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with info from "Idiots Guide to BEING VEGETARIAN" by Suzanne Havala pg 177-180
short Shopping List version at Handy Dandy SHORT SHOPPING VERSION

GOOD BOOKS: "The Vegan Sourcebook" (excellent), "A Consumers Guide to FOOD ADDITIVES" by Winter (a Must), "Hard to Swallow: The Truth About Food Additives" by Sarjeant (scarry)

some items are Definite Non-Vegan Non-Vegetarian, while some may or may not be (and one has to ask the manufacturer by 800#, e-mail, or letter)

ALBUMIN from egg whites
ANCHOVIES small fish
ANIMAL SHORTENING butter, suet, lard
CARMINE (carmine cochineal or carminic acid) coloring made from ground up insect
CASEIN (caseinate) a milk protein
GELATIN (protein from bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin of animals)
GLUCOSE (dextrose Fruits or animals tissues and fluids
GLYCERIDES (mono-, di-, and tri- glycerides)
ISINGLASS Gelatin from fish
LACTIC ACID acid formed by bacteria acting on the milk sugar lactose
LACTOSE (saccharum lactin, D-lactose) Milk sugar
LACTYLIC stearate (see Steric Acid) Salt of stearic acid
LANOLIN waxy fat from sheeps wool
LARD Fat from abdomens of pigs
LECITHIN Phospholipids from animal tissues, plants, and egg yolks
LUTEIN yellow coloring from marigolds or egg yolks
NATURAL FLAVORINGS Unspecified, could be from meat or other animal products
OLEIC ACID (olenic acid) Animal tallow (see Tallow)
PEPSIN enzyme from pigs' stomachs
PROPOLIS Resinous cement collected by bees
**STEARIC ACID (octadecenoic acid) Tallow, other animal fats and oils **(see note below)
SUET Hard white fat around kidney and loins of animals
TALLOW Solid fat of sheep and cattle separated from the membranous tissues
VITAMIN A (A1, retinal) can come from vegetables, egg yolks, or fish liver oil
VITAMIN B12 produced by
microorganisims and found in all animal products; synthetic form (cyanocobalamin or cobalamin on labels) is vegan
VITAMIN D (D1, D2, D3)
D1 is produced by humans exposure to sunlight;
D2 (ergocalciferol) is made from plants or yeast;
D3 (cholecalciferol) comes from fish liver oils or lanolin
WHEY Watery dairy liquid that separates from milk solids

But it gets more complex
Here is an e-mail I wrote to an on-line friend I made at P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) whom I have talked with a couple of times.


I am wondering about 4 ingrediants listed below, they are not on the list of potential non-vegan items, do you know anything about the 4 items? (if they are not Vegan?)
Cellulous Gum
Propionic Acid
Phosporic Acid
Benzoic Acid
(I am assuming they are Vegan OK)

Items found in MISSION TORTILLAS: Ground Corn treated with Lime, Water, Cellulous Gum, Propionic Acid (to preserve freshness), Phosporic Acid, Benzoic Acid (to preserve freshness), Mission Foods Consumer Affairs PO Box 6711 Los Angeles CA 90022 GRUMA CORP


Thank you for your inquiry. I have looked up cellulose in A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients and it has been defined as a "chief constituent of the fiber of plants". Cellulose Gum consists of "any of several fibrous substances consisting of the chief part of the cell walls of plants".
These are the definitions of the other ingredients you mentioned, according to Webster's dictionary online:
pro·pi·on·ic acid Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary 1pro- + Greek piOn fat; akin to Sanskrit pIvan swelling, fat a liquid sharp-odored fatty acid C3H6O2 found in milk and distillates of wood, coal, and petroleum
ben·zo·ic acid Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, from benzoin Date: 1791 : a white crystalline acid C7H6O2 found naturally (as in benzoin or in cranberries) or made synthetically and used especially as a preservative of foods, in medicine, and in organic synthesis I could not locate any information on the definition of Phosporic Acid. I would recommend that you call or write the manufacturer of the product and ask where this ingredient comes from.
I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for caring and all that you do for the animals !

(I left my friends name out for privacy)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St. Norfolk, Va. 23510

(end of e-mail letter)

Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary (&c)

I have since found some Tortillas at Wild Oats Health Food Store, which did not have any animal ingrediants. However, they proved to be rotten, there was no date of freshess, and I became ill. I have since (upon the advice of some cab customers, one in the Tortilla Biz in Texas) purchased some "Quaker" Brand Corn Flower to make my own tortillas (just add some water, and lime if you insist).

In a previous corespondence, my friend at P.E.T.A. assured me that CALCIUM CHLORIDE (an ingrediant in many canned vegetables) is Vegetarian Vegan OK

YOU MAY WANT TO WRITE THE MANUFACTURER OF THE FOOD PRODUCT FOR SOME SPECIALTY ITEM, but you cant go to this much trouble for everything you purchase. Stick with products which have ingredints which are obvious, such as Rice, Lemmon, Ginger, stuff you have heard of before, that you dont have to look up or write

I wrote Valsic asking if the Natural Flavors in their Zesty Pickles contained anything non-vegetarian or any "animal byproducts", they responded saying that the Natural Flaovrs in their Pickles did Not contain such items, so now I can enjoy them (but it also depends on who you talk to at a company, what if they dont really know?, what if they make it up because its almost time to go home and they dont really care? what if they dont like hearing from a vegetarian because they were just eating a hot dog when they got your e-mail? what if they just lie? would you ever know?)

The best thing to do is stay away from things you are not certain of

Some companies (very few) now lable their foods and Vitamins as "Vegetarian" or "Vegan". It would be nice if the government and business ecouraged manufacturers to do this. It would be nice to have an offical, legal, government standardized "V" or "Vegan" on "Vegan OK" items, making it easier to select good foods.

** note on Stearic Acid: I noticed that Stearic Acid is contained in my Vegetarian Vitamins, which are labled as "Vegetarian" and "Suitable for Vegetarians". My local Health Food Store has assured me that they are Vegetarian OK (however, I am a Vegan, and double checked with the manufacturers. The results: letters to my 3 favorite Vegetarian Vitamin Manufacturers; Natures LIfe, Natures Plus, and Country Life were Vegan OK, if marked "Vegetarian" (of the vitamins I specifically checked up on), It should be noted that these manufactures also make Non-vegetarian "Gelatin" Capsules, with are labled "Caps" or "Capsules", I do not buy those. Responses from the 3 major vegetarian vitamin providers posted at...

Note: Health Food Store employees are often not vegetarians, and dont realy care as much as vegetarians do. And even if a Health Food Store employee happens to be a vegetarian, does not mean that they have all the correct answers. So although Health Food Store employees tend to be knowlegeable on Health Subjects, it might be good to double check on important issues.

Health Food Store Employees and Pharmasists are both valuable sources for Health Information. Often, Pharmasists know more about prescription medication and vitamins than doctors do. You can always ask your Pharmasist (or Health Food Store Employee).