Top 10 Vegetarian Foods that are Secretly Hiding Animal By-Products

Script written by George Pacheco Top 10 Vegetarian Foods that are Secretly Hiding Animal By-Products Subscribe: ‪‬‬‬‬ Hold on! Is what you’re eating really vegetarian? Maybe you should read the ingredients label the next time you go grocery shopping because what we’re about to tell you may surprise you. Did you know that there could be animal by-products hiding in your bread, white sugar, salted peanuts, cake mix and even your bananas? MsMojo's Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat:

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Top 10 Vegetarian Foods That May Be Secretly Hiding Animal By-Products.

Are they or aren't they? The answer may surprise you. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Vegetarian Foods That May Be Secretly Hiding Animal By-Products.

For this list, we'll be ranking the foods that some vegetarians may think are a proven part of their diet, but may be secretly hiding animal by-products within their ingredients. Although there may be vegetarian-friendly options of the foods on our list, the average examples of these items just might be hiding something a little extra.

#10: Pre-Made Pie Crusts

So you're getting ready to make your go-to favorite flavor of homemade pie, but are a little short on time, and need to resort to buying a pre-made crust. Should you worry about breaking your vegetarian diet? Well, if you'll be roaming the regular grocery store aisles, then yes. This is because some pre-made pie crusts you find on store shelves actually contain animal lard as one of their ingredients – don’t believe us? Head to the Pillsbury website and click on the ‘ingredients’ for its Refrigerated Pie Crust. One easy way to avoid this pitfall, however, is to hit up the frozen foods section instead, as the pie crusts here are intended to last longer, and are often made using shortening or butter.

#9: Orange Juice

You might not think that the simple act of purchasing a bottle of orange juice could end up involving a complex physiological discussion about its flavor makeup, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. This is because the Coca-Cola Company reportedly utilizes a process called Black Book to create their "Simply Orange" brand of juices. This process involves a set of rules that Coke sets up to determine where their consumer base stands on orange juice flavor profiles, and keeps OJ production consistent across the board. However, the Vitamin D of Coke’s OJ (and that of some other brands) supposedly comes from the sheepskin-derived substance known as lanolin, which means that those following a veggie diet should probably stay way if they’d rather be safe than sorry. Also be wary of orange juice that’s fortified with Omega-3s like Tropicana’s Pure Premium Healthy Heart as the label explicitly states that it contains fish oil!

#8: Red Candies

It's been called carmine, cochineal, or natural red 4, and it may be present in like wine or other alcoholic drinks, ice cream and some red candies. In reality, the ingredient that gives many red candies their color is derived from ground up cochineal insects that are usually found in South America. Although there are no health risks associated with eating these bugs, apart from those who are allergic to cochineal, some people just find the whole process, well... kind of gross. Oh, and it also goes without saying that those who are trying to go vegetarian are advised to carefully read through those food labels – especially since this ingredient used to just be listed as “natural colors”!

#7: Cake Mix

Remember how we mentioned to carefully read those food labels while in the grocery store? This tip also applies when seeking out a boxed cake mix for that next birthday party. According to Eat This, Not That!, it's not at all uncommon for these mixes to feature animal shortening, like beef or pork fat, as one of their key ingredients for that light and fluffy cake. It's usually listed on the box as "lard," but either way, it's not recommended eating for any vegetarian party. Instead, perhaps try looking up a recipe online for a from-scratch cake mix; that way, you can ensure that any cake you bake will be veggie-friendly for all.

#6: Salted Peanuts

Have you ever wondered how all of that delicious salt, barbeque flavoring, or honey mustard spices stick so well to those party peanuts in a jar? Were you ever worried that there would somehow be an animal product involved that might dash your dreams of a vegetarian lifestyle? Well, be sure to check and double check those ingredient labels for the inclusion of gelatin, a product derived from animal bones and connective tissue that keeps these flavorings on the peanuts. Kraft Foods’ official Twitter account even confirmed their Planters Dry Roasted Peanutsa are from a beef source. But don’t panic - as there are thankfully plenty of organic and natural foods options – such as peanuts in the shell – that keep the gelatin away and the peanut flavor intact.

#5: White Sugar

Bone Char. Does that sound like a sweet, tasty ingredient you'd like to enjoy on a daily basis? Well, it might be, if you're one of the millions of people who add a little sugar to their coffee every morning. This is because, historically, refining process so often associated with white sugar, as well as some brown and confectioner's sugar, utilizes heated cow bones to burn off impurities. These cows usually come from Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, and have died of natural causes before the bones are sun-bleached and sold to the sugar industry for use in this process. We're seriously thinking of taking our coffee black from now on... or you know, looking for those certified cane sugars that aren’t processed this way.

#4: Bagels / Bread

Ok, we really hate continually being the bearers of bad news here, but put that bagel DOWN! At least until you've finished reading about our number four entry. L-cysteine is an amino acid that is used by major bakery chains like Dunkin Donuts to condition their dough, and is derived from either poultry feathers or pig's hooves – and possibly even human hair. This ingredient is commonly found in bakery items such as bagels, although the frozen variety from Thomas and Lender’s have been found to be L-cysteine free. Still, the best way to avoid the enzyme altogether is to simply support your local bakery.

#3: Bananas

"Oh, come on!" we can hear you say, "not bananas, too!" Well, here's the good news: buying organic bananas are still a safe bet. The bad news? The bananas you've been eating may have included a bit of shellfish, and you didn't even know it. A 2012 report by Science Daily revealed that a spray-on solution was being developed, whose purpose was to extend the shelf life of bananas, keeping them from turning brown and mushy so quickly. This solution would be partially made from chitosan, a substance derived from the shells of crab and shrimp. Setting shellfish allergies aside, this is obviously terrible news for vegetarians, as they now have to be even more vigilant on their shopping trips to make sure that this coating hasn’t yet been implemented.

#2: Beer and Wine

For the most part, beer and wine are suitable beverages for those with vegan or vegetarian lifestyles. There are, however, a few notable exceptions, specifically some cask ales brewed in Britain. These unpasteurized beers are sometimes filtered in a process that uses isinglass, a collagen that is obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish, such as sturgeon. Luckily, there are vegetarian-friendly clarifiers that can be created by using clay or algae, giving beer and wine lovers some options, but it's also advisable to check beforehand to ensure that brew you're drinking is animal-free!

Before we reveal our biggest veggie fake out, here are a few honorable, or perhaps dishonorable mentions!


Marshmallows, Jelly & Jell-O

#1: Vanilla Ice Cream

We've saved the grossest for last. If you've ever read the term "natural flavoring" when reading the side of that carton of vanilla ice cream, then guess what? You may have been consuming beaver butt juice. Okay, not exactly, but close enough: it’s actually a substance called castoreum that’s derived from the secretions of the castor sacs or scent glands of North American and European beavers, which they use to musk and mark their territory. It's been found in perfumes and Swedish schnapps, as well as in, you guessed it, good ol' vanilla ice cream – and while it’s not always used as a vanilla substitute, it has been in use for decades. The FDA may have acknowledged castoreum as a safe food additive for carnivores, but vegetarians are highly advised to instead look for vegan options, or hit up that from-scratch local creamery.

Do you agree with our list? Which vegetarian foods do you think are leading a secret, double life? For more intriguing top ten lists, published every day, please subscribe to MsMojo!

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