Even after going on five years of being a vegetarian and four of being a vegan, I find new things all the time that are not NOT veg friendly that I have been consuming (yuck!) like it wasn’t until last year I found out Marshmellows, Gummy Bears, etc were not vegetarian becuase I had no idea gelatin wasn’t, until reading about it, then I wanted to puke. Not long before that I realized that fried foods, mostly not vegan/vegetarian, it had never even crossed my mind before that animal meats may of been fried in the same grease. I had never thought that (because I never used in home cooked meals, nor did my parents) that greens would be cooked with beef, or some other stock, or even adding a chunk into the vegetables for ‘flavoring’ until a friend of mine pointed that out.
My point is, after five years I am STILL finding out things. When becoming a vegetarian no one ever told me these things, they didn’t say hey Here is a list of sneaky dining out non veg friendly tricks, or here is a list of common non veg friendly ingredients. It would have been VERY helpful.
Is anyone else having this issues? Or is it just me???
BTW I don’t classify myself as Vegan anymore due to the fact I don’t feel I have fully conquered vegetarianism… I still don’t eat cheeses, milk, etc though… Could never go back to those dairy products!
Even PETA says it is impossible to be 100% vegan in today’s society. You don’t often hear about these things before you decide to go veg*n because most people aren’t that strict with their eating habits. It would also scare people away from trying to go veg*n at all. Which I hate because being veg*n isn’t about being perfect it is just about being more conscious of your choices especially your eating habits and making an effort to help the animals (if that is your reason for going veg*n in the 1st place). Any and all steps in the right direction help. Try not to stress so much about slip ups with hidden ingredients etc.
I’ve been vegetarian my entire life, and vegan at times, and I know it can still be challenging. Some tips I have to help you figure out vegetarian/vegan items quickly, which I’m sure others have shared include:
- What I like to call the “quick scan” for ingredients: meat, gelatine, lard, rennet, casein, animal-broths (chicken, beef, etc.), fish, seafood and eggs (I don’t eat any of these in food). If you are vegan, check as well for dairy, honey and beeswax.
- If anything is gummy or sticky, I try to avoid it as it will tend to have gelatine.
- Cakes, breads, pastas and pastries may be dairy and/or egg free, but some companies may still use an egg-wash when baking it. I check if it’s yellow in colour or smells like eggs, which will most likely contain eggs.
- Any place that fries items in the same fryer, refuses to tell you, or doesn’t know, stay away!
- A tricky one to always keep in mind are what types of broths are used for cooking. I thought items such as refried beans, pastas, or soups were vegetarian (thank goodness I always asked!), and turns out the broths were animal-based. The same applies for sauces, so always check.
- Don’t get down on yourself if it happens by accident! Always do your best to read and ask questions.
Even long-term vegans like me can end up accidentally eating non-vegan food so don’t sweat it
My biggest GRRR is when products that have been vegan for a while suddenly change their recipe and make it non-vegan, without a ‘new recipe’ warning on the front.