10 False Vegetarian Products on Store Shelves

1. Alcohol

You won’t find a list of ingredients on most alcohol bottles, but “fish glue” (made from a fish bladder), gelatin (which is made from the so-called “offal”: skin, bones, tendons, ligaments of animals), crab shell – here just some of the additives that are used to refine alcoholic beverages and make them clear. You can check if an alcoholic drink contains animal additives on the website.

2. Refueling for “Caesar”

This signature salty flavor of the dressing comes from the anchovies. We prefer a vegan creamy Worcestershire sauce with a slight mustard flavor as an alternative. Unlike a traditional Caesar dressing, Vegan Worcestershire Sauce does not contain fish, Parmesan or egg yolks. Ask at vegetarian stores.

3. Cheese

Parmesan, Romano and other classic cheeses traditionally contain rennin, an important cheese-making ingredient that is extracted from the stomachs of calves, kids or lambs. The labels usually say “rennet”. Be careful to choose a cheese whose label indicates that it is made on the basis of a microbial or plant enzyme.

4. French onion soup

The basis of this well-known classic can be beef broth. So read the fine print on the soup can at the supermarket. By the way, if you ordered French onion in a restaurant, in addition to meat broth, it may contain Parmesan and Gruyère cheese, which contain rennet. Just check with the waiter.

5. Chewing gummies

Traditional gummies and worms contain gelatin, which gives gummies their chewy texture. Go shopping, find the same one based on fruit pectin – we guarantee you will not feel the difference.

6. Jelly

This sweet children’s dessert is almost synonymous with gelatin. Buy vegan jelly at specialty vegetarian stores. Or make your own using amaranth powder or agar-agar, which is derived from seaweed.

7. Kimchi soup

Kimchi is a famous Korean dish that promotes good digestion. This savory pickled vegetable soup is usually flavored with fish sauce or dried shrimp. If you buy from a supermarket, read the labels carefully. If ordering at a restaurant, check with the waiter. Or buy just cabbage kimchi: it will add spice to vegan burgers, tacos, scrambled eggs or rice.

8. Marshmallow

Sorry, marshmallow lovers, your favorite air cushions contain gelatin. You will probably find marshmallows without gelatin in special vegetarian stores, but be sure to check the composition for the presence of egg whites. And may your favorite cocoa with marshmallows continue to delight you every morning.

9. Canned beans

Look for animal fat in canned beans, especially in “traditional” flavors. Some Mexican restaurants also use animal fats in their bean dishes, so ask your waiter. Fortunately, canned beans cooked in vegetable oil are not that hard to find: just read the ingredients on the labels.

10. Worcestershire sauce

The list of ingredients that make classic Worcestershire sauce includes anchovies. And they add it, by the way, to burgers, and to barbecue marinade, and even to Margarita. Vegan Worcestershire sauce (as savory as regular) is available at vegan stores. Or just replace it with soy sauce.

Are you going for groceries? Follow our tips to make shopping as enjoyable and easy as possible.

Read the ingredient list carefully to avoid confusion. “The same manufacturer can have both a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian version of the same product,” says Lindsay Nixon, author of The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living.

Reduce the time of your trips to the supermarkets. How? Nixon advises visiting only health food stores, where the range of vegetarian products is much wider. And if you are lucky enough to live near the vegetable market, buy only there.

“Vegetarian versions of regular sauces can be quite expensive,” says Nixon. “Cook with your own hands – and spend much less money!”.

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