Friday, July 8, 2011

Surprising Everyday Items Made with Animal Ingredients

I like to know what's in the food I'm eating and the products I'm using. (Especially now that I can't eat dairy or soy, I've become more aware of the ingredients in the foods and products that surround me.) While doing my nightly "stroll" through other blogs, I stumbled upon Life in the Lost World's post linking to a Care2 article about household items made with animal parts.

It may surprise you to learn that the following items are made with animal parts:

1. Plastic Shopping Bags
Animal fats are used to make the bags easier to separate from each other.

2. Tires for Cars and Bikes
Rubber tires may contain animal-based stearic acid to help the tires hold their shape. (It is possible to use plant-based stearic acid, so your tires may or may not contain animal products.)

3. Wooden Instruments (Violins, Cellos, Pianos, etc.)
Animal glue is used to repair many wooden instruments. Animal glue is made from boiling connective tissue.

4. Wooden Furniture
Hide glue is often used to repair furniture, although synthetic options are available.

5. Biofuels
Biofuels may include animal fats; some biofuels are made entirely of animal fats.

6. Fireworks
Stearic acid is used to coat some of the components in fireworks to increase their "shelf-life" by reducing oxidation.

7. Fabric Softener
Downy contains the horse and sheep ingredient of "dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride".

8. Toiletries
Ingredients such as vitamins or amino acids may come from animals or plants. Companies do not have to specify which on their products.
9. Toothpaste
Glycerin in toothpaste may be plant or animal based. Again, the label does not have to specify which.

10. Sugar (White and Brown)
Ash made from animal bones is used by some sugar refineries as a filter, even though vegan alternatives are available

11. Processed Foods
Foods containing "natural flavoring" can contain flavors "derived from meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional" (Code of Federal Regulations).

12. Marshmallows and Jello
Any products containing gelatin are made with animal ingredients. Gelatin is made from animal collagen.

And there you have it. Whether this is scary to you or just interesting, knowledge is power.

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