5 More Foods That Only SEEM Vegetarian
Much like a well-meaning grandma who just doesn't understand the concept of vegetarianism, the food industry keeps trying to force animal products down our throats in the sneakiest of ways.
READ: 5 Foods That Only SEEM Vegetarian
As we've mentioned previously, certain foodstuffs that seem completely vegetarian are sometimes not vegetarian at all, like how Guinness contains trace levels of fish guts, or how red candies utilize dye made from crushed beetles — but by no means are those the only foods that strict vegetarians shouldn't eat.
Whether it's additives made from duck feathers or your nonna's "vegetable" soup made with chicken bones, strict vegetarians probably wouldn't want to eat any …
With the exception of their Sugar-Free Smalls and Arctic varieties, Altoids contain gelatin, which is usually derived from the collagen of animal bones and skin.
An official statement obtained from customer service representative at the Wrigley Company (which obtained the Altoids brand in 2005) reads as follows:
While most of the Wrigley products sold in the U.S. do not contain animal-derived ingredients, some of our products contain gelatin and dairy. The gelatin used in our products is thoroughly purified and dried during its manufacturing process, and it is a necessary ingredient to achieve the right texture in our candies. Our team is continually looking at alternatives to animal-derived ingredients, but we have not yet been able to find a substitute that produces the same quality that our consumers have come to love in our products. Wrigley is conscious of dietary restrictions, and we work hard to make sure that the products sold in parts of the world with Halal markets are free from any animal-based ingredients. Our priority is to make the best products using ingredients that meet the needs of our fans around the world.
Unless it's homemade, there's a very good chance the pad thai you're eating isn't vegetarian-friendly — even if ordered sans shrimp or chicken.
Traditional recipes for pad thai call for fish sauce, a popular Southeast Asian condiment made by fermenting fish with salt in large barrels, and then extracting the liquid. It's usually tossed with the noodles to lend a savory, umami flavor to the dish, but can also be added at different stages of the cooking process.
Of course, every restaurant has their own recipe for pad thai, so vegetarians and vegans should inform servers of their dietary preferences before ordering.
McDonald's Baked Apple Pie
Certain processed doughs have been known to contain a "dough conditioner" known as L-cysteine, which can be made from hydrolized (broken down in water) hog hair, duck feathers, or in some cases, human hair. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "bakers use cysteine to reduce the mixing time for dough," though it can also be added to foods "to prevent oxygen from destroying vitamin C."
L-cysteine can be produced synthetically, but FDA regulations do not require manufacturers to list the source of the L-cysteine on ingredients labels.
Manufacturers and restaurants who use L-cysteine in their product lines include Lender's and Dominos, but McDonald's restaurants (in the U.S) are one of the few that have confirmed the use of L-cysteine made from duck feathers in their Baked Apple Pie.
Boxed Baking Mixes and Pre-Made Pie Crusts
Certain boxed baking mixes contain lard, including many items from the Jiffy Mix line of products. Specifically, their pancake mix, biscuit mix, pizza crust mix and all of their muffin mixes (save for the Vegetarian Corn Muffin) list lard or hydrogenated lard among their first four ingredients.
Some brands of pre-made pie crusts or crust mixes also contain lard, including Pillsbury's refrigerated pie crusts and frozen deep dish crusts, and, again, Jiffy's pie crust mix.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Kraft Singles
Many types of cheeses are made with rennet, or animal-sourced enzymes that coagulate milk proteins and help separate the curds from the whey. Traditionally obtained from the stomachs of mammals such as cows or sheep, rennet can also be obtained from vegetable or microbial sources.
Kraft has confirmed on their website that the enzymes used in the production of both their Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Kraft Singles are sources from "cow, sheep and goat," but added that they are currently "looking into new ways of processing our various lines of cheese products that would eliminate the need for enzymes that are derived from animal sources."