We’ve all been stung by food in the past that we could’ve sworn should’ve been vegan but it turns out that some manufacturer somewhere decided it was a clever idea to load it up with unnatural additives. Here’s our list of 5 foods that surprisingly are not vegan (even though they should be!).
1. Apple and Orange Juice
The ingredients in juice should just be exactly what it says it is – i.e. apple juice should just be 100% apples and orange juice should just be 100% orange juice. But you may be surprised to learn that in many instances this isn’t the case! This is especially true for long life juices and for those claiming extra benefits, such as orange juice with omega3. Oranges do not contain omega3 so where does this added omega3 come from? Fish oil. There was even a big media frenzy back in 2014 where Golden Circle advised a customer that gelatine derived from beef is used as a clarifying agent in their long life juices to remove the cloudiness. Try to stick to fresh juices which tend to have less additives and always check the label.
2. Lollies (Gummies, red ones, etc.)
It is true to say that some lollies are vegan friendly but be wary and on the look out for those who aren’t! Lollies such as marshmellows and gummy bears contain gelatine and others such as nerds and red coloured candies contain E120, an additive extracted from insects. Try to stick to vegan specialty made marshmellows or lollies and always check the labels, with special care for additive E120, cochineal, cochineal extract, carmine or carminic acid.
3. Non-Dairy Creamer
Not all non-dairy creamers are non-diary! Surprisingly, a lot of non-dairy creamers actually still contain casein or whey, both proteins derived from milk. Always double check the ingredients when it comes to non-diary creamers, even bigger companies are guilty of this. If you check out the ingredients of Nestle’s Coffee Mate non diary creamers, which are widely available at Woolworths and Coles, you’ll notice milk protein listed as an ingredient. Lucky there’s a wide range of vegan friendly non dairy milk alternatives that can be used instead.
The basic recipe for bagels includes water, flour, sugar, salt, oil and yeast. Looks safe for vegans right? Unfortunately, commercially produced bagels include a whole lot more in their ingredients list. Taking a look at the ingredients of the Bagel House branded bagels (which is widely available at Woolworths and Coles), you’ll notice whey listed as an ingredient as well as emulsifiers 481 and 472, both of which is generally derived from animal fats.
5. Boxed Cake Mixes
While you can definitely find vegan varieties, not all cake mixes are vegan friendly and are usually jam packed with lots of interesting additives such as corn starch, corn syrup and other nasties. From a vegan perspective, look out for cake mixes that include ingredients such as sodium stearoyl (usually derived from animal fats), xanthan gum, milk and its derived proteins whey and casein.
Have you been tricked by certain foods you could’ve sworn were vegan? Share it with everyone in the comments below.