Most especially if you just adopted a vegan diet, it’s very important to read labels or do a lot of online research — it can be surprising to know that a lot of food products that seem okay for vegetarians actually contain animal byproducts. Read on to get the shock of your life. Below are foods that seem like they’re completely vegan but are not!
Did you know that some soy cheeses out there actually contain casein, which is a kind of protein found in cow’s milk? Casein is added to soy cheese in order to give it that, well, cheesy taste. So before you put that pack of soy cheese in your shopping cart, check that it is 100% vegan.
You might think that margarine is the perfect alternative to butter, but it’s not — sometimes. There are some margarines out there that contain casein as well as whey, which is the watery part that remains after milk has curdled.
There is no denying that peanuts are an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. However, some packaged peanuts on the current market actually have gelatin. What’s wrong with gelatin? Gelatin is in fact derived from boiling the bones, cartilage and skin of animals for a long period of time. Definitely not vegan-friendly!
Definitely, fruit-flavored gelatin desserts and those chewy gummy bears should be avoided if you are into a vegan diet. These products, obviously, contain gelatin.
Manufacturers of red candies use a kind of food coloring derived from the cochineal, which is a type of beetle The said dye is also often used for coloring many other food products boasting of the red color, like certain types of vinegar, wine and pasta sauce. If the list of ingredients says “carmine” or “carminic acid”, the product has cochineal in it.
Sugar is from plants, right? That’s true. However, sugar is not naturally white — manufacturers use bone char in order to whiten it. Do take note that sometimes bone char is referred to as “natural carbon” on the label. Your best bet is to go for unrefined sugar to make sure you’re not consuming animal byproducts.
A lot of boxed cake mixes on the planet actually contain beef fat. More often than not, beef fat is parading as “lard” on the list of ingredients. So before you bake, read the packaging carefully!
Dressings and Sauces
Some salad dressings and sauces may sound vegan but they’re not. Take for example bottled Caesar salad dressing — many of its varieties contain anchovies. The same is true with Worcestershire sauce.
When shopping for orange juice, make sure that you don’t go for something that’s fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. That’s because it is very much likely for the product to contain fish oil, which is an excellent source of those healthy fats. Some fortified orange juice out there also contain gelatin.
Just like some orange juice types, breads fortified with omega-3 fatty acids contain fish oils. Plus there are also so many other animal-based ingredients crucial for bread-making present, such as eggs, milk and butter.
Just because a can of vegetable soup boasts of the word “vegetable” on its packaging doesn’t immediately mean that it’s perfect for vegans. Did you know that some vegetable soups at your favorite supermarket contain chicken broth?
If you think that ordering French fries at your favorite fast food joint is okay for your newfound vegetarian diet, think again. While it’s true that French fries are made from potatoes, they are fried in animal fat. Your best bet is to make French fries in your own kitchen, then bake or fry them using vegetable oil with a high smoke point.