Hidden ingredients?


Apr 23, 2015
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  1. Vegan newbie
So most of us will be aware of gelatines presence, but I'm sure there are a lot of hidden non-vegetarian ingredients in products - one example I can think of is crushed red beetles in strawberry flavoured products and so forth.

So can you name any hidden animal products I should be aware of? I'm always cautious myself, and check the ingredients very carefully if "suitable for vegetarians" isn't on the label and look up anything suspicious, but it'd be good to know what to avoid.
I had no idea that there were crushed red beetles in strawberry products. I read a lot of labels, and I can't say that I've ever seen this. How do you know if it's in there? I'm sure it's something obvious, like a word I can't pronounce (and didn't know the meaning of), because I doubt they come right out and say crushed beetles in plain language. Ewww.

Clearly, I have a lot to learn.
Its called "cochineal" and comes from the female of the beetle. It can also be called “carminic acid” or “carmine.” and turns up in a lot of things that are red or tinted red. It is also E120 or Natural Colouring #4

Other things to look out for are Omega anything in things like fruit juice (yep orange juice and Tropicana is a major culprit on this one) contains fish oils. That "now with healthy Omega-3" makes me cringe. Why does orange juice have to contain fish oil?

White cane sugar is cleaned over animal bones (charcoal made from the remnants of usually cows).
White beet sugar is fine.

Beer & wine is filtered through fish swim bladders to clarify it.

Cheese is often made from animal rennet unless marked otherwise - this is from the stomachs of calves before they are weaned - it allows them to digest cows milk! So slaughter a calf before it has even had chance to live... I won't go any further. Alternatives are available.

Bagels and other breads containing L. Cysteine have feathers in them. Don't believe me, look it up!

Shellac is a hard coating from another insect that is often used in coatings for chocolate and other candies. Otherwise known as confectioners glaze...