A little rant about "warning labels" - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-16-2009, 08:41 AM
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So they have the thing where on the can of soup or whatever it says "Contains milk, egg, and soy products" or "May contain nuts," right? And I understand it's for people who have allergies and what-not, but I think they should do the same thing for products that appear to be vegetarian but are made from animals anyway. For instance, yesterday I was enjoying a nice, hot bowl of Progresso Homestyle Rice & Vegetable soup, when I suddenly got an inkling to look at the ingredients list.



There it was, plain as day. My delicious soup contains chicken fat.







I was pissed and I threw it away. Then I was hungry.



So what's the deal with that? I mean, I haven't noticed before, but wouldn't you think that seemingly vegetarian products should have a notice stating that it contains animal parts? Or at least, all truly vegetarian products should have something somewhere that states, "This is a 100% vegetarian product" or something like that.



Argh! I'm really disappointed, and now I guess I'm going to have to be even more careful about my "vegetarian" meals.
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#2 Old 01-16-2009, 09:02 AM
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It feels like I'm repeating myself, but here goes anyway: Always read ingredients lists! As you've said, even the most innocuous products will contain questionable ingredients, especially if it's from a big company.



No matter what warning labels exist on the packaging, the ingredients list is always mentioned, as required by law. I almost never buy anything without having had a read through the ingredients, even if the product is labelled "vegan", since that doesn't preclude certain ingredients I avoid, such as hydrogenated fats, aspartame, white sugar, carrageenan, etc. I don't check labels on a bag of apples (other than the "organic" one), but most packaged products are suspect.



We'd all prefer to have all sorts of labels on our food, hey, I'm sure we'd all prefer to live in a veg*an world, but since that's not the case, the least we can do is watch out for ourselves. Reading ingredients list can develop into a fine skill, and you'll be able to skim read for potential non-veg*an ingredients in no time.
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#3 Old 01-16-2009, 09:04 AM
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I also get very irritated when I forget to read labels and then discover that something completely unexpected is in my food (although I did know that most vegetable soups aren't vegetarian). The warning labels, however, are for health reasons. Someone allergic to peanuts could die if they eat some. You aren't going to die from eating chicken fat, just get irritated. It is labelled, just not in bold like the warnings.
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#4 Old 01-16-2009, 09:11 AM
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Caveat emptor.



As Dana said, the warning labels are there for people who are allergic to and could become very ill from consuming (or even contact with) the allergens in those things. But even if it isn't in bold face and it's own box it's still on the label. It is up to each of us to read the labels. If we misread or don't read the label then the only person we should be angry with is ourselves for not being as diligent as we should be.

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#5 Old 01-16-2009, 09:14 AM
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It is up to each of us to read the labels. If we misread or don't read the label then the only person we should be angry with is ourselves for not being as diligent as we should be.



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#6 Old 01-16-2009, 09:20 AM
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Yeah, it sucks when that kind of thing happens. I had no idea in my pre-vegetarian days that animal products were in so many things. Luckily, I make most of my own foods and eat very little processed food, so I don't run into a problem very often. But as vegetarians, we definitely have to learn to be vigilant label-readers.
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#7 Old 01-16-2009, 09:28 AM
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Yeah, I guess I kind of misdirected my anger there. Hahaha.



Still, it's shady and I don't like it. It makes me think of this episode of Top Chef where they had to make a buffet for vegetarians, and the guy made grits or something with chicken broth. I guess this is a common gripe, but it bothers me when people think that just because it's not actual animal muscle, it doesn't count. Makes me wanna say, "Making a broth out of a human skeleton is still cannibalism, dude."



So yeah, I will definitely be carefully reading every label I see, but even better, like 3LittleBirds said, I'll probably just start making my own d*mn soup. Hehe.



And I checked the other cans of Progresso veggie soups and they seem to be safe. It was just that one. Oh well. Thanks for calming me down. I imagine I'll be noticing a lot of this sort of thing in the coming months, so I'd better get used to it.
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#8 Old 01-16-2009, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hellparadiso View Post




So yeah, I will definitely be carefully reading every label I see, but even better, like 3LittleBirds said, I'll probably just start making my own d*mn soup. Hehe.





