4 Aug 2006

Baffling Labels

Shopping for food, household and health products can take Vegans far longer than the average supermarket shopper. We all know why, it's the time spent reading labels on products we have not used before.

It would be wonderful if manufacturers would all put those three wonderful words "Suitable for Vegans" on their labels, whether it is for food, cleaning products or any other item that we require in our daily life.

Even shoes would be far easier to purchase if they just said non-leather. Walking around smelling them before even trying them on tends to make the shop assistant eye one rather suspiciously.

Not only do you have to read labels you have to be a scientific expert or carry around a dictionary. They sometimes appear to be in a foreign language. Why they cannot simplify them by saying whether the additives are animal, vegetable or synthetically derived is unknown. It is not just Vegans that suffer but those with medical complaints like allergies or who are lactose intolerant.

Adrenaline: From adrenal glands of animals. Used in somemedicines.
Albumen: From egg whites. Used in cosmetics, candies and cakes.
Amino Acids: Sometimes from animals. Used in cosmetics, foodstuffs and supplements.
Benzoic Acid: Often from animals. Found in creams, aftershave, mouthwashes and deodorants.
Biotin (Vit B7 and H) : Often from milk. Found in creams, cosmetics and shampoos.
Animal bone ash: Used to make sugar white.
Caprylic Acid: Often from milk. Used in soap.
Casein: Obtained from milk. Often found in non-dairy products. Used beauty preparations like masks.
Collagen A and Elastin: Obtained from animals. Used in cosmetics..
Cortisone : From ox liver. Used in medicine.
Cysteine: Sometimes from animals. Used in foodstuffs, bakery goods and hair products.
Cystine: From animals. Often found in supplements.
Estrogen: From pregnant horses and cows ovaries. Used in birth control pills.
Gelatin: From cows and pigs. Used in foodstuffs, jellies, sweets, capsules and photographic film.
Glycerin: Often from animal fat. Found in soaps, medicines and toothpaste.
Insulin: From animals pancreas. Used by diabetics.
Isinglass: From fish. Used in wine and beer production.
Keratin: From birds and animals. Used in hair products.
Lactose: From milk. Used in tablets, foodstufs and cosmetics.
Lanolin: From wool. Used in medical and beauty skin care products.
Lecithin: Sometimes from eggs. Used in beauty products, creams, shampoos and in foodstuffs.
Marine Oil: From Fish or marine mammals. Used in margarine, soap and paint.
Mono-and Diglycerides: Sometimes from animal fat. Used in margarine and foodstuffs.
Oleic Acid: Often from animal fat. Used in soap, cosmetics and skin preparations.
Pathenol (Vit B5): Sometimes from animals. Used in supplements and hair care.
Pepsin and Rennet: From animal stomachs. Used in cheese production incl. some soy cheeses.
Placenta: Animal afterbirth. Used in skin products..
Polypeptides: Obtained from slaughterhouse wastes.
Quaternium 27: From animals. Used in deodorants
RNA: From animals. Used in shampoos.
Sponge: From a plant-like sea animal. Used as bathroom sponge.
Stearic Acid: From animal fat. Used in candles, soaps, chewing gum and many cosmetics.
Sterols: Sometimes from sperm whale oil. Used in shampoos, creams and some medicines.
Steroids: Sometimes from animals. Used in hair products and hormone medication.
Tyrosine: From milk casein. Used in suntan products.
Urea: Sometimes from animal urine. Used in some pretzels, hair colorants, deodorants and shampoo.
Vitamin A: Sometimes from eggs or fish oil. Used in supplements and beauty products.
Vitamin B12: Most often from animals. Used in supplements.
Vitamin D: Sometimes from animals. Used in supplements and beauty products.
Whey: From milk. Used in cakes and breads and coatings on candy.

Happy shopping!!

Recipe of the Day

Spinach Couscous with BBQ Tofu
from the Vegetarian Times
Sizzling strips of baked tofu contrast with gently flavored couscous. Complete the meal with baked sweet potatoes.

1 1/2 cups couscous, preferably whole grain
2 Tbs. nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
5 to 6 oz. baby spinach, well rinsed
1 1-lb. pkg. baked tofu, any variety, diced
1/2 cup natural or smoke-flavored barbecue sauce

1. Cover couscous with 3 cups boiling water in heatproof serving container, and let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Stir in margarine and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Place spinach in large, wide skillet with only water clinging to its leaves. Cover, and steam about 1 minute, or just until wilted. Remove, and coarsely chop. Stir into couscous.
3. Combine tofu and barbecue sauce in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Scatter tofu over couscous, and serve.
Serves 6



Yorkshire Soul said...

Makes me glad I'm an omnivore.

KleoPatra said...

Hey, thanks for that list. It is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, as they say. Thanks for the head's up on stuff.

I'm glad i'm vegetarian... still working on the vegan thing but i will get there!

Anonymous said...

It is extremely difficult as a vegan to sort out the ingredients. But I'm sure here in the US we'll never see that kind of mandatory labeling. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will definitely be stopping by your blog too. Looks like a great read.

Dirty Butter said...

I had no idea that a Vegan carried the concept to that "extreme". Interesting, but I wouldn't want to go shopping with you! LOL