A translucent, colorless, nearly tasteless substance, gelatin is identified on coded labels by number E441. Like ‘natural flavors’, gelatin can be found in marshmallows, desserts like “Jell-O,” frosted cereals, some low-fat yogurt, desserts, trifles, aspic, and many confectionaries such as gummy bears and jelly babies. It may also be used as a stabilizer, thickener, or texturizer in foods such as jams, yogurt, cream cheese, and margarine.
Rennet or rennin is a natural complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach to help a nursing baby digest mother’s milk. In the food industry, rennet is used as a coagulant – in cheese-making; in certain dairy products, including some yogurts; and in junket, a soft, pudding-like dessert.
Casein is the principal protein in milk. It’s found in the milk of all mammals, and, oddly enough, is often found in food items marked ‘non-dairy.’
Natural Flavors… The name sounds innocent enough, but these mild-sounding words are an umbrella term for some pretty horrible stuff, including certain ingredients that come from extreme animal abuse.
A great many people become vegetarian for ethical reasons, in response to a strong sense that animals shouldn’t be mistreated on factory farms, or that they simply should not be killed for food. However, many individuals who eschew meat out of concern for animal interests continue to consume and use other animal products. Many vegetarians, in fact, upon removing flesh products from their diet, actually increase their intake of eggs and dairy, two products which result from extreme animal abuse.
Just as vegans avoid animal products in the rest of our lives, we also avoid them in the garden, as many fertilizers come from industries of exploitation.