Many every day foods products contain ingredients derived from the slaughter of animals. This list may seem long but don't worry! They are many vegetarian alternatives available and we have offered a few suggestions in green.
A few commonly used ingredients that often as misconcieved as being suitable for vegetarians, but are never suitable include:
Gelatin (often spelled gelatine) - this is made from animal ligaments, tendons, bones etc and can often be found in confectionery, low fat spreads, desserts, and other dairy products.
For an alternative: try using vegegel or agar agar.
Animal fat - refers to carcass fat and may be present in a wide range of foods, including biscuits, cakes, and margarines. Suet and lard are types of animal fats.
For an alternative: try using butter or hard vegetable margarines.
Rennet - cheese is often made with rennet extracted from the stomach lining of slaughtered calves, however, vegetarian cheese is made with rennet from a microbial source.
For an alternative: Vegeren is suitable for vegetarians and available from most supermarkets.
The following is a list of everyday food ingredients which could have animal ingredients in them together with their E number if applicable.
Whey could be from a non vegetarian cheese making sauce. Many vegetarian cheeses are available.
E120 (cochineal which is a beetle) also called Natural Red 4 found in alcoholic drinks such as some fortified wines, fruit pie fillings, jams, many sweets.
E471 E472 (fatty acids which could come from animal fat)
Beer & Cider (Including Real Ales & Lagers) - All cask condition "real" ales will have been fined with isinglass. Some keg, bottled and canned bitters, milds and stouts may also be fined with isinglass. Lagers are generally chill filtered, but some brands use isinglass, which is not vegetarian. Cider may have been clarified using isinglass or gelatin.
For an alternative: Our Vegsoc Approved site lists many suitable beers. Suppliers like Lembas and Suma can supply bulk orders of vegetarian suitable drinks. Vinceremos and Vintage Roots can supply organic beers.
Biscuits - May contain animal fats.
Bread products - Most large producers use vegetable based emulsifiers (E471, E472) but local bakers may not. Some bakers may grease the tins with animal fat.
Butter Unadulterated butter is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.
For an alternative: Apply supplies of non-adulterated butter is available these days from suppliers, markets and supermarkets.
Cakes - Ready made cake can contain flour enhancers, non-vegetarian margarines and battery eggs.
Cheese - May have been produced using animal rennet which is an enzyme taken from the stomach of a newly killed calf and is used in the cheese making process. Vegetarian cheese is produced using microbial or fungal enzymes (sometimes referred to as non animal rennet), or chymosin produced using genetic engineering technology and most British produced cheeses are produced in this way. Many cheeses such as parmazano reggiano, roquefort and gorgonzola are never vegetarian.
For an alternative: Twineham Grange and Vegetellia make vegetarian parmesan style cheeses which are as good as the real thing. Dolce latte makes a good substitute for gorgonzola. Most supermarkets clearly label cheese which is suitable. Most cheddars are suitable.
Chips - May have been pre-coated in animal fat or fried in animal fat.
Cold drinks May contain red colouring which could be cochineal E120
For an alternative: Artificial cochineal is available for colouring your own soft drinks. Suppliers like Lembas and Suma can supply bulk orders of vegetarian suitable drinks.
Confectionery - Chocolate Watch out for whey and emulsifiers E471b to E495.
For an alternative: A good range of suitable chocolate is available including FairTrade brands.
Crackers May have been made with whey or lactose powder as an ingredient.
Crisps & Snack Biscuits - Often use whey or lactose as a flavour carrier.
E Numbers See sperate list for e numbers list.
Fruit Juices - Apple juice and other non opaque juices could contain gelatin as a fining agent which would not be included on the ingredient list.
For an alternative: Most health food shops and supermarkets will stock suitable fruit juices as will most good catering suppliers, but remember to check. Suppliers like Lembas and Suma can supply bulk orders of vegetarian suitable drinks.
Gravy - Ready made gravies can contain animal fats. "Real" gravy is made using animal bones as well as stock.
For an alternative: Marigold boullion powders are very popular with veggie cooks, maybe even consider making your own vegetable stocks as many customer comment on the improved difference in taste.