Is It Vegan?

Five Things You Thought You Were Vegan But Aren’t


Jo Fogarasi, Writer

  1. Soda: Does your favorite soda use animal by-products?

Most sodas use something called ester gum which is not vegan. It’s used in ice cream, gummies, jellies, and even wood finishes. Now before you go and check one of America’s biggest soda companies, such as Coca Cola, for ester gum, you would be surprised because their products do not contain it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe.  Coca Cola even released a statement saying, “None of our products contain milk, eggs, or any products derived from mammals. Vegans and vegetarians should note that a few of our drinks contain small traces of fish gelatine, which is used as a stabilizer for the beta carotene color.”  

  1. Altoids: Is America’s favorite mint vegan?

Watch out vegans, you may think you are getting a fresh breath, but you are really getting a mouth full of pig. Altoids also use gelatin to stabilize their form, but don’t worry because Altoids “sugar free smalls” are good to go, and very safe.  

  1. White Sugar: Don’t mix this with your medicine.

This one is not so bad. Most refined sugar is safe, but be careful and research first because some refined sugar is processed with bone char. The charcoal is used to remove color, impurities, and minerals from sugar.  

  1. Packaged Peanuts: So much for getting extra protein.

Oh you thought legumes could give you some sort of protein. Wrong. Turns out lots of packaged peanuts (such as Planters) contains gelatine. How weird? But have no fear, because the peanuts you take out of the shell are completely gelatine free, and yes, a very good source of protein.

  1. Apple Juice: There’s something fishy about this.

Are you checking your juice? Don’t be surprised if your favorite apple juice contains fish bladder. It’s a very common stabilizer. But don’t worry there are always vegan options, next time you go to buy juice look in the ingredients if the products contains isinglass, don’t buy it!