More Americans becoming vegan, Tampa restaurant responds

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – November is World Vegan Month. A recent study found that six percent of Americans now identify as vegan.

That’s up from just one percent in 2014.

“Where a vegetarian might have dairy, a vegan is going to completely abstain from that, so no milk, no eggs, no dairy of any kind, everything’s from plants,” explained Charles Rumph with Farmacy Vegan Kitchen and Bakery.

Rumph has been a vegan for three years and he knows how the struggle can be to find vegan food.

“You have to look for a little ‘V’ on the menu, asking awkward questions to the waiter,” said Rumph.

That’s one reason he helped open downtown Tampa’s only vegan restaurant six months ago.

“If it looks good on the menu, you can eat it,” said Rumph.

A few simple substitutions bridge the gap between traditional food and vegan cuisine. For example, they use a flax egg in their bakery products.

“You can do one part milled flax and three parts water,” explained Larissa Pfeiffer, who works in the kitchen at Farmacy.

“When it’s milled like this, you can see it’s kind of sticky, and that’s what acts as the binder because egg is the binder in most things.”

Pfieffer has also been vegan for three years. It began as a way to help her physically.

“I had a lot of autoimmune issues and as soon as I went vegan, it all went away,” said Pfeiffer.

“I was living in pain and now I’m not. It went away and I didn’t have to do anything special for it. Then it became about the animals and the environment and became something that I’m so passionate about.”

Farmacy Vegan Kitchen and Bakery offers a full menu of plant-based foods that may even tempt carnivores. It’s located in the Duckweed Urban Grocery at 803 N. Tampa Street in Tampa.

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