Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Freakishly Un-Vegan Products

The more I read food labels and articles about food labels, the more I realize that a vegan has to be careful because animal products are hidden in the least likely of places.  Evil of evils!  Just when thought you had it all figured out, you realize that your orange juice may include products derived from fish or sheep's wool.  Weird.  Gross.  Rude.  Here's some info so you don't end up eating crunched up beetles, lard, or something equally disturbing.

Products you thought were vegan but actually aren't:

1.  Tropicana Heart Healthy Orange Juice.
I've read that the Omega3 comes from fish.  Also, the OJ fortified with Vitamin D3 contains derivatives of sheep's wool.  What the heck?

2.  FritoLay Chips - Specifically, the BBQ variety.
The BBQ chips contain "natural seasoning," which contains chicken flavoring.  Some of the other chips have pork enzymes.  Why?

3.  Altoids.
Made with gelatin.  Curiously minty.   Curiously not vegan.

4.  Worcestershire Sauce.
Made with anchovies.  I wasn't a fan anyway.

5.  Cesar Salad Dressing.
Also made with anchovies.  I feel like this is a pretty well known fact, though.

6.  Refried beans.
Made with lard.  Gag.

7.  Beer.
Some brands use gelatin or fish bladder as a filtering agent.  You can find a list of vegan beers here.  Thanks, VegNews.

8.  Thai Curry Paste.
Made with fish oil.  Doesn't seem necessary.

9.  Cake Mixes include beef fat.  White sugar is filtered with bone char.  It's just not right.

10.  Packaged peanuts.
Contain gelatin.  Planters Peanuts are not your friend.

11.  Flu Shot.
Contains egg products.

Ingredients to look out for:

Casein, lactose, whey, butterfat, buttermilk, ghee - from milk
Fish Oil or Omega-3 enriched - from fish
Gelatin - made from fish bones and connective tissues
Lanolin o r unspecified Vitamin D3 - from the wool of slaughtered sheep

While this information can be rather unsettling, the upside is that the consumer does have some power.  When it became known that Starbucks was using crushed beetles to make the Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino, there was such an uproar that they changed the ingredients.  So read labels, know your stuff, and don't be afraid to yell at a company that is hiding animal products in otherwise perfectly vegan food items.

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