Nightmare Flavors - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-18-2017, 07:23 PM
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Angry Nightmare Flavors

So, not all natural flavors are vegan. That's established. The problem is, how can I find out whether or not specific natural flavors are vegan? The only answer I've come across is to call the company, which is very inconvenient.

All the food in the house would have to be gone through, and the company would have to be called for each food item. Then they'd have to be sorted. If shopping, the company would have to be called at the store for each item put into consideration for purchase, or a potentially non-vegan product could be purchased, which could waste money.

See the problem here? I need to know an easier, more convenient way to find out whether or not natural flavors are vegan.



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#2 Old 04-18-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riuma View Post
So, not all natural flavors are vegan. That's established. The problem is, how can I find out whether or not specific natural flavors are vegan? The only answer I've come across is to call the company, which is very inconvenient.

All the food in the house would have to be gone through, and the company would have to be called for each food item. Then they'd have to be sorted. If shopping, the company would have to be called at the store for each item put into consideration for purchase, or a potentially non-vegan product could be purchased, which could waste money.

See the problem here? I need to know an easier, more convenient way to find out whether or not natural flavors are vegan.

Hi Riuma,

Have you shopped at Trader Joe's before? They provide vegetarian and vegan labeling on many of their prepared foods, so that we vegans don't have to worry about "mystery ingredients".

Here is a complete list of Trader Joe's vegan products: http://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan
.
.

_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 04-18-2017 at 07:41 PM.
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#3 Old 04-18-2017, 07:45 PM
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_________

“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 04-18-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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#4 Old 04-19-2017, 02:20 AM
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Trader Joes is really iffy about labeling in my opinion. They don't label every product that free of animal products, but just not certified, and are terrible for adding things like carmine, honey, and confectioners glaze to things.

I've learned to either avoid foods that list natural ingredients that I don't know about. One irony I've found is when looking at canned baked beans, which I'd rather buy than make, the ones labled "steakhouse" end up being the vegan ones! Not saying all, but I've gotten clean responses from Bushes and Aldi and another I don't remember now. Frito-Lay sent me a bunch of coupons and a very clear response when emailed about Sunchips garden flavor being vegan

so often it's just things like unidentified sugars at TJ's that keep them from being labeled, which is something I don't always avoid. I know there are foods they label vegetarian that I could not get an answer why not vegan, but don't remember which. TJ's is notorius for ruining things that should be vegan as much as having things vegan

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#5 Old 04-19-2017, 02:42 AM
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The processed products I buy with multiple ingredients are from well known vegan companies or are labeled vegan, such as Daiya products, Hampton Creek (Just Mayo etc), some Silk products, Field Roast, Food for Life. The majority of boxed or canned products I buy are very simple one or two ingredient products. Some examples include pasta, tomato sauce or paste, pure pumpkin, pure maple syrup, sauerkraut, canned beans (nothing added), Bob's Red Mill grains. There are no "natural flavors" listed or to worry about.

There are a few companies that label some of their products "vegan" but are not vegan companies themselves, such as Annie's and Amy's products. Usually I trust the label if it contains natural flavors but says "vegan", but I have gone on the Annie's website looking for salad dressings etc that are under their vegan category, and I have seen them list products that contain honey that they label "vegan". So I do watch labels carefully. Even though Unilever now makes a vegan labeled mayonaise, I am also weary of their "natural flavors" in it, and their track record, so I avoid all their products.

It would be nice if you could give some examples of products you are questioning.
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#6 Old 04-19-2017, 03:51 AM
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The processed products I buy with multiple ingredients are from well known vegan companies or are labeled vegan, such as Daiya products, Hampton Creek (Just Mayo etc), some Silk products, Field Roast, Food for Life. The majority of boxed or canned products I buy are very simple one or two ingredient products. Some examples include pasta, tomato sauce or paste, pure pumpkin, pure maple syrup, sauerkraut, canned beans (nothing added), Bob's Red Mill grains. There are no "natural flavors" listed or to worry about.

There are a few companies that label some of their products "vegan" but are not vegan companies themselves, such as Annie's and Amy's products. Usually I trust the label if it contains natural flavors but says "vegan", but I have gone on the Annie's website looking for salad dressings etc that are under their vegan category, and I have seen them list products that contain honey that they label "vegan". So I do watch labels carefully. Even though Unilever now makes a vegan labeled mayonaise, I am also weary of their "natural flavors" in it, and their track record, so I avoid all their products.

