Unnecessary ingredients


Natalie Dearman, Staff Writer

As of recently, many people have been going vegetarian/vegan, making them more conscious of the ingredients on every label. Many processed foods and general products tend to come into question. It can be anything from Pepsi, Parmesan cheese, or even Kellogg’s cereal. When scouring the confusing ingredients on labels the question, ‘Is this vegan? Is it even vegetarian?’ Many products appear to be so, but when you research certain ingredients and what they do, it can be quite a surprised.

After beginning a (mostly) plant-based diet, and looking into supposedly plant-based foods, I found out that many foods, and personal products contain completely unnecessary animal-based products. I’m not talking about meat, dairy, and egg substitutes, but the completely arbitrary ingredients in processed or manufactured foods, that don’t have a significant role in the food/product.

Not only could these ingredients be easily replaced, but could even make the manufacturing of the product more cost-effective, ultimately ranking in more profits with the larger capacity of people that now have the desire to buy, by simply removing animal products.

Many of these products include vitamin D3, gelatin, rennet, hydrolyzed collagen, lard, casein, and food coloring. While there are many others such as amino acids, they can also be sourced from plants.

You will find many unnecessary ingredients in things that were thought to be plant-based, but actually aren’t. One of them being the vitamin D3 in Kellogg’s cereal. You could look at the label and say that there is no eggs or dairy, so therefor it’s plant-based. Nope. Vitamin D3 is sourced from sheep’s wool. Many vegetarians still consume eggs and dairy, so Parmesan cheese wouldn’t seem like a big deal. However, in specifically Parmesan, rennet is used to separate the cheese curds. Rennet is the lining of a cow’s stomach, which could be easily replaced with a different ingredient. Another unnecessary ingredient is hydrolyzed collagen, which is sourced similar to gelatin, meaning the skin and bones of animals. Hydrolyzed collagen is typically found in protein bars and supplements, and could be replaced with a plant-based keratin, which provides the same benefits. Razors, creams, or shampoos will contain lard or gelatin. Even Pepsi contains animal products, including fish-gelatin, and other ingredients the company will not release  because it’s “commercial-sensitive”. Sketchy?

So if you plan on following a plant-based diet, or even eliminating an animal product or two to save on costs and environmental resources, remember to watch out for the ingredients you’re supporting.