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CaraT2974

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Hi, I’m relatively new to being Vegan. I’m looking for advice on products. I notice there’s products in the supermarket which do not have the vegan logo on however when looking at the list of ingredients there’s no dairy or meat. Am I okay to eat these? Or does it mean they can’t guarentee that it’s not vegan. Many thanks. Cara
 

KLS52

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I’m going to defer to the other, more knowledgeable forum members. There are many products that appear vegan that have non vegan ingredients. Unless you are familiar with all of these non vegan ingredients it’s hard to know. There are so many variables.
Congratulations and good luck on adopting the vegan lifestyle. 😊
 

KLS52

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I did a quick search and found this. I guess it depends on how strict you want to be.
Some things to look for:
Honey and beeswax
Casein and milk byproducts
Whey
Gelatin
Confectioners glaze
L-Cysteine
Inisglass in beer and wine
Sugar processed with bone char
 

KLS52

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This might be helpful.

This is just my opinion, but I would try not to make yourself too crazy while starting out. You may set yourself up to fail if it feels overwhelming or too hard. The end result is what’s important.

Start with the the basics. The rest will come. It’s pretty much a learning experience. At least that’s how it was for me. But I went into it pretty clueless. These types of forums were a godsend for me and pretty much helped me change my life/way of thinking, in more ways than just what I was/wasn’t eating. 😊
 

Thom

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My approach is:

Become familiar with okay and not-okay ingredients.
Over time, I've leaned toward food stuff that have fewer ingredients and ingredients that are easily recognizable. I keep my phone on me when shopping to do quick internet searches for ingredients I'm not familiar with. Keep in mind some seemingly benign vitamins, minerals, and nutritional "add-ins" may commonly, but not always, come from animal sources -- Vitamin D3, for example. When in doubt, I'll skip a product.

I think Gardein, Tofurkey, Field Roast, Daiya, and Follow Your Heart are always vegan. Boca, Qorn, and Morning Star are vegetarian and have some vegan items, which are usually labeled as vegan.

Start a cookbook library & learn to cook.
Reading labels can be stressful. Relying on pre-fab food stuff can get boring. There are plenty of vegan chefs and bakers online providing free recipes for all sorts of vegan cuisine -- simply Google something like: Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe or Vegan Apple Tart. You'll see a long list of options. I also love the Thug Kitchen book series -- entertaining writing and simple, easy to follow recipes for common meal ideas. Cooking your own meals from scratch as the benefit of you knowing for certain each of the ingredients.

Labeled Vegan / Not Labeled Vegan.
Food stuff with the Vegan label are awesome. You know immediately that it's vegan. Other products may be vegan or "potentially vegan" but not labeled as such. There are brands like Justin's, who makes peanut butter themed treats. They have a dark chocolate peanut butter cup that, according to the ingredient list, is vegan. However, the brand doesn't label it as vegan because it is manufactured in the same facility as their products that contain non-vegan ingredients. It's up to you if that scenario is okay. Other brands offer vegan-friendly items, but for whatever reason -- public opinion, politics, etc -- refuse to label them as vegan. Oreo cookies, for example, are vegan friendly, but are not labeled as vegan.
 

Pezzer

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I have been vegan for many years but it's still not easy. I'm actually working on creating a comprehensive database of products that are plant-based (as well as a list of gluten-free products). Although it's in its beginning stages, perhaps it would be helpful to you. Either way, I'd love your feedback on it.
 

Emma JC

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welcome Cara and congrats on your decision to be Vegan

There are also apps out there that allow you scan the barcode of a processed item. Just google - is it vegan - and they will pop up.

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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@CaraT2974

You already have gotten some good advice. But I just can't help myself. Here is my 2¢

"IsItVegan" is a pretty good app. I don't think its always accurate. if a product does have a long list of ingredients, it can be really a time saver. but then you might ask yourself, "why am I buying something with a long list of ingredients?"

There is some knowledge that you just have to acquire over time. I still remember how long it first took me to select dinner rolls.

Also, it's not uncommon to make mistakes. not even just in the beginning. A lot of veganism is based on our intentions. Mistakes don't count.

You know what they say, "Don't sweat the small stuff."

I also have a new motto. Perfection is the enemy of good. In other words, don't let trying to be perfect stop you from being good.

Here is more on that in case you like that idea.