It would be nice if you could give some examples of products you are questioning.
Here's a good one- Knorrs vegetable boullion cubes. I had always read that they were vegan on sites, but I picked up a package and saw natural flavors, and questioned. I sent an email to learn that ones produced in Mexico had dairy products- though not listed as such

Natural flavors can be innocent, as like Bushes baked beans assured me would never have meat or dairy, but they do leave room for changes-which could mean anything from egg, dairy or beef flavors

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#7 Old 04-19-2017, 05:49 PM
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Here's a good one- Knorrs vegetable boullion cubes. I had always read that they were vegan on sites, but I picked up a package and saw natural flavors, and questioned. I sent an email to learn that ones produced in Mexico had dairy products- though not listed as such

Natural flavors can be innocent, as like Bushes baked beans assured me would never have meat or dairy, but they do leave room for changes-which could mean anything from egg, dairy or beef flavors
For the vegetable boullion, there is a vegan one called Rapunzel vegetable bouillon, that is labeled vegan. There isn't even a natural flavors listed in the ingredients. However, there is palm oil, for those trying to avoid that. I haven't bought any for a while, but I used to buy this at my local Whole Foods Coop, and before I could find it there, I ordered it online. Also, for canned baked beans, there is Amy's Organic Vegetarian Baked beans (again no "natural flavors" listed in the ingredients). https://www.amys.com/our-foods/organ...an-baked-beans. Though the front of the product says "vegetarian", there is a label of vegan on the back. I've noticed these now in larger mainstream groceries, but I imagine in smaller towns they would be harder to find, unless one were to go to the manager of the store and request that they carry these. I had to do this with several items.

In the instances where I can't find a commercial version of something, I have made my own (though I acknowledge it is more work and there are a lot of ingredients involved to acquire). When I first went vegan I was even making my own catsup from scratch. I sometimes use Annie's organic catsup now, also labeled vegan, but for a while that was not available where I live. I didn't want to use Heinz organic catsup due to the "natural flavoring" on the label. I think some people are more lax about this type of thing though. I've emailed or called a few companies, but don't always want to hassle with calling them, so often I will avoid a product or find something else.

Tonight I was making mashed potatoes, and wanted some flavoring but had no vegetable broth and no longer use vegan butter. I used pea milk and a pinch of olive oil to blend, but also added dry onion flakes, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder along with salt and pepper and was pleasantly surprised at how thick and creamy and good it was! Sometimes it's just a matter of improvising.

Supposedly there are vegan apps where you can scan a barcode on a label with your phone and it shows whether it is vegan, but i have never used one and do not know how accurate they are.

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#8 Old 04-20-2017, 02:14 AM
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I was just pointing out that products known to be vegan can have that catagory of 'natural flavors' that can use animal products when manufactured in other countries. I held one Knorr made in Mexico with natural flavors that an email confirmed had dairy, the other made in USA or Canada that did not list natural flavors and was vegan

Hands down, my favorite boullion seasoning is Better than Boullion no chickn, no beef, and vegetable
I just checked their site to confirm no palm oil -none- and they list a roasted garlic flavor I can't confirm vegan because of natural flavors!

Mashed potatoes I make up some no chickn broth, heat minced garlic in olive oil, add the broth, add potatoes and mash, I leave nooch and pepper at serving
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#9 Old 04-20-2017, 09:58 PM
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I find the term "natural flavors" to be a pretty scary corporate term for "we don't want you to know." An ethical company who simply doesn't want you to know their recipe will put "spices" or "natural smoke flavoring (blah blah sourced)" or something still vague but more specific. ..because legally natural flavors in the US can run the gamut from herbs and spices and vegetables to meats, bones, wood, insects, I read a list of the legal possibilities recently and was like "um, yeah no."

My roommate has some kosher consomme that she believes is vegetarian (she's lacto-ovo) but I'm not seeing proof that it's vegan just because it doesn't explicitly say egg albumen or fish (things which can still be parve, unless otherwise stated!) because it contains the dreaded "natural flavors" and is made by Lipton, so yeah no.

I would avoid it unless your car breaks down and you're starving and the only thing to eat in walking distance is a questionably vegan product in a gas station that boasts "natural flavors."

"Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out"~
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