It will taste so much better too!
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#9 Old 01-16-2009, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hellparadiso View Post

Yeah, I guess I kind of misdirected my anger there. Hahaha.



Still, it's shady and I don't like it. It makes me think of this episode of Top Chef where they had to make a buffet for vegetarians, and the guy made grits or something with chicken broth. I guess this is a common gripe, but it bothers me when people think that just because it's not actual animal muscle, it doesn't count. Makes me wanna say, "Making a broth out of a human skeleton is still cannibalism, dude."



It's not shady. They didn't claim the soup was vegetarian and then sneak in a non-vegetarian ingredient. It may seem inconvenient to have to read the label - but it's not shady (as in sneaky or disreputable).



Quote:
Originally Posted by hellparadiso View Post

I imagine I'll be noticing a lot of this sort of thing in the coming months, so I'd better get used to it.



Yes you definitely will. Particularly gelatin. The put it in a lot of things you wouldn't expect. Like Altoids mints and other gums, mints and candies.

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#10 Old 01-16-2009, 09:38 AM
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While I agree with the others that it is very important to read labels, there are some things (like cheese or alcoholic beverages) where the ingredients list gives no indication whether it contains dead animal or not. If vegetarians could lobby companies to inform us on the packaging (or get a law passed that requires it), life would be a lot easier.
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#11 Old 01-16-2009, 10:41 AM
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Here's one of those ingredient suprise moments. I buy the Knorr rice sides because they are good for the stuffing base for stuffed peppers and go on sale often. The Spanish rice side has no animal products but the Mexican rice side has chicken! The Mushroom rice side is ok.
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#12 Old 01-16-2009, 10:50 AM
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thats the thing. its not labelled as vegetarian soup- but soup with vegetables in it. you gotta check stuff until you can speedread a label in less than 5 seconds, then check everything some more. everything, every time- even frozen veggies, orange juice, etc.



just cos you don't think twinkies should logically have cow in them or that milk belongs in salt and vingar crisps, or the juice from dead bugs should be used to make fizzy drinks pink, or that rice should be cooked with chicken broth, doesn't mean the people who made them- be that a company or aunty mavis or the restaurant round the corner or whoever, thought the same thing.
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#13 Old 01-16-2009, 11:01 AM
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I was thinking - even if they were labeled as "vegetarian" or "vegan" (where applicable) I wouldn't necessarily trust the labeling. Having seen far too many restaurants list fish flesh or items that contain fish sauce or meat stock as "vegetarian" I am unconvinced that most companies would accurately apply the labels.



In fact I picked up a small jar of popcorn seasoning that was "White Cheddar" flavour and labeled "Vegan." Now I assumed that it would have some dairy derivatives in it (not that it matters as dh is an omni and I am simply striving for l/o at this point). Then I saw the vegan designation and though, "OH. That would be cool, if it really is vegan but I doubt it." So I read the label. Sure enough it had dairy in it. And not just trace ingredients like cassein but it listed dried/dehydrated cheese.



I sent an email to the company letting them know that their product was mislabeled.



So that is one example of why even if there were a big old "THIS IS VEG*N" label on something I would still read the ingredients list.

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#14 Old 01-16-2009, 03:47 PM
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A lot of companies would protest marking foods as Vegetarian or Vegan because they get supplies from different sources. Sometimes when I call one of these monster food companies a polite lady tells me that there's no way to tell where the ingredient came from or even what it's made of. I've e-mailed them and explained their product labels and website don't include the information. The response? Please consult our nutrition information and ingredients list on the labels. The information is also available online at [blahblahbah].
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#15 Old 01-16-2009, 05:57 PM
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With obscure ingredients that can come from anywhere, wikipedia usually has information on it.

Like I thought lactic acid would be from dairy products, and it is in yoghurt and sour cream and things like that, but when it's added for pH regulation or something it's normally made by genetically modified bacteria
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#16 Old 01-16-2009, 06:39 PM
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For my entire first year as a vegetarian, I enjoyed La Costeña refried black beans several times a week (I was under the misguided impression that I would need boatloads of protein to supplement the lack of meat - lol!).



Lo and behold, one night I was peeling the label off a can to recycle it, and the ingredients list caught my eye. LARD!!!!!



