turning vegan as well as veteran vegans are faced daily with deciding
if a rumor is true. We all know the story... I have a friend whose
father's drinking buddy works in the Such and such factory and says
they use beef blood as a processing agent.
Here we try to dispel
some common myths, give a brief history on the origin of the word
vegetarian, offer some facts about those symbols declaring something
Kosher, the truth about the wax on the produce stories, and offer
some alternatives to eggs.
In brief, this chapter
is a compilation of information we really felt should be included,
but didn't really have a category for it. It also turned out to
be one of the most interesting chapters to work on.
Did the Term "Vegetarian" Come From?
term "Vegetarian" was coined in 1847. It was first formally used
on September 30th of that year by Joseph Brotherton and others,
at Northwood Villa in Kent, England. The occasion being the innaugural
meeting of the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom.
The word was derived
from the Latin "vegetus," meaning whole, sound, fresh, lively; (it
should not be confused with "vegetable-arian" - a mythical human
whom some imagine subsisting entirely on vegetables but no nuts,
fruits, grains etc!)
Prior to 1847, non-meat
eaters were generally known as "Pythagoreans" or adherents of the
"Pythagorean System," after the ancient Greek "vegetarian" Pythagoras.
The original definition
of "vegetarian" was "with or without eggs or dairy products" and
that definition is still used by the Vegetarian Society today. However,
most vegetarians in India exclude eggs from their diet, as did those
in the classical Mediterranean lands, such as Pythagoras.
GUM: Some chewing gums contain glycerin/glycerine.
Wrigley's gum contains a vegetarian source of glycerin(e).
Apparently most envelopes have synthetic glue on them, not an
animal or fish based glue.
Heinz has officially denied that they use beef blood as part
of their "Natural Flavoring" in their
catsup. They claim that there are no animal ingredients at all in
their "Natural Flavoring." E.G. Smith is still unconvinced.
Yes, rumors abound about maple syrup containing pork fat. The
US vegan society has checked all known sources and found that they
are all suitable for vegans.
MAX, OLEAN: By time this book is printed Olestra, which
is sold under the brand name OLEAN (Procter & Gamble), and MAX
(Frito-Lay), will have either hit the international market by storm
or completely have been rejected due to the harmful side effects
this fake fat has on the human body. Without going into much detail
on Olestra itself, it will suffice to say that it is not vegan.
Although Proctor & Gamble won't tell us exactly what is in it,
it has been confirmed to contain FATTY
ACIDS and is therefore not vegan. E.G. Smith Press can provide
additional up to date information on the harmful fat substitute,
Olestra, upon request.
STAMPS: These do
not contain an animal or fish glue,
popular rumor says that cane sugar is processed through gelatin.
This is untrue. Some cane sugars are processed using boneblack as
a decolorant (see Chapter 2). The process
is similar but not the same. Gelatin is boiled skin, tendons,
ligaments or bones, while boneblack is actually charcoaled -
At any rate, it is not suitable for vegans. We contacted several
popular cane sugar manufacturers and they all confirmed the use
of boneblack in their processes. We recommend contacting the manufacturer
directly to inquire whether or not their particular brand of sugar
is vegan. In the UK, Tate and Lyle and Billingtons sugars are free
of animal substances. British Sugar, trading as Silver Spoon (the
largest UK supplier) state that their white sugar is vegan but they
cannot guarantee their brown sugars are, as some bone charcoal may
be used by their suppliers.
Rumors have sprung claiming that Tetley and Lipton use animal products
(or blood, in particular) as coloring in their teas. Tetley was
very kind in their response, being very specific. However, Lipton
was less specific and a little bit harder to get a straight answer
from. They do confirm that there are no animal products used in
their coloring. However, they refrain from being specific as to
the Natural Flavors part of their
ingredients list. E.G. Smith's position on this is wary, we suggest
you judge for yourself based on their response(s).
LETTER TO LIPTON*
There are rumors
abound that you use animal products in the coloring of your teas.
Many vegetarians and health conscious alike, would be interested
in the truth in this rumor. Do you, in fact, use any animal or animal
derived products in any of your teas. Please be specific.
The E.G. Smith
The flavor of
the tea in all our products is derived from the tealeaves during
the brewing process. All of our other ingredients are FDA approved
before we market a product. I hope this information is helpful and
thanks for your interest in Lipton!
Your friends at
Thank you for
your prompt response. However, "FDA approved" does include animal
derived products. We arenít asking disclosure of the actual ingredients;
simply, are there any animal derived ingredients in any of your
teas, and if so which ones?
The E.G. Smith Project
Smith Project, I have checked with our staff and we do not use animal
products in the coloring of our tea (leaf or powdered). I hope this
Your friends at
that a particular food is made according to a complex set of Jewish
dietary laws. Does not imply VEGAN in any case. Does not imply Vegetarian
in any case. Even KOSHER products containing milk products may contain
some types of animals which are not considered "meat."
A common misconception
is checking if a food is Kosher to determine whether or not it is
vegan. The following are some of the Kosher designations with their
D : Dairy
DE : Dairy Equipment (no actual dairy in ingredients,
equipment may have been used previously in the manufacture
of products containing dairy.)
P: Passover Kosher
for all year including Passover (Note: "P" NEVER designates pareve.)
This In Mind:
One category in KOSHER
dietary laws. Made without meat or milk products or their derivatives.
Eggs and true fish are pareve, shellfish are not.
Does not have enough percentage of milkfat to be called dairy.
May actually contain milk or milk derivatives.
Made without meat. May include eggs, milk, cheese. Sometimes
even included animal fats, seafood, fish, fowl.
good sells. Several supermarkets across the country are using wax
and such on their fruits and vegetables to make them look more appealing.
Some of these visual enhancers are animal based.
"The Food and
Drug Administration has registered several categories of waxes For
topical use on apples, avocados, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit,
melons, peaches, pineapples, passion fruits, cucumbers, eggplants,
peppers, pumpkins, rutabagas, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes,
turnips, and other fruits and vegetables. The produce-packing industry
argues that waxes, which often contain chemical fungicides, are
needed to reduce shrinkage from moisture loss and to inhibit the
growth of molds and fungus. According to FDA regulations, retailers
must label waxed produce; however, nobody does this, and the law
is unenforced. The types of waxes currently in use on produce are:
Wax. Obtained from
the wax palm of Brazil, carnauba is the hardest of the natural waxes.
It is used widely in floor waxes, polishes, and lubricants.
A derivative of petroleum, paraffin is flammable and insoluble
in water. It is used to make candles and for many industrial purposes.
Obtained from a reed, candelilla is a natural wax this common
in furniture polishes.
A plastic synthesized from petroleum, polyethylene is manufactured
in sheets and films. Its many commercial uses include unbreakable
bottles, shower curtains, electrical insulation, pipes, and packaging
Suitable For Vegans
Obtained from the
bodies of the female scale insect Tachardia lacca, shellac is used
as varnish, as a coating on wood and plaster, in electrical insulation,
and in sealing wax.
Obtained from vegetable oils, animal fats, or synthesized from
petroleum, oleic acid is used in industrial lubricants.
Obtained from the tissues and fatty deposits of animals, especially
cattle and sheep, tallow is used in floor waxes, soap, candles,
and as a lubricant.
If the produce
is not labeled it is impossible to tell what is used on the produce
you're eating, if any at all. These waxes cannot be washed off produce.
If you want to avoid eating waxes, peel any produce that is waxed.
Book of Juicing by Michael Murray, ND (Prima Publishing, 1992),
says essentially the same thing. However, Dr. Murray does offer
some advice on reducing exposure to waxes:
1) Buy organic
produce 2) Try to buy local produce that is in season. Produce imported
into the US is more likely to contain excessive levels of pesticides
as well as pesticides that have been banned in the US 3) Soak produce
in a mild solution of additive-free soap like pure castille soap
to remove surface pesticide residues, fungicides, and fertilizers.
4) Peel off the skin or remove the outer layer of leaves.
To find out
more information on the rules and regulations the FDA has set for
this practice you can call the Food & Drug Administration and
request a copy of docket number 90N-0361 "Food Labeling: Declaration
Can Be Substituted For Eggs?
A company called Ener-G
makes a powdered egg-substitute that they claim is a suitable
replacement for eggs in cooking. It costs about $5.00 (US) for
the equivalent of 9 or 10 dozen eggs, and it contains no animal
2 oz of soft tofu can be
blended with some water and added to substitute for an egg to
One Tbsp flax seeds (found
in natural food stores) with 3 Tbsp water can be blended for 2
to 3 minutes, or boiled for 10 minutes or until desired consistency
is achieved to substitute for one egg.
1/ 2 mashed banana for
1/4 cup applesauce or pureed
fruit for one egg.
1 Tsp soy flour plus 1
Tbsp water to substitute for one egg.
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