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Veggin’ Out: Surprising non-vegetarian foods

Posted Jun 09 2010 11:29pm

Whether you’re a vegetarian for health, ethical, environment, or any other reasons, you’re doing it because you no longer want to eat animal products. At first you might think it’s easy-chicken, fish, burgers, steak, off limits. However, there are some surprising items that contain meat that you may not even realize….

1) Beans. Canned beans can be seasoned with bacon or other pork fats. Beans you get at a restaurant (especially refried) will be cooked with meat a lot of times.
2) Salad Dressings. Just because the spring rolls are vegetarian doesn?t mean the sauce is. Dressings can contain fish oils or bacon for flavoring.
3) Pie Crusts/flour tortillas/baked goods. These can contain lard (animal fat).
4)  Jello/some gummy candies. These are made with gelatin, which is ground up animal bones. By the way, Swedish Fish are ok!
5)  Chinese Stir-Frys/sauces. Oyster sauce is used in a lot of authentic Chinese cooking and depending on the restaurant, they will consider this vegetarian still. I came across this while eating the marked-vegetarian spring rolls that came with oyster-laced dipping
6) Chicken stock can find its way into rice, noodles, cooked vegetables, especially at high end restaurants. Also check your canned items like spaghetti sauce.

Now, in all honesty, it’s not like I’m going to turn down a jello shot or skittles. It depends on the type of vegetarian that you are. I tried to provide just a basic list of items that blatantly use meat. However, you can get super strict about it. Check out this list of animal derived ingredients if you want to get intense with it

If you accidently eat meat, breathe, stretch, shake, and let it go (thanks, Ma$e!). Many vegetarians, no matter how hard they try, can get duped every once in awhile. It can be very frustrating but it gives you better knowledge for the future. Just like one cupcake won’t make you gain 10 pounds, one accidental chicken broth incident won’t undo all your veggie ways.

What other surprising items have you guys found meat products in?

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