Infographic: Unfriendly Vegan Products

Unfriendly Vegan Products! Is your meal really vegan? 
It can be hard to know what products you should be cautious about if you are on a vegan diet, but we want to help guide you, our vegan friends. When we cook our vegan dishes we always double check products, and because of this we came across a few surprises we wanted to share with you. So, we are here to answer the question, is your meal really vegan? We have made a list and infographic to help you know what to keep an eye out for and what to avoid. There are so many unfriendly products to vegans, and KptnCook is here to help.  Hope this helps you and educates everyone else! 🙂


Illustration: Tanya Shyika

  • French fries: You may think french fries are just potatoes, right? But, you should be aware that if you aren’t making them yourself there is a chance they were cooked using animal products. Make sure to research and read labels to guarantee the item was not cooked with animal fat!
  • White sugar: You might be just as surprised as we were to learn that bone char is used to make sugar! It is used as a decolorizing filter. There are organic sugars and supplements that make it easy to avoid this bone char ingredient, but research is necessary!
  • Brown Sugar: Majority of companies that create white sugar also create brown sugar. For this reason, many sugar providers also use bone char in their brown sugar. Crazy!
  • French onion soup: Even though there is no meat directly in the soup, classic recipes require it to be cooked with beef broth. Make sure to check when you are buying this dish and not making it!
  • Caramel: As stated above, many sugars use bone in the production process, but that is not the only reason caramel should be avoided by vegans. Classic caramel is mixed with butter or cream, make sure to check the ingredients to avoid the shock!
  • Orange Juice: This is probably the most shocking vegan item!  Many orange juice brands have added the ingredient Omega 3, which is derived from fish. Always make sure to check the label!
  • Worchestire sauce: Classic recipes for Worchestire sauce contain anchovies. However, there are brands that exclude this ingredient to make their sauces vegan friendly!
  • Pad Thai: Even though many restaurants have tofu versions of pad thai, the most common recipes for pad thai require fish sauce.  
  • Caesar Dressing: Again, with the anchovies that make it into food. Restaurants almost always put anchovies in their Caesar dressing.  There are recipes you can find online of anchovy free Caesar dressing!
  • Dark Beer: According to HuffPost Green report, Guinness uses isinglass or fish bladder to remove leftover elements from the brewing process. Even though it is not written as a product in the beer is is used for the direct manufacturing. This could be the case for other beer products so always double check! 
  • Candy Corn: Most of the candy corn you find out there is made from animal collagen, which you guessed it, means it is not vegan friendly. You can find homemade recipes online to make your own candy corn, store bought candy corn is not vegan friendly!
  • Chips: Crazy to think chips can have pork in them, but it’s true! Some chip manufacturers use pork enzymes. This ingredient is called “porcine enzymes”, you should always double check chips ingredients!
  • Marshmallows: Many vegans may not be surprised to learn that marshmallows are made of gelatin. Since Gelatin is made from animal products majority of marshmallows are not vegan friendly.  Also, numerous marshmallow recipes require egg whites. Make sure to double check these ingredients!
  • Breath Mints: Gelatin is used in Altoid production! Who would have known? They do have a vegan friendly line called “sugar-free smalls”. If you love them you can still have them! Always check for gelatin in breath mints you may be surprised. 
  • Jello: Not a shocker that jello has gelatin! Just thought we needed to re-emphasis!
  • Bagels: Many bagels, similarly to bread, contain egg. Avoid the bagels with eggs. Also, some bagel products contain L-cysteine an amino acid, which comes from either human hair or poultry feathers.  
  • Honey: Since veganism is technically the way of living which excludes all forms of cruelty to, the animal kingdom this means mass production of honey.
  • Red candy: When things are colored red many times this can mean the color was made from “cochineal”, “carminic acid”, or “carmin”, which means crushed up beetles!!! Carminic acid is taken from the female cochineal insects making the dye red. Labels will tell you, but know the terms!

Now, wasn’t that educational? Hope this helped all you vegans out there! We would love to know if we missed products, if you have a good substitute you can recommend, or nice recipes that replace these non vegan products. Please leave your feedback in a comment. We would love to hear what you have to say!