Sunday, October 31, 2010

Really Bone char

I was stunned to learn that sometime sugar isn't vegan. I mean hello it's sugar why wouldn't it be vegan. What I found out was that sometimes bone char is used in the processing of sugar.

Bone char~ Bone char, made from the bones of cows, is at times used to whiten sugar. Some sugar companies use it in filters to decolorize their sugar. Other types of filters involve granular carbon or an ion exchange system rather than bone char.

Ewwwww. The more I learn about the way our food is processed the more frustrating I find it that this isn't general knowledge. Shouldn't this information be put on the package?

What was the biggest "What it's not vegan" moment you had?


  1. Bone Char is difficult. I feel like it really is the most non vegan thing that vegans consume regularly. Such a bummer.

    Confectioner's Glaze was the last thing I found out wasn't vegan. I had no idea and had been eating it for years. So sad :(

  2. I'm glad that I live in Canada... the biggest brand of sugar around here (Red Path) is vegan.

    I'm still vegetarian as opposed to vegan (although working towards being vegan) and the biggest one for me was gelatin. It didn't occur to me until I was 6 months into being vegetarian that gelatin was not vegetarian at all. During that time, I definitely consumed some jello, etc. It doesn't make it right that I didn't know but... chalk one up to stupidity.

    I kind of thought about it and part of the reason I didn't realize jello wasn't vegetarian was because I used to eat tons of agar agar as a kid and that's vegetarian and vegan, so I thought jello was made of the same thing... I mean, it has a similar texture, right?

  3. the bone char thing is a gross one. I think the biggest surprise to me was how many medicines are not vegan - some pretty weird things out there (pig pituitary!) that are in supplements from the NATURAL MEDICINE clinic I used to manage. (yes - know I should not assume that a naturopath's dispensary would be vegan...). :)

  4. I hadn't even thought of the medicine. Is there somewhere to look this information up?