These 7 foods are not (always) vegetarian

It goes without saying that fish and meat are not vegetarian. But you wouldn’t assume that the following foods contain animal ingredients – would you?

Scales in gummy bears and waste in yogurt and pudding – would you know? We show you seven foods that you think are vegetarian. But in reality, animal ingredients may be hiding in it.

1. Non-Vegetarian: Red candy with scale

Carmine is a common one dye in the cosmetics and food industry, which can also be found on the list of ingredients such as carminic acid, carmine, cochineal, cochineal or E120. What many do not know: the dye is not vegetarian.

On the contrary, carmine turns off female scale insects won. The insects produce the red acid to protect themselves from predators. To make the dye, the cultured lice are crushed and boiled.

Red gummy bears often owe their color to a non-vegetarian ingredient. (Photo: CCO / Pixabay / Alexas_Photos)

where is it in In addition to red gummies, carmine is often found in lemonades and sodas, milkshakes, fruit yogurt, ready-made desserts, and in cosmetics such as lipsticks, eye shadow, and shampoo.

Vegetarian alternatives: Many manufacturers are now replacing carmine with herbal or synthetic alternatives. The E number E124 stands for example synthetic carmine.

2. Miso soup contains fish

Most people probably immediately think of miso soup as a vegetarian dish. Miso is a fermented soybean paste and a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine. However, in order for the miso soup to get its typical spicy taste, it is usually “Dashi‘ added – sort of fish sauce.

Hidden animal products in miso soup
Hidden animal products in miso soup (Photo: ©

Vegetarian alternatives: Miso soup can also be vegetarian, sometimes it will Dashi also made from shiitake mushrooms won. You can ask in the restaurant and note the list of ingredients for ready-made soup. If you make miso soup yourself using our recipe, you can keep it vegetarian.

3. Pesto is not always vegetarian

You can also mix a healthy pesto with bean water.
If you make your own pesto, you can do without parmesan. (Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Lyubov Kardakova)

Pasta with pesto is a classic when you want to have a quick and cheap lunch. But unless pesto is specifically labeled as vegetarian, be careful. Another ingredient besides for example basil, olive oil and pine nuts is namely Parmesan – and for its production becomes traditional Rennet from calves’ stomachs deploy.

You can read more about this in the article: Why Parmesan is not vegetarian

Vegetarian alternatives: Since Parmesan or “Parmigiano Reggiano” and its production is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), you can look out for vegetarian Parmesan alternatives at the cheese counter. Instead of animal curd, cheese makers can also use it microbial rennet use. The Italian hard cheese Montello for example is a vegetarian parmesan alternative. Or you can go a step further and make vegan parmesan just yourself

4. Cinnamon stars made with bones and animal skins

Cinnamon stars are a popular treat at Christmas time and taste like almonds, hazelnuts and cinnamon. But in addition to the wintry ingredients, cinnamon stars from the supermarket may also contain an animal substance: Gelatin.

Gelatin is made from the Bones, tendons, cartilage and skins of animals – often of pigs – produced and are therefore not vegetarian. For gelatin, the waste is boiled in water.

Vegetarian alternatives: When buying cinnamon stars, read the ingredients list carefully or look for one V label Keep an eye out. If you bake cinnamon stars yourself, you can easily prepare them vegetarian without gelatin. If you make the white icing from powdered sugar and water or plant-based drink, you can even keep the cookies vegan.

5. Gelatin in yogurt and pudding

Different product, same non-vegetarian ingredient: Gelatin is also often an ingredient in the manufacture of dairy products. By Yoghurt, pudding and cottage cheese dishes so you have to look closely, well-known products also contain gelatin. Danny Sahne by Danone over is with pork gelatin manufacture.

Make your own pudding powder
Shop pudding can be made with gelatin and is therefore not always vegetarian. (Photo:

where is it in Not just pudding and dairy either Breakfast cereal and marshmallows can covered with gelatin be. With the cornflakes, so that the sugar sticks to them better; in the case of marshmallows, gelatin can be cheaper to produce than the jam sugar that is usually used.

Vegetarian alternatives: The V-Label excludes gelatin. For desserts you can simply replace gelatin with e.g

6. Leave product in chocolate

Add to some foods for a glossy finish shell for use. Shellac is a resinous substancein which the Varnish scale insect population is growing. When the resin for shell production is removed from the trees, numerous live lice are also processed. The food additive E 904 is therefore not vegetarian.

where is it in Famous chocolate products like Colorful cocoa beans of Milka and Children’s chocolate candy from Ferrero contains shellac; chewing gum, coffee beans and nuts can also be coated with it. Shellac is also often used in other products such as cosmetics, medicines, paints and varnishes.

Vegetarian alternatives: If you want to buy vegetarian chocolate, pay attention to this V label or on the ingredient list. Is there Shellac or E 904 indicated, the chocolate is not vegetarian. You can also buy vegan chocolate, we tested 8 vegan chocolate brands. Important when buying chocolate: Fair and organic buy, check out our chocolate best list.

Maggi tomato cream soup is not vegetarian
With bacon: Maggi’s tomato cream soup is not vegetarian. (Photo: Maggi)

7. Speckle in Cremesuppen

Chicken broth or fish soup are obviously not vegetarian, but creamy soups with vegetables do not necessarily have an animal component. And yet contains the Tomato cream soup of Maggie smoked bacon. It is listed at the back of the ingredient list, but is not identified on the front of the tomato soup.

Vegetarian alternatives: Ready-made soups can be practical, but a homemade vegetable soup is much healthier, vegetarian and requires no additives.

Recognize non-vegetarian ingredients: Here’s how

To be on the safe side with your next purchase, you can use the V-Label for vegetarian and vegan food as a guideline. You should also look carefully at the ingredient list, our guide to reading food ingredient lists can help you with that. The more fresh, unprocessed produce you buy and cook yourself, the less you have to deal with long lists of ingredients.

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