Lesson learned. :'(
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#17 Old 01-17-2009, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyDuck View Post

For my entire first year as a vegetarian, I enjoyed La Costeña refried black beans several times a week (I was under the misguided impression that I would need boatloads of protein to supplement the lack of meat - lol!).



Lo and behold, one night I was peeling the label off a can to recycle it, and the ingredients list caught my eye. LARD!!!!!



Lesson learned. :'(



Oh wow.. That would suck.
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#18 Old 01-17-2009, 01:25 AM
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I laughed silently (and good heartedly) to myself after reading this, thinking: if you didnt read the label, how would you have seen if it HAD said "Contains animal by-products" or some sort of warning? lol I found it a little funny. Sorry, but I had to say it.



Des

How come I love reading other people's witty signatures, but can never seem to make an awesome one for myself?! Life is hilariously cruel.
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#19 Old 01-17-2009, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyDuck View Post

For my entire first year as a vegetarian, I enjoyed La Costeña refried black beans several times a week (I was under the misguided impression that I would need boatloads of protein to supplement the lack of meat - lol!).



Lo and behold, one night I was peeling the label off a can to recycle it, and the ingredients list caught my eye. LARD!!!!!



Lesson learned. :'(



I did that for the first couple months with the refried beans with chorizo.. I didnt know what chorizo was at the time.... I felt so tarded





I think it is outrageous the amount of foods that have milk or eggs in them. Now I am worried about consuming sugar from stuff as well. I am so careful I probably piss so many people off at the grocery store. Even organic doesn't always mean free of animal by-products.



O also, I used to snack on croutons and there are some brands out there that contain anchovies... it is most often the ceasar type.
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#20 Old 01-17-2009, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

While I agree with the others that it is very important to read labels, there are some things (like cheese or alcoholic beverages) where the ingredients list gives no indication whether it contains dead animal or not. If vegetarians could lobby companies to inform us on the packaging (or get a law passed that requires it), life would be a lot easier.



i love cabot brand cheese.... they are very honest about what is in their products . it even says something like no animal rennet in our cheese!
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#21 Old 01-17-2009, 08:31 AM
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Oh wow.. That would suck.



Yeah, I'll say! But I'm happily La Costeña free now! And I really did learn my lesson... I've been known to Google unfamiliar ingredients on my phone right there in the grocery store!



Quote:
Originally Posted by dont_eat_bambi View Post

I did that for the first couple months with the refried beans with chorizo.. I didnt know what chorizo was at the time.... I felt so tarded





I think it is outrageous the amount of foods that have milk or eggs in them. Now I am worried about consuming sugar from stuff as well. I am so careful I probably piss so many people off at the grocery store. Even organic doesn't always mean free of animal by-products.



O also, I used to snack on croutons and there are some brands out there that contain anchovies... it is most often the ceasar type.



Don't worry about pissing them off! It's their job! :tongue: And it IS outrageous! I mean, I don't think any reasonable consumer expects there to be whey in chips, or casein in soy cheese, or bits of carcass in refried beans, but the manufacturers think it's a fantastic idea for some reason!
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#22 Old 01-17-2009, 08:32 AM
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I had this problem with soup too. I eat progresso soups, but only the ones that are labeled vegetarian. Do you have a natural/vegetarian section at your local store? You can find tons of soups there.
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#23 Old 01-17-2009, 08:59 AM
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I had this problem with soup too. I eat progresso soups, but only the ones that are labeled vegetarian. Do you have a natural/vegetarian section at your local store? You can find tons of soups there.



There is a natural/veg section in most of my local grocery stores, but even they cannot be trusted. The soy cheese has casein, some of the veggie burgers have cheddar, and most of the salad dressings have frozen egg whites...



There is no substitute or quick-check process! Just read the label, it's really not so hard.
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#24 Old 01-17-2009, 01:34 PM
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Yup...Gotta Read Everything..and I have gotten my family and friends to read them too...you never know whats in something...like Beef in chips and nuts.



Peace Love and Good Wishes



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#25 Old 01-17-2009, 04:29 PM
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I wish there was some sort of Vegetarian Review Board, that could stamp approval on things.
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