Download our iOS/Android app now!

Food and Drink

When you first start checking labels on products in the supermarket it can seem overwhelming to check for everything, especially when it comes to E numbers and obscure ingredients. Do the best you can, but remember that mistakes do happen, just treat them as learning experiences.

Gotcha Ingredients

  • Honey (it is an animal product!)
  • E-numbers (Animal products hide behind some e numbers)
  • Food fortified with Vitamin D is often fortified with Vitamin D3 which is only vegan if derived from lichen. Vitamin D2 is always vegan
  • L-cysteine (aka E920) is often not vegan
  • Carmine (aka E120) is often used as a food colouring and is made from crushed insects.
  • Casein (Milk byproduct)
  • Whey (Milk byproduct)
  • Lactose (Milk byproduct)
  • Gelatin (Animal protein)

Gotcha Products

It’s amazing what can contain animal products, here are a few of the things that surprise new vegans and can catch them out.

  • Beer/Wine (Fish swim bladders are often used in the filtering process) (Barnivore is a great source of information)
  • Bread (Regional. particularly in the UK often contains milk)
  • Smoothies (Often contain yoghurt)
  • Chocolate (Dark chocolate is usually fine, but always check the packaging for milk)
  • Sugarcane Sugar in the US is often made using bone char but this is not the case in the UK with the exception of icing sugar which is often made using egg whites BBC News.


See the E-Numbers section for more!

Vegetarian Products

It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security by products made from vegetarian manufacturers like Quorn. But keep a watchful eye on the ingredients of these products as they commonly contain non-vegan ingredients even when you least expect!


Article Contributors

Sam Martin