Join 3,442 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Starbugs
April 19, 2012 1:55 PM   Subscribe

After reading about Starbucks' use of crushed insects for use as food dye, I'd like to know what other food products contain intentionally hidden animal or insect parts. For instance, refined sugar is passed through a cow-bone charcoal filter. Is there a vegan guide that details all of these products?

I realize that most shelf items at the market contain bug parts per million etc.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some cask-conditioned ales use isinglass, which is derived from fish.
posted by gauche at 1:58 PM on April 19, 2012


Jain dietary guidelines may help identify potential food and drink items to be researched further.
posted by infini at 2:05 PM on April 19, 2012


Anything with cochineal and carmine dye. This includes my favorite Tropicana Orange-Strawberry-Banana juice.
posted by deanc at 2:06 PM on April 19, 2012


Wine is often fined (clarified) through eggs, gelatin, or crustacean-derived substances.
posted by judith at 2:07 PM on April 19, 2012


This is a pretty complete guide.
posted by Jeanne at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Orange juice and bread that touts omega-3 content most likely contains fish products. Some soy cheeses contain casein. Packaged peanuts can have gelatin.

Starbugs, heh heh. Yeah, the publicity they're getting is a little late in my book: when I was a kid in the '70s we all knew that Kool-Ade and such contained cochineal dye.
posted by Specklet at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Omega-3 fortified milk: also likely to be fishy.
posted by holgate at 2:23 PM on April 19, 2012


For all your adult beverage questions there's Barnivore.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:29 PM on April 19, 2012


L-Cysteine (a dough conditioner) is made out of human hair and duck feathers.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 2:32 PM on April 19, 2012


There's also this chart: There's no such thing as a vegan. (I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the statement, but this has been floating around for awhile and there were some interesting things on the list that I didn't know about.)
posted by Felicity Rilke at 2:42 PM on April 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I vividly recall hearing this on NPR: cockroach coffee.
posted by sugarbomb at 2:58 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gelatin usually comes from animal bones, and it's in a lot more places than you think (marshmallows, vitamin capsules)

Cheese requires rennet (made in an animal's stomach) to form, and while artificial rennet exists, it is only infrequently used.
posted by Mchelly at 3:21 PM on April 19, 2012


Anything labeled "natural flavoring" can be non-vegetarian. Strawberry and Raspberry flavoring often comes from the anal gland of a beaver: castoreum
posted by turtlefu at 3:37 PM on April 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Starbucks just announced that they are not going to use cochineal, but will instead use tomatoes to color their strawberry drinks and desserts ...
posted by Susurration at 4:29 PM on April 19, 2012


There's also this chart: There's no such thing as a vegan. (I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with the statement, but this has been floating around for awhile and there were some interesting things on the list that I didn't know about.)
Uh, what?

For starters, this chart is woefully lacking in details or citations. At least one jumps out to me as wrong: gelatin is made from hooves, not skin. Others just don't make sense – I don't know any vegans opposed to using manure for fertilizers or nitrogen, for instance, as the animal clearly isn't harmed by processing its dung.
posted by deathpanels at 10:10 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you use make-up or cosmetics, then anything with carmine in (Benetint is the main example I can think of). I'm not well-up on what's in what, but the promotion of some indie and mainstream products as 'vegan' leads me to believe that animal ingredients are common.

I had a Muslim next-door neighbour as a kid and she would often accidentally buy products with gelatin in - Haribo do a halal range for this very reason. Gummy sweets seem to be particularly prone.
posted by mippy at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2012


FYI, gauche already said isinglass in beer, but you should know it's made from fish floatation bladders. Isinglass finings are used to sort of precipitate the cloudifying impurities from beer.

Gelatin is sometimes used for the same purpose.

Also, the sugar bleaching method is the other biggie that I know but you already know about it.

In related news, there was a big hullabaloo a few years ago where a marshmallow that was through to be vegan by even its makers was proven to have fish gelatin in it - the makers of the gelatinizer were either unable or unwilling to identify this ingredient to the marshmallow maker and so these marshmallows went into the market marked as vegan.

Now, though, there is apparently a really vegan marshmallow, sold by Sweet and Sara. Sounds like their gelatin substitute is a proprietary formula of corn dextrose, corn starch, carrageenan, soy protein, and locust bean gum.
posted by kalessin at 4:59 AM on April 20, 2012


At least one jumps out to me as wrong: gelatin is made from hooves, not skin.

Gelatin is made from anything with collagen in it.
posted by gjc at 5:53 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know any vegans opposed to using manure for fertilizers or nitrogen, for instance, as the animal clearly isn't harmed by processing its dung.

I do in fact know vegans who are opposed to this because they are uncomfortable with the thought of these (or any) animals being kept in captivity. Veganism tends to be a series of really personal and highly relative decisions.

OP, you might also have some luck using certified kosher products, as the exclusion of various animal-sourced materials is definitely an issue in jewish dietary laws.
posted by elizardbits at 9:10 AM on April 20, 2012


Just to clarify, nearly all commercial gelatin is made from rendered pig skin, though you can find kosher gelatin made from fish cartilage.
posted by nenequesadilla at 11:09 AM on April 20, 2012


Shiny candies (like Junior Mints) are coated in confectioner's glaze. Which is food grade shellac, made from the lac beetle.
posted by jdfan at 4:08 AM on April 21, 2012


It's not 100% clear that insects are not vegan Some vegan organizations say that the making an issue about honey makes it easier to marginalize vegans. Other's see it more black and white than that.
posted by garlic at 6:32 AM on April 23, 2012


« Older I'm in the front passenger sea...   |  I want to get some life insura... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.