10 Foods You Probably Thought Were Vegetarian
At first, being a vegetarian seemed pretty uncomplicated. Simply remove meat from diet and continue as normal right?
Unfortunately, the further down the vegetarian rabbit hole you fall, the more you realise that just replacing cheeseburgers with veggie burgers isn't all there is to it. We hate to be the bearers of bad news but here are 10 items you probably thought were vegetarian, that actually may not be.
- Worcestershire sauce
Check the labels as many varieties are made with anchovies!
- French onion soup
Onion soup? Of course that's vegetarian. Not so fast, French onion soup is traditionally made using beef stock so unless you're making your own version at home, always ask your server. Actually, unless stated otherwise, this rule applies to many vegetable soups.
- Jell-o, marshmallows, gummy bears etc
Any vegetarians with a sweet tooth already know that many candies contain gelatin. Gelatin is a flavourless protein made from boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of cows and pigs. So yeah, these sweet treats are off the table for vegetarians. You can, however, find vegetarian versions of all of the above.
- Canned refried beans
Some refried beans have an extra ingredient you weren't expecting: lard (fat from the abdomen of a pig)! So check the labels to be sure.
- Some cheese
Strict vegetarians, especially those who are vegetarian for ethical reasons, should be aware that many cheeses (including almost all parmesan) are made with rennet. Rennet is an enzyme that comes from the stomachs of calfs after slaughter. Ouch - sorry to burst that bubble. Look for cheeses that list no rennet or "vegetarian rennet" in their ingredients.
That's right, there's parmesan in pesto. Don't shoot the messenger.
- Caesar salad
Those pesky little anchovies are back, showing up where you least expect them. Ask to have your Ceaser salad anchovy free!
- Some white sugar brands
Well this one was news to me and I've been a vegetarian for ten years. It turns out, white sugar is often refined by filtering it through animal bone char... all the more reason to be using brown sugar instead.
- Low fat yoghurt
Always check the label on yoghurts that claim to be lower in calories and/or fat as for every ingredient that's taken out - something's got to be put back in. And a lot of the time, that something is gelatin.
- Tortilla wraps
Vegetarians, step away from the burritos! Or at least check with the chef/the ingredient list first as animal fat is often added to tortilla wraps to give them more of a 'melty' texture.
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