In the world of nutrition and ingredients, things are not always what they seem. We are so used to seeing random ingredients on the labels of our foods that we don’t even pay too much attention to them anymore. Here is a handy little list to have for ingredients and other foods that are not so vegan but are commonly found in everyday foods.
- Casein (also Caseinate and Sodium Caseinate)
Casein is a milk protein. Milk is not vegan. Comically enough, it’s actually found in a lot of soy products, which seems counterintuitive to me. It’s also the addictive part of cheese that makes you want to come back for more.
Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments or bones of cows and pigs. Jello and marshmallow is generally made with gelatin. Some vitamin capsules are also made from gelatin
- Cochineal. Carminic Acid.
This is actually crushed female cochineal beetle. It makes a red dye that is used as food coloring and can be found anywhere from apple sauce to hard candy.
Milk sugar that is a common and well known allergen. Oddly enough it is still added to baked goods and other food products.
Also a milk protein. Whey is found just about everywhere including breads, cookies, cakes, etc.
- Caesar Salad Dressing
Caesar salad dressing actually has anchovies. Turns out the that “original” Caesar dressing recipe did not have anchovies but were added at some point when the kitchen ran out of ingredients and the chef made do with what he had (which included anchovies). Somehow it stuck and is now a common thing.
- Worcestershire Sauce
Also contain anchovies. Fermented anchovies are added to the sauce to give it its signature savory taste and adds “umami”.
The protein component of egg whites. It’s generally found in processed foods.
Contains eggs. The company Just Mayo creates delicious mayo using peas instead of eggs and it tastes identical. Google the high-profile lawsuit on Just Mayo for not using eggs, it’s pretty funny.
- Stearic Acid
Comes from animal fats and oils. Commonly used as a cheaper version of vanilla flavoring. Also found in beverages, candy and baked goods.
- Refried Beans
Many canned refried beans are made with hydrogenated lard, which in layman terms is known as pig fat.
Have any other common non vegan ingredients or foods that are not on the list? Let us know!