It is time to put on your Hoppy Vegan Tank Top or Hoppy Vegan T-Shirt for Easter since it can be a tough time for vegans. The food industry hides animal products in many different ways including casein, gelatin, whey, confectioner's glaze, carmine, castoreum, lanolin, and bone char.
What are these ingredients?
Casein is a protein in milk that is used in processed foods and in adhesives, paints, and other industrial products. It can also be found in some candies and breath mints, as well as a variety of alcoholic beverages.
Gelatin is the protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water usually from pigs and cows. Gelatin is used in candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts.
Whey is a protein leftover from cheese production. Whey can be found in fudge, caramels, and taffy.
Confectioner's glaze is a coating or glazes derived from the hardened, resinous material secreted by the lac beetle. Confectioner's glaze is most commonly used as a coating or glaze on jelly beans, chewing gum, fruit, and coffee beans.
Carmine is the extract of dried cochineal bugs bodies that are crushed up and used as red coloring. If you see the words “Cochineal,” “Cochineal Extract,” “Carmine,” “Crimson Lake,” “Natural Red 4,” “C.I. 75470,” or “E120,” in an ingredients list, this red bug dye is in the food. Also, a food labeled with “natural colorings” may also contain it.
Castoreum is a yellowish-brown, substance with a strong, penetrating odor which beavers secrete from castor sacs located in skin cavities between the pelvis and the base of the tail and spray when scent-marking their territory. It is used as a common ingredient in raspberry-flavored sweets and candies.
Lanolin is a waxy substance that coats a sheep’s fur, keeping it moist and protecting its skin. You likely won’t find lanolin on a gum’s ingredient list, but if you see “gum base,” that can also be interchanged for “sheep sweat.”
Bone char or natural carbon are cattle bones used to process sugar. Bone char is widely used by the sugar industry as a filter to make it white.
Stay away from gummy bears and worms, Starbursts, Junior Mints, red candy, Nerds, Altoids, and Jelly Belly.
Check out these vegans Easter candies instead.