Welcome to our ‘Is it Vegan?’ section. Here we take a closer look at the products that puzzle many vegans (or the people shopping for them).
Few things annoy us more than misleading products that seem vegan at first glance but really aren’t.
Reading ingredient lists has become something of a superpower that many vegans, including us, possess. Quick skimming and razor-sharp focus to detect any animal ingredients is a skill vegans quickly develop in order to survive in this non-vegan world.
Unfortunately, when it comes to some animal-derived ingredients, they may be hiding behind strange and vague names, such as carmine.
For those of you who may not be aware, carmine is a red dye usually used to color food, cosmetics, and textile products. It’s made from insects. Yes. INSECTS. More specifically, cochineal insects native to Latin America. Their bodies are dried, crushed, and then boiled so carminic acid can be obtained.
The colorant, which hides behind many other names, such as cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is present ubiquitously in food products. You can read more on the subject here.
We’re pretty sure these little bugs were responsible for the vivid red color of our childhood favorite strawberry yogurt, among a myriad of others.
We know what you’re thinking – “Insects in my food? All this time and no one ever told me?!”
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you avoid such feelings in the future.
Check out the articles below to:
- find out more about surprising non-vegan ingredients
- see what non-vegan products you may be buying and
- discover vegan options that may have slipped under your radar.
We got your back.