It’s all over the news that processed meat can potentially cause cancer in your future years. And my vegetarian friends can’t help but point this out to me since I’m a non-vegetarian.
But, according to studies, there are many so called “100% vegetarian” food items which DO contain some traces of non vegetarian stuff.
They may not cause cancer but the fact that a person who devotes his entire life to NOT eating non vegetarian food, is consuming a little amount of ‘non veg’, without his consent or even his slightest knowledge – yes, that is terrifying.
I don’t mean to scare ya’ll, but let’s take a look at how your vegetarian-ness is being violated on a regular basis.
Varkh (Silver foil on sweets) has ox-gut
Before you hog on those Diwali sweets, I hope that you know where that shiny, pretty layer on them came from. A crucial material used in its manufacture is, wait for it, OX-GUT. Yes, ox-gut, which is obtained from slaughterhouses. Studies by Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of India have revealed that varkh also contains metals that are carcinogenic in nature. So, in this case if it’s not the processed meat, then it’s the metals! I bet you’d have a hard time picking those mouth-watering sweets up now, won’t you?
Sauces in the soup has chicken/beef stock
Most of the sauces in soups are made with chicken stock, beef stock or fish stock. So next time you go to a fancy restaurant on a cold December evening to order your all-time favorite vegetable soup, just keep in mind that the sauce complementing your vegetarian meal is apparently not-so-vegetarian. It isn’t a big deal though, but if you wanna go the extra mile by asking the workers in the restaurant if the sauces they serve are vegetarian-friendly or not, that would just be cautiousness on your side.
Beer & Wine has bones/tissues of cows/pigs
Many wines and beers are produced using fining or filtering agents, which are obtained from other “non-vegetarian” means. Those commonly used are gelatin (from bones and connective tissues of cows or pigs), Isinglass (from fish swim bladders), chitin (from shells of crabs or lobsters), casein (from milk) and albumin (from egg whites).
And I’m pretty much sober while typing this down.
Naan can have eggs
The very ‘desi’ naan that is commonly made in India might not be 100 percent vegetarian. Many a times the dough for naan is kneaded in eggs for giving the bread softness and elasticity. But that isn’t necessary either, it depends on the cooks and the workers in the kitchen.
White Sugar can have bone char
The sparkling white sugar doesn’t get its colour from bleach. Many sugar manufacturers process the sugar using bone char, which is made from the bones of animals. To avoid sugar filtered with bone char, purchase unrefined sugar or buy from brands that don’t use bone char, just to stay on the safer side.
Yogurt can have gelatin (bones/tissues of cows/pigs)
These, especially the non-fat versions, contain gelatin (from bones and connective tissues of cows or pigs) to add a richer texture.
A spokesperson from Müller explained: ‘We offer consumers a range of products, from healthier fat free, low-calorie options to thick and creamy, indulgent desserts. All of the nutrition information and ingredients, including gelatin, are displayed on pack so consumers can make the best choice for them.’
It’s all on the pack. It’s your part to choose and hence, shop wisely.
Breakfast Cereals can have beef gelatin
There are a number of sugar-coated cereals on the market which contain beef gelatin, extracted from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals.
Some of them have beef gelatin in them to make the sugar stick to the cereal.
The protein is made from boiling animal parts in water and appears as a binding agent in many products. So this is the perfect way to start that fresh, happy, vegetarian day.
Companies would go to extents to make their products look and taste good. That’s what helps them sell and earn. Actually, the consumer is responsible. If you stick to a strict vegetarian routine, be sure to check all your store-purchased eatables well.
Just a quick scan of the ingredients mentioned can save you that entire mental trauma. Stores do sell products for vegetarians; you just need to look wisely.
Anyway, don’t let this stop you from going out to your favorite restaurant or cringe at the taste of your once-favorite yogurt.
Just a bit of meat here and there, causing cancer? That’s crazy, dude.
But yes, if you’re a pure vegetarian who completely stays away from animal food, just eat cleverly, that’s the deal.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.