Hidden animal ingredients in your beer and wine and salad

TODAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO WIN!

Yes! Today is your last chance to enter our contest for your chance to win a box just bulging with natural products for your face and your skin and your hair.

So enter. And good luck to you all.

And, in the meantime, read this, out last installment from the wonderful Lesley about hidden animal ingredients.

(If you've not been following the bouncing ball this week, on Monday we learned about the hazards of gelatin, Tuesday it was stocks and broth, and yesterday it was lard and rennet and whey. You probably already knew about these. But today, today we will turn to animal-based products you might not know about. Products which are in an insane number of foods we eat daily.)

Once again, we owe our thanks to the kind and generous Lesley who wrote the posts earlier this week consented to write this one, too. Thanks Lesley!

Bone char, isinglass and anchovies, oh my!
The animal-based refiners/clarifiers are highly-debated as being non-vegetarian since manufacturers insist that little to no actual product derived from a dead critter ends up in the finished product.

Bone char is chiefly used to refine sugar so that it is white, which is why you'll see a lot of "raw" (brown crystal) sugar in health food stores. I don't personally consider products refined with bone char to be non-vegetarian (otherwise, the filtered water I'm drinking now may be a no-no), but many people do.

Another clarifying agent made from animal products is isinglass, which is used in beer and wine production. If you decide to strike this from your list of appropriate places for possible dead critter bits, then you'll have to say goodbye to the Guinness and Stella in your fridge (but you can keep your Bud Light and Grolsch). There are, of course many other vegetarian beers and wines. This is a good list to help you out.

Anchovies are in both authentic Caesar salad dressing and Worcestershire sauce. Note that Worcestershire sauce is an ingredient in the original recipe for Chex Mix, but it's not listed as an ingredient on the prepackaged version.

And what about the other hidden animal ingredients?
Yep, dead animals can and will show up just about anywhere. The key to avoiding any landmines is read all labels carefully or--heaven forbid--make your own food. For more information, the Vegetarian Society also has a long list of potential hazards based on what level of vegetarianism/veganism you've chosen.

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Speaking of animals, PETA has asked me to mention their new campaign. Here are the details: "Mars, Inc. is funding deadly animal tests, even though there are more reliable human studies and not one of the tests is required by law. Their top competitor, Hershey’s, has already pledged not to fund or conduct experiments on animals, and we are asking Mars to do the same. You can check out our new site on the campaign here."

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And stay tuned because the winner of the contest will be announced tomorrow. You know about the contest, don't'cha? The one where you enter for free for you chance to win a goodie box stuffed with natural hair, face, and skin care products. The one you can enter right here.

Good luck everybody!

(Oh, and don't worry if you don't win mine. I've already found you another great one to enter. Just go here to enter the Cherrybrook Kitchen contest for your chance to win variety packs full of vegan baking mixes. You've got until January 2. Good luck!)