Don’t Be Fooled! These 12 Foods Aren’t Always Vegan
Have you been trying to switch to vegan food? Good for you, but if you’ve been reading labels carefully, you’ve probably noticed that some foods are not what they appear to be. On my hunt for vegan food, I came across several products that seemed to serve my purpose and didn’t. Here is the list of 12 foods aren’t always vegan, so that you may avoid falling into the same trap.
Surprise! These 12 Foods Aren’t Always Vegan!
They fill you up and help you kill your cravings, so you were probably hoping to rely on them to ease the switch to vegan food and spice up your daily menu. Well, there’s still hope, but carefully read the label before buying. Many cereal brands contain gelatin. Granola bars are stuffed with dairy, too, so watch out!
2. White Sugar
I’ll admit, I’m a sugar junkie. To my surprise, just as I was learning to prepare some vegan alternatives to my favorite desserts, I discovered that some producers use bone char to process white sugar. If you only care what the food contains, and not what it came into contact with, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t want your food in contact with animal products, watch out!
3. Gummy Bears
Perhaps it was naïve, but I thought gummy bears were safe to eat, especially judging by their fruity flavor. I was wrong, as they’re mostly made of gelatin, extracted, as you know, from animal bones and cartilages.
4. Omega-3 Enriched Juice and Nectar
I know, Omega-3 makes you think of fish, but in fruit juice? Well, yes, some fruit juice is enriched with fish oil and gelatin, to provide Omega-3 and other valuable nutrients, even if it means compromising its vegetarian content.
5. Beer and Wine
Be careful when you’re watching a game and having a beer, or barbecuing your vegetables outdoors and reaching out for that glass of wine! Some producers clarify and filter these drinks using gelatin, casein, or isinglass, a.k.a. fish bladder. You have to admit it’s gross to even think about it, not to mention actually drinking that stuff.
6. Dairy-Free Cheese
If you like wine, you must like a thin slice of cheese next to it, every now and then. Well, be careful, as dairy-free doesn’t necessarily mean vegan-friendly. Many brands of dairy-free cheese contain casein (milk protein), and/or gelatin, so read the labels!
7. Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer
I don’t know about you, but I can’t start my day without a hot mug of coffee, with no sugar, but a fair dose of coffee creamer. It took some time to find one suitable for my new eating style, because, for many producers, the term “dairy-free” does not cover casein.
If you occasionally buy guacamole packets to save time, read the label. I found varieties containing milk, as surprisingly as that may be. You would never think of adding some milk into the guacamole you prepare at home, would you?
9. Refried Beans
Do you love Mexican food? Does your mouth water when you think of their refried beans? It’s understandable, but not necessarily vegan-friendly. Many refried beans recipes include lard, and you’ll find the same ingredient on the cans available in the supermarket, so double-check before buying.
10. Vegetable Soup
Healthy, delicious, vegan, and readily available, you would think, as you pick up the vegetable soup can. Well, think again. That delicious taste often comes from beef stock, so read the label carefully or start cooking!
I may not be able to enjoy my weekend barbecue stake, but I’m still hooked on sauces: Worcestershire, curry, tomatoes, you name it. I guess someone out there doesn’t want me to enjoy my meals because I found varieties containing fermented anchovies, ground fish, and even cheese.
12. Veggie Burgers and Pizza
I don’t know about you, but I associate the word “veggie” with “safe to eat”, “animal-free”, and other synonymous phrases. There must be something wrong with me, because many producers seem to limit this phrase to “meat-free”, and include eggs and dairy.
Perhaps you knew about these foods, and I’m just a slow learner. If you didn’t, at least you’ll read their labels carefully from now on. Truth be told, we still have a lot of options available out there, more than the previous generations, so let’s not despair!