Eating vegan can be a challenge. A lot of foods have hidden ingredients that are not exactly vegan-friendly. If you completely avoid processed foods, this won’t be an issue for you, but sometimes I do buy things from those center aisles at the grocery store…
Just a few of the foods that are surprisingly VEGAN! (from Accidentally Vegan)
- Thomas New York Style Bagels (some varieties) – I assumed that most baked goods would be off limits (made with egg & milk products), but I guess not! Now to find a substitute for cream cheese…
- Mission Foods Flour Tortillas – Same as the bagels. (Homemade tortillas are obviously better, but these will work in a pinch.)
- Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (some varieties) – Be sure to check the label on these, but it’s nice to have the option for some yummy hot cocoa in the winter!
- Oreos – I personally have not eaten Oreos in a very long time, but I would have thought that cream-filling had some sort of milk product in it. (So, what IS it made of then?!)
- Jello-O Instant Pudding (Vanilla and possibly other flavors) – This only applies to the boxed powdered “pudding desserts”, not the “pudding snacks” in the refrigerated section (they are made with skim milk). Keep in mind that regular Jell-O is not vegan (made with gelatin).
And five foods that are NOT necessarily vegan! (from 12 Seemingly Vegan & Vegetarian Foods That Really Aren’t)
- Beer and Wine – Some brands (many made in Britain) include an ingredient called Isinglass, which is a membrane from the bladders of tropical fish that is used to filter cloudy yeast extracts out of the brew. Something to be aware of before your next game of beer pong! (Luckily, the folks at Barnivore have done all the label checking for you!)
- Sugar – Look at that bag of sugar in your pantry. “Sugar” is all the ingredients list says. Well, that’s good. One ingredient, no preservatives, just sugar! But sugar isn’t naturally white, so how does it get that way? By being processed with bone char (made from the bones of cattle). This includes brown sugar and confectioner’s sugar, as well. Look for unrefined sugar (such as Sucanat and turbinado sugar) as an alternative.
- Soy Cheese – This one really surprised me! Many brands of soy cheese contain the milk protein, casein, which gives it a similar taste and texture as dairy cheese. Be sure to check the label!
- Packaged Peanuts – Peanuts are a great source of protein, but beware. Some brands of packaged peanuts (such as Planter’s Dry Roasted Peanuts) contain Gelatin.
- Orange juice – Some brands enhance their products with Omega-3’s and Vitamin D, which sounds great, right? Unfortunately, those vitamins and amino acids could come from fish oil, gelatin, or lanolin. I think you should be able to tell from the label what the source of the Omega-3’s, etc. are. (At least when I checked the Tropicana website, the ingredient list for their Pure Premium Healthy Heart OJ does say “Contains tilapia, sardine, and anchovy”. Mmm…tilapia OJ…)