Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not-so-vegetarian treats..or are they?

  1. Jell-O
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Gummy bears
  4. Skittles
  5. Pop Tarts
  6. Some cereals
What do these things have in common? Along with some other sweet foods and candies, all of these foods contain gelatin. Why should this concern you? Nastiness after the jump.

Fun fact: gelatin is actually made of some nasty stuff.

I don't remember how I came across it, but earlier today I found out that gelatin is made of animal bones, ligaments, and hides. Slaughterhouses break down every part of the animals they use to make sure they make profits and don't waste money.

Now I'm not a crazy vegetarian who wants the world to know that slaughterhouses should have glass walls, or that people need to know the conditions in which animals are killed--but with that being said, when I found out what gelatin was made of, I felt sick to my stomach! My mind flashed back to all the Jell-O cups I've ever emptied, and all the times I thought the cute smiley face on the logo was just so innocent. In my last post, I used marshmallows, of which gelatin is a made ingredient, and I was wondering if I should rewrite it or acknowledge that it didn't qualify as a vegetarian meal. Even if I WASN"T a vegetarian this would gross me out!

But let's just hold on one second. There's no way that Jell-O would simply grind up skin and bones to make gelatin, right? Correct. According to

The production of gelatin starts with the boiling of bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs, a process that releases the protein-rich collagen from animal tissues. The collagen is boiled and filtered numerous times, dried, and ground to a powder. Because the collagen is processed extensively, the final product is not categorized as a meat or animal product by the federal government.

So maybe it's not as bad as I thought. However, for some vegetarians or vegans, gelatin may be something to avoid..I'm still trying to make sense of all of this.

My sentiments exactly, dude.

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