The face behind Passel Foods. I’ve been plant-based for over 15 years, and strict vegan for the latter half of that. I grew up in a time when veganism and even vegetarianism was not readily included in the culinary norms. It was difficult to find both plant based products and find support on making the transition, all while dealing with the unpleasant comments and incorrect execution from cooks and chefs when eating out.
Times have finally changed for the better. Living in the big cities like Melbourne, it’s now easy to find like minded people, vegan products in every store, and restaurants and cafes who have vegan options that included more than just sad lettuce and soggy tomatoes.
While politely talking about why I made that change, and how much happier and healthier I felt because of it, I came across a lot of, ‘I would love to but I can’t because of X Y Z condition’... I couldn’t relate.
I thought if you wanted to make the ethical change, you would find a way. Then, in 2017 I was first diagnosed with SIBO. I was told I could no longer sustain a healthy diet as a vegan because I couldn’t process the major vegan food groups (fruits, vegetables, legumes) and I was no longer absorbing essential vitamins and minerals... I could finally relate.
I explained I was vegan to every specialist I saw and that my dietary lifestyle was non-negotiable in my treatment. Over the phone I was told that wouldn’t be a problem. In person after looking at my results, the conclusion was always the same. Consume products containing animal, or waste away. I stubbornly chose the latter. Eventually after months of eating bland simple plant-based foods, my body began to reset and my vitamin levels returned to healthy levels. I still had issues processing gluten and the fodmaps, but I stayed true to my values. My diet consisted mostly of rice and the three vegetables I knew I could consume without issues. Meal time wasn’t exciting but I was content with doing it.
*I acknowledge that I was in a privileged position to be able to be that stubborn for that long. I could complete my university classes online at home and I had understanding employment, that didn’t compromise my position if I had to take leave due to gut related flare ups.
The concept for Passel Foods began in early 2021 during a self-catered cycling tour around Tasmania. In the smaller towns, it was becoming difficult to located the few fresh items of produce I could comfortably consume. I had just arrived in Port Arthur, with enough fresh produce to bunker in my tent and wait out several heavy rain days, when my food supply was savagely stolen by a passel of vicious possums. This highlighted two really important things for myself. One, it was not practically or possible to continue carrying days worth of fresh produce. Turning what should have been an exciting adventure into a stressful quest for edible food. (Possum burger started to look very appealing at this point). And two, (possibly more importantly), don’t leave your food bags outside our tents at night, no matter how possum proof you believe it to be.
The information, blogs, educational series, interviews, podcasts, general material, videos, and all other content shared on the Passel Foods website or social media platforms are intended solely for informational and educational purposes. They do not intend to diagnose, treat, cure, manage or prevent any disease or illness. The author(s) make no guarantee or warranty regarding the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information provided, and shall not be liable for any content presented. It is always recommended to consult a professional medical practitioner for specific medical advice before making any changes to your current diet or lifestyle.