Things to look out if you are a vegetarian

BY JEYANTHY PILLAI ice-cream-complicated-cone

I came across this information from the Vegetarian Society website recently, and I thought it will be best for devotees to be aware of this as well.

  • Did you know that Gardenia bread produced in Malaysia contains Vitamin D3 and it is obtained from fish oil or the wool of  the sheep called lanolin?
  • Watch out for the E numbers in the ingredients of some biscuits and ice-creams. Not all are vegetarian. E120 is made from crushed insects.
  • Most of the pills and some chewy sweets are made of gelatin. Some low-fat yoghurt and jellies contains gelatin as well. Most gelatin is obtained from the hooves of the cow!
  • Chewing gum often contains glycerin, a product that is obtained from animal fat. Wrigleys use vegetable glycerin. Glycerin is also fround in many toothpastes, body creams as well as soaps. You can find alternatives from ‘Body Shop’ which don’t use products from animals.
  • Whey and whey powder are usually by-products of the cheese making process which mainly uses animal rennet. Rennet is an enzim from the calf’s stomach. Whey is used in many biscuits. However, whey that is produced from the cottage cheese (panir) which we make at home is fine.
  • Source: http://www.vegsoc.org

    • Additives
    • Albumen Derived from eggs, probably battery.
    • Alcohol Many alcoholic drinks are fined (ie clarified) using animal ingredients, see beer and wine. Spirits are suitable for vegetarians except for some Russian and Eastern European Vodkas which may have used bone charcoal in their production. Watch out for cochineal in Campari.
    • Alpaca Animal derived clothing material.
    • Anchovies Small fish, found on pizzas and in some brands of worcester sauce.
    • Angora Animal derived clothing material.
    • Animal Fat Carcass fat not milk fat.
    • Aspic Savoury jelly derived from meat or fish.
    • Beer All cask conditioned “real” ales will have been fined with isinglass, and some keg, bottled and canned bitters, milds and stouts also. Lagers are generally chill filtered, but some brands may use isinglass on occasion (see also Beer from the Alcohol Info Sheet).
    • Biscuits May contain animal fats.
    • Bone Used in bone china and cutlery handles.
    • Bread Most large producers use vegetable based emulsifiers (E471, E472 etc), but local bakers may not. Some bakers may grease the tins with animal fat.
    • Breakfast cereals Often fortified with vitamin D3.
    • Brushes Animal hair is commonly used for paint and shaving brushes.
    • Butter Unadulterated butter is suitable for vegetarians.
    • Capsules Usually made from gelatine, vegetarian alternatives are becoming widely available.
    • Cashmere Animal derived clothing material.
    • Catering/Cookery Training may require the handling of meat. See: The Cordon Vert Cookery School
    • Caviar Fish eggs. The fish must be killed to obtain the eggs.
    • Cheese May have been produced using animal rennet.
    • Chewing gum Often contain glycerine. Wrigleys use a vegetable glycerine.
    • Chips May have been fried in animal fat.
    • Chitin Produced from crab & shrimp shells.
    • Chocolate Watch out for whey and emulsifiers.
    • Cochineal E120, made from crushed insects.
    • Crisps Often use whey as a flavour carrier, ready salted are nearly always vegetarian, however, meat-flavoured crisps rarely contain real meat..
    • Down Usually from slaughtered ducks or geese, though some live plucking does occur, used in bedding.
    • E Numbers European food additives numbering system, not all are vegetarian.
    • Edible Fats Can mean animal fats.
    • Eggs Some vegetarians may wish to avoid battery eggs and/or barn eggs. The Vegetarian Society does not award its seedling symbol to any products containing eggs other than free range.
    • Emulsifiers May not be vegetarian.
    • Fast Food Watch out for Bean/Vegetable burgers being cooked with fish/chicken/meat products.
    • Fatty Acids May be of animal or vegetable origin.
    • Feathers
    • Felt Made from wool or fur.
    • Fur
    • Gelatin/Gelatine A gelling agent derived from animal ligaments, skins, tendons, bones etc.
    • Glycerine/Glycerol May be produced from animal fats, synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.
    • Gravy Vegetarian gravy mixes are available. Be careful in restaurants.
    • Honey Avoided by vegans.
    • Ice Cream Look out for non dairy fats, E numbers, eggs.
    • Isinglass A fining agent derived from the swim bladders of certain tropical fish, especially the Chinese sturgeon. See Alcohol.
    • Lactose Produced from milk, sometimes as a by product of the cheese making process.
    • Lanolin Produced from sheep‘s wool. Used to make vitamin D3.
    • Leather Around 10% of the value of an animal at slaughter is in its skin.
    • Lecithin Nearly always produced from soya beans, though can be produced from eggs.
    • Margarines May contain animal fats, fish oils, vitamin D3, E numbers, whey, gelatine.
    • Mohair Animal derived clothing material.
    • Pasta May contain egg.
    • Pastry May contain animal fat.
    • Pepsin Enzyme from a pig’s stomach, used like rennet.
    • Pet Foods Dogs are omnivorous and can be fed on an exclusively vegetarian diet. Canned and dried dog foods are available.
    • Photography All Photographic film uses gelatine and some high quality photo papers.
    • Postage Stamps In the UK, the backing glue is free from animal products.
    • Shellac An insect secretion. To be treated in a similar way to Honey.
    • Shoes Quality synthetic shoes are becoming more widely available.
    • Silk Harvesting silk used in clothing invariably causes the death of the silk worm.
    • Soap Many soaps are not vegetarian since they use animal fats and/or glycerine. Vegetable oil based soaps are quite widely available.
    • Soft Drinks Some canned Orange drinks use gelatine as a carrier for added Beta Caratine. (This would not appear on the ingredients panel).
    • Soup Watch out for the stock.
    • Spirits (alcoholic that is!) possible problems with fining and filtering.
    • Stearic Acid May be vegetarian or not.
    • Stock May contain animal fat.
    • Suet Usually made from animal fat, vegetable versions are available.
    • Sweets Look out for gelatine in boiled sweets and mints, and cochineal in boiled sweets and Smarties. (some vegetarian sweets are listed by chocolate manufacturers.)
    • Toothpaste Many brands contain glycerine.
    • Vegan The Vegan Society produces The Animal Free Shopper which lists branded products suitable for vegans.
    • Vitamins Vitamin D2 is produced by sunlight acting on bacteria, however D3 is derived from lanolin from sheeps’ wool therefore only D3 which is guaranteed sourced from wool sheared from live sheep is considered acceptable.
    • Seedling Symbol You can be sure that any products carrying the Vegetarian Society’s V symbol have been thoroughly checked to ensure they are suitable for vegetarians.
    • Whey Whey and whey powder are usually by-products of the cheese making process which mainly uses animal rennet.
    • Wine May sometimes have been fined using isinglass, dried blood, egg albumen, gelatine, chitin. Vegetarian alternatives include bentonite, kieselguhr, kaolin and silica gel. Non vintage port is fined with gelatine. (see also Alcohol)
    • Wool may not be so sheep friendly.
    • Worcester Sauce Most brands contain anchovies though vegetarian versions are commonly used in ready meals.
    • Yoghurts Some low fat yoghurts contain gelatine.