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Vegetarian Foods That Aren’t As Vegetarian As You Think They Are

You may think you are not consuming non vegetarian foods, but trust me, animal products are hidden in so many things we are not aware of. This depends from nation to nation of course and not many people bother, but there are certainly a group of people who want to stick to strictly vegetarian food. So the next time make sure you read the ingredients and check for the ‘veg’ mark before you eat or buy.

Here’s a list of foods that are not necessarily vegetarian. Get ready to be shocked!

1) Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) Cheese

Cheese makers use an enzyme called “rennet”  which is derived from the stomach of young animals like lambs and calves, to coagulate liquid milk into curds and whey.

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95% of American-made cheese is now made with Fermentation Produced Chymosin (FPC), but the recipes for certain cheeses, like Parmigiano-Reggiano, are protected by European law and therefore always use animal rennet.

2) Red Candies

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An insect called Cochineal Beetle gives most red candies their coloring, it refers to carmine, a pigment extracted from it. So basically we are eating crushed beetles.

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3) International Beers

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Some brands of beer and wine, particularly those made in Britain, are clarified using isinglass, a gelatin from the air bladder of certain freshwater fish. (Guinness is a specific example that uses isinglass.)

4) Hard Candies

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Most candy coatings are made from shellac, a resin secreted from the rear end of the female lac bug. It’s usually listed as “confectioner’s glaze” in the ingredients. You may have heard of shellac before, like when you get a manicure that lasts several weeks. Yeah, it’s the same stuff. Shellac is also found in furniture polish, hairspray, and agricultural fertilizer. Yummy.

5) White Processed Sugar

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Refined white sugar is bleached in a process that entails running the sugar through “bone char” which is a fancy term for charred cattle bones. Look out for Brown Sugar or Demerara Sugar.

6) Baked beans

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Voila! Shocked? Whats in baked beans? They are just baked beans…NOT.  Most baked bean recipes start with bacon or a ham hock. Ham hock or pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg.

7) Worcestershire Sauce

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This one is made with anchovies, along with malt vinegar, molasses, sugar, and spices. Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish found in Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

8) Gel Capsules

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Most gel capped vitamins and medicines are made with animal gelatin. They may also contain fish oils. Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs.

9) Tortillas

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Wheat flour tortillas are made with lard. Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and un-rendered forms. It is obtained from any part of the pig where there is a high proportion of adipose tissue. Corn tortillas dont use lard. So the next time, either go for corn tortillas or make sure you eat wheat ones made with an alternative to lard.

10) Gummy Bears

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Image Source: Pinterest

Gelatin is made from animal by-products (often bones), which not only makes gummy worms. And it is the main ingredient in making gummy candies. So hence it is termed unfit for people following vegan and vegetarian lifestyle.

There are healthier and safer vegetarian and vegan alternatives in the market, you need to be aware of them and make sure you read before you blindly trust any product and buy it. Due to awareness a lot of products depending on animal by products are switching to vegan and vegetarian alternatives, but it is our responsibility to stay alert as a consumer.

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