Why is rennet controversial? The controversy around soy. Ingredient glossary. Animal ingredients in food, cosmetics, and other products. How can vegetarians avoid hidden animal ingredients at restaurants? Find out here.

Hidden animal ingredients at restaurants
Asian restaurants often add fish sauce to menu items that appear to be vegetarian. In order to avoid hidden fish ingredients, it is best to clearly mention no fish, oyster, bonito, etc. Also try requesting “vegan”, since this word is clearer than “vegetarian” for some places. See Hidden fish ingredients at Asian restaurants for a list of the best and worst places in Toronto.

spinachTips on finding and storing fresh whole foods (April 2006)
Shop at a place that emphasizes freshness, only buy as much as you need, and store your foods properly. Includes sections on: where to shop, storing whole foods, storing and ripening fruits, storing vegetables, and a report on spinach. A recent study found that spinach losses half of its nutrient content eight days after being harvested. [Full story]

Ingredient Glossary

Recipe Zaar (which includes over 33,000 vegetarian recipes and over 8,900 vegan recipes) has an Ingredient Encyclopedia where you can search for what you are looking for. Also many of the ingredients that make up their recipes can by clicked on for more information.

Animal Ingredients and Their Alternatives
A long list of animal ingredients found in food, cosmetics, and other products. Prepared by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Questions About Food Ingredients
Frequently asked questions about ingredients such as the making of sugar, chewing gum and wine, the source of vitamin B12 and D, lactic acid, stearic acid, L-cysteine, mono- and diglyceride, and more.

Why Is Rennet Controversial?
Cheese is not always vegetarian. It may have involved the use of animal rennet – “extracted from calf stomachs by killing the calves, and cutting the stomach into strips.” Fortunately there are other alternatives such as microbial and synthetic rennet. According to Wikipedia, microbial rennet is used more often in North America today because it is less expensive than animal rennet, whereas cheese from Europe is more likely to be made from animal rennet due to tradition.

Soy controversy – healthy or not?
Soy enjoys a reputation as very healthy food. Many soy foods have earned the right to be labeled “heart-healthy.” They may also make your bones stronger, and they contain cancer-fighting compounds. But some internet articles are saying that eating too much soy can endanger health. Claims against soy include allegations that it raises cancer risk, and causes nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, reproductive difficulties, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Bottom line: Based on the bulk of the evidence soy appears to be perfectly safe for nearly all healthy individuals when it is consumed in reasonable amounts (two to three servings per day).