Foods We’ve All Been Tricked Into Thinking Are Vegetarian But Are Not


By: Krystle Crossman

When you eat food you want to know what is in it and where it comes from. This is especially true if you are a vegetarian as you need to avoid meat/animal products. Here are some foods that you need to watch out for if you are a vegetarian.

1. Refried beans: Yes, they are beans which are not an animal product, however refried beans are often cooked in animal lard or bacon grease. Make sure that you are getting canned refried beans that have a vegetarian label on them

2. Tropicana Heart Healthy orange juice: This juice is packed with Omega-3s but the Omega-3 variety that they use is actually made of sardines, tilapia, and anchovies. Stick with an alternative that is plant-based.

3. Parmigiano-Reggiano: During the process of making cheese animal rennet is often used. Rennet is the lining of an animal’s stomach. There are strict rules that make a cheese Parmesan, and using calf rennet is one of those. Look for a cheese that is made with vegetable rennet.

4. Marshmallows: These deliciously sweet treats contain gelatin which is a protein that comes from the bones and skin of a cow or pig. Gelatin is found in many different sweet treats so read the label carefully.

5. Chips: FritoLay explains on its website that animal enzymes are used to make the cheese flavor in some of their chips. Labels usually do not differentiate between plant and animal enzymes.

6. Worcestershire sauce: This sauce is often made with anchovies, so look for ones that are anchovy free.

7. Bagels: Some bagel makers use the enzyme L-cysteine which is an enzyme that comes from hair or poultry feathers.

8. Altoids: Gelatin is a main ingredient in Altoids, so try an alternative breath mint.

9. Guinness beer: During the brewing process, Guinness uses isinglass which is fish bladder, to strain out leftover particles. This is not listed as an ingredient in the beer but traces may be in the beer.



  1. I may be mistaken but you’re referring to a vegan which is completely plant based. As for the vegetarian poultry is acceptable and varies.

    • Larry, poultry and fish may not be considered meat by some, but they are still dead animals. Vegetarians do not eat fish, poultry, red meat or pork. Some eat eggs, some eat cheese, but vegetarians do not eat animal flesh.

      • There are several types of vegetarian. Some only eat eggs and dairy. Some will also eat fish. And some vegetarians are simply not strict enough to worry if there is a little bit of beef broth in the soup at the restaurant. I’ve been vegetarian for ten years. I used to do it for animal rights, but I no longer worry about that. It put a strain on me that I could never eat out because I had no idea how they make the good. So I stopped worrying about it when it was something I couldn’t control. I’ll even eat good if its touching meat, like when you get half/half pizza. Some vegetarians won’t do this. And some people call themselves vegetarian when they really are vegan. A lot of food these days is getting healthier and that wants they are using less of things like lard or butter to cook food. The cholesterol can only be from animal products, which makes even a loose vegetarian choice better than the meaty alternative. The only people I know of who are OFFENDED by animal products are the vegans. So even if the products above do contain traces of or are made with small amounts if animal products its unlikely most vegetarians will cry murder about it.

  2. Great article thanks for the info.Larry you are mistaken. You can’t be a vegetarian and eat poultry. Vegetarian means that you can use dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt along with fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is incorrect to call yourself a vegetarian if you eat fish and chicken.

  3. Ital is the word. Its been in use by Rastafarians in Jamaica since day 1 and has never changed. Ital is consuming nothing that walk, fly, creep, crawl or swim or their by-products.

Reply To corbin56 Cancel Reply