Vegan ingredients check: 7 non vegan ingredients
So, you’ve decided to make the leap and go vegan. Well done! Now, it’s time to get to know ingredients that aren’t vegan. It can be tough to navigate some of the tricker non vegan ingredients because you’re focused on the obvious ones. Yes, meat, cheese, butter, eggs, milk, ice cream, chicken and fish aren’t vegan.
But, what about other ingredients that aren’t vegan? When I first went vegan, there was still a lot to learn. And, truthfully almost a decade later, I’m still learning and often do a vegan ingredients check.
However, it’s important to remember that deciding to go vegan is a big deal! And, it’s also important to remember that perfectionism is an idea but there is no such thing as being a perfect vegan.
When reading nutrition labels, these are 7 non vegan ingredients to look out for.
Gelatin is an ingredient that comes from animal collagen. And, animal collagen comes from things like animal skin, bones, hides and even fish. Gelatin is a non vegan ingredient that is used as a thickening agent. You can find it in items like marshmallows, ice creams, gummy candy and gelatin desserts. It also goes by names like collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, and gelatin hydrolysate.
While so many think honey is vegan, it’s not. Because we as vegans don’t exploit living beings or use their products, honey is not vegan. In addition, bee farming practices can be brutal for bees. It’s been reported that some who harvest honey remove the wings from the Queen in order for the bees to stay in the hive and make honey.
Next is carmine. Used as a natural dye to color food and in make-up, carmine is another ingredient that isn’t vegan. Carmine is a red pigment which comes from cochineal insects. You can find it in fruit juices, yogurt and candy.
Sad news: not all alcohol is vegan. In fact, most wine is not vegan because of its clarification using isinglass. Isinglass is gelatin that comes from fish. You can find it in other products like candy as well. Often, wine and beers won’t be labeled as vegan but there are solutions to this. First, you can find vegan wines and order them via Vegan Wines. There’s also Barnivore, an app that has a database of wines and beers and can tell you if they’re vegan.
5. Shellac aka Confectioner’s Glaze
The first time I learned Confectioner’s Glaze wasn’t vegan I was half-way through my vegan ice cream with sprinkles from a popular ice cream shop. I decided to Google it just to make sure it was vegan and saw Confectioner’s Glaze listed. And, that was when I learned Confectioner’s Glaze was not vegan. Shellac/glaze comes from resin secreted by the lac bug and it’s used in (you guessed it) sprinkles, candies, jelly beans and more to give them a glossy coating.
6. Vitamin D3
Yes, we need Vitamin D. But, not all Vitamin D is vegan. Vitamin D3 is a non vegan ingredient made from sheep’s wool. This ingredient is often found in fortified foods like orange juice. Fortunately, there are vegan versions of Vitamin D you can use as supplements.
Finally, there’s lard. This ingredient comes from pigs and is often used in cooking and baking. When you go to restaurants, ask if dishes liked beans or tortillas are cooked or made with lard.