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What is in Good Food?
What is in good food? You will get different answers depending upon who you ask. One person may say protein is in good food, everyone needs a lot of protein and not many carbs. Another person may say good food is made with only organic ingredients and no GMOs. Some people may even say, I don’t care what’s IN my food, I just want it to taste good! So, it is hard to say what is in “good food”, but most people think they know what is in their food. Do you?
No matter what type of diet you follow, you may be shocked to find out what is in food that you label “good”. While you are eating healthy your yogurt in the morning so you will be regular, do you expect to be eating pig skin as well? How about when you went camping with your kids and you roasted marshmallows & made smores. Did you know you were feeding your kids cows bones? Since I know everyone loves to eat anchovies, I’m sure you put them on your salad, right? Salads are good food, right? Well if you order a Caesar salad, you’re eating them, and if you follow up with a steak and use Worcestershire, you just got a double dose!
I’ve got the Top 20 “Hidden” Animal Ingredients in your food. Some may not bother most people, some may, but most of all, you may be shocked to find out the ingredients in your “good food”.
First I will list the ingredient, then explain what it is or where it comes from, explain what it is used in or for and then state the alternatives if any exist.
1. Anchovies- Small silver fish. Used in traditional Caesar salad dressing & in Worcestershire sauce. Alternative – A vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is made but is not available everywhere, you can also find Caesar salad dressing without anchovies.
2. Glycerides – (Mono-, Di-, & Tri-) Mono and diglycerides are used together to prevent oil and water from separating in food products and are usually in such small amounts they will not be listed on the label or they are not listed because they do not fall into any of the fat category types. They are used in bakery products, chewing gum, whipped topping, margarine,processed foods, ice cream and usually come from animal fats. Alternative – Glycerol can be derived from plants.
3. Isinglass – A substance originally derived from the dried air bladders of sturgeon, now from the air bladders of cod. Used in Britain in the beer and wine making process to expedite the clarification process. The isinglass is put into the cask with the beer, the yeast are attracted to it and together they form a jelly like substance and sink to the bottom. Alternative – Let the process occur naturally.
4. Stearic Acid (Octadecanoic Acid) – Stearyl Alcohol is a derivative – It is a fatty acid and it’s name is of Greek origin, meaning tallow. It is a waxy substance and is usually derived from animal fats because they have a much higher percentage of Stearic Acid. The only exceptions are cocoa butter and shea butter. Used in candy, vanilla flavoring, baked goods, and as a pill coating. It has other uses, but I’m sticking to food. I stated the alternatives above.
5. Confectioners Glaze, Pure Food Glaze, Natural Glaze – Contains shellac which come from the resinous excretion of the cocoons of certain insects. Used as a glaze on candy, some coffee beans & chewing gum. According to Wikipedia and some company websites, some examples of the candy it is used on are Candy Corn, Hershey’s Whoppers and Milk Duds, Nestle’s Goobers and Raisinetes, Tootsie Roll Industries’ Junior Mints and Sugar Babies, Jelly Belly’s Jelly Beans and Mint Cremes, Russell Stover’s Jelly Beans, and several candies by Godiva Chocolatier. Alternative – A plant wax derived from corn called Zein.
6. Whey – The watery liquid that separates from solids during the cheese making process. Used in protein powders, crackers, breads, cakes, processed foods.
7. Lard, Cooking Fat, Shortening – Made from pig fat. Used in store bought pie crusts to make them flaky, packaged snack cakes, cookies, crackers, flour tortillas, and refried beans. Alternative – Vegetable oil or shortening.
8. Carmine Cochineal or Carminic Acid – Red coloring made from ground up insects. 70,000 beetles are killed to make one pound. Used in Red food coloring, candy, juice, colored pasta, etc. Alternative – Beet juice.
9. Casein – Derivative Sodium Caseinate – Milk protein. Used in non dairy creamers, potato chips, and some soy cheeses. Alternative – Soy protein, soy milk or other vegetable milks.
10. Gelatin – A protein that was primarily derived from the bones, cartilage, tendons, & other tissue of cows. Today it is mostly a by-product of pig skin. Used as the main ingredient in Jello, which has sugar, flavor and dye added. It is also used in marshmallows, any frosted toaster pastry other than an organic brand, some yogurt, some sour cream, frosted cereals and some other cereals especially if they have yogurt or marshmallows, pies, prepackaged snack desserts, some prepackaged guacamole, etc. Alternative – Pectin or agar-agar.
11. Rennet – Derivative of Lipase, an enzyme from the stomach of a cow. Used to make cheese. Alternative – There is a synthetic rennet, but if the package does not state that it is engineered, it came from a cow’s stomach. The other alternative, of course is to buy or make vegan cheese.
12. Albumin, Albumen – The protein of egg whites. Used in cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Alternatives – Some types of Albumin can be found in the seeds of plants, such as Hemp.
13. Suet – Hard, white fat around the kidneys and loins of sheep and cows. Used in margarine, pastries, for deep frying, sweet puddings and dumplings such as those made in England. Alternative – Vegetable oil, vegetable shortening.
14. Tallow – Made from suet, unlike suet it does not need to be refrigerated, it is solid at room temperature and is often mixed with lard. Used in shortening, for deep frying and on wax paper. Alternatives – Vegetable tallow, Japan tallow.
15. Natural Flavorings – Can be anything from a plant or animal. Used in processed foods, prepackaged foods, soups, flavored rice, flavored noodles, just about anything you can buy. If the label does not specify animal or plant derived, you have no way of knowing other than contacting the company, even if the label says vegetarian. Alternatives – Vegetable flavorings.
16. Propolis or Bee Glue – A mixture of tree sap and bee saliva used by bees as a sealant in beehives for unwanted spaces. It is very important in maintaining the structure of the hive. It is used in chewing gum and natural toothpastes. Alternatives – Synthetics or use another sap.
17. Vitamin D3, Cholecalciferol – Comes from fish liver oils or lanolin. Used in supplements and fortified foods. Vitamin D1 is made by humans from sunlight and Vitamin D2 is made from plants or yeast.
18. Bone Char – Charred cow bones, except the skull and spine, heated to over 1200 degrees F in a sealed container and then used to refine and remove color from things such as white sugar. Alternative – Raw sugar, agave, stevia or any other sweetener.
19. This one may not be a food, but the world needs to know this information. Premarin – Brand name of a drug used for estrogen replacement in women during or after menopause. The hormones in this drug are derived from a pregnant mares urine. Alternatives – There are natural hormone replacement therapies, there are plant extract types of estrogen or you can wait it out.
20. Chitosan – A fiber derived from the shells of crustaceans. Used as a lipid binder in diet products and used to clarify wine, mead and beer (mostly used in wine making). Alternatives – Scientific studies have not proven this to be an effective product for weight loss and once again, there are many ways to make wine, mead and beer.
Well, that’s all for now. At some point I may put up a few more things that are used in cosmetics, but I mostly want people to hear about substances or ingredients that are widely used. If there was not one thing on here that shocked or surprised you, good for you, you’re on top of your game!