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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'll be taking up vegetarianism on January 1st and wondered if there any foods or meals out there that would seem to be suitable for vegetarians but aren't.<br><br>
I will of course be checking the labels of foods much more carefully for the 'V' as of Jan 1st, but to ensure I don't slip up or get caught out are there any obvious or perhaps not so obvious ones I should be aware of?<br><br>
I realise this is quite a broad question, so I'm not expecting a comprehensive list, but I'd be grateful if anyone could post anything that they think I should know.<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
John
 

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The primary one that trips up a lot of new vegetarians is gelatin. Gelatin is most commonly found in candies and sweets, but it can also be found in things like low-fat yogurt.
 

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Definately gelatin. If its gummy, or a hard sweet, or gloopy, it may have gelatin in it. pretty much any chewy sweet is off the list except starburst. and randomly party rings do too. Also carmine - if its red check for carmine, cochineal, or e120 they all mean the same thing - squashed bugs that make red dye.<br><br>
a lot of thai stuff has fish paste in it. if you go to a thai resteraunt make sure the vegetarian stuff isnt actually fish based as people often dont realise fish is not vegetarian.<br><br>
ceasar dressing has anchovies in it, so does worcestershire sauce.<br><br>
oh also a lot of cheese is not vegetarian, some is made using rennet from calf stomachs. i think most new vegetarians eat cheese for a while before realising that they need to check the label for a v, i know i did (and didnt have veggieboards to rescue me).
 

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Try not to be overwhelmed by all this!<br><br>
I'll readily admit to the fact that I do not check whether cheese has animal rennet in it or not. That is just so far down on the priority list for me. Nobody would hold it against you if you did this slowly. After you're comfortable without meat, then you can start worrying about all these trace ingredients. But, if you want to go 100% all the way right away, more power to ya!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Pirate Ferret</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041058"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Definately gelatin. If its gummy, or a hard sweet, or gloopy, it may have gelatin in it. pretty much any chewy sweet is off the list except starburst.</div>
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Not to derail the thread, but Starburst most certainly contains gelatin. It's the only candy I really miss since going Veg...
 

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Hidden meat? Alot of vegetable soups contain chicken or beef broth, and Chef-Boyardee cheese ravioli contains beef. McDonald's fries have a beef seasoning on them. Those are all I can think of at the moment.
 

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One major hidden meat is broth, especially chicken or fish/seafood...I'm not sure why, but those seem to qualify as vegetables. If you order soup, or a flavored rice, noodle, or quinoa dish, it may have chicken broth in it. Good luck with the transition.
 

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Aside from those mentioned, there's the ubiquitous "natural flavors." I don't know what the UK standards are for labelling animal derivatives, but in the US "natural flavors" can mean anything and turn up anywhere, with no reassurance that it isn't a dusting of pulverized cow. Most "hidden" meats aren't so hidden once you get the knack for reading labels, but "natural flavors" could test anybody's patience and courage.<br><br>
Cross-contamination in restaurants can also be maddening. Nothing like a veggie burger soaked in gore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, thanks everyone for those responses, I'll be sure to look out for those <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Not to derail the thread, but Starburst most certainly contains gelatin. It's the only candy I really miss since going Veg...</div>
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What about Mambos! they're vegan!<br><br>
Lard. I thought I'd buy a nice premade pie shell without it, but forgot to web-check before I left. I couldn't find any I was sure was vegan. FINE. I'll make my own.<br>
Just don't take any packaged item for granted. You'll find there are differences between generic and name brands.<br><br>
Beet extract trips me up! I've stood with a can of soup labeled vegetarian seeing BEEF extract, and almost threw a fit before seeing it was Beet!<br>
Are you now including eggs and/or milk?<br>
Don't beet yourself up in the early stages, you'll always be learning.<br><br>
Oh yeah-that sneaky fish oil! Anything saying omega 3 may use fish oil. Margarines, even juices and peanut butter! If it says omega 3 make sure it's from flax or algae.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Not to derail the thread, but Starburst most certainly contains gelatin. It's the only candy I really miss since going Veg...</div>
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I don't think Starbursts have gelatin in the UK though. (Or do they? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>silva</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041954"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What about Mambos! they're vegan!</div>
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Yea, mambas are a good substitute.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Oh yeah-that sneaky fish oil! Anything saying omega 3 may use fish oil. Margarines, even juices and peanut butter! If it says omega 3 make sure it's from flax or algae.</div>
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This is definitely one to look out for. I've even seen fish derived omega 3 bread.
 

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yep broth really aside from it's cheap price. you can find some in cube from that they're using as spice. And there are lots of seasonings used in cooking that contains meat to make more tastier.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>silva</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041954"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What about Mambos! they're vegan!</div>
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Ah thanks for reminding me about Mambas. I'll have to get some today <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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Ooh, I found a gross one this weekend. I'm not sure if you have this item in the UK, but we have boxed corn bread mix from a brand called Jiffy. I went to pick some up on Saturday (usually make corn bread from scratch, but was too lazy that day) and I found LARD in it. So beware. You can find meat products in the darnedest places.
 

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Give yourself some wiggle room to start out. That is to say, don't eat meat but, if you don't get everything perfect don't feel bad about it. Over time it will become just part of your life. Meat products are every stinkin where. So, you may get halfway into something to discover that it has meat in it. Baked beans and pintos are a good example. I went to the local cafeteria for dinner. I got pintos because I figured they would be meat free. It wasn't till I was halfway through the bowl that I found a good sized chunk of pork in it. I dug it out, set it aside, and finished my pintos. You can't get emotionally involved in the choices of others. You only responsible for yourself. Next time I know to skip the pintos. I also asked the manager to stop putting meat in the pintos. He looked at me like the space shuttle landed in my taco salad. Oh well, I had to ask since he ask me if everything was OK.<br><br>
Of course, one of my big reasons for going vegetarian is spiritual, growing compassion. I know from life experience that you can't make people do. You can't make people love you, stop killing animals for fun and profit, treat the planet with respect or, even stop killing themselves. There will always be killing, suffering, etc.. If I become angry and grow a violent spirit I become part of the problem. To become part of the solution I must learn to be and to demonstrate peace and compassion. Feeling angry and resentful makes the world around me respond in kind. So, my point is, be gentle with yourself as you adopt this lifestyle and you will find that the vegetarian lifestyle is a very pleasing way to live. I wish I had done this 30 years ago.<br><br>
To me it should be about more than just the food we choose to eat.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Darth Zucchini</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3041088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Not to derail the thread, but Starburst most certainly contains gelatin. It's the only candy I really miss since going Veg...</div>
</div>
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the OP is in the UK where they're vegan ; D always helps to check
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Pirate Ferret</strong> <a href="/forum/post/3042625"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
the OP is in the UK where they're vegan ; D always helps to check</div>
</div>
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Well crap. I wish they were made that way in the US...
 

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Gelatin is also used in dark room photo paper. As far as I know, there is no alternative other than to go digital.
 
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