Most often, vegetarians are scrutinised for their life choices. As if it isn’t already hard enough for them to convince their non-vegetarian friends that they are not missing out on anything in their lives, they now have to become Sherlock Holmes to find out if the product they are consuming is labelled vegetarian just for the sake or is it really genuine. Yes, there are so many things that are labelled as vegetarian but are actually non-vegetarian. We have a small list for you so that you can choose your food wisely!
#1. French fries and chips
Any market bought packet of French fries is a non-vegetarian product. While being processed in a factory, the French fries are partially fried in beef tallow, which is a form of beef fat. Unless the fries are not handmade and fried in vegetable or fruit oil, they are non-vegetarian. The same theory applies to chips as well, especially the barbecue flavoured ones.
To prevent bananas from ripening, a chemical called chitosan is sprayed on them. Chitosan, basically comprises of shrimps and egg shells. Organic bananas, however, are a safer option.
During pollination, some wasps get stuck in the fruit and die. They decompose and convert into plant protein that you just cannot separate.
We all love Jell-O and custard. Well, Jell-O is nothing but sweetened animal-derived gelatin. Hold on, there is more! The little colourful gummy bears that you love, are also made of the same. Look for the kind of gelatin used in it. If it plant-based, then it is safe to be called vegetarian.
Marshmallows are authentically made using marshmallow roots. Nowadays, this sweet treat is made with gelatin that gives it the bouncy texture. And, you already know from where gelatin comes from (Check #4 once again)!
Low-fat yoghurt is a great option for losing weight. But, only if it is homemade. The yoghurt that comes in boxes usually contains gelatin that gives it a creamy texture. Remember, it is not always just a ‘dairy product’.
#7. Red candies and syrups
Strawberry syrups, candies, fruit juice, mocktails, anything that is sweet and red, most of the time, contains carmine, which is a colouring agent made from boiling crushed beetles in ammonia. So, the dye that goes into making the product red is basically crushed beetles.
#8. Breakfast cereals
Sugar-coated cereal, be it cornflakes or the mighty muesli, contains beef gelatin. The gelatin is added to the cereal to make the sugar stick to it. So, next time, before you grab a box of cereals, do check the binding agent that has been added to it.
#9. Parmesan Cheese
This is a fruity and nutty cheese, which is a favourite of pasta lovers. Authentic parmesan cheese contains animal rennet that is the intestinal lining of calves. So, before you use some shavings of Parmesan over your pasta, do consider what goes into making it.
Beer may or may not give you a big belly but if you are a vegetarian, this beer fact will make you scream. Isinglass or fish bladder is used as a fining agent to give this alcohol its infamous cloudy but clear look. However, this is not applicable on all the other kinds of liquor.
#11. White Sugar
White sugar is made from sugarcane by extracting a muddy brown juice. To make it white, manufacturers use a cleansing agent called natural carbon. Natural carbon is nothing but bone char of animals. Better stick to unrefined sugar now!
No, we are not talking about beef oil or fish oil, but the regular oil that is used in our homes. All the oils that claim to contain Omega-3 fatty acids fall in the category of non-vegetarian oils as this acid is obtained from fish oil only.
#13. Salad dressings
Most salad dressings contain egg in them that acts as a binding agent as well as gives the dressing a creamy texture. So, before you grab a bottle of the dressing or order a salad at a restaurant, check if the dressing has eggs in it.
It does not matter if you order a vegetarian soup, any Indian-style Chinese soup is likely to contain fish oil and fish sauce. Do you know that in some countries fish oil is considered vegetarian? So, next time, why don’t you make some soup yourself at home?
#15. Salted peanuts
Peanuts are popular among vegetarians and vegans for its protein. The salted peanuts that come in packets as snacks, often contain gelatin. Do check the packet when you think of grabbing a handful of it.
We know that being a vegetarian is not at all easy. What’s more? All this cheating just makes it look like a tougher job, but once you have decided to be a vegetarian, a little precaution and compromise does not matter in the long run!
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