5 Foods You Think Are Vegetarian But Aren’t

You all know that vegeterians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or seafood, or any products that come from them or any part of an animal’s body. However, there are plenty of processed foods on the shelves that are mistakenly seen as vegetarian friendly. Some products have misleading labels which makes vegetarians more susceptible to unconsciously break the rules.


The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 ruling requires food manufacturers to label common food allergens, leading some companies to be more transparent about the source of their ingredients. On the other hand, the FDA doesn’t require food companies to indicate clearly all ingredient sources on the label. For instance, the vegeterians have to deal with the ambiguity of ingredients like “natural flavors”, which could be derived from either an animal or plant source.

Unfortunately, there are many common foods that are considered to be vegetarian, but they still contain remnants of non-vegetarian food. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike still have to deal with shades of gray when it comes to thinking green. In this article we will present you the most common foods considered to be vegetarian, but surprisingly, they aren’t approved.

  1. Altoids

Eventhough they are good for your breath, they are not for your vegetarian needs as they contain gelatin – a thickening agent used to give gummies and yogurt a jelly-like consistency. However, gelatin is derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products. Manufacturers use gelatin as a stabilizing agent in Altoids. However, in 2011, the mint company altered the ingredients of their Wintergreen mints, adding blue food coloring. Altoid mints labeled “sugar-free smalls” do not contain gelatin. They are a vegetarian friendly option.

  1. Beer

Not all types of beer are vegeterian friendly. For instance, guinness beer contains fish bladder as a fining agent, which means it removes unwanted leftovers from the brewing process and could possibly end up in your pint. Unfortunately, the beer company does not list it as an ingredient on the label.

Keatly explains that fish bladder is used in order to filter the yeast in some brands, with the thicker British brands being more prone to using tropical fish bladders to filter. According to Keatley, people should stick to big American brands like Budweiser and Coors, because they are both vegetarian and vegan friendly.

  1. Bananas

People consider bananas as vegetarian friendly food, but it turns out that a spray-on coating designed to lengthen its shelf like may contain animal parts. For instance, chitosan is a bacteria-fighting compound which is used to prevent bananas from ripening, softening and rotting into mush, but it is derived from shrimp and crab shells. This presents bad news for vegetarians, vegans and those with a shellfish allergy.

However, the banana itself is fine, and it’s the spray that makes it non-veg.

Although the banana itself is fine, it’s the spray used to extend its shelf life that makes it non-veg. Gina Keatley, a New York-based dietician at Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, told Medical Daily in an email: “The coating is made of shellfish and works amazingly well; however, this makes the product no longer vegan.” She avices vegetarians and vegans to purchase organic food in order to avoid the spray.

  1. Supplements And Vitamins

Vegans and vegetarians need to take supplement in order to get the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals. However, they should get vitamins that are not in gel caps. Dr. Jennie Ann Freiman, a New York obstetrician-gynecologist told Medical Daily: “Gel caps are not vegetarian because the capsule is made of gelatin, which is usually beef (can be fish etc. but less likely).” She says that very few people realize this when they purchase supplements and vitamins.

  1. Orange Juice

Due to the fact that orange juice is marketed as “heart healthy” it means that the manufacturers add omega 3s from sardines, anchovies and tilapia – unless they are synthetic. Moreover, the vitamin D added in this juice is derived from lanolin, which comes from sheep wool, but this differs from brand to brand. Keatley suggests vegans and vegetarians to get freshly squeezed orange juice In  order to avoid the non-vegetarian ingredients.

Always have in mind these vegetarian foods that are actually non-vegetarian when you go food shopping.

Source:  homehealthyrecipes

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