Raw Food Challenge Day 18- What the, WHAT?!
Alright so this post does not have that much to do with my current raw food diet, but it does relate to the vegan I usually am, and will be after April 30th. As a raw-eater I do not need to be bothered with the time consuming task of reading labels. However; as a vegan I find myself taking 2 hours to grocery shop due to my label-reading obsession. I get absolutely consumed by the mysterious world of reading between the label lines.
When did this obsession begin? Well, as most of my co-workers know, I had a very unpleasant interaction with a soy cheese containing dairy. I usually am not a fan of processed foods, even processed vegan foods; but I once was a cheese connoisseur, and need a fake cheese and red pepper jelly on sprouted toast fix every so often. I am human just like the rest of you and I enjoy indulging in a treat so its either dairy or vegan processed. –You can give me a smack later!
Okay, back to the devil disguised as soy cheese… So, I was making a delicious grilled soy cheese treat, and while my creation was browning on the grill I decided to take a peak at the label of my proudly purchased soy product. First reading the nutritional facts, and then skimming the ingredients: tofu, duh…non-hydrogenated lecithin, is that good?… natural flavour, oops… caseinate, ??? Then I notice a teeny tiny allergy alert; Contains Dairy.
PARDON ME?! I thought this was a vegan-based product?! Wrong again… UNLESS it says vegan on it, a soy based product may not always be vegan, this is why you should always, always read your labels.
Lets dissect our ingredients:
What is caseinate? Caseinate is a milk protein found in dairy products as well as “non-dairy” creamers and soy cheese. May companies put casein in soy cheese to make the cheese melt. It is by no means healthy and and in the book The China Study, T. Colin Campbell describes his research linking casein with liver cancer, as well as raising cholesterol levels. I’ll take my cheese casein free, thanks.
Natural Flavour? Anything as vague as this is suspicious. Natural can mean plant-based OR animal-based and since they don’t tell you, you can just assume the later.
Lecithin is just a fancy way of saying added fat. But where does this added fat come from? Well this waxy substance is taken from the nervous tissue of living organisms. It is usually obtained for commercial purposes from eggs and soybeans, oh and blood and milk.. yum.
You get the picture, have enough reason to read the labels and look for a better product. If you don’t know what that word is.. you probably don’t want it in your body, plain and simple.
Be smart, Read your labels. 🙂