So what did I read on the computer? Among many other websites, I have recently started reading the Mahanadi food blog and am hooked! She has a variety of healthy recipes that always surprise me with their flavors - I tried 4-5 recipes (notice how subtly I linked to my food blog here - so cool :p) so far and almost all of them have received a nod from k.
So, that's the background. Today, I was reading through her recipes for pasta and noticed her comment on how American foods that look vegetarian aren't really so. She lists table salt, sugar, cheese among other things. And I faithfully googled about animal products in day-to-day foods that I eat and shocked myself.
So, That's a whole bunch of paragraphs beginning with so, so to not lose the trend... :)
So, if you are among the few fighting a losing war (eating vegetarian food) and are interested in alternatives, here's what I found:
Sugar - try looking for labels that say that animal-cruelty-free or just look for organic evaporated cane sugar/juice and you should be safe. Regular refined sugar might use charcoal made from animal bones in the process of refining sugar. Brown sugar makes the cut though plus it is yummy!
Salt - haven't been able to figure out what animal product goes into making salt? But, for now, I have decided to switch to sea salt instead of regular salt. Heard many good things about sea salt, remember to look for sea salt with iodine though.
Honey - Reading about the procedure involved makes me want to puke, maybe I'll just switch to good ole' maple syrup or sugar and water instead of honey.
Cheese - Look for cheese products that say "no animal ingredients", rennin means the cheese is not vegetarian. You might want to just buy "Horizon Organic Cheese" - they declare - 'No animal products'and I trust them - hey! you gotta trust someone!
Milk, Yoghurt, milk products, pastries, cereal, jelly - Look for products/bottles that do not contain "gelatin". K or Kosher does not necessarily mean the product is vegetarian.
Fur, leather, silk, down - we already know the story here. So, I'll skip the lecture here.
Shampoo, conditioner, soap, pills - this is a tough one. Organic stuff in this category that say "not tested on animals" are usually pretty expensive and some pills might not have a vegetarian alternative. So, can't do much here. And don't trust those shiny red apples you see in the grocery store, who knows what was sacrificed for the sake of "shine"?
So before you throw a mildly-shocked look at me and declare, "Oh, I don't eat mushrooms or garlic. I am a pure vegetarian!", do take a look at these links.
Hmm...on second thoughts, you are better off not reading all this and feeling bad about it, ignorance is bliss. Indeed.
Organic Food Stores @ Lex (expensive! but hey you can buy yourself some peace of mind and that's definitely worth it!) - Good Foods Coop and Wild Oats.