Vegetarian food: beware, animal ingredients!


Juice, chips, cheese, bread: Many supposedly vegan or vegetarian foods contain animal ingredients. Although some companies have responded to consumer protests. Solved the problem is not so.

Orange juice? Can vegans drink without hesitation! Crisps? Are vegetarian, of course! Should one think so. Unfortunately, things are not quite that simple: Many supposedly vegan or vegetarian foods contain animal ingredients. The industry uses gelatin to clarify juices or cream cheese, chips provide animal flavors for a hearty taste, large bakeries treat flour for bread baking with the substance L-cysteine, according to the consumer organization Foodwatch won from pig bristles or feathers.

Even with fruit gum, the confusion is great: in which is gelatin, in which not? And even at the cheese counter, vegetarians are pondering; After all, many cheeses are made with the help of animal lab: a substance that is obtained from calf stomachs. However, there are also cheeses with a microbial rennet. If you want to tell the difference, you should bring a lot of time in the supermarket and study the fine print on the packs. But even on the list of ingredients can often not all open questions clarify.

The labeling of animal ingredients in food is still not clearly regulated, Foodwatch criticizes. In August 2012, consumer advocates launched the campaign “Label Hidden Animals” and asked Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner to enforce a clear labeling requirement.

Meanwhile, some manufacturers have responded and revised the recipes of their products. Thus, the multi-vitamin juice “Hohes C” by Eckes-Granini is now produced without gelatine as a carrier. Even in the “spring quark easy” Milram is no longer gelatin.

In addition, some companies now provide more information about the ingredients of their products, such as the juice producer Valensina: On its website, vegans find a list of all juices without animal ingredients. The chip manufacturer funny-frisch also provides such information on the website. But you will not find out about them on the package.

The interim conclusion of Foodwatch: It is still “almost impossible for consumers to avoid animal products in food”. For this reason, Federal Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner is called upon to enforce a clear labeling obligation: animal ingredients must be clearly declared on the packaging, including animal components in flavors, additives and technical auxiliaries.