Thursday, October 18, 2012

Yucky Ingredients

I have been absent for a little while and I apologize for that.

I haven't felt very inspired and I haven't made anything of note (so sorry no new recipe to share).

What I did want to share today was some information I received in a PETA newsletter.

With Halloween just around the corner there will be a vast amount of treats available to children and PETA put out a list (not all inclusive) of some mainstream treats that are I thought I would share them with you:

Airheads taffy
Brach's Cinnamon Hard Candy
Brach's Hi-C Fruit Slices
Brach's Hi-C Orange Slices
Brach's Root Beer Barrels
Brach's Star Brites
Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar
Chocolove Cherries and Almonds Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Orange Peel Dark Chocolate Bar
Chocolove Raspberry Dark Chocolate bar
Cry Babies
Hubba Bubba bubblegum
Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
Laffy Taffy (some varieties)
Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
Mike and Ike
Panda Licorice
Smarties (U.S. Brand)
Sour Patch Kids
Super Bubble
Swedish Fish
Sweet Tarts
Something else contained in the newsletter was a list of ingredients that are commonly found in foods.

As a new vegan I need to familiarize myself with these, but once I read where the ingredients come from I was completely disgusted...see for yourself (PETA was nice enough to provide some alternatives to the animal versions):

Casein—Whey’s cousin, casein is made from curdled milk. Yuck! Alternatives: soy protein, soy milk, and other vegetable milks.

Gelatin—Rhymes with "skeleton." Coincidence? I think not. Gelatin is a protein made by boiling cows’ and pigs’ skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Jell-O? Heck, no! Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp—used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel.

Honey—Sure, honey tastes sweet, but you’ll get a bad taste in your mouth when you learn how it’s "harvested."

From a former beekeeper: "[T]ypically, beekeepers are gloved and netted to avoid stings (nearly every bee who stings will die due to her entrails being pulled from her body attached to her stinger.) Then the hives are opened as quickly as possible and the bees are ‘smoked.’ Smoke from a smoldering fire carried in a ‘smoker’ is pumped into the hive and the bees are ‘calmed.’ In spite of this, the combs are pulled quickly and many bees are crushed in the process. When a bee is hurt, she releases a chemical message that alerts and activates the hive members who proceed to attack the intruder—giving their lives in the process."
Alternatives: in foods—maple syrup, date sugar, syrups made from grains such as barley malt, turbinado sugar, molasses; in cosmetics—vegetable colors and oils.

Lard—Lard is such a gross word, it almost makes you wonder why they just don’t call it what it is: "Fat from hog abdomens." Alternatives: pure vegetable fats or oils.

Pepsin—If the thought of eating lard turns your stomach, stay away from pepsin, a clotting agent from pigs’ stomachs, used in some cheeses and vitamins.  Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.

Rennet—Certain words just make you cringe, like coagulate, congeal, clot—which is what rennet, an enzyme taken from baby calves’ stomachs, is used for in cheese production. Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.

Stearic Acid—It may sound less gross than "lard," but stearic acid, which often rears its ugly head in chocolate and vitamins, comes from a fatty substance taken from slaughtered pigs’ stomachs—or from cows, sheep, or dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut.

Cetyl Palmitate—Check your head if you’re using margarine that contains cetyl palmitate, the fancy term for the waxy oil derived from sperm whales’ heads or from dolphins. Alternatives: synthetic spermaceti, jojoba oil, and other vegetable emollients.

Urea—Urea comes from urine and other "bodily fluids." It’s used to "brown" baked goods, like pretzels. Alternatives: synthetics

I am pretty sure urea made me the most ill but pepsin is right up there for me as well. 

What I really wonder though is who sat around and thought "Urine that is bound to make baked goods have a pleasing brown color."  I guess what I need to research is how the ingredients even came to be acceptable options.

Hopefully I haven't ruined your day with this, but I just felt I wanted to share. 


  1. Wow! Who would have known what all those hidden (aka. terrifying) ingredients held! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend! I feel so much more informed!

  2. Those ingredients are so gross! No wonder they change their names because if they didn't, no one would buy the products!
    Lil' L has always refused to eat any sweets that contain gelatin. Haribos are now huge over here and because they put a little fruit juice in them, they're seen as an acceptable... dare I say... healthy sweet. Their marketing campaign has been a great success! One time he purposely lost a table tennis match because the prize was a big bag of Haribos lol! When he's out Trick n Treating, he's always the last one left on the door steps, rummaging through the goodie bags willing there to be some chocolate. He's always a bit disappointed if there's only jelly sweets on offer.