8 Common Vegetarian Foods that are Actually Non-Veg

Brahmins of India practise vegetarianism, which has been a custom for centuries. The new generation Brahmins, carry a more or less practical approach towards vegetarianism.  In theory many are still continuing with the practise but on a more liberalised scale. Some of the food products that are available in the supermarket shelf, generally classified as vegetarian, but contains non vegetarian ingredients without the knowledge of the consumers. Below are lists of most common food products that contain animal meat or extracts.


Jelly , Mashmellows and Gummy candies

Gelatine is an animal product, derived from pork skins, pork, horses and cattle bones or split cattle hides. Gelatine is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, boiled crushed horn, hoof and bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and horses. The food items that contain gelatine are marsh mellows, Some Ice creams (Not all) , Jelly , capsules . Gummy  Candies, gelatine desserts and Yoghurt (Not all). Pharmaceutical capsules are generally made from Gelatine. Because of the Pig content these food items are Haram for Muslims too. Next time when you buy them from supermarket, check the ingredients list . There are vegetarian marshmallows available in the market and the other products mentioned are also made without Gelatine.

Most types of Cheese

Rennet, a type of enzyme extracted from the stomach of calves are used in the manufacture of some types of cheese.  Natural calf rennet is extracted from the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of slaughtered young calves.
For most types of cheese, rennet is added to speed the coagulation and separate the milk into solid curds and liquid whey. The whey is drained off, the curd is heated and/or pressed and it’s molded and shaped into a cheese. 1 gram of rennet can coagulate 15 kg (15 litres) of milk. Rennet is also extracted from vegetables too.

Vitamin D3 fortified Bread and Cereals

Vitamin D3 in supplemental form is most commonly derived from the oil of sheep’s wool (lanolin). It can also be made from fish liver oil.  Lanolin is extracted by squeezing the sheep’s harvested wool between rollers. Lanolin is often used as a raw material for producing vitamin D3. When you see advertisement for Bread and Cereals with fortified Vitamin D3, remember that you looking at a non – vegetarian food.


Many brands of Biscuits have animal fat in them instead of butter. Solid animal fat does not prematurely render like the butter, resulting in visually inviting biscuits. Solid animal fat also aerates the cooking mixture, making the biscuit lighter and fluffier. Animal fat also enjoy cost advantage over butter.

A few varieties of alcoholic drinks, jams, fruit pie filling and candy

Cochineal insects in white colour on cactus

Some alcoholic drinks, Jams, fruit pie fillings and candy use a type of food colouring agent named ‘Cochineal’ . The cochineal is a scale insect from which the crimson-coloured dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, this insect lives on cacti, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients. A deep crimson dye is extracted from the female cochineal insects. Cochineal is used to produce scarlet, orange, and other red tints. The insects are killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Check out the food label for the term Cochineal for the ingredient.

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