Being vegan is more challenging than it first appears because there are lots of foods out there that pose as a vegan, but are actually packed with animal products or byproducts. If you’re not vegan yourself but are dating a widower who is, and you know his wife used to make him all sorts of vegan meals, you might feel the pressure to step your game up and feed him the kinds of foods he wishes to consume. Whatever the case may be, we’ve got a list of foods to avoid to ensure either you or anyone you’re cooking for who wants to be vegan stays vegan.
White sugar gets its white color from a refining process that uses bone char, and despite the fact that bone char isn’t necessarily an animal product, it’s not vegan either. At the same time, brown sugar, powdered sugar or even raw sugar are all made from processed white sugar, meaning they’re not vegan options as well. Therefore, if you have a sweet tooth to satisfy, opt for maple syrup or agave nectar just to be on the safe side.
2. Gummy Bears, Marshmallows, Jell-O
Gummy bears, marshmallow, Jell-O and any other similar sweets are often made with gelatin, which is made from collagen that is derived from animal byproducts. As a result, any product made with gelatin isn’t vegan and you should avoid it.
3. Certain Soy Cheeses
How can this be? Well, it can, quite simply. There are some manufacturers of soy cheese that add casein, which is a milk protein, to a product most likely to be purchased by vegans. It’s a mystery why they do this, and what you should do is check the label before you make your purchase.
Unless you crack the nuts by yourself, be careful when buying a store brand. Some manufacturers put gelatin as an additive to peanuts, which makes them a non-vegan food. Check the label beforehand so you don’t end up consuming gelatin or any other unhealthy additives.
Oh, chocolate. The most famous dessert in the world isn’t vegan even when it’s filled with cocoa, which itself is vegan, because even dark chocolate can sometimes contain milk or milk products. Check the ingredients to make sure and look for any dairy products, including whey and casein.
6. Restaurant Miso Soup
Miso soup is one example of how not all healthy food is necessarily vegan. Many restaurants use the fish broth to make their miso soup so check with the waiter before ordering. This is the only potential pitfall, but the ingredient miso itself is vegan so you can use it at home to make your soup.
After reading this list, you’ll wonder if there is anything left for you to eat, and rightfully so. Bread is on this list of seemingly vegan foods because some bread can contain milk, eggs, butter or other animal byproducts. If you bake a loaf at home, you can make sure you only use ingredients that are 100% vegan.
Honey is the most controversial product on this list because technically it isn’t a food that contains milk, cheese, eggs or any other animal products of byproducts that vegans avoid, but technically it is an animal product itself because it is produced by animals – bees. Vegans who avoid it do so for ethical and environmental reasons.