If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, I have some bad news that’s about to make you feel betrayed by the food world. And probably grossed out and angry. What you think is OK to eat in your special diet is not. According to EatThis, here all the foods most vegetarians and vegans consume regularly and contain some sort of animal ingredient. Put them on your “black list”:
1. White Sugar
White sugar, along with confectioner’s sugar and brown sugar, go through a bleaching process called “bone char” which is a fancy name for charred cattle bones. Yes, animal bones.
Alternative: Turbinado sugar, organic evaporated cane juice, organic dehydrated cane juice, or organic cane sugar.
2. Vanilla ice cream
Beaver butt juice (yes, the list gets worse) is also referred to as ‘castoreum,’ which is the “all-natural ingredient” that scientists use to give products a musky, vanilla scent. Yum!
Alternative: Vegan-approved ice cream, such as Soy Delicious – or avoid “natural flavoring” altogether.
3. Orange Juice
Nothing like some fish oil and sheep’s wool in the morning. To be marketed as real orange juice, Omega-3s are required. Unfortunately, unless it’s synthetic, Omega-3 contains anchovies, tilapia and sardines. Vitamin D, which can be found in some fortified juices, come from lanolin. Lanolin is a waxy substance from sheep’s wool.
Alternative: Choose Tropicana brand – it’s not on the black list. Neither is PepsiCo, but steer clear of Coca-Cola juices. Or squeeze fresh oranges.
4. Refried beans
Beware of pork fat.
Alternative: If you’re eating out, ask before you order. Taco Bell beans are okay (I’m just as shocked as you are), but there is beef gelatin in their sour cream and chipotle sauce.
Bananas can be dangerous to people with shellfish allergies. Many are sprayed with a compound made from shrimp and crab shells to fight off bacteria and preserve shelf life. Unfortunately, the chemicals can infiltrate the fruit.
Alternative: Go organic, and read warning labels. What has the world come to where we can’t even trust b-a-n-a-n-a-s?!
Are you ready? Einstein Bros. and Dunkin Donuts bagels are processed with the enzyme L. Cysteine as a “dough conditioner.” (So is Pizza Hut garlic bread, and Mickey D honey wheat rolls, cinnamon rolls and apple pies. L. Cysteine is made from duck and chicken feathers.
Alternative: Lender’s and Thomas’s bagels are not on the black list. You can also bake your own dough products, or find a local bakery that makes them from scratch.
7. Red candies
The myth is true: red coloring is made from crushed beetles. For the coloring, a pigment extracted from the female Dactylopius coccus Costa bug. Wine, vinegar, and colored pasta also use crushed insects.
Alternative: avoid anything that says “Natural Red #4,” “cochineal,” “carminic acid,” or “carmine.”
8. Hard coated candies
Most hard candies have an ingredient called “confectioner’s glaze.” You’re eating a resin secreted from the butt of the female lac bug. YUM! FYI, when you get a manicure for lasts 3-4 weeks, that shellac is the same thing. It’s also in furniture polish, hairspray, and agricultural fertilizer.
Alternative: M&Ms are bug-free. Google first before you reach for something to satisfy that sweet tooth craving.
9. Beer and wine
Some brands of beer and wine, specifically those made in Britain, are formulated using isinglass – a gelatin from the air bladder of specific freshwater fish. Cheers, mate!
Alternative: Check out the Vegan Alcohol Directory at Barnivore.com.
Some peanut brands use gelatin, which comes from collagen from cow or pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues.
Alternative: Buy peanuts in the shell.
11. Potato chips
Most chips – especially BBQ – contain chicken flavor.
Alternative: Read the labels. Lay’s Country Flavor BarBQ are not on the black list, but Lay’s KC Masterpiece Barbecue chips and BBQ Baked Lay’s are on it.
12. Cake mix
A dry ingredient: pork fat.
Alternative: Avoid “lard.” That’s the culprit.
Sorry about all the bad food news. But someone needed to warn you.