer, a little baggie of washed grapes, and a tangerine or two. I’ve never been a fan of the energy bars. It just seems like they don’t keep me full long enough to warrant the calories.

Jason November 27, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Amanda, I feel that way about the Vega bars, but Clif makes some pretty filling varieties if you haven’t tried them yet – also handy that a lot of convenience/grocery stores around here carry them!

MollyG November 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

When I travel I carry lots of food. For my trip to Spain and France two years ago I mostly brought bars to have for breakfasts. This way I never had to worry about finding food in the morning (though in Paris, all I ate for breakfasts were amazing baguettes and tangerines. Holy yum). On my most recent trip to Costa Rica, we brought bars (Luna and Clif mostly, I’m not a fan of the raw bars for some reason) but we did also bring trail mix as we did a lot of hiking. Trader Joe’s makes an organic, vegan trail mix with chocolate chips in it! That was my favorite. Oh, we also brought a bag of raw cashews for snacking. It seems to have worked out well. We surely did not starve!

Marguerite Blake November 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Where I tend to shop in Tampa, at Whole Foods, I have not seen the soy creamers. I would like to try them. I like to take raw nuts, being an adult (that is debatable) I can chew them still with my real teeth! I like the baby carrots. I also like raw only sweet potato/yam-peeled if needed, sliced very thin like a potato chip and carried with me in a reuseable container.
Please Jason can you mention about not using plastic disposable bags? I am an earth conscious, organic gardener since the 60′s and really would love it if younger people could embrace the total thought of renewable items in everything they do. I know it is not practical always, but a shift to using old newspaper or newspaper plactic used bags for fruit scraps or mentioning washing the plastic bags and reuse. In the 60′s I used aluminum foil over and over and always washed it many times. Also used clean washed dishtowels to wrap a sandwich. I dont know if it saves on environmental issues but people need to come up with better ways than just having things thown in the trash! Our OLD WAYS have NOT worked!

Jason November 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Marguerite! I decided a while ago not to try in include everything in the videos – if I did that, I’d never publish any of them (it’s how my brain’s wired, there’s always one more thing) but I’ve also learned to trust visitors to fill in the blanks with the comments!

So yes, please please please everyone, if you’re using plastic bags as I’ve recommended, remember that you can reuse them an awful lot of times. I still recommend some kind of zip loc style bag because it’s the simplest solution that eliminates the friction that would keep you from starting, but you can jump to more renewable items at any time, including right at the beginning if you want.

Thanks for the great tips!

Michelle January 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I like to pack the 5 day stockpile meal plan from the book: Vegan Unplugged. I also make many of the meals from the book: Peta College Vegan Cookbook. That whole book is fast, easy vegan meals that are all cooked in a microwave or you can even use a toaster oven or regular stove/oven. But they are cheap, easy and FAST, so perfect for use while travelling, visiting non-veg homes, emergencies, etc!

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