Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I hate when this happens...



My name is Bazu and I am a vegan failure. Sometimes, I read "cues" instead of ingredients. To me, a package of flatbreads in the food co-op that screams "natural!" and "whole grain!" and "kamut!" has got to be vegan. In my universe, there is no need for any sort of animal products in a cracker, especially a flatbread. So I grabbed this box out of the sale bin and came home to find... egg whites in the ingredients list.

So now I'm mad at myself. But I'm madder at Suzie's. Quit putting egg whites in your crackers, dammit! Oh well, chalk this one up to learning the hard way.

Here are a few other instances when something that has no right not being vegan has turned out to contain animal ingredients:
  • Wegman's Calcium Fortified Orange Juice (vitamin D3)
  • A white bean dip that had cheese in it
  • A loaf of Wegman's whole wheat bread advertised as having Omega 3's... because of fish oil! (Ew, fish oil in bread)
  • Ghirardelli chocolate chips (semi-sweet and bittersweet- one is vegan, one is not- I have to double-check the labels every time)
  • A seaweed and tamari rice chip that had dairy in the ingredients (again, I read "seaweed" and "tamari" and "rice chip" and I feel a false sense of vegan security)
Has this ever happened to you? If you know any products that would seem vegan, but are not, please let me know!


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30 comments:

Chris said...

I've seen the fish oil in bread thing. Yuck!

Veg*Triathlete said...

Ugh! It happens too often, Bazu! I only recently found out that the miso soup and seaweed salad at a restaurant I've been eating at both have FISH SAUCE in them! Yuck! It taught me to check more carefully before I order, though. The same night I found that out, I also saw that the restaurant had foie gras on the menu, so I was prepared to boycott them anyway on those grounds. But it was a bummer to lose what I thought was a good meeting place for my vegan friends and omni friends alike.

Don't you just hate that sinking feeling when you're going through the ingredient list & get to the "offender"? It's such a let-down. Maybe, someday, we can live in a world where EVERYTHING is vegan. Wouldn't it be nice?

Melody Polakow said...

well, I couldn't top the FISH and EGG in microwave popcorn... although, it wasn't a vegan brand... I was still shocked to see that. nasty.

jenny said...

I hate that too!

Ghirardelli's is extra-confusing because the Double Dark (bittersweet) used to be vegan and now only the semi-sweet are vegan. Ridiculous!! Dark chocolate should not have milk, that's what *milk* chocolate is for!!!

scottishvegan said...

You just had me running to my fridge to check my Ghiradelli chocolate chips! I have the semi-sweet ones and they are vegan. Aren’t they?!
It drives me crazy is when they add milk or butter to dark chocolate! WHY??!!! Recently I found Seeds of Change Organic chocolate in the store with groovy stuff in it like mango and cashews and I thought “That looks great…must be vegan surely!”. No, it isn’t. Grrrrrr!! I think I will email Seeds of Change right now to have a moan about it… :)

Okra Mary said...

All the time!! It's so annoying...no surprise about Wegman's with their history of animal-friendly practices.

The chocolate thing drives me nuts...or the "could contain trace amounts of milk." what the hell? does it or doesn't it!!?

springsandwells said...

Yes!
This has happened to me more than once. One time I bought myself a nice prepared Indian meal in the refridgerated section of the natural foods store. It was spinach and chickpeas and curry with brown rice... I checked the ingredients... But, then when I got home, I saw that it had Ghee in it! RATS! I guess I'm not used to being on the lookout for "ghee." Then I had to find someone to give it away to because I didn't want to throw it out. and it cost $7!

Also, I often find that I will be reading the ingredients, and then get all the way to the very END and the last ingredient will be "whey" or something like that. Drives me bonkers!

Sorry about your cracker disappointment.

Urban Vegan said...

I feel your pain--but you are not a failure! You are a success for doing all that you do.

We have all been there, girlfriend. Add to the list [and excuse me, but I can't remember the exact names[ Mushroom Crumbles 9Sold at Whole Foods--a sort of mock meat), many Morningstar Farms products 9not that I should ever buy those, anyway!], including Chicken Nuggets, countless cereals with honey, etc.


Thanks for this post. I'm sure all vegans can relate.

KleoPatra said...

Oh that is SUCH a bummer. It always is when this happens. I have seen whey stuff in a lot of products that don't need it... And there's dairy in some Kashi brand stuff (and now they're making chicken frozen dinners and whatnot, so i'm pretty much through with that company) and of course Heinz's (and most other brands of) Worcestershire sauce that has anchovies in it... the list goes on and on.

It is SO imperative to read labels and to know what certain ingredients are...

aTxVegn said...

No, Bazu, you are FAR from a failure! I usually screw up on fresh bread (whey) and rice crackers from the asian market (fish stuff) and Boca type Burgers. Sometimes I get caught up in checking for gluten and calories and overlook the nonvegan stuff. If the list of ingredients is long, I usually just put the product back because it's obviously not very natural, and then I go home and make it myself.

Theresa said...

I hate when that happens, too! Luckily, products here have any sketchy ingredients in bold, like dairy, eggs, and fish products (and also soy and gluten), so scanning is easy.

On the flip side, I love when you read the ingredients of something that you don't expect to be vegan (usually sweets) and find that they are.

Emmie said...

We have margarine with Omega 3 here in Sweden that has fish oil in it. Even if I ate fish I wouldn't want fish oil in my margarine. Sometimes I don't know what people are thinking. The margarine I use now also has omega 3, and no god damn fish oil what so ever.

Johanna3 said...

i have been there too! specially with the mocks meat! but now i know i spend so much time reading the labels that i can hear in the store(security make a round please) lol

maybe they think i will steal it because i spend so much time with the item in my hand lol

dont feel bad this happens a lot.

Neva Vegan said...

Fish oil in bread is disgusting.

But worse, I used to eat at this place by my old job all the time and only after having consumed much rice there (and I did ask the waiter and he told me the rice was vegetarian) did I find out they used chicken stock in the rice. Uggghhh.

There was also this bread I used to buy and I swear I initially read the ingredients and it was ok, so I think they changed the ingredients, but one day I double checked and found whey.

Also I used the same make up for years since it was once on the ok list from Peta. Only recently did I discover the brand was bought by P&G several years ago, so it's no longer ok. Yuck.

laura jesser said...

Ugh, I know what you mean... but hey, there's no such thing as a vegan failure, because it happens to the best of us. As for me, it is whey that drives me crazy--it's in a lot of brands of whole wheat bread, just when I thought that whole wheat was always the better option!! (One of the reasons I just started making my own bread...) And in crackers... I find I have to read very, very carefully, because my mind sometimes skips over things like that.

Emmy said...

Sorry to hear about your accidental un-vegan purchase. It happens to all of us at some time or another. It's amazing all the "natural" products that have animal products in them. I swear, it seems like you have to read the label everytime you buy something because even products that were once vegan can change at a moment's notice.

Vincent Guihan said...

That sucks. Blame it on the Man! I bought a package of pre-marinated tofu once (I mean, come on -- it's tofu), and it had honey in it. I was steamed; the tofu was not. But after that, I started reading ingredient labels, even on products marked 'vegan' more religiously.

Mihl said...

I know how you are feeling! By-products rule the world, sort of. But you`re not a failure and it's so hard to read labels all the time.

meesh said...

Awwww, it's OK Bazu. You are so NOT a vegan failure.:) This has happened to me so many times, but now that I'm trying to think of a product, I can't come up with a name. Since I'm also diabetic, I'm pretty crazy about reading labels and I have set things back on shelves in shock and horror many a time. Ugh.

Keep fightin' the good fight!

Kathyf said...

My daughter brought home some "omega 3" juice with pomegranite and blueberries--and fish oil!

Here they are giving fish oil capsules to school children in one district to enhance their performance. I'm like, WTF? What about people who don't eat fish for religious or ethical reasons, but I have yet to hear that objection raised.

Sheesh!

Vicki said...

glad to see you took it out on the Suzie's box - right where the blame belongs! vegan failure = oxymoron

Candi said...

Oh, yes, we've all been there! At least you did not eat the flat breads, and then find out!

Let's see... this happened to me with miso soup. I had no idea about bonito flakes. Ooooh wow, I was saddened. I felt like a failure!

All we can do is just keep checking labels, do our best and let others know what we discover. (sometimes, the hard way.) We appreciate you pointing out the bread, but also the reminder to not assume!! :)

By the way, you could never be a failure, Bazu! You are an inspiration.

Jackie said...

What is really annoying is visiting a restaurant in winter where the only the only thing warm and edible is the vegetable soup then finding out it has chicken stock in it so you land up with salad.

Vincent Guihan said...

Just to add another HMPH! to my previous comment, I just bought dinner groceries, and when I did, I saw spices in a squish tube. These are the mostly fresh kind, just minced up and prepackaged. I like fresh spices, but I figured, eh, there are lots of times when I'll do long cooking in which case fresh isn't as important and spice from a tube lowers the chance of my losing a finger due to chopping post-cocktail. So, I picked up the Italian Seasonings to check the label, because I have a friend who hates rosemary (shocking), and each and every one, the Italian Seasonings, the lemon grass, the basil, the cilantro, all of them have milk ingredients. Why anyone would package spices with milk ingredients rather than oil or lemon juice, I don't know, and yet, there it was.

Kati said...

I think the grossest thing you referenced was the fish oil in bread - yuck! Who would ever think of that? The food supply is so screwed up.

Don't beat yourself up about the crackers, though. I think we've all done the same thing at one time or another. A few months ago, I bought shampoo that specifically said "NOT vegan" on the back of the bottle. How I missed that cue is still a mystery...

islandgirlshell said...

thanks so much for writing about this! i feel much better knowing it's not just me. most stores around here know me as the "why-the-heck-does-this-have-dairy-in-it?" lady!! :) i'm so angered by the amount of products that include animal products and don't have to, primarily because of my daughter with a life-threatening dairy allergy.

uncle kracker needs to just get rid of the dairy - their non-dairy crackers are SOOO good. a weird one I found was in the baking aisle...powdered lime and lemon flavoring in packets, containing dairy.

and here's an interesting one, the medication my daughter (who has true allergy to milk proteins) is prescribed for her asthma contains MILK PROTEINS. supposedly, they are "denatured" and therefore not harmful to her. but it opens up a whole new can of worms, i think...grrrr

runswithdog said...

Happens to be all the time - and makes me mad. At myself for not checking well enough and at the corporations. Do we really need whey in EVERYTHING??? Yuck.

vko said...

Has happened to me countless times, but I am so anal about grocery shopping that I read every single ingredient list on everything- it takes me a few hours at the market to say the least.

Why do they do crazy unnescessary things like add fish oil to bread or eggs & fish to popcorn...yuck.

caspian24 said...

So annoying...
Stoned wheat thins, you would think would be safe, nope...whey.
The thing that makes me the most annoyed is that most SOY CHEESE isn't vegan! Who is eating it??

Vivacious Vegan said...

Hi Bazu, dear friend! I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to catch up on your blog. I'm starting at the bottom and working my way up to the most recent entries.

Anyway, the thing about this that makes me the angriest is when companies change their ingredients and something that was vegan is no longer vegan. I get so mad at them and it makes me not want to buy any of their products ever.