Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Read your labels - Casein

I have been working very hard lately to ensure that any product purchased and coming into this home is vegan, organic, and natural.  While this is a great goal to have, I'm also human, and do make mistakes.  I always look for healthier alternatives when making my "splurge" foods, buying vegan butter, vegan cheese, etc, but it was brought to my attention that even my cheese has casein in it.  So I went through and checked all my cheeses and learned some more...

Here are some cheeses that, by looking at the label you would think are "vegan" (and don't get me wrong, they are 100x better than regular cheese, no lactose, gmo-free, gluten free, free of saturated fat and preservatives), but two of these cheeses are still not vegan.  And the reason why, they contain casein.  Casein is a white, tasteless, odorless protein precipitated from milk. It is the basis of cheese and is used to make plastics, adhesives, and paints, among other foods.  In other words, it comes from those same dairy cows I spoke of the other day, the ones who live 1/5 of their normal lives, because their bodies are so used and abused, to provide humans with milk, while their calves never get any.

So the Daiya cheese is one I typically use (even says casein free on the front, click to enlarge pic) but I saw these "amazing" alternatives right next to the daiya and HAD to try them...Almond cheeze that has garlic and herb flavoring (which sounded so great while I was hungry and grocery shopping - we're all guilty of this, I know...buying splurge foods when we're hungry), and Rice cheeze...cheddar rice cheeze...hmmm, well it sounded good while I was hungry.  Anyway, click on the images and you can see the ingredients.  Doh!

So, here's to being human and making mistakes.  I read something the other day that said, rather than focus on the 1% of things you're doing wrong, celebrate the 99% you're doing right.  In this case, those words sang true and I'm going to just walk away knowing that I'm a little more educated than before.

Peace. =)

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