Animals Hiding In Your Food

Sneaky animal by-products.

Fee O'Shea

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Image created by author

There are some foods you would think would be vegan but, in fact, when you begin to understand ingredients, you’ll see that they are not.

Following on from my last article regarding the labelling of ingredients I thought I’d compile a list of foods that have animal by-products hiding within.

How many of these veggie-imposters surprise you?

  1. Beer and Wine, of which most use isinglass in the clarification or fining process. Isinglass is a byproduct of fish swim bladders. It is the last step in the process and is removed before bottling, but traces can remain.
  2. Fruit Juice frequently contains Vitamin D. This is usually derived from lanolin (sheep oil). It can contain Omega-3 sourced from fish oil, and gelatine a protein derived from skin, tendons, ligaments and/or bones. Apple juice is often clarified using isinglass (refer above to Beer and Wine).
  3. Enhanced Breads, you should read the ingredients as like the juices it may include Omega-3 from fish oil. Commercially baked goods may also contain non-vegan ingredients such as milk, eggs, butter, whey, and honey.
  4. Boxed Cake Mix uses beef fat, also called lard, as a common ingredient. Also check for dairy and/or eggs. Can also be also present in many cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.
  5. Bagels use a dough conditioner “enzyme L. Cysteine”, commonly sourced from duck and chicken feathers. It’s used in other processed bread products, particularly those served in fast food outlets. (Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s all admit to the practice respectively in their donuts, garlic bread, and apple pie.)
  6. White Sugar is typically listed only with “sugar” as an ingredient, but most processed sugar (including brown and confectioner’s) is whitened by a process that uses bone char.
  7. Red Candy and most any food that’s coloured red contains pigments extracted from the female Dactylopius coccus costa. This red bug dye is typically listed as cochineal, carminic acid or carmine in the ingredients. It is found in candy, wine, vinegar, juice and even coloured pasta. Many candies are also coated…

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Fee O'Shea

Gold card carrying vegan NZ author. Passionate about all critters (including humans). Can be seen advocating for the animals or speaking at events.