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I am a vegetarian. No, I'm not going to shove my opinion that being a vegetarian is great down your throats. I am here to open peoples eyes to how difficult it is to find certain products that are vegetarian friendly.
I know what you're thinking, there are lots of alternatives out there for vegetarians that are easily available. Sure, if you're talking about meat alternatives, that is true. Well, I was prepared to give up meat when I became a vegetarian, that's kind of the idea. I was not however, prepared for the sheer amount of confectionery and sweet foods in general, I would have to give up.
Confused? Well, at first, I was too. You see many foods require to be spongy or soft or gelatinous, such as marshmallows, or the little jelly cola bottles. Well the ingredient used by most mainstream companies, is a product called gelatin (sometimes gelatin). It is a product made from boiling up bones, and skins and more uncommonly, hooves and horns. The collagen seeps out from these materials and the water turns into gelatin. Obviously there's more to it than that, but that is the basic idea.
chocolate mousse - had pork gelatin in it...
Obviously this isn't acceptable to most vegetarians (and in some cases, some religions), and many unknowingly consume it. It was just the other day I almost ate a chocolate mousse, only to realise that, this too, had pork gelatin in it.
Now, my main issue with this, is that there are many many alternatives to using gelatin. To name a few: Agar-Agar, Biobin, Guar, Xanthan and Carob fruit. These all have the same properties as gelatin, yet companies refuse to use these sources. It wouldn't change the taste, most of them aren't hard to produce, and I'm sure they lose a rather large amount of customers because of it.