As a kid, I grew up on blue Jell-O, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, and eating Starbursts. I always snuck an Altoid from the tin my mother left in the car and begged for a bag of gummy bears during each grocery store visit. But it wasn’t until I became an adult and made the transition to a vegetarian lifestyle that I learned I’d been stuffing my body with animal by-products all these years. Yep, even in my candy.
Gelatin is derived from the collagen obtained from animals. It is a translucent and colorless protein that results from hydrolysis of collagen gathered from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of cattle, pigs, fish, and chicken. It dissolves in water, then cools into a gelatinous form, hence the jelly-like texture of things like gummy bears, gummy vitamins, and Jell-O.
Secret gelatin offenders include:
– Starburst candies
– some Pop-Tarts
– gummy bears
– gel capsule pills
– potato chips
– Worcestershire sauce
– many vanilla flavoured foods
Even Peeps contain gelatin, and one not-so secret offender is Jell-O.
What’s even scarier is that gelatin can sneak up on the ingredients list. What is actually beef or pork gelatin can be written as “Type B Gelatin,” dietary fibers or “dough conditioners”. That means you could pick up a product at the store and even after looking at the ingredients, not realize it isn’t vegetarian, vegan, kosher, or halal.
While it can be frustrating to have to work extra hard for vegan options- especially with supplements and vitamins- it’s not impossible. We are proud to offer 100% vegan capsules here at Nested Naturals, because you deserve to know exactly what you’re putting in your body.