10 Foods you think are Vegan but might not be

Yvonne O'Halloran

1) Miso Soup & Sushi: You may think miso is vegan, but most are not as they contain fish broth. However, many sushi restaurants can make a vegan version for you. Some (but not all) sushi restaurants add mayonnaise to their avocado or cucumber sushi rolls that contain egg so check before you buy.
2) Garlic paste: That tube of garlic paste you buy at the grocery store to use in your stir fry and dinner may also contain milk product (whey) Check the label of the brand you buy!
3) Soy-based yoghurt and cheeses: Many of these products contain a milk-based protein called casein.
4) Veggie burgers: Lots of veggie burgers contains eggs or dairy so make sure to read the label. The Linda McCartney range is an example, many of these products are vegan, but some do contain cheese.
5) Quorn products: Quorn is a meat alternative containing mycoprotein made from a fungus in the soil known as ‘fusarium venenatum’. Any Quorn products that are vegan and will state this on the product, however, some contain egg so it’s important to check the label. For example, Quorn mince is not vegan as it contains egg yolk.
6) Bread: Most loaves of bread are fine as they include flour, water, salt & yeast along with fortified nutrients like folic acid and iodine. However, some bread includes other ingredients like fats or sweeteners that could be of animal origin. The 3 ingredients that are usually (but not always) vegan include:

Mono and diglycerides: these are types of fats used as emulsifiers to improve texture in the bread and retain moisture. They are often derived from soybean oil but can also be sourced from animal fat.

Lecithin: Another emulsifier usually derived from soybeans but it can also come from egg yolks. Unless the bread is certified vegan there is a chance it may not be if it contains any of these 3 ingredients, so if you are unsure then its best to avoid bread containing these ingredients.

Other ingredients to watch out for include eggs, honey, royal jelly, gelatin, buttermilk, whey or casein (and of course milk, butter or eggs).

7) Sweets/Lollies: Many sweets like marshmallows, snakes, jelly beans etc contain gelatin. Gelatin is derived from animal collagen. Some are thickened though with agar-agar which is a vegan alternative.
8) Jelly: Most jelly contains an ingredient called beef gelatin which is made by prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals, usually from pork skins, horns and cattle bones- ewww!
9) Beer & Wine: During the winemaking process it’s filtered through ‘fining agents to remove protein, yeast, and cloudiness. Popular fining agents include blood and bone marrow, casein (which is a milk protein), isinglass (which is gelatin from fish bladder membranes) and gelatin (from boiling animal parts) none of which are vegan. But there “Fining” agents which are Vegan – to be sure check the label and ask.

Some beers contain isinglass, gelatin, glycerin or casein which are all animal derived products. The good news is the following beers are animal free: Budweiser and Bud Light, Coors and Coors light, Guinness is vegan since 2018. For a more comprehensive list check out PETA: https://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/which-beers-are-suitable-for-vegans/

10) Crackers/potato chips: These can contain milk, cheese powder, butter, or butterfat. Check the label!

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