Hallowe’en is coming up and with it its seasonal decorations, costumes and sweets. Wooo!
Up until 2 years ago, when I had already stopped eating meat, I was blissfully unaware of all the animal products that are used as ingredients to make sweets.
It was a Peta article on sweets and animal products that enlightened me. Weird but true: many sweets are not suitable for vegetarians because they contain animal products.
It is made from collagen extracted by boiling animal parts such as skin, cartilage and bones. It comes in sheets (leaves), powder or granules.
I stopped eating meat as it’s not sustainable and I must say that using its by-products to make gelatine is pretty off-putting too.
I have watched documentaries about animal’s by-products and whenever I think of gelatine I think of a great big pot full of cow’s lips, pig’s trotters, saggy skin and fat coming to a scummy boil and then processed into gelatine which then goes into food which doesn’t appear to have anything in common with a pork chop or burger.
Any food that has a gummy, gooey, mousse-like texture potentially contains gelatine.
Most fat-free yogurts or desserts, marshmallows, gummy sweets, chocolate (or strawberry, lemon) mousses and jellies contain animal gelatine such as pork or beef gelatine. Do you have any of these in your home? Did you know they contained animal bits? Check the ingredients!
I used to regularly eat Muller light yogurts and used to love a chocolate mousse every now and then but these contain gelatine.
Of course like most foods there are vegetarian alternatives, and there are many vegetarian or vegan sweets.
These can be found in normal supermarkets (I once discovered Sainsbury’s had gelatine-free gummy sweets, I was pleased to find that out!), health shops, or just simply go for sweets that don’t need gelatine as an ingredient.
These M&S veggy Percy sweets are gelatine free, and the piggies have one pink ear and one green ear.
Hard sweets don’t normally contain gelatine, so anything like wrapped hard sweets and lollipops are often vegan, like dip dabs and Chupa Chups. Chewing gums and chocolate are also mostly safe (and very appreciated as a Hallowe’en treat).
More examples of vegan treats (sweet and also savoury ones) can be found on the Peta “Vegan Candy is Dandy” article.
One of my best friends is a Haribo addict and was pretty shocked when I pointed out that her beloved sweets had pork gelatine in them…
Were you aware that many sweets and other types of food contain animal products?
Have you changed any eating habits due to gelatine as an ingredient in something?