8 More Products That Are Surprisingly NOT Vegan
When dealing with fresh, whole foods, being a vegan is quite easy. Yet, with packaged foods and healthcare items, you need to learn a whole new language. As a result of this new language, you’ll distinguish what is and is not vegan.
“Dairy Free” Butter? Possibly NOT Vegan
Many people assume a dairy product labeled “dairy free” means no dairy. “Dairy free” can be misleading, and consequently dangerous for people with sensitive allergies.
While there are no straightforward dairy ingredients in these products, they will oftentimes contain lactic acid and/or casein (milk protein). Hence, one would think the labels are untrue, yet labeling as such is legal in the United States.
Lactic acid can be derived from dairy, and most likely is. Unless the lactic acid specifically notes “no animal sources” or “vegan,” it probably contains dairy. Casein, which is milk protein, can be an ingredient in your “non dairy” butter or cheese. However, casein is, quite literally, milk protein. Casein is not vegan. Rather, it’s the specific protein in milk that Forks Over Knives discusses in depth as “turning on” the cancer gene.
Bagels and Bread? Possibly NOT Vegan
Almost all vegans know bagels and bread can contain milk or egg wash. But what many vegans don’t know is glycerides are typically derived from animal sources. Glycerides are used as emulsifiers to strengthen the dough, while L-Cysteine (“E920” on labels) extends shelf life. Most noteworthy, L-Cysteine is an amino acid typically derived from duck feathers, cow horns, pig bristles, or even human hair! So, your bagel is not vegan unless it has a vegan-specific label.
Sprinkles and Coated Candies? Possibly NOT Vegan
Thanks to an ingredient innocuously labeled as “confectioner’s glaze,” many sprinkles and coated candies are shiny. Confectioner’s glaze is a fancy way of saying bugs. Also called “resinous glaze,” confectioner’s glaze is comprised of about 35% shellac.
Furthermore, and most noteworthy, shellac is the chemical sold in hardware stores. Shellac is used for sealing and varnishing wood floors. And shellac is, quite literally, melted down bugs. Yuck.
Pharmaceutical and Over the Counter Drugs? Possibly NOT Vegan
Many pills are coated with “resinous” bug glaze, too. Seems like coated candies and sprinkles, right? Rather, in this instance, it’s called “pharmaceutical glaze.” Different name, same bugs.
Chewing Gum? Possibly NOT Vegan
Many people assume that gum is a vegan-safe product. However, the ingredient listed as “gum base” is made from non-animal ingredients like lanolin, glycerin, stearic acid, and latex. In simple yet scary terms (in that same order), these ingredients are a wax secreted by animals with wool, animal fat or oils, and milk derivatives.
Vitamin Supplements? Possibly NOT Vegan
Many supplements can come from animal sources or even human hair, unless specifically labeled as “vegan.” Vitamins B-12, D, and Omegas are commonly consumed by vegans. If you are a vegan who is into fitness, you may currently take BCAA’s or some other form of amino acids. Again, you’re more than likely consuming human hair, duck feathers, or some other type of animal product. Unless of course your product is specifically labeled as being “vegan.”
Contact the supplement company for details and confirmation of vegan or non vegan status of all supplements you take.
Items Containing “Natural Flavoring”? Possibly NOT Vegan
“Natural flavoring” is another fun generalized name given to a disgusting slew of potentially animal derived. You can find “natural flavoring” in flavoring syrups, fruit snacks, etc. According to Title 21, Section 101, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “natural flavoring” is described as:
“… the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
This pretty much means that it can be anything approved for use in food. Therefore, unless the source is noted on the label, you’ll have to contact the company to find out if it is sourced from animals or not. Why? WHY?
Strawberry or Raspberry Flavored Items? Possibly NOT Vegan
Apparently, the secretion from a beaver’s behind tastes like raspberry. Also commonly referred to as a “natural flavoring,” castoreum is the correct name for this lovely stuff. Raspberry flavored candy, alcoholic beverages, baked goods, pudding, soft candy, hard candy, and chewing gum are just a few popular foods that contain castoreum